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From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mets 2, Reds 1

When there's a managerial change, you tend to look closely at how the new manager does things differently than the old manager.

Saturday night, the Mets had a runner at second, two outs, and a right-hander hitter (Lastings Milledge) up. My guess is Jerry Narron would have either walked Milledge and brought in a right-hander to face pinch-hitter Damion Easley, or Narron would have brought in a right-hander to face Milledge.

I don't think Narron would have done what Pete Mackanin did. That's allow left-hander Mike Stanton face Milledge. Milledge singled in the winning run.

"I thought about walking Milledge,” Mackanin said. “Easley was on deck. I'm fine with my decision . . . You've got Milledge who isn’t an established hitter and Easley standing back there who is.”

I'm OK with his decision as well. I didn't work out, but I always thought Narron overdid it with left-right matchup.

The Reds didn't lose because Mackanin let Stanton pitch to Milledge; they lost because they only got two hits off Tom Glavine. They were only in the game because one of the hits was Brandon Phillips' 19th home run.


at 8:57 AM Blogger Eric S. said...

Hey John,

How in the heck do we improve this team? B. Phillips is looking more and more like a cornerstone to build with....Jay Bruce looks like he is on the fast track....You think we need to find an everyday 3B? Eddy doesn't seem to be a long term solution....The bullpen is the obvious problem, but what would you do to improve the offense, taking into consideration what we have close to helping in the minors?

at 10:10 AM Anonymous mikec said...

Great article by Jason Williams on Ron Oester. He's exactly what this team needs.

at 11:00 AM Blogger Josh said...

John - have you heard ANYONE in the Reds organization even hint that maybe Stanton doesn't have it anymore? Last night his location was o.k., but the results were the same. He stinks. Always gets runners on, or lets runners in. He's had about one eight-day stretch where he was ADEQUATE. I would trade him for a polaroid of a bag of balls at this point.

That said, I agree that Narron was way too into the lefty righty thing.

at 12:04 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I like Encarnacion. He's 24. He's defense is better and will contune to get better. Phillips, Encarnacion, Hamilton and Bruce are pretty good corps to build around.

at 12:23 PM Blogger anthony said...

John: Excellent point about the offense's responsibility for the loss last night. Like the four hits Thursday, two hits simply isn't going to get it done. Apparently, we're terrible against crafty veterans, lefty or righty(Glavine or El Duque). I do think, though, that P-Mack's handling of the bullpen can't be left off the hook. As you said, it's important to compare managerial strategies in key situations -- and even if P-Mack's handling of the pen was different from Jerr-Narr's, the result was the same: another tight loss.

This leads me to Josh's point about Stanton: I disagree that Stanton is as bad as many say he is. The stats -- high BAA/OBPA -- totally support Josh's claim about Stanton letting runners on, etc., but since May 13, in 21 apps (including his two shabby appearances in this series) Stanton has only given up 5ER for an era of 2.21. He's not part of the Reds' future, but he's not the biggest part of their problem now.

Which leads me back to John's point earlier: one key problem continues to be the managerial handling of the pen -- what was the 41-year-old Stanton doing out there for the third night in a row (after two sketchy performances) *at all* when we have young, rested flamethrowers (Burton, anyone?) sitting on the bench watching us lose yet again?

Like Josh said, I think we need to get away from both Narron's lock-step lefty-righty mentality *and* what appears to be P-Mack's potential favoritism toward the vets (also occasionally shared by Narron), no matter how tired they may be. The first four batters for NY in the 8th ran L-R-L-R, so the call cdve gone to either a righty or a lefty even for stat purposes. Not to mention the fact that Milledge went yard off of Stanton the night before. Can't fathom P-Mack's logic in that context.

at 2:13 PM Blogger Bengal43 said...

Anyone notice how well Brian Shackleford has pitched for the Bats lately? Maybe he is a AAAA player but if Stanton is traded Brian deserves another chance to be the lefty specialist.

at 3:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mackanin went against the book by leaving Stanton in to face Milledge after Milledge beat him for a home run the day before. Seems like a poor decision, particularly when you consider that Stanton has consistently failed to deliver this year in clutch situations. If you're going to pitch to Milledge, rather than face Easley, either go with your best reliever (Weathers) or go with a power pitcher (the Reds only have one right now). Mackanin's decision to leave Stanton in to face Milledge, rather than Easley, is all the more curious when you consider that today, Mackanin pulled Gosling, a lefty to bring in an awful righty, Coffey, to face Easley. Go figure.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Hiring John Doe to replace Jerry Narron is not going to improve the situation.

The best thing Reds' management could do in the near team is to place the fans on the bereavement list. We're all mourning right now.

at 3:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It amazes me that everyone is till analyzing every nuance of every move made in every game

After this road trip I can assure you that you will see the following.. The Reds still stink even after Makanans initial success against two very marginal teams

We need a good manager from outside the organization and aside from Hamilton,Harang,Encarnacion, Gonzalez, Phillips and maybe Arroyo, they need to blow this team up

Thank goodness football starts soon

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