Skip to content

The Reds are dead and Dusty Baker’s fingerprints are all over the murder weapon

Oct 11, 2012, 5:09 PM EDT

Reds' manager Dusty Baker watches from the dugout as his team plays the Giants in Game 5 of their MLB NLDS playoff baseball series in Cincinnati

Scott Rolen just struck out to end Game 5 of the NLDS. The Giants win 6-4 and now they’ll go on to face the winner of the Nats-Cardinals series.

This wasn’t all on Dusty Baker.  It wasn’t Dusty Baker who was beat around like nobody’s business in the fifth inning. That was Mat Latos, who suffered a total meltdown after not getting a couple of close calls, resulting in a grand slam by Buster Posey.  It likewise wasn’t Dusty Baker who ended a would-be Reds rally in the eighth. That had an awful lot to do with the Giants leather, first with Brandon Crawford making a diving stop at short and then Angel Pagan doing the same in center.  Indeed, the Reds stranded all kinds of runners from the fifth inning on. Sometimes, stuff just happens. You don’t get the bounce and you don’t get the clutch hit.

But Baker didn’t do his team any favors in Games 3, 4 or 5, and a good argument can be made that Baker cost them the series because of it.

On Tuesday it was Scott Rolen’s error in extra innings which opened the door for the Giants victory. Given how much Rolen struggled down the stretch, it’s an open question as to why he was playing at all.  Yesterday Baker left starting pitcher Mike Leake in for too long, and he got rocked, forcing the Reds to play come-from-behind baseball almost the whole game.  Then today in the sixth, with two on, nobody out and Ryan Hanigan working the count full, Baker ran them out of the inning with an ill-advised hit and run — or run and hit or a steal or whatever it was — which turned into a momentum-sapping double play.

Any loss is a team effort. But Baker’s decisions put the Reds in disadvantageous situations time and time again against the Giants.  In a short series, that can be death.  It certainly was here.

Latest Posts
  1. Carlos Gonzalez homered again last night

    Sep 5, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    Colorado Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run off San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Chris Heston in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept.. 4, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) AP

    After slugging two home runs in back-to-back games, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez only hit one last night. He’s slipping.

  2. CC Sabathia expected to return from disabled list on Wednesday

    Sep 5, 2015, 11:01 AM EDT

    New York Yankees trainer Steve Donohue, left, talks to New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia on the mound in the third inning before New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi removed Sabathia from the baseball game against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium in New York, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) AP

    The Yankees plan to utilize a six-man rotation upon Sabathia’s return.

  3. Lucas Duda to begin minor league rehab assignment Saturday

    Sep 5, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT

    on July 24, 2015 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Getty Images

    Duda has been sidelined since August 21 with a thoracic herniation in his back.

  4. Video: Troy Tulowitzki leaps over Matt Wieters to avoid being tagged

    Sep 5, 2015, 9:35 AM EDT

    tulo

    Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki thought fast to avoid being tagged in last night’s game against the Orioles.

  5. Settling the Score: Friday’s results

    Sep 5, 2015, 8:49 AM EDT

    Washington Nationals' Michael Taylor, right, celebrates with relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58), and Jayson Werth, back center, as he comes home for his game-winning three-run homer during the10th inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in Washington. The Nationals won 5-2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) AP

    A quick recap of a busy Friday around MLB, including a walk-off win for the Nationals.

  6. A.J. Burnett: “I expect to be throwing soon for the Pirates, because I feel great.”

    Sep 4, 2015, 11:40 PM EDT

    A.J. Burnett AP

    A.J. Burnett feels great and wants to pitch again for the Pirates before the end of the season.

  7. Chris Davis takes major league home run lead with two homers on Friday

    Sep 4, 2015, 11:05 PM EDT

    Chris Davis Getty Images

    Chris Davis homered twice against the Blue Jays on Friday to move past Nelson Cruz for the major league home run lead.

  8. Billy Hamilton will begin a rehab assignment on Saturday

    Sep 4, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT

    Billy Hamilton Billy Hamilton

    Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton will rehab at Double-A and should rejoin the big league squad soon.

  9. Wil Myers activated from the 60-day disabled list

    Sep 4, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    wil myers getty Getty Images

    Wil Myers will make his long awaited return to the Padres’ lineup on Friday night after missing nearly three months with a wrist injury.

  10. Astros, Dallas Keuchel table extension talks until the off-season

    Sep 4, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Dallas Keuchel Dallas Keuchel

    The Astros want to sign Dallas Keuchel to at least a four-year extension, but the two sides won’t negotiate until the season is over.

  11. James Paxton out “at least three or four days” with torn fingernail

    Sep 4, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    James Paxton James Paxton

    James Paxton will sit for a few days while his fingernail heals, then resume rehabbing with Triple-A Tacoma.

  12. Corey Kluber tweaks hamstring, expected to miss 10 days

    Sep 4, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Corey Kluber Corey Kluber

    Corey Kluber will miss 10 days after tweaking his hamstring in a side session.

  13. Report: Job of Tigers manager Brad Ausmus in jeopardy

    Sep 4, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Seattle Mariners v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

    Brad Ausmus could soon be out of a job as the Tigers sink in the AL Central.

  14. Domonic Brown diagnosed with a concussion

    Sep 4, 2015, 5:03 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.43.54 PM

    Brown may be done for the year.

  15. Justin Morneau returns from concussion, rejoins Rockies

    Sep 4, 2015, 4:47 PM EDT

    Justin Morneau Getty Images

    Any further concussion-related problems could force the former MVP into retirement

  16. Cardinals activate outfielder Jon Jay from the disabled list

    Sep 4, 2015, 3:48 PM EDT

    jon jay getty Getty Images

    Jay missed the past two months with a wrist injury.

  17. Sandy Alderson is not going to “roll over” for Scott Boras and shut down Matt Harvey

    Sep 4, 2015, 2:13 PM EDT

    Sandy Alderson AP

    The Matt Harvey controversy is a lot like the Stephen Strasburg shutdown of 2012. But Sandy Alderson is not going to do what Mike Rizzo did, someone close to him says.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Baez (2351)
  2. B. Crawford (2284)
  3. H. Pence (2240)
  4. A. Rodriguez (2216)
  5. B. Harper (2167)