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Lance McAlister

Pirates 6 Reds 5: Disappointing on so many levels



Bryan Price's use of Sam LeCure has been interesting to me. Sam was not used in the first four games of the season and only once in the first nine games.
He has appeared in six games, throwing eight innings this season.
He threw 24 pitches on Sunday and was not used in Monday night's game.
Last year LeCure pitched in 63 games.
This 1st tweet was directed to Same and then retweeted and favorited by Sam earlier today.
I find that interesting because it points to Sam's usage and role and Sam seems to endorse the sentiment by passing it along to his followers.
The 2nd tweet was from Sam 12 days ago.....and it points to his usage and role.
Maybe that means something, maybe it means nothing. I do find it interesting.




PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 21: Russell Martin #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates scores on a RBI walk off single in the ninth inning Devin Mesoraco #39 of the Cincinnati Reds during the game at PNC Park April 21, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Final: Pirates 6 Reds 5 Boxscore
*Well, that was mildly frustrating.
*What a bounce for the Pirates, after brawling, using 7 pitchers and losing in 14 innings on Sunday.
*Reds led 2-0, trailed 4-2, rallied and scored one run in the 7th and two runs in the 8th for a 5-4 lead.
*The Reds bullpen allowed tying run in 8th and game winner on a Neil Walker single in the bottom of the 9th. The throw from Bruce skipped past Mesoraco. 
*Imagine if Dusty had managed that one? 
*I don't get using LH Parra to start the 8th vs RH McCutchen.
*Price's 1st option out of the bullpen was a LH to face a RH, one day after throwing 33 ineffective pitches? 
*I get not wanting to win the battle, but lose the up your pen. But Price was being protective of pen, yet burned Parra, LeCecure and Marshall with 8-0 7th inning lead day before? Parra 33 pitches, LeCure 24, Marshall 26.
*Broxton was last used Friday (15 pitches).
*No way Marshall was coming off the DL to do back-to-back outings.
*Why no Broxton? Obviously no confidence in Ondrusek. He was hammered Saturday.
*I find it very difficult to watch Hoover pitch. I don't know much, but I do know this...I 'aint losing with JJ on the mound.
*Bullpen of Parra/Hoover: 1.2 IN, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB. They faced 12 batters/7 reached.
*You can't only like Bryan being aggressive and tossing match-ups out window when it works.

How it fell apart:

*Reds led 5-4 in B8th:
Price brought in Parra (L) vs (R) McCutchen to begin 8th. 
I get Price wanted a LHP for the 8th, and Marshall was not an option after Sunday's debut (26 pitches). But why Parra to start 8th vs a RH, MVP, Parra killer (6 for 14, HR), and after Parra's poor 33 pitch Sunday? Parra can't get RHB. 2013: RHB .310 in 95 PA, LHB .167 in 93 PA. 
Result: McCutchen HR...5-5
(L) Alvarez: Ground out
(B) Walker: 1B
(L) Davis: Pop out
Hoover in/Snider: single
Sanchez: BB
Mercer: K 
*Tied 5-5 B9th: 
With one out, Hoover walked Martin and McCutchen on 9 pitches. Alvarez popped out. The switch-hitting Walker then hit a soft liner over BP's head for the game winner.
Walker: 5 for 13 .385 as a RHB this year, 14-63 .222 as a LHB.
The Reds wanted Walker batting LH, but why let Hoover face him?
No Broxton or LeCure (24 pitch Sunday)? Seemed like a moment to save the game.

Manny Parra Stats:
April 15 to April 21 of this season: 5 earned runs in 4 appearances.
June 8 to September 28 last year: 7 earned runs in 45 appearances.
(Thanks Jeff)
Hoover's April 2014
7 appearances: 13.50 ERA over 5.1 innings, 8 ER, 7 H, 8 BB.
Hoover's resume
2.61 ERA in 97 ML games entering season.
2013: Had 26 appearance scoreless streak, covering 26.1 innings, franchise record for RHP. Lost 1st five decisions, won last five decisions. Allowed 6 runs in .2 inning on June 9, had ERA of 2.07 in other 68 appearances. Had ERA of 1.69 in final 14 appearances of last season.

Other notes:
*Frazier 3 H, 2 BB, Phillips 3 H, Mesoraco 3 H, 10-game hit streak/7th multi-hit game. *Reds 2-7 in 1-run games.
*Brandon had a tough night in field. Could/should he have caught game winner? He  had another play where he stepped on his glove and it came off.
*Up 2-0 Top 4th, 0 outs, Mesoraco was thrown out stealing, he appeared to be safe. Price came out, but opted not to challenge. Might have had runner on 2nd, 0 outs had Price won challenge.
*From Jeff: Dating back to last season, Zack Cozart has 1 walk in his last 84 plate appearances.
*Top 1st: Hamilton HBP leading off, went all the way around to 3rd on Votto come backer to pitcher, scored on Phillips ground ball to 3rd, knocked ball loose from catcher. 1-0 Reds.
*Bottom 4th: Ike Davis, who hit a walk off grand slam vs Reds earlier this year, for the Mets, hit a grand slam to give Pirates 4-2 lead. Elias says 1st player to do that since Mike Piazza ('98) and Ray Boone ('53).
*T9th 5-5: Reds failed to score when Phillips delivered a 2-out single, Frazier singled and BP, with heads up base running took 3rd. Bruce: Fly out.
Earlier scoring:
*T3rd: BP breaks 0 for 12 with 2B, Frazier follows RBI 2B, 2-0.
*Marte beat shift with bouncer past Votto, Leake then picked off.
*T7th: Mesoraco reach error, Cozart 9 pitch fly out, Price let Leake hit, single...1st and 3rd: Billy SF, 4-3.
T8th: Phillips leadoff 1B, Frazier singles on 6-pitch AB, Bruce RBI double on 0-2 pitch, 4-4. Ludwick IBB. Mesoraco RBI single 5-4, Bruce out plate/challenge upheld. Cozart pop-up/after Pirates started to intentionally walk on 1st pitch. Cozart swings 2 and 0? Heisey 10-pitch AB, fly out. 

Listener Jeff
Price lost tonight's game Sunday: Sunday Reds had an 8-0 lead in the 7th inning against Cubs. Bailey was sitting at 96 pitches. Price pinch hits for Bailey. and with a 4 game series against Pirates looming, Price somehow managed to let his 3 top setup relievers(Parra/LeCure/Marshall) throw a combined 80 pitches to close out the 8-2 win, rendering each unavailable/ineffective for tonight's game.

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 21: Russell Martin #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates tags out Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth inning during the game at PNC Park April 21, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)


Mesoraco vs other Reds catchers in Age 26 season
From Steven Sharp:
Using, I found a total of 41 players who spent any of their respective Age 26 MLB season with the Cincinnati Reds (1882-Present) AND who played at least one game at the catcher position during that respective Age 26 MLB season for the Reds.  Some of those 41 players were back-up catchers or players who only spent part of their career as a catcher.  
Based on that list, I feel confident in saying that Johnny Bench (1974 season) had the best Age 26 MLB season (for the Reds) by any Reds catcher.  At the moment, Devin Mesoraco is working on the best Age 26 MLB season by a Reds catcher since Bench in 1974.  Since 1974, my list of notable Age 26 MLB seasons by Reds catchers would include Joe Oliver (1992 season) and Ed Taubensee (1995 strike-shortened season).  Mesoraco certainly has a chance to produce a better 2014 season when compared to Oliver (1992) and Taubensee (1995). Taubensee also shared Reds catching duties in 1995 with Benito Santiago and Damon Berryhill; Santiago caught slightly more than Taubensee in 1995, and both caught quite a bit more than Berryhill in 1995.  
Here are what I would consider ten of the best Age 26 MLB seasons by Reds catchers for the Cincinnati Reds (1882-Present):  
Johnny Bench -- 1974 season
Ed Bailey -- 1957 season
Ivey Wingo -- 1917 season
Johnny Edwards -- 1964 season
Ernie Lombardi -- 1934 season
Don Pavletich -- 1965 season
Tommy Clarke -- 1914 season
Ed Taubensee -- 1995 season
Joe Oliver -- 1992 season
Heinie Peitz -- 1897 season
If Devin Mesoraco produces a 2014 season that rivals any of the top five or so on this list, then it's going to be quite the season for him.  

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