The Reds offense disappeared again yesterday, and they had to settle for a series tie against the Arizona Diamondbacks. They lost 3-1 after another good start from Edinson Volquez. Whether it’s what he worked on in Dayton or just having healed that much more from Tommy John surgery, Volquez is making his statement to be a starter in the playoffs.
The last road trip of the season starts today as the Reds travel to Houston to face the Astros. Johnny Cueto will go for his 13th win, while Wandy Rodriguez will go for his 12th (and to bring his record to .500). First pitch is at 8:05pm EDT.
Baker Backs Cordero
First and foremost, Dusty Baker is a player’s manager. Although this has been a source of criticism in year’s past, this year, it’s been a trait that I’ve enjoyed.
Unlike Tony La Russa, who verbally attacks his own players in the media, Baker always backs his guys publicly. The most recent example came after closer Francisco Cordero’s recent struggles. After Jay Bruce bailed out Coco in the penultimate game against the Diamondbacks, the discussion with the press turned toward Aroldis Chapman and the public clamoring for him to become the closer.
“It hasn’t changed. Chapman just learned how to relieve,” Baker said. “That eighth inning and seventh inning is a whole lot easier than that ninth inning. Is this the place to experiment with that? With the guy that hasn’t been there? In case he doesn’t do it, do I go back to Coco and say, ‘Hey man, I was just kidding.’ Then you lose both of them.
“There are some people that didn’t like [stuff] I did at the start of the season,” Baker said. “They didn’t like my lineup. They didn’t like this. They didn’t like that. I can’t worry about those people. Those people don’t manage this ballclub. Those people don’t understand the psychological dynamics of your ballclub.
“There were people that wanted [Chris] Dickerson to play and they started booing Dickerson. They wanted [Laynce] Nix. There’s people that wanted [Jay] Bruce sent to the Minor Leagues. There were people that wanted [Chris] Heisey to play every day. There are people that wanted [Drew] Stubbs sent to the Minors. There were people that wanted [Nick] Masset out of here at the beginning. … I’m not worried about what people say because people go on who’s hot at the time. I have to look at the overall big picture, the dynamics and the psychology of my ballclub.”
It’s nice to see a boss back his employees. It seems like a no-brainer, but so often, managers are happy to throw workers under the bus. And this is me giving credit to Baker for handling this situation correctly.
What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Brandon Phillips leads all starting National League 2nd basemen with a fielding percentage of .995. and 390 assists. He has committed just 3 errors all year.