Look, you can point a lot of fingers and ask where it went wrong. What if the Reds win two out of the last three in the regular season at home? What if Latos’ elbow doesn’t hurt and he can pitch last night? Why would Dusty throw in Cueto as a starter after he had a total of TWO STARTS since June 28th? Where was Votto last night? When was the last time you’ve seen a Brandon Phillips error? The list could go on forever, but the fact is the Pirates won last night and it wasn’t even close. If the Reds won nobody would question the last regular season series, or Cueto getting the start, but they didn’t. The loss last night shouldn’t take away from a great season, but obviously a one game exit from the postseason is a hard pill to swallow after long 162 games.
A lot of people are going to call for Dusty’s head on a platter, and they should, even if he’s not the only one to blame. When he managed the Reds to win the division in 2010 EVERYONE was saying it was a year early, and just wait for the years to come, and yadda yadda yadda. Well, after getting swept in the playoffs that year by the Phillies unreal pitching staff, missing the playoffs in 2011, and winning the division only to lose in heartbreaking fashion to the Giants in 2012, this was the proverbial cherry on top. 2012 is so hard to forget because just one more win in that series and you oust the eventual World Series Champs. This year everyone was hoping we could make up for the shortcomings of last year. Unfortunately, we tried to do it in the hottest division in the MLB. Dusty needs to go. For better or worse. He’s been a manager for 20 years now and he’s won a total of ONE PENNANT! Managers don’t win games, players do, but over the span of twenty years you’re gonna get good teams and bad teams, and with Reds teams like these you gotta cash in. With a lot of unanswered questions in free agency the window could be getting a lot smaller the next few years. A change could be just what the team needs.
As for my MVP in a losing effort I gotta give it to Todd Frazier. When he made that over the railing catch on a foul ball when it was still close I thought that was the spark that the team needed. He only had one hit, but it could have been two, the second being a HR that just went foul. The team had 6 hits total last night, none of which came from Votto or Phillips who were absolutely shut down by Lirano last night. Cueto was so bad it’s not even worth mentioning. When you’re getting the bullpen ready in the third inning you got a slim chance to win a playoff game. Todd Frazier looked like the spark the team needed, but it wasn’t enough.
Lastly, in the post game presser Brandon Phillips showed us why he is so endearing to the fans. He tells it like it is, and doesn’t make excuses. “The City of Cincinnati deserves better.” “We Choked.”