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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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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Reds 4, Diamondbacks 3 in 11

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. The Reds were unquestionably lucky to win Sunday, because they weren't very good.

They struck out 16 times. They were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. They couldn't get a bunt down to save their lives.

But they won.

Pete Mackanin hasn't brought any magic formula to Reds. But he's 5-1.

"Change for change sake can help," he said. "When the manager gets fired, it's blow to everyone. It's a wake up call."


at 6:55 PM Blogger Aaron said...

You know bunting is a tricky thing. I think the traditional method for bunting is wrong... they tell you to square your body and to put your hand behind the barrel.. instinctively this makes you feel exposed to getting beaned right in the vitals... I could never bunt like that especially when a guy is pouring in 90+ gas... but when I just decided to slip my hands up a few inches on the barrel, both together, and just picot my feet, I became a very good bunter. My point is, I think the players need to def. work on bunting, but I think everyone should adopt a method that makes them feel comfortable. The traditional method is not for everyone and if you don't feel comfortable it is very hard to execute.

I wish the team the best of luck in the 2nd half. We are only a handful of games away from being right in the middle of the pack which would be a heckuva accomplishment. Hat's off to Pete for stepping in and righting the ship with whatever he did, and my first half MVP is Scott Hatteberg even though he is a platoon player. I never once felt like we were not going to get it done when he was at the plate. In other words, more than any other player, I feel confident he is going to get it done and drive in a run or get on base or whatever. He is the best all-around hitter on the team, just not a big power guy, but he has surprised nicely in that area. No way do I trade him because I am not ready to mail-in this season while Votto learns the ropes.

at 8:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This game illustrates why the Reds need a disciplinarian to manage the team. The Reds repeatedly failed, in crucial situations, to bunt runners over. David Ross is a particularly poor bunter, mainly because he fails to move up in the batters' box when he bunts, and doesn't know how to hold the bat correctly when he bunts. Bunting is NOT "a tricky thing." Bunting is actually quite simple, IF: (1) the correct technique is used, and (2) practiced frequently enough. Any professional position player should be able to get a bunt down to whichever side of the field they prefer 95% of the time. Those who can't are either: (1) not using the right technique, (2)not practicing the correct technique often enough, or (3) not selective enough (i.e., they attempt to bunt at pitches well out of the strike zone). It is the manager's responsibility to force a horrible bunter -- like David Ross -- to practice it until they demonstrate mastery of the correct technique and fine them when they fail to get a bunt down. The Reds don't play fundamental baseball and the players have absolutely no fear of consequences when they fail to execute the fundamentals because THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES. Pete Mackanin should publicly take responsibility for the Reds' failure to bunt properly, and schedule bunting practice during the All-Star break. These guys are all making millions. Imagine the consequence any of us would face in our vocations if we consistently failed to execute the fundamentals. Look, its great the Reds are winning lately, but until they begin to consistently execute the fundamentals, they will not contend. Pete Mackanin has not changed anything. It will take a few players getting designated for assignment and a new manager, like Joe Girardi, to light a fire under these guys before we see meaningful change.

at 9:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second Aaron's comments on Hatteberg - when Narron was talking about "playing the right way", he should have just said "please play like Hat" >> a real professional!
Great at-bats, plays his position well and understands the game situation at all times.

at 10:46 PM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

Well, there are two parts to the game of baseball, and the Reds' pitching/defense was pretty good.

at 11:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I find interesting is that Homer was scheduled to pitch the 5th game back from the break....July 16th......but now he can't. A demoted player must stay in the minors for 10 days til he can be promoted.....unless another player is placed ont he DL (Hamilton?). 10 days for Homer means he would be back July 18th. Somebody will have to make Homer's start.

at 11:34 PM Anonymous Red Faced said...


They guys are showing some fire and I like it... a lot. I think the hardest part of these season so far was watching what I knew to be a decent team sink deeper and deeper into dispair and play like they had no passion for the game at all. The change in managers was a long time coming and I think is definitely a BIG reason for the play we saw the last 2 series.

Situational Pitching:

Everyone talks about situational hitting but I think the biggest problem we have is situational pitching. Our guys don't seem to react well with runners on base, especially the bullpen. These guys need to do more simulations with runners on base and learn to throw strikes, enduce a groundball for potential doubleplays and so forth. Instead we saw a steady diet of bases on balls, hit batters, and long balls when the opposition had runners on base. This has led to some of the largest scoring innings that I can recall in recent Reds history. It seems like our opponents get runs in bunches when they score (especially the 8th inning). I wonder what percentage of the opponents runs were scored in just one inning during the first half of the season? It has to be pretty high. Some of our bullpen guys look like deer in the headlights when runners get on base (coffee) some guys show no confidence what-so-ever in these situations.

Good job Weathers on closing the door on Saturday - you've pitched well enough for me to give you a pass for failing on Sunday. The back to back strikeouts on Saturday and the emotion you showed on the mound was a sight for sore eyes. I was also impressed with Coutlangis' effort.

I'd like to see Keppinger get a little playing time now that he's up with the team.

Keep it up guys, I might just make the trip back up to Cincy to watch these guys play again this year.

at 7:37 AM Blogger Mark said...

Ranking the Current Roster:
#1 Aaron Harang- MVP- Should be in all star.
#2 Ken Griffey Jr.- Stroke is back!
#3 Brandon Phillips- Simply loves the game and plays all out.
#4 Adam Dunn- May overtake Prince Fielder for HR title at season's end
#5 Scott Hatteberg- clutch, smart, steady as she goes.

1st Half Disappointment: Easy... Any one out of pen coming in between 5-8th inning

2nd Half Wonders:
#1 Edwin Encarnacion- Consistently hitting everything hard.
#2 Homer Bailey- Flashes of brilliance will be seen more often.
#3 Bronson Arroyo- Skipping the gig with the band may have been the start of his turn around.

3rd place finish at 81-81
Never will Reds fans be more encouraged with a .500 season than this one, knowing the hole they had to dig out of to get there.

Pete Mackanin will be praised but passed over for a high profile manager, who will be drawn to a better looking club at season's end.

at 7:37 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that Aaron has the tenacity to say that Pete has "righted the ship".

Anytime there is a change in management...in any type of organization, typically there is a slight improvement for a short period of time...employees and players know they are being watched and perform accordingly. Yet, after a certain period of time,things get back to status quo.

Furthermore, both Arizona and San Francisco are not very good teams

The problems are many and wide ranging on this team...and this includes the general manager.

I dont care if Pete appears to be the second coming of God. We have been here before with both Miley and Narron.

We need to go outside the organization and get someone with fresh perspective. And frankly, that "someone" may in fact make the recommendation that Wayne Krivsky go

Aaron no offense, but this season is over

I love Ken Griffey.. yet he must be traded at 38 years of age, with his salary and Miltons ..we have room to acquire some decent players and along with a new manager and staff, we can change the chemistry of this club

I dont believe Adam Dunn is the problem and if I had my druthers I would keep a 27 year old Dunn versus a 38 year old Griffey.. Among other things..

at 8:24 AM Anonymous Gary214 said...

Anonymous, Mackanin has been with the team for a week!!!! How can you blame him for the lack of bunting skills on the team? GEEZ!!! Get real!!!

at 1:28 PM Anonymous Joe said...

In 1970, when Sparky Anderson took over for Dave Bristol, Sparky was pretty much an unknown quantity. So let's not be too quick in crossing-off Pete Mackanin from the managers list.

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