You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Baker questions the second-guessers

Dusty Baker is used to being second-guessed. It’s part of the job. He has thousands of volunteer assistant coaches sitting on couches across Reds country, whether he wants them or not.

Even The Onion, the satirical newspaper, got in on the act Tuesday with a headline titled, “Dusty Baker accidentally leaves Aroldis Chapman warming up in the bullpen overnight.”

Baker was asked before Tuesday’s game against the Phillies about his thoughts on the situation Monday night when he left in Bronson Arroyo to pitch to Chase Utley with two outs in the eighth. Utley tied the game with a two-run home run, and some fans thought Baker should have summoned Aroldis Chapman to pitch to Utley.

Chapman hasn’t given up a run in seven appearances, and he earned his third save by pitching a perfect ninth after Brandon Phillips’ two-run single gave the Reds a 4-2 lead in the eighth.

“When do you warm him up?” Baker asked. “Do you warm him up to start the eighth? Because that’s what you’re going to have to do to have him ready by the end of the night. It’s easy to say you should have someone lose, but you’ll tire your bullpen out before the end of the game.”

Baker said it’s not easy to know when to take out Arroyo. He had thrown 7 2/3 scoreless innings at that point.

“Sometimes he’ll give it up. Sometimes he won’t,” Baker said. “If you leave him in there and he gives it up, then it’s, ‘Why didn’t you take him out?’ If you take him out and the next guy gives it up, then it’s, ‘Why didn’t you leave him in there?’ ”

Cleaning up: Phillips leads the Reds and ranks fourth in the majors with 16 RBIs. Batting cleanup, he’s hitting .340 with five doubles and four home runs.

Joey Votto deserves some credit for Phillips’ RBI total because he’s getting on base more than half the time. Batting third, Votto is hitting .317 with a .556 on-base percentage. Votto has walked 21 times, 10 more than anyone else in baseball.

Phillips was especially pleased to come through Monday in the eighth, not only because the game was on ESPN and he enjoys the spotlight, but because the Phillies walked him to get to Votto.

“You’re kind of embarrassed,” Phillips said. “I just had a chip on my shoulder there. I’m glad I came through.”

Phillips was the logical choice to bat fourth when Ryan Ludwick hurt his shoulder on Opening Day, Baker said, because he doesn’t strike out that often, he’s hit cleanup before and he has improved his ability to keep the ball off the ground and not hit into double plays.

“I wasn’t worried about him,” Baker said. “I had a lot of people telling me it should be (Todd) Frazier, or it should be this guy and not Brandon. I think I know more than most of those people telling me what to do.”

Hot and not: Center fielder Shin-Soo Choo and Votto both reached base safely in the first 13 games. Choo leads Reds starters with a .353 average, and his .476 on-base percentage ranks fourth in baseball.

Catcher Ryan Hanigan’s struggles continue, however. He was hitting .063 after Monday’s game with two hits in 32 at-bats.

Frazier, who hit close to .500 on the first homestand, has two hits in his last 23 at-bats. He’s hitting .298 and ranks second on the team with 11 RBIs.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

H.S. Results for 1/18/17: Centerville girls win a thriller

Centerville’s Meghan Mattingly calmly sank the front end of a double bonus free throw opportunity with 0.4 seconds remaining in the second overtime Wednesday night, lifting Centerville to a heart-stopping 51-50 victory over Lebanon in Greater Western Ohio Conference girls basketball. Mattingly’s free throw, the last of her 9 points, allowed...
Jim Jabir back on court as a men’s coach in Denmark
Jim Jabir back on court as a men’s coach in Denmark

Four months after he stepped down as coach of the Dayton Flyers, citing health reasons, Jim Jabir has returned to coaching. Jabir is the interim coach for SISU Copenhagen, a men’s professional team in Denmark. He will coach his first home game with the team on Friday. Jabir coached Dayton for 13 seasons and has spent his entire career on the...
Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Willie McCovey pardoned by president
Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Willie McCovey pardoned by president

Baseball Hall of Famer and All-Star slugger Willie Covey was one of 64 people pardoned by President Barack Obama this week, decades after conviction on tax evasion charges.
Another Bengals player added to Pro Bowl
Another Bengals player added to Pro Bowl

For the second time in as many days the Cincinnati Bengals have had a player added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster with today’s announcement that left tackle Andrew Whitworth will replace Oakland’s Donald Penn. Defensive tackle Carlos Dunlap was added as a replacement for Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney on Tuesday. Whitworth, who was a first...
6 numbers explain why the Cincinnati Bengals had a losing season
6 numbers explain why the Cincinnati Bengals had a losing season

The NFL’s playoffs are ongoing… and the Bengals are still not part of them. A few numbers can help us understand how Cincinnati was left out in 2016 after making five straight trips to the postseason, and a couple more give hints about what they might do about it. Later this week we will look at whether 2016 left them closer to playoff...
More Stories