Just when they were looking like progress....
You win and split a series, and go into Houston and win the first game over the Rocket, and you're starting to think maybe things are moving in the right direction. Then, you lose the next three games, including a 12-4 shellacking last night at the hands of the Rockies in which Eric Milton pitched better than expected in Coors, but Ryan Wagner got positively lit up.
We were saddled from the beginning through a Dave Miley overmanagement move by keeping Dunn and Griffey on the bench against the RH (DOH!) Francis, on the theory that righties hit Francis better than lefties. (We're talking about our two power hitters at Coors, mind you.)
Here's what John Fay had to say about that.
Let's just say it didn't work.
But hey, he found room to get Rich Aurilia in the lineup.
Message to Miley: this team can lose enough games on its own. They don't need any help. Put Junior and Dunn in the lineup.
UPDATE: Reader BD points out that Francis was a LHP, which I guess I noticed. But so, I stand corrected.
Having said that, what about this statement from Fay:
Colorado left-hander Jeff Francis has had more trouble with right-handed hitters than left-handed ones.
Wouldn't you EXPECT Francis to have more trouble with RH hitters than LH hitters?
Update 2: Hal McCoy has the locker room reaction...note "Are we trying to win?".
As the Cincinnati Reds filed into the clubhouse early Friday and peered at the lineup card hanging on the wall, reactions mostly were stunned, confused ... or both.
"Are we facing Sandy Koufax tonight?" asked one. "Or is it Randy Johnson?"
"Are we trying to win?" asked another.
"Are Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn hurt?" asked a third.
No, no and no ... and neither Griffey nor Dunn were in the lineup for Friday night's game against Colorado Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis (4-2, 5.24 ERA).
Manager Dave Miley decided to stack his lineup with right-handed hitters, leaving Griffey and Dunn in the dugout, or, as Griffey said, "Leave 22 home runs and 63 RBIs out of the lineup ... in Coors Field."
Griffey has hit .360 with eight homers and 21 RBIs in 50 Coors at-bats while Dunn is at .333 with five homers and seven RBIs in 33 Coors at-bats.
"I came to the park early, all happy and smiling after a day off, ready to take some extra hitting," Griffey said. "Dunn said, 'Why are you so happy? You're not in the lineup and neither am I.' "
Griffey visited Miley's office to lobby for his spot, but Miley wouldn't budge. Dunn didn't try.
"I had a day off Thursday and don't need (another one), but I can't say anything because I suck," he said.