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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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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Reds swept by the Bucs 6-4, 3-2

Rough, rough night for the Redlegs. The Pirates dumped about a million gallons of ice cold water all over the Reds resurgence.

The Reds have to split the final two games of the series to avoiding falling into a tie with the Pirates.

Getting swept -- combined with the Chicago Cubs’ 5-3 win over Milwaukee -- dropped the Reds to eight games back in the National League Central race. If the Cubs play .500 the rest of the way, the Reds have to go 23-9 the rest of the way to tie.

“It's certainly not what we anticipated,” Reds manager Pete Mackanin said. “I didn't like the fact that (the Pirates) had two pretty good left-handers against us. We all know our right-handed lineup isn't prodigious as our left-handed lineup.”

A lot of posters are beating up on Mackanin for overdoing the left-right thing. I agree. I'd rather have Josh Hamilton or Adam Dunn in there than Jason Ellison. I don't care if Sandy Koufax is the left-hander in question.


at 12:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reds have a 6 game winning streak with one lineup and when you really really really really need a split, you lose both because of a lineup chock full of Jason Ellison's. What a joke.

at 7:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree, playing Ellison (who would rank with the Cahd Moeller, Real Cormier and other Krivsky question marks) is just plain stupid. I know there is no other right handed hitter on the bench but that problem is because Krivsky was stupid enough to claim Ellison. He just can't hit. They could have let Ross catch put Javy at first and put Cantu in left. Part of the problem this team has coming back is who they have as pinch hitters.
They had the Moeller-Castro power hitting duo off the bench the first half and it got them no where. Now the weak spot is Ellison, just get rid of him.

at 7:55 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you John on the lefty-righty thing. Ellison hasnt done a thing to warrant starting, let alone be on the roster! I'd rather have Joey Votto up here, than Ellison! I'd rather take my chances with Hamilton, Griffey, Dunn, etc. against a lefty than Ellison. He is terrible!! Heck, Livingston can hit better than him I bet.

at 8:14 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

* Problem with having Ross and Valentin in the lineup at once is if one of them gets hurt you have no backup catcher, then no backup for Game 2.

* Ellison is one batter. He didn't cost them the doubleheader. I probably would have put Keppinger in LF, Gonzalez at SS in Game 1.

* What people forget is this team gets eaten alive by lefthanders. Everytime someone screams for Votto or Bruce, who are lefthanded players without a major-league AB, you're wanting to insert yet another lefty in the lineup that simply cannot beat lefties.

* Totally agree with John's premise on the lefty-right thing. All major-league managers are guilty of this abuse. It's ridiculous. Yes, Dunn has guys he can't hit, but Griffey?

* An enormous wild-card to the immediate future of this team is Cantu. He might be the right-handed power bat they desperately need. Play him. Stop this platoon BS and just play the guy and let's see what he delivers.

at 8:44 AM Blogger docproc said...

Pete Mac:

I've been your fan, but in the most important games of your managerial career, you violated a most important tenet:

You didn't dance with the ones who brung you.

Sitting Hamilton, Griffey, and Dunn while playing Ellison, A-Gon, and Ross makes you seem like Jerry Narron all over again. Early in the season, when Narron pinch hit Castro for Hamilton, I thought it was the worst decision of the year. Sorry, but sitting Hamilton for Ellison takes the cake.

And don't tell me the vets needed rest--they had the day off on Monday, and this is (or was) a pennant chase. And don't tell me about lefty-righty matchups. If you really think Ellison is better than Hamilton, Griffey, or Dunn simply because he happens to hit from the right side of the plate, then you really don't belong in this position.

Not the way to make your case to be manager next year...

at 8:51 AM Blogger Keith said...

A couple rules that every big league manager should follow when deciding when to sit players (this should be obvious, but apparently isn't)
1. Don't sit star players during homestands, especially on weekends. Sit them on the road during the week.
2. Anytime you sit anyone in your "best" starting 8, the lineup then becomes subpar. Why go out in multiple games with subpar lineups? When a manager wants to give guys the day off, do it all on the same day, preferably when the Reds have a number 5 starting pitcher on the mound. They already have their worst chance of winning, so why not take advantage of it. Instead, the Reds lessen their chances of winning with their good pitchers on the mound when they mess around with the lineups. Case in point last night: The "best" lineup should have been out there for Arroyo's start. Then his 1 run performance isn't wasted. Instead, two subpar lineups, two losses. Mackanin just showed me why he's not smart enough to be a big league manager. This isn't rocket science!!!Give yourself your best chance of winning as many times during the year as possible and it might add up to a reasonable chance of getting in the playoffs.

at 9:06 AM Blogger Ray Kinsella said...

You can put these 2 losses squarely on the shoulders of Pete Mackanin. When you are trying to catch up in a pennant race, you need to have your best players in there every game. Forget the lefty-righty crap. He said he needed to play Ellison to keep him sharp. You have to get sharp before you can be kept sharp. Ellison being 1 for 12, ain't to sharp.

Those 2 games just blew the rest of the season. You can tell him I said so.

at 9:43 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

I am no longer considering Pete Mackanin for the manager's job. Someone must have given him the Jerry Narron 'book' before the games last night. I am anxious to see if there is anything done about the lazy superstar's performance again last nite. Get rid of that lazy, non-hustling cry baby and put one of the young guys in right field all of the time.

at 9:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This might not be the worst thing that could happen. The Reds were not going to catch the Cubs, so now maybe the mind set will change in regards to the 40 man roster. Wayne may start looking to next year and some young kids will be brought up once their seasons end. The worst thing that could have happened was the Reds get close and the owner/gm group thinks this team is close to competing for the division because they are not.

at 9:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to think I almost got sucked in to the "Hey, we just might have a chance!" bandwagon. The inconsistencies of this team frustrate me to no end. Is the hitting going to be good, or not? Which bullpen do we have, Dr. Jekyll, or Mr. Hyde?

I completely agree with you that Adam Dunn and Josh Hamilton are better options than Elli-who-is-that-guy? How are the Reds supposed to win if their "sluggers" (strike-out-ers) sit every time a lefty takes the mound?

Dunn can strike out against a lefty just as well as he can strike out against a righty... I'll take the possibility of an Adam Dunn fielding error followed by a 420' home run over Ellison's .063 batting average any day.

at 9:58 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

John, How do you feel about the Griffey singles off of the center field fence (especially in close games)? I have seen enough of them, lets move him on and put Hopper and or Bruce in right field. Griffey sets a terrible example for the younger players and his bad attitude is contagious. Now that he has put Mackanin on the spot, do you think that anything will be done about it?

at 10:14 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ridiculous - two tight games, and Josh Hamilton riding the pine on both. Pete has fallen into the conservative by-the-book 'don't take chances' mold. But it will make decisions easier come this fall.

Having Ross and Ellison in the lineup creates a void at the bottom - why do they even bother to use bats? Everything had to happen at the top of the order, and without Hamilton, that was less likely.

Fine exhibit of managerial wimpyness.

at 10:40 AM Blogger Bob said...

Is anyone as tired as me seeing Jr. turn doubles into singles or on defense turn fly ball outs into singles while George Grande says. "He comes Jr." I would love to hear, "here goes Jr. to Hall of Fame purgatory until he is voted in. Currently he is a hall-of-shamer the Reds are even worse to continually allow it.

at 11:12 AM Anonymous Deshawn Zombie said...

Here's the Reds' pattern for the last several years. Hire a poor manager. Give him a couple of seasons. Fire him midseason, watch the iterim improve the team. Hire him. Fire him. Watch the interim improve the team. Boone to Miley to Narron to MacKanin. Are we really considering doing this again? IT'S INSANE. Old boy gave away two games last night. Let's not make the same mistakes all over.

at 11:17 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two big games that have potential post-season implications and Big Mack fields a triple-A lineup.

Your best players - i.e. Junior and Dunn - should be on the field in the biggest games of the year. It doesn't take a genius to figure this one out. Certainly a competant big league manager would want his best players involved in a game that has such big implications.

Isn't the thought process behind resting Dunn and Junior to keep them fresh for the stretch run? Why are they sitting out big games in late August?

at 11:28 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is supposed to be playoff-push time, yet our best players are sitting out games? Mack just sealed his fate in my mind. Bronson should have started game one. Maybe you get a big lead with him and you can rest some guys later in the game. Once Ramirez gave up the Slam, the whole momentum shifted. Ellison, Gonzalez, Ross--all batted in key situations and gave us nothing. News Alert: Ross on the DL was Krivsky's best move of the year. Why are we so concerned about Javy's throwing when nobody is running? Well, it's over now. Hope everybody is well rested. Cueto, Bruce and Votto should be getting their bags packed for Cincy.

at 12:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

MacKannin did not play to win last night -- he played to not lose. You go with one line-up and 6 games based on an offense scoring over 7 runs per game. Yesterday, apparently b/c of a double header, he does not use the lineup that scored boatloads of runs in either of those games. Also, pinch hitting Hatteberg in game 1 for Cantu, after Cantu was 2-3 with a HR was over-managing & may have cost the Reds the game. IMO McKannin lost both of the games last night by simply not sticking with what had been working.

Krivsky's dump of Lohse was a really dumb move at this point.

at 12:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came here looking for information regarding Ken Griffey's new record for longest single ever hit, but I don't see anything. I guess nobody asked the questions. Pete has an opportunity here to put his foot down. If he doesn't, he's just another manager without the toughness that we need to make this team hustle and reach the next level.

at 12:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, Ken Griffey's the problem. AVG .283. HR 28 RBI 82 OBP .390 SLG .519. What a terrible influence on the youngsters.

at 12:41 PM Blogger kingseyeland said...

Arroyo can't handle a start before dusk. He always tanks during day games, complains about stomach troubles or dizziness or whatever. I think he's part vampire. I want a pitcher who can throw during daylight hours and not lose double digits.

I agree that Mack didn't play to win. Anytime you run Jason Ellison out there you're not playing to win. I can see him as a late inning replacement -- the Juan Castro of the outfield -- but nothing else. And they don't need that right now. They need guys they can depend on to come up with clutch hits off the bench and perform well in spot starts. Ellison is neither. The only difference between Ellison and Dewayne Wise is the side of the plate where they hit. They need better.

As for resting Dunn and Griffey, I'm sorry, but I've heard enough of giving guys "rest." They sit for 30 percent of the game when someone else is batting, and the game is 3 hours long. They stay in posh hotels on the road, and their meals and transportation are provided. Plus, they had an off day on Monday! Rest? They hardly have time to rest, what with all the resting they do.

If this team is seriously trying to win, those guys would be in the lineup.

You simply cannot baby a hall of famer or a former football player, both of whom can hit 40 homers and drive in 100, no problem.

at 12:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too much finesse used in planning for last nights games...

With only a month or so worth of games left and the only chance of making the post-season being to win every game possible, the only strategy that should be employed is the B.F.H (Big Frigging Hammer) strategy...

You take the biggest hammers you have, you put them in the lineup every stinking night and you bludgeon the opposition into submission... You don't stop pounding once you get the lead, you don't leave it up to your bullpen to save anything, just go caveman on the bad guys!!! Get back to playing the way you did in little league and high school and college and the minors... 150% effort... You run out EVERY hit... You take that extra bag... You dive for that ball instead of letting it bounce in front of you... You don't take that called third strike on a pitch you think might be just a bit outside... You throw strikes... You put your hot hitters in every stinking game and you sit the clowns who don't want to play hard... YOU EARN THAT (#$(&*@&* OUTRAGEOUS SUM OF MONEY YOU'VE BEEN PAID TO PLAY THE GAME!

at 1:20 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Highlight of the day was Griffey's single off of the center field wall. Wow! Was that the longest single ever hit? GREAT JOB KEN! KEEP UP THE GREAT HUSTLE.
what is the record for most singles off the wall in a career?
Any comment from Mr Mackanin about that hit?
I love watching Griffey stand at home plate as the ball bounces off of the wall even more than watching Adam Dunn chase chickens in left field.

at 4:17 PM Anonymous Red Faced said...

What a bunch of belly achers. You guys are killing me. Obviously everyone thought we had a real chance to win this division. Well take a long drink from the reality faucet, we don't. Or fate was sealed when we fell 20 games under. While this team is a good team (although we underachieved most of the year) it's not a great team and it's not going to come back from that kind of deficet.

How do you all jump off and on the bandwagon so quickly without rolling an ankle? Yesterday everyone wants to hire Mac and now you want to bring back public stoning. It's actually quite hilarious. Listen, our offense has been pulling the weight recently and the bullpen has pitched well enough to not lose games for us but if you thought the offense would continue on that pace then you are crazy. We had ample opportunity to score more runs in both games yesterday and yet we did not. I guess since Mac drew up the lineups then it's his fault it didn't produce. And to blast Arroyo for his poor outing is laughable. He pitched well enough to win the game but didn't. How many times has that happened this year? Way too many.

Don't get me wrong, I wanted to see them sweep the lowly Pirates and move closer to the top of the division too, but I didn't set myself up to be disappointed by believing we would.

I hope we continue to play well and I'd personally like to see Mac again next year. I think he's done a heck of a job and with lesser starting pitching tallent than Narron had to begin the season.

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