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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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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Reds 5, Pirates 4

Brandon Phillips' play to end Thursday's game was a good as I've been. And Phillips said it's as good as he's made.

“It’s probably the best of my career,” Phillips said. “Game on the line. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

David Weathers, who gave up the hit, put it like this: “I’ve lost games like that. That’s the first I’ve ever been saved by a throw. Nine and a half times out of 10, he scores.”

Here's the situation: Two outs, ninth inning. Josh Phelps on second. Nate McLouth bloops one down the right field line.

"I thought (first baseman Jeff) Keppinger was going to catch it," Phillips said. "I was just there backing up in case."

The ball fell. Phillips bare-handed it, set himself and made a strong but arcing throw to the plate. Javy Valentin had to jump to catch it. But he held on as Phelps hit him. Game over.

"It's amazing. The throw came right to me," Valentin said. "I don't have to move. "

It was end to a wild, bizarre night. See the previous post on how the Reds basically had two runs taken off the board.

Oh yeah, Phillips have three more hits. He has at least two hits in his last seven games.


26 Comments:

at 12:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Mckanin runs the Reds' regular lineup out there for the double header the other night this team would probably be 4 or at worst 5 games out of first and probably on a 10 game winning streak. Instead, Mackanin pulls a Narron in the most crucial situation of the year. Then last night, Dunn pulls his own Narron and misses third base. What a goof!! More proof, as if we needed any, that Joe Girardi, or a disciplinarian to be named later, must be hired as manager next year.

 
at 8:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That play was amazing. Unfortunately, what highlights tonight's game is Griff not hustling to second in the 9th, which would have allowed him to score on Phillips double. With a two run 9th inning lead, the play by Phillips becomes moot. Not what you want to see from your team leader in a playoff race.

 
at 8:43 AM Blogger Jeff Lehner said...

Mackanin just can't seem to win with some people. Getting a split in a road series after winning six straight is a reason to be happy, folks...

 
at 8:48 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

As I have said before, Griffey has got to go, the only reason he plays is to pad his stats. His me first attitude brings this team down and it doesn't look like Mackanin has the balls to lay down the law. Problem is no one else will take him. As for putting asses in the seats, a winning ball club would do a much better job of that.

Does anyone still want to argue with me about Brandon Phillips being far and away the best ballplayer on this team?

 
at 9:01 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

As I have said before, Dunn looks like a fat Rocky Balboa chasing chickens in left field. Very comical performance last nite.

I have also seen enough of Pete Mac. He got off to a good start but as soon as the team got within striking distance, out came the Narron book and we are now getting more of the same old over-managing crap. How did Keppinger lose his job to Gonzalez? Was that a Krivsky edict, or did Mac make that incredible decision on his own?

Why has nothing been said about Jr's lazy baserunning two days in a row?

All this bitching and they have won 2 in a row. Wait til the losing starts again!

 
at 9:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This game is a perfect example of why Phillips is clearly the position player of the year. He simply gets it done all over the field. I still don't understand how you can miss a base. I've played ball for almost 40 years and I've never come close to missing a base. Next time Dunn should just sprint across the infield and save us all the drama. Amazing! Is it possible that he spends too much time watching Griffey?

 
at 9:15 AM Blogger Bob said...

Griffey fails to hustle yet again and still gets the headlines. Oh, I'm so sick of that guy. Why, oh, why no one see that him as he reaslly is.

 
at 11:15 AM Blogger Gregory said...

I don't understand from a statistical standpoint what the reds saw in Drew Stubbs. I know he is a plus fielder but you can get those later in the draft. There were a lot of guys selected behind Stubbs that would be at the major league doorsteps right now. From the looks of this season, Stubbs may never be a major leaguer.

 
at 12:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another of Phillips' great plays. But Griffey's home run trot in the 4th turned a triple into a double. He would have scored on Phillips' fly ball. Griffey should have been easily on 2nd instead of 1st in the 9th. He would have scored on Phillips' hit. That's 2 less runs for the Reds and 2 less RBI's for Phillips.

 
at 1:22 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

How come Griffey gets a pass for his lack of hustle the last two nights in a row? I don't seem to be able to get an answer for that one.
How did Keppinger manage to lose the SS job to Gonzalez? Was that a Mackanin move or a Krivsky directive?
We don't need a manager that is a Wayne Krivsky puppet. IE Dumatrait starting on Saturday and probably the ordering of Gonzalez back into the line-up. I have nothing against Gonzalez, but this line-up is much better with Keppinger at SS batting second, at least for the time being. Encarnacion is 24 years old and playing very well both offensively and defensively. Leave him alone, unless by chance you can get a GOOD starting pitcher under the age of 40 for him.

 
at 1:24 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

The Reds series in Pittsburgh highlighted:

1. Bad managing by Mac (maybe an excuse or two)
2. Really bad base-running by Griffey (no excuse)
3. Inconsistency from Dunn (no excuse)

If Mac is going to manage like this, and if Griffey and Dunn are going to play half-assed baseball, then I'd rather all three of them get the hell out of Cincinnati.

Is it asking to much for a QUALITY PROFESSIONAL EFFORT?

While there's plenty of subjectivity inherent in analyzing a baseball manager's moves, from an objective point of view, Mac was more like Narron and it nearly cost the Reds 3 of 4. The Reds suddenly looked like the Narron Reds this week, and if they play like that this weekend--ESPECIALLY if they're MANAGED like that this weekend, 0-3 will be the result.

These guys do not resemble the 1990 Reds very much.

ON or OFF the field.

It's pathetic.

 
at 1:44 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

I just heard the radio replay pertaining to Griffey's not running last night in the 9th on the pop-up to left...

Willie Cunningham is 100% correct today about Ken "Barbaro" Griffey's lack of hustle and lack of good attitude...

What an unprofessional lazy unintelligent passive losers' approach to baseball on Junior's part last night...

ABSOLUTELY NO ROOM FOR PLAY LIKE THAT ON A TEAM THAT WANTS TO RETURN TO THE POST-SEASON.

This week the Reds took a step BACK, away from developing into a winning organization.

If we hear NOTHING from Mac and Castellini on Junior's failure to run...well, if they don't care, why should the fans care?

 
at 1:54 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Phillips is the best, no doubt.

Getting a split in a road series is okay, true, but if Mac manages, and Dunn and Griffey play, like they played in Pittsburgh, the Reds will lose all three to St. Louis.

St. Louis isn't Florida.

Cards will be gunning for a sweep, playing hard, and using smart tactics.

Oh but it's too much to ask Mac to do that EVERY GAME, isn't it?

 
at 2:12 PM Blogger robby said...

Absolutely, bench Griffey. Let's see if we can get Ryan Freel back in there. He can barely hit his weight, but he sure does hustle and run hard on his weak grounders. Next to Phillips, Griffey is the best and most important player on the team. He doesn't run as hard as most would like, but he does have a history of hurting his legs. It might be that it isn't prudent for him to sprint full speed and risk another injury. The Reds have no one to replace Griffey in the line-up at this point that can provide what he provides. Griffey didn't cost the Reds anything last night. George Foster used to say that he didn't get paid to run into walls to explain why he didn't go after the ball in the outfield as aggressively as some thought he should. He maintained he got paid to hit.

Anwyay, Griffey is not the reason the Reds can't pitch well enough to win consistently.

 
at 2:44 PM Blogger JHart said...

Phillips' play last night was awesome, no doubt. Not to take anything away from it, but...
I think it'd rank 2nd behind Freel's play of a similar nature in CF earlier this season. It was throwing out a winning run at the plate in the 9th, so the Reds could win in extras. Freel charged the hard hit single, barehands it on the run (it wasn't a soft little blopper like last night) and guns a perfect throw to Ross. Ross, who's been known to drop a few on tag plays at the plate, got the job done (although it wasn't quite as spectacular as Javy's effort last night).

 
at 3:01 PM Blogger Mark said...

Brandon Phillips!!!

Looking like #8 from the Big Red Machine

Not there yet, but closing in.

My pick for MVP this year

Harang is 2nd.

 
at 3:04 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Everybody with any sense knows that Freel can't hit. A good man to be the last guy off of the bench. I haven't heard anyone say that Griffey should be replaced by Freel, but its definitely time for Griffey to move on or retire. I would hate to see him hurt his legs watching a single bounce off of the center field wall. There are no excuses for that BS. Fans should not have to pay for that kind of performance,no matter who it is or how much he is making.
He has been here what 7 years now, and the Reds have had losing seasons every year. Yeah right, he has been a great asset to this team.

 
at 3:18 PM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

The typical consensus in Cincinnati, is that if you don't play like Pete Rose or Ryan Freel, then you need to get out.

A team full of Ryan Freels and Pete Roses would never win a thing. As much as I appreciate the hustle from anyone on the team, sometimes base running mistakes will happen. It doesn't mean they need to be benched immediately.

Griffey is not paid for his base running, Dunn is not paid for his base running...these guys are paid to DRIVE IN runs, and they are doing that efficiently. Dunn is nearing 100 RBIs with a month left in the season. Griffey is 14 RBI away from driving in 100 runs. Why do they NEED to get out of Cincinnati?

Anyone that thinks Griffey is here to "pad his stats", is uttering pure insanity. There are many other places around the nation where Griffey could play for a WINNING TEAM and pad his stats, why the heck would he stay in Cincinnati and do it? That comment warrants a swift boot in the rear!

If George Steinbrenner said he was taking over Cincinnati's ballclub, Justin still wouldn't be happy. We'd still have complaints and insults being thrown at every player/coach/front office personnel on the team.

I really like the way Mackanin has turned around this ball club. I personally don't like him not bunting in certain situations like he should, but I'm also not the person putting the names on those lineup cards either.

You'd think, after turning around this team in the second half....that the negativity in Cincinnati would slim down a little bit.

Good thing those Bengals are about to start up their season, so we can hear about more criminals getting paid those good wages! ;)

 
at 4:08 PM Blogger robby said...

Not worth really arguing about, but what Griffey does by standing at the plate and watching his long drives is nothing unusual. Most home run hitters do it in this day and age. Is it a little aggravating? Yes. Is it why the Reds have had a losing record since Griffey got here? No. The pitching on the team is horrible and has been every year. Signings such as Milton's Stanton,Graves, Cormier, etc. are what keep the Reds from winning. Trade Griffey or let him retire and the Reds will be a weaker team in the short term, unless they address the main weakness which is a horrible pitching staff. The Reds two pitchers the next two nights are Shearn and Dumatrait and people want to blame Griffey for the losing record. Go figure...

 
at 4:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two games in a row in which our local media was too scared to ask the Griffey question.

 
at 4:20 PM Blogger robby said...

...and to CSP. No one forces fans to pay for anything. If one doesn't want to pay to see Griffey play. One can stay home and blame him for the Reds' woes.

 
at 4:31 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Rob Dicken, you're a little off-base.

First, I haven't insulted every Reds player--just those who overeat and underperform or who are lazy or unfocused on the field. Oh, so we should compliment the inept and encourage them to keep up the bad work?

Second, if George took over, I wouldn't have to worry about the Reds. The Yankees win every year--maybe not World Championships, but at least they don't act like a bunch of clowns who don't know how to build and sustain a COMPETITIVE franchise.
But of course it's okay for Reds management to do whatever the hell they want to this team, right?

Finally, no one has ever said they want a team full of Pete Roses and Ryan Freels--but most Reds fans do want players to play the game with class and desire and heart. Such was absent with Dunn and Griffey last night. So you'd prefer only focusing on the "good?" Or do you prefer making excuses for poor performances?

In this business of pro-sports/entertainment, getting second-guessed and criticized (sometimes, yes, unfairly) is part of the game. What do you care whether I voice disapproval/displeasure with the Reds on this blog? What's it to you?

This is a forum to exchange opinions and ideas. I've been wrong before and I'll be wrong again but I try to opine from facts whenever possible as opposed to just whining and getting personal, like you just did.

FACT: The Yankees are run by a baseball guy. The Reds are run by a vegetable...

guy.

 
at 4:42 PM Anonymous Roger said...

Nice job, Rob, but don't you realize you've got to be an unreasonable crank to post blogs here?

 
at 4:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob

I have to disagree with you. Griffey conceding an out last night after he popped up was unacceptable. Turning a dobule off the wall into a 400 ft single is not acceptable. If you think asking him to come out of the box hard each and every time is asking him to play like Pete Rose then I think you have very low expectations.

 
at 4:57 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Oh yeah, let's just sit at home and be silenced by some hypersensitive apologist(s) for the most poorly run organization in the major leagues.

Yeah, that would be useful!

Blogging, YouTube, Camera Phones, nah, journalism hasn't changed much recently...fans still have no power apart from their wallets to influence a baseball franchise or players...Castellini and Krivsky and Dunn and Mac have never read this blog....

RIGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHT

 
at 5:55 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

LOL
Griffey is a Hall of Famer (from his career in Seattle). He is paid Hall of Famer money which means he is paid to excel in ALL aspects of the game. That is what makes a super-star. He is not paid only to hit home runs, he is paid to help win ballgames. Not hustling, does not help win ballgames. No one would say a thing about it if just happened once in while in a blow-out game. But his poor attitude and hustle are evident in most every game.

As usual, the Reds are going nowhere this year, and you are correct, it is not Griffey's fault (but his attitude certainly doesn't help). So maybe, since Griffey can't run the bases, he should just take some time off and we can see who is ready to take over in right field and show a little desire to win.

I am afraid that he is not going anywhere, because no other team will take him.

 
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