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June 21, 2024 19 mins
Sam LeCure stops by to talk Reds
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Episode Transcript

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(00:00):
From four o'clock ESPN fifteen thirty Moeggrebroadcasting today from the Holy Grails Downtown Cincinnati,

(00:05):
Reds and Red Sox coming up atseven to ten tonight. He is
my favorite person to talk baseball with. And I'm not just saying that because
he's sitting next to me, becausehe knows it's true. The great Sam
Lick here at the bar with me. Is this what you're not even drinking?
Is this gonna be what you's wearingon TV tonight? That The Connect
Jersey, The Connect Jersey guys likecasual Fridays. I'm gonna take it,

(00:29):
man, Okay, very good.Better than the suit and toss here,
especially on this seat and the Deadthe Dead Reds podcast. Yeah you like
it? I love it? Doyou like it? So? I told
you this. I found it onBally's like had it on Game Ends.
Here's show Jimmy handling and then here'syou guys, and the same thing happened
last night, Like flip on theTV late at night and not a lot

(00:51):
of sports going on, there isyou and Brian, so here we go.
I enjoy it. It's fun.I mean, we have a good
time. Like let's us you know, let our hairt and Brian let our
hair down a little bit. Yeah, just you know, be a little
more casual about it, tell somestories. And now I think it's been
fun. Yeah, it's a goodtime. Yeah. How do you fix
this team's offense? You know,I'm asking a picture. Yeah right.
I mean I really thought that theyplayed well on the road trip. I

(01:14):
mean, the worst game they played, they won, But otherwise I thought
they hit a lot of balls hardthe first two games in Pittsburgh. I
thought the third game, you know, I thought the guy pitched really well.
I mean they all did, allthe Pittsburgh guys did. But I
mean, if you look at eggsand velosses for those first couple of games,
which I'm surprised, I know whatthat is, but you know,
it was good, and they justkind of hit balls right at people.

(01:36):
So I didn't really get too downabout it. Obviously. TJ saw when
he came back from the aisle thesecond time, what a difference he made,
just his presence at the top ofthe lineup. So good to see
him back in there today. No, I mean, I think you just
kind of stayed the course. Imean, it's just the way it goes
a hot Red Sox team comes in, and that's the beauty about showing up

(01:56):
to the ballpark. You never knowwhat you're gonna see, right, Yeah,
it's just I think the front strainingpart is it's one thing to not
hit, it's it's something else whenyou're not hitting and you're not supporting what
is really good starting right right,Yeah, you feel like you're wasting them
a little bit. Yeah. Ifeel like that's just the ebbs and flows
of it, because they're gonna,you know, score seven runs a game
this series, and the pitching's gonnafall through, you know. I mean

(02:16):
that's just the way that it worksfor every hard hit ball they had,
and you know on the road tripthere's going to be a bleeder to even
it out, you know, justa little looper over the second basement or
something like that. So it's frustratingfor that reason. The game of baseball
is frustrating there because you can putin all the work and some days it
happens and you're smoking balls right atpeople, and you put in the work
the next day and you're blooping ballsin, you know, so you just

(02:38):
kind of got to stay with itand you know they had a good run.
I mean they had that nice run. Sure, yeah, evens out
with a little tough stretch, youknow, and it's just kind of kind
of go at it, so yougot to you gotta stick with it all
the way through because there's a longway to go. They had a good
you know, ten days or something, went from the bottom to second place
in the division, and that couldhappen just as quick. They've been aided

(02:59):
by the fact the candle has turnedit on, gives him a good at
fat every single time. Ye who'sthe next guy that you go that that's
the dude that's got to flip theswitch a little bit here. I really
kind of expected a little bit moreout of and Jake Fraile's probably hitting two
ninety or something like that, butit's pretty soft. Yeah, right,
Will Benson, I think at thebottom of the order what he did last

(03:21):
year, and I think if youstart to get even closer to a glimpse
of that this year, just becauseyou know, he was in the ninth
hole and he was your second leadoffman, he had one of the highest
ops on the team last year.I feel like he's a difference maker when
he's hitting it its extra base.But when he's not hitting it hand hitting
it right, So I think he'sa big piece of it. I think
Jonathan's played well lately. Ellie's justgoing to go through these stretches, man,

(03:45):
because there's so much going on andhe's young, that it's going to
be a prolonged slump and a shorterburst of greatness. But I mean,
he's worth the price of admission,right, no question. Here's what I
like about Ellie. He looked likehe saw Paul Skill the best, yeah,
right, which nobody else did,and that's more of a credit to
Skeins, But like it looked likeEllie kind of knew what he was doing,

(04:08):
and I was hoping it would ruboff. But against a guy that
good, who I'm sure he hadnever seen, he saw him really well,
right, I thought so. AndI just I love when guys just
start using the opposite portion of thefield, you know, opposite field your
left field for lefties, right fieldfor righties. I feel like there's such
a benefit because as a pitcher,you're trying to shrink the field. You
know, you want to keep youwant to keep him to the big side

(04:29):
of the ballpark. Make him goopo, because it's just harder to handle,
right when you kind of pigeonhole yourselfas a hitter to be one dimensional
only pull. That's why the shiftworks so well, you know, because
guys were just going to try topull the ball. They want to get
out in front of it. That'sthe easiest power position. So when you
shrink the field as a pitcher,you put yourself in a better position as
a hitter. When you use thebigger portion of the field, you got

(04:49):
more margin for air. Right,I'm out in front of a slider a
little bit, but I've got leftcenter, I'm behind on the fastball a
little bit. I got the rightfield line, you know what I mean,
So just a bigger piece of thepie. So when Ellie against Skens
was using that side of the field, Spencer Steer, Tyler Stevenson, I
mean right, you see it andit works, yeah, Because and then
it's frustrating as a pitcher because youget a little leery about going inside because

(05:12):
it's you kind of feel like themargin is pitt Batsman or middle end Homer
territory. Paul Skin's gonna be reallygood. He's gonna be really good.
It was just impressive in the factthat a young guy comes up and has
the ability to throw a hundred,recognizes that that's not working for him that
day, and then goes to fourother pitches that are plus and commands them
to make the adjustment within one inning. For a guy like that and have

(05:35):
the command and the repertoire to doit, that will impress me more than
anything about it. A great Moundpresence. So yeah, he's he's gonna
piss reds fans off for a while. I mean I was watching that game
with my wife and I said,this is his seventh big league start,
I know, right, and likethis year I go, no ever,
ever, I mean you talk aboutMound President, no doubt. It reminded

(05:56):
me a little bit. This ismaybe isn't the best comparison, But with
Amir Garrett first got he and hejust he just looked like a dude who
had been around for years. Yeah, same thing. Yeah, I agree.
I mean, just trust his stuffas a bulldog. I mean schemes.
If I've just listened to some ofhis interviews and whatnot, like he's
expecting to go out and do whathe's doing. Yeah, he's not phased
by the moment. He's not phasedby, you know, the atmosphere,
because I guess when you're have thatmuch hype coming with you, that's just

(06:21):
another day at the office for him. But I like the way he talks
it. I like the way hegoes about it. So yeah, like
I said, he's gonna be aproblem. I I never talked to you
without referencing Hunter Green. Yeah,and I feel like we saw just another
step on Wednesday. They lose thegame. Yeah, but boy it was
hot. He was getting no offensiverun support and was totally unfaired. Yeah,

(06:41):
he just stayed with it. Man. I thought it was kind of
I don't know, apropos. That'sI tried to throw in a big word
with him ever once in a while. I don't know what that means,
but it sounds right that. Youknow, he did the no hitter thing.
Yeah, a couple of years ago, his first first year in the
big leagues in Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh sevenand a third no hits, one run,
no hell and just to see whathe was doing that start and then

(07:02):
what he did the other day froma maturity standpoint, how he kind of
went about it, just stayed onthe attack. I thought he was in
a great rhythm. I love thesplit mixed in curveballs, right. I
mean, he's kind of I thought, and Brian and I talked about it.
Maybe he watched Schemes pitch a littlebit and watched him start going to
the other stuff, and I thought, maybe that was a light bulb for

(07:24):
Hunter, like, hey, wecan both thow a hundred. Doesn't have
to be that way, right,There's other things that we can do to
miss Beryl. So I thought watchinghim go through that process, it was
kind of a full circle moment alittle bit for Hunter. But I love
I love what he's doing this year. Man, we've talked about him.
I thought he was the X factorbecause Nick Lido. I expected Martin Frankie

(07:46):
obviously, sure, I mean becauseI love him. He's to me been
disappointing. I thought more. ButI mean, Nick's your ace. And
then you've got a one A anda one B, and I think one
of my slate things that they mightbe one C Like Andrew Abbott, I
feel good every day about who's towingthe rubber to start the game. Ye.
So for Nick Lodolo, what's what'sthe next step? I don't know.
I mean, because I really don't. You know. I said this

(08:07):
to you. I think right beforeopening day last year, I felt like
his rookie season, if you lookedat Ashcraft, Lodolo, and Green,
Lodolo at his best was better thananybody else. No knock on those other
guys. That's still the case thecase, and those other guys have gotten
better. I agree, Ashcraft obviouslyis down in Louisville, but Hunter Green
has gotten better. Andrew Abbott's fine, yep. And yet Nick Lodolo still

(08:28):
feels like he's a pace ahead ofeverybody else. If you had a wild
card game to play, who wouldyou start? He'd be the guy.
There's no question. Yes, Imean, there's no question in anybody's mind
for him. I'm not sure,like I, you know, being on
the road trip this last time,I get a little bit different environment to
talk to some of these guys andspend a lot of time talking with Luke
Mayley talking about Nick Lodolo, andhe's like, man, sometimes I'm I

(08:50):
get a little bit nervous to catchthem because I'm scared to screw it up.
I don't want to call it thewrong pitch and just run into the
guy's back, and I think thatwas he hadn't caught him much this year.
Yeah, and he called a greatgame for him, obviously, But
man, Nick just simplifies things youknow so much. Yeah, get ahead
in the count and he's getting inthe head head of the count with three

(09:11):
pitches. Doesn't screw around strike one. Yeah, and then depending on what
that is, He's still got twoother plus weapons that you haven't seen yet
that are going to factor into theabout. Obviously, the curve ball is
a thing, but his fastball locationin and at the top of the zone
is pristine. I love the changeup. I feel like that's his groundball,
double play pitch. He can getswings and misses on it, but

(09:33):
he's I mean, I honestly don'tknow what I would tell him to take
the next step. Did you carewho your catcher was? There was different
things about it, like the wayguys set up. Sometimes guys I felt,
because I threw eighty poo miles anhour, like, wouldn't necessarily trust
my stuff. So they'd sit offthe plate a little bit right, and
I'd square them up and it wasa ball, right, And some guys

(09:54):
just trusted my ability to command theball more on the plate with action.
So yeah, there was definitely Imean, I love throwing Ryan Hannigan obviously
quirky. I love throwing a handagain because he was probably working harder than
I was today one not. Imean I did love thrown to him,
right all right, Yeah, yeah, he was great, but he was
working hard back there. But uh, you know Mezeraco Roman Hernandez, I
mean, I was pretty lucky tohave some studs, Tucker Barnhart gold glove,

(10:16):
right, right, pretty lucky tohave some studs. But there is
a difference, you know. Sometimesit's a visual of the size of the
body, how the glove sits.Now everybody, the catcher starts with their
glove on the ground. Yeah,so I don't think it really everybody does
the same thing. Yeah, Isee catchers, I think you. I
think it might have been you andand John talking about this in Milwaukee with

(10:37):
a guy on base. Catchers arenow setting up with their knee on the
ground. This is not something wedid five years ago. No, it's
I don't get it. I feellike it. Obviously, there's numbers that
support this, right, everybody inthe big leagues wouldn't be doing it,
but I feel like it, youknow, inhibits your ability to to block,
you know, to move because guysare pretty erratic, right, I

(10:58):
mean, it's not everybody just GregMadison out there. It's throwing one halfway
up the backstop or one fifty twofeet if you've got a Fernando Cruz sweater,
right, and to be able tomove out of that position. I
don't like it. But like Isaid, there's there's numbers to do it.
To be able to adjust from aknee. I mean they do different

(11:18):
setups like once, sometimes it's thisknee and sometimes the lake spread out a
little bit wider, I guess,depending on the situation. But the way
the Reds are throwing the baseball rightnow, doesn't just let him do it,
let him let me. They havetwo good catchers they do, you
know, Luke mainly knows what he'sdoing behind the play question, and I
feel like that to a degree,overshadows how good Tyler is. I do
too, man, I think thathe deserves a lot of credit for his

(11:41):
work this year. Obviously, Iexpect and I think everybody does some more
of him offensively because he's capable ofBut we've seen him do it, but
the work behind the plate's been outstanding. I applaud him big time. I
don't think the pitchers progress the waythat they have without him and Luke obviously,
you know, just kind of themore familiarity understanding what a guy likes

(12:03):
to do in a certain situation.All Right, it's a you know,
there's a man on second base andwe're in discount. I like to do
this to get to this or whateverthe case may be. So I think
just working with each other more,obviously, reps is everything. We talked
a little bit maybe two weeks agowhen they first sent Graham down about how
we fix him. His start lastnight was was really really good. I

(12:26):
feel like he was close, likehe wasn't getting his teeth kicked in now,
he wasn't leaving stuff out over theplate where he felt like, this
guy's not a big league caliber picture. I feel like whatever was missing,
it's not going to take that muchto fix. It's not. But I
felt like Graham was getting in hisown way a little bit, just kind
of we talked about after every startwith some kind of a tinkering with the

(12:46):
mechanics, and sometimes you got tolet off the gas. I mean sometimes
less is more, right. Imean, he's got such movement. He
doesn't have to command the ball,he's got to control the ball and every
outing because I think he was thinkingabout mechanics rather than just go out there
and I mean the bulldog gram asscraftyeah is awesome, right, I mean
he's just gonna get him or downyour throat, yeah right, And I

(13:07):
think he was just out there thinkingabout something else rather than getting the hitter
out. So the movement on thepitches each start was different. You know,
sometimes the cutter was this, sometimesit was this. Sometimes the sinkers
you know this, sometimes it's that. So it is hard to control if
you're not being consistent with the mechanic. So there is that is a piece
to it. Or maybe he wastrying to be too fine. That was

(13:28):
another guy I talked with Luke about, and Graham was the guy that I
kind of had pegged as their inningseater. Yeah, you know, because
he's not gonna punch a ton ofguys out. He gets early contact because
he's just throwing fastballs and everybody's huntingheaters and he's gonna throw you one,
but you're gonna miss the barrel,so hopefully he irons it out because I
think he could be kind of abullpen saver. To a large degree.

(13:50):
Thought he was the guy in thisrotation ivers like if anybody can throw two
hundred innings in this bullet and thisrotation, it's him. I got the
Alexis Das I've been waiting for allseas on Tuesday. Yep, how do
I see that guy the rest ofthe year. You just always hope there's
a light bulb, right, yeah, Luke. Luke goes out there first
batter I think it was a twoto one count or something, and goes

(14:11):
out there and kind of gets geton and left it right. I think
your stuff is good, like thefeeling for it, kind of like Graham
just let this thing loose, worryabout getting hitter out, and immediately as
fast ball went from ninety three toninety six, Barrion Slider's like down in
it. I mean, I'm lookingfor the catcher's reaction, like if he
catches it and like gives one ofthese back. Even before he puts the
ball in his hand, he's lovingwhat the guy did. And I thought

(14:31):
he just kind of free to lexus up to again, get out of
his head, attack the strikes onwith the stuff, because when it's playing
up to that level, you know, ninety five ninety six, he's got
ninety more in the tank. Justlet that, Let that go because he's
so unique with the arm angle andall that and all the ship that's going
on, you know. So Ithink that was not everybody responds to a

(14:52):
padd on the butt, you know, sometimes you need a brick in the
head. So I think hopefully thebrick in the head was good. Spiders
impressed me from this point. Hegives up four early. He's on the
road, you first starting, firststart, things can snow the ball.
They didn't cut his team in thegame. Yeah, and that's impressive,
and so I'm always looking and Ithink Andrew Abbot's a guy like that.

(15:13):
Like I talked about Paul Skins makingthat adjustment, you know, in the
inning, the closer you can getit to make an adjustment pitch to pitch,
you know, sometimes it's a gameto games ending to inning, at
bat to at bat. The closeryou can get it to pitch to pitch,
the better off you're going to bebecause you recognize what they're trying to
do what you need, what mentalor physical cues you need to do to
get yourself back to where you're mostsuccessful. And I thought that that's what

(15:35):
he did, and he said,he admitted after the game, I was
a little amped up. I wastrying to throw a little bit too much
fastball. After that, I kindof recognized it and took a deep bread.
DJ came out and I got backto doing what I would do what
I do, which is spin theball, mix it up, locate.
He's like, I know I haveto do that to be successful. So
I'm not scared by this because Iknow who I am. I'm comfortable with

(15:56):
it, right, And I thoughthe did a great job. I mean,
that's impressive to me. And it'salways you know, if the line
score was the exact same six innings, four runs, that's what it was.
If he didn'tive him the exact samething in reverse, it feels totally
different, right, No question,you end on a good note, and
I think that he's I think heabsolutely should get another start. No question.
You you pitched pre pitch clock andpre disengagement rule. Right. I'm

(16:19):
watching David Cohne on ESPN talk aboutyou know, it's a little bit easier
because if I'm told I really can'tthrow it in a first base, I'm
not. I'm being told I can'tworry about that guy. It's easier for
me to focus on the hitter.Are we seeing that there's truth to it?
Yeah? I mean I think obviouslyyou see with an Ellie, I

(16:41):
mean you know he's going to go. It almost is why why bother?
He did get picked off the othernight? Yeah, he did skins skins.
Yeah, another thing that impressed me, and he made a nice play,
like the guy just kind of sureas the package. Right, So
if you get a guy that youknow is going to go, you can't
really vary times anymore with the pitchclock. It's not so much the disengagement

(17:02):
thing for me, it's holding theball for longer, let them get heavy
in their legs, and then theyjust kind of give up on it a
little bit. Right. So that'skind of the disadvantage to the pitcher in
that regard more than the disengagements,because when you're picking off, you're really
not trying to pick the guy off. You're trying to shorten his lead by
step, But holding the ball kindof negates the steel because they don't know

(17:22):
when you're gonna go. Clock's takingthree to two. He's got to go,
just go right, So yeah,I do think you're seeing that a
little bit. And I think theI mean, it's hard to hit with
runners in score position. It's hardto hit with runners on base because then
those are the most important pitches andguys are bearing down and they're kind of
giving you their best shots. SoI think I would imagine the numbers reflect
and then I'm watching Hunter and MitchKeller on Wednesday. It's sub Saharan hot

(17:47):
though, and they fought through it. Yeah, but you got a pitch
clock. You don't have time tocatch your breath. I think about it
as like a video game, youknow, where you need your NBA jam,
Like, yeah, the turbo thinggoes down, and like how long
does it take to refill it?And I think that's something that guys are,
you know, learning as this asthis process goes on. How do

(18:07):
I make sure that I'm recovering inbetween pitches, you know, pitch to
pitch, And some of that's goingto be guys recognizing that you can let
off the gas a little bit.Man. I mean, you don't have
to go one hundred every time youcan. If you can find ways to
get guys out of ninety percent orwhatever percentage that is, then do that.
Then when it comes time to shineand you need to go up to

(18:30):
a hundred, you have it.And it's a different look if one hundred
went out there and pitch at ninetyfour ninety six, which he could and
located a little bit more, andthen he gets to second and third one
out. I've put my body ina good position to have a hundred,
right, I mean, it's abig deal, and it's just something an
art that's been lost a little bitbecause nobody's paying you to come out of

(18:52):
the draft and nobody's to pitch.They're paying you for your stuff exactly.
So it's hard to let off thegame. I can't thank you enough.
You have a lot going on.Wow, you could stick around it was
twenty minutes. Yeah, wow.Look, Chris Welsh is a Hall of
Fame broadcaster. Yeah. Jeff Brantleyis a Hall of Fame broadcaster. Barry
Larkins my all time favorite player,just a strict Hall of famer. Yeah,

(19:15):
need you in the booth, Moore. I appreciate it. That was
fun. I'm sure. I'm sureit's a little bit. Did a great
job a different listeners, but wetry to so no knock on those other
guys obviously need you in the booth, Moore, I would I would love
that, all right, and I'llsee all the I'll tell him that you
said so, please do. It'llprobably happen. They'll they'll listen to me.
Ball club listens to me all thetime. Yeah, Sam, thanks
so much. I appreciate the greatSam lick. Here. We're here at

(19:37):
the Holy Ground. It's seven awayfrom four o'clock. ESPN fifteen thirty Cincinnati
Sports station. You met with theState

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