Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Wood was overall pretty sound. He gave up two over five but struck out 6, including 5 in a row. But, for the second night in a row, was ferocious. Votto had three hits, including a bomb, to follow up the four hits he had yesterday. B. Phill was on base three time, stole a base and put the game out of reach with a grand slam in the 9th. If you are teaching pitching, that's exactly the game plan, fall down 3-1 then groove a fastball when the hitter knows you can't walk him. Hanigan laid down a nice squeeze bunt which is always fun and the team gets to head back home to beat on the Bravos over the weekend. They even rescheduled the Saturday game to accommodate a national audience watching the ball game. How about that? I'm sure the rating will be brutal. "Where the fuck ah da Yanks?" Reds! Reds! Reds!
The troubling aspect of the dominating victory was the performance by lionesque starting pitcher Volquez. He had trouble, at least according to my boy Cowboy, locating offspeed, was leaving pitches up and they were getting hit. He turned in more innings than last time, 3 and 2/3rd, but by that time had thrown 95 pitches and didn't get to enjoy all of the offense that the starters get about once a month. So, we'll see how he looks and feels next game. I predict he will both look and feel great. If not, Homeboy is making rehab starts and struggling to get through 4 innings at A ball. Maybe he can take Edinson's turn in the rotation.
Hopefully the Reds don't have to see Joe Inglett again today in relief of Narveson. That guy and all 55 mph of heat are filthy. Reds take the series and sole possession of first place. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Monday, July 26, 2010
The Reds Rocket prefers a steady form of offense rather than periodic violent outbursts followed by multiple days of quiet reflection. A little bit of consistency is what we're looking for around here, so, get to it. Reds turn things around tomorrow with Volquez recalling that he's a dominant major league pitcher.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
The Reds needed some timely hitting on Friday to grant Ondrusek, in relief of Wood, his first Major League win. Bruce failed to get a bunt down, which we all know is a waste of everyone's time, then doubled in the go-ahead run a pitch later. That's a little more like it Ray-Jay. Yesterday was Cueto's show. Though the offensive production could be mentioned in the footnote, four bombs and all of old asshole Oswalt. Nice to pound him into submission, especially as he's tarting it up around town trying to find an attractive suitor. But Cueto went 8, allowed no runs on 4 hits and maybe threw a few too many pitches. 122 in a 7-0? But as always, I'm not the one with the 180 IQ like old pal Dusty.
Today, the offense didn't bother getting out of bed in support of Leake. I've seen Wandy confound the Reds in year's past, but not this year. He's been awful, yet today he throw 7 scoreless. I know you won the first two games, but how about someone other than Votto give Wandy the beating he's been asking about. Anyone around here know where I could get a beating? Preferably with a bat? And there may be some indication that Leake stuck around a little too long, giving up 3 or his 4 in the 7th. But, Arty Rhodes doesn't typically let those inherited runners score. So, the decision makes more sense when viewed in that capacity. Overall, the trip to Houston was a positive one. Now onto Milwaukee which has been a very Reds first ballclub this year. Hopefully they stick to that policy. The starter tomorrow, Randy Wolf, gave up 13 runs during his last start. That is quite fine. Things look very positive for the Cincinnatians.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
So, the Reds don't get to leave town with a series victory over the Nationals, but at least it's a split. The Cardinals cooled off a little bit today but still faced extra innings. But the clear advantage going forward, not only because they get to play the A-holes over the weekend, belongs to the Reds. LaRussa and everyone else in St. Louis knows it. You can bet Dusty's batting gloves on it.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Taking a brief break from talking about Strasburg and any number of other Strasburg-related topics, the Reds made the ESPN acknowledge them when Phillips tripled with two outs in the third. Cabrera, making up for his first inning at bat when he hit the deck like mortars were falling from the sky on a hook from Steverino which fell into the strike zone, knocked him in. Phillips, who dances as good as he walks, showcased that talent in the dugout. That lead didn't last long. Arroyo walked Dunn to lead off the 4th, he later scored on a sac fly by Bernadinha. In the 5th the Nats took the lead on a two-out bomb from Cristian Guzman. The swing he put on the high inside fastball looked like something he does more often than twice this season. The 6th inning proved to be Bronson's undoing, giving up a two-run single to Ian Desmond and then Bray did the rest of the damage, allowing another two-run single to Nyjer Morgan. Bray, of late, looks as if he'd prefer a demotion to Louisville. He's still making the big league money and he can go back to dominating lesser talent. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. The Reds put up a little bit of a fight later on, with Cairo making me hyphenate yet another recap, on a two-run single in the bottom of the 6th.
But the Reds' goal coming in was to win the series and three out of four will work just fine. Volquez is on the hill, so that's a virtual guarantee. His hormones are in the proper alignment. Now if the asshole Cardinals would just start losing again everything would be back to normal. The Reds Rocket predicts that the Cardinal losses begin tomorrow then continue during the trip to Chicago. And you all know what Reds Rocket predictions are worth, quite a bit.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Leake, I assume, just heads to the locker room and turns off all media so he doesn't have to watch the team blow another 7 run lead during one of his starts. He contributed to the meltdown in Philly but had little to do with the Atlanta debacle and was long gone tonight when the Washingtonians attempted another comeback. I'll let the nerds at Elias Sports Bureau tell me when the last time that a team blew three 6+ runs leads for a single pitcher. My suspicions are that such a series of events has not occurred and the team decided that tonight was not the night to find out. So, Leake goes to a very solid 7-1 with an ERA under 3.50. We'll have to see how he pitches down the stretch as the innings accumulate and he's still throwing 89-91. With Wood establishing himself as a quality arm and Harang and Bailey on the way back at some point, he will have an opportunity to take a few breaks, should that be necessary.
The Phillips-less offense saw a three-run bomb in the first by Votto before an out was even recorded. Leake contributed a run-scoring single. Cork, Ray-Jay and Cabrera also drove in a run apiece. It's nice to see Bruce put a ball in play and land somewhere without being fielded by the opposition. 0 for 16 streaks tend to have a negative impact upon a player's batting average. The word from the Reds' official site is that Rolen may take some time to recuperate his aging bones on the disabled list. The Reds Rocket is just happy that it has taken this long. He is very old. Also, the Reds are rumored to have made an offer to have Jason Isringhausen joint the squad. My recollection is that his last series of appearances were particularly run-heavy. But, he and Jocketty send each other weekly emails about the kids and the current status of their lawn. So, he may get an opportunity to join up. As Jocketty said, there's just not a lot out there, which is a ringing endorsement of Izzy.
Tomorrow the Reds actually get to play before a national audience on the World Wide Leader. I'm sure the broadcasting decision is based upon Arroyo's well-known ability to throw may different offspeed pitches, not his opposition and his 103 mph fastball. Strasburg is a face that just seems natural to be broadcast into the homes of millions of people. Reds continue to dominate. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Monday, July 19, 2010
Cueto got a break when the sky opened up and rained on everyone. But he came back out and held things in place and, as predicted, picked up his 9th win of the year. He even shaved a little bit off his already impressive ERA. The bullpen, for the second night in a row, though the added a few more runners to the basepaths, threw three scoreless. Ondrusek, filling in as a giant Harang substitute, over his last 10 outings has allowed a grand total of 0 runs on only 3 hits. He also emptied out an entire trough of shellfish made available to the team after the game. I wouldn't put your hands too close to his mouth or his razor sharp teeth. Things are really coming together for the Reds. And Russ Springer's on the way. As I've said many times, we don't have enough 40+ middle/late inning relievers. He's going to work out the kinks at AAA for a bit then he'll be up taking over for Weathers as the face of Skyline Chili. When Russ Springer needs chili, he heads to Skyline. The beating of the Nationals continues tomorrow. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
However, the two preceding games ended on a much more positive note. Arroyo looked strong Friday after his vacation with his pony and his boat and his acoustic guitar. He left with some runners on base and nobody out but Arty bailed him out with a weak pop-up to right and back to back strike outs. That guy knows what he's doing. Coco worked in a walk but pitched an otherwise uneventful 9th. Then yesterday, Volquez made his triumphant return to the big leagues and looked just as good as we all remember. He showed up with a sharp-looking haircut and pitched 6 very solid innings. After allowing a run on two hits in the first, he gave up only 1 additional hit and struck out 9. Those "fertility" drugs appear to be working. The Reds Rocket is going to have to work some of those into its daily supplement regiment to increase the quality of the posts that it runs out there on a semi-regular basis. But, the strong pitching performance was largely unnecessary because the offense was in the mood to hit some bombs. Phillips hit one with two runners on base, Gomes hit one with a runner on and Stubbs out did them all with two big ones of his own.
So, on come the Nationals. The Reds aren't terribly interested in giving them any of the four games of the series. Cueto starts things off tomorrow looking for his 9th win of the season and, of course, a substantial reduction in his ERA. Now that his good pal Edinson is back, he's all jacked up. Those two can drink green tea all day long. We'll have to see if Bruce can remember how to swing the bat and even Votto has been cool this month with only 5 runners driven in. Rolen is still quarantined in his bubble but is heading in the direction of good and strong health. As much as everyone has grown to love Miguel Cairo he offers a little less in the offensive department. And who knows what's up with the Cardinals, 4 straight over the Dodgers? Come on guys, let's get serious. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Some, less informed viewers, may point towards the Reds' combined 1 for 5 at the plate in determining that they had little impact or import in last night's game. Well, those people are assholes. Rolen ended up scoring the first National League run on McCann's bases loaded double off Thornton, and he reached base via a base hit. Phillips tricked Andrus, during an attempted steal, into thinking that the throw went into centerfield. Then he tagged him out. Very crafty indeed. And Votto just looked sharp out there, collecting zero hits in two at bats but playing a strong, but mostly silent, first base. Arty was just happy to be down in the bullpen, checking out the All-Star Game tail that hangs around. The lake was stocked, as they say.
So, there you go. Four Reds go to the All-Star Game and on account of that, the NL wins. There is a clear correlation between the long losing streak and major lack of Reds on the team. The NL solved that problem and was rewarded. Good for your guys.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
On Friday, everything was going just fine for 8+ innings. The Reds were cruising, Leake was heading towards his first complete game up 7-1. He gave up a few hits including a bomb, prompting Coco's triumphant entrance. To his credit, he did record an out before walking a batter and allowing a game tying home-run to something named Cody Ransom. So, good for Cody but bad for everyone else, especially those people who hate Cody Ransom, like myself. Arty continued his allegiance to the Phills for their showing of respect by allowing a two-run walkoff bomb to Howard.
Saturday and Sunday were eerily similar. Though Saturday featured a stronger pitching performance - Wood was dynamite. He struck out 8 and allowed no base runners until Carlos Ruiz led off the 9th with a double into left center. He finished things up, going 9 allowing no runs and just the one hit. Ondrusek volunteered to allow the the game losing hit, giving it up to Rollins. Today, Baloney was pretty decent, actually good, he gave up one-run over 6 innings with just one run allowed. But, as the should have been made obvious on Saturday, one run is going to be one too many. The Reds loaded up the bases with no outs in the 4th but decided that they would wait until later in the game to score any runs. Gomes grounded out to 3rd and Bruce, who is not in the multi-hit part of the month, lined out to Hamels who doubled Rolen off second. That was hit. Hamels, as did Halladay did the night before, dominated the offense. Brad Lidge even recorded another save. I thought he couldn't record late inning outs against the Reds. I guess he proved me wrong.
So, even with the four-game sweep, the Reds finished the road trip just one game under .500 and still in first place in the Central. The Reds Rocket, as with all fans, is not at all surprised to see the Reds leading the division for 40+ days. The second half should take a similar course.
Friday, July 9, 2010
The Reds responded late again off Ryan Madsen and Brad Lidge. Madsen, probably didn't deserve to give up any runs, as his run scored when he struck out Phillips with two outs, Phill stood around looking cool for a little while, then realized the ball got away from the catcher. In that time Stubbs sauntered on home, tying the game up. After Masset was nice enough to give the Phillies the lead again in their half of the 8th, Big Game Miguel Cairo drove a Brad Lidge pitch into the left-centerfield gap for a game tying double. Jordan Smith later gave up the game winning bomb to Brian Schneider, but we'll ignore that. That was pretty clutch by old man Cairo. I'm sure everyone is editing their early season Reds previews likening Cairo to a pile of excrement. You choose the species. I went with boring old human but I sure wouldn't call him a pile of human shit today. That guy is lights out.
Cueto pitched well again, give up 2 with only Victorino's first inning bomb being earning. The other run came when Votto tossed him the ball but Cueto had already discarded his glove, actually Victorino knocked it off during a close play at first base. As Victorino strayed off the bag, Votto threw behind him, hitting Cueto in the sternum as he stabbed at it with bare hands. So, now you're all up to date. Oh, with the exception of Votto got named to the All-Star team with a dominating vote and celebrated by hitting a bomb in the 1st. Pretty sweet Joey. Reds and Leake bounce back today.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Arroyo was rock solid, going 8 and allowing just a single run on a first inning bomb to Angel Pagan, or the Pagan Angel which is amusingly oxymoronic. His salad was in full force tonight - getting lots of grounders with that sinker and then a few bad swings via the breaking stuff. He didn't need much offense, since he took all of his vitamins, and aside, from Heisey the only source was B. Phill who leaned his way around the bases with a bomb in the 3rd and knocked in the 3rd run of the evening with a ground rule double to right. He also flashed a little defense, utilizing his new gloveless play at second. That bare handed play sure looks sharp and he works it in whenever possible. That guy knows what he's doing out there.
So, the Reds complete their season with the Mets with a strong 4-2 showing and they don't have to bother playing a team with a healthy Reyes or Beltran in the lineup. Not that either of those guys would have affected the series. Reds are just too dominant. Trip to Philly begins tomorrow, the Reds Rocket fully expects another series victory. Kyle Kendrick has already began preparing for his beating. Votto continues to bombard the All-Star voting. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Dusty didn't feel like talking about the starting pitching scenario after the game. With Harang on the shelf, Bailey apparently still ailing, you've got Arroyo, Cueto, Leake and then a choice between Wood, LeCure, Baloney and Volquez. Though I stated that Volquez looked pretty good in his last rehab start, the Reds' front office disagrees with me. I will concede that they may know more than me in this one, limited, instance. Jocketty thinks that less than 50% of your pitches going for strikes does not indicate that you are ready to face Major League hitters. Perhaps he is right. So, I guess it will be a surprise. Wood likely gets another look and then probably Baloney. However, I will continue to speculate because I don't have anything else better to do. On an aside, Votto leads in the left-out All-Star ballot. Good for you Joey. Maybe leading the league in bombs, slugging percentage and OPS does entitle you to something. Reds bounce back today with Arroyo's salad.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Wood's hustle, however, hid in the shadows and cracked him over the skull in the bottom of the 5th. The Mets hit him hard enough to prompt an entry by Jordan Smith, who was not great. He allowed all of Wood's runners to score and added one of his own. Fortunately, that's all the Mets were interested in scoring. Rhodes and Coco nailed things down and the Reds resumed their dominant road trip.
Harang's back has evidently healed, so he's going to handle game two duties against Johan Santana. He's typically handled the Mets pretty well and has been spending some extra time lifting weights and eating mountains of food. Now that his brother has been released from the organization there is no one who can challenge him for both the strongest and handsomest man in the organization. Good for you Aaron. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
The Reds finished things up with a 14-3 victory. Another 7th inning explosion put the game out of reach. Ted Daffodil ended being responsible for 9 runs, which is nice to see. Stubbs went deep three times, looking like a generally competent hitter and drove in five. In addition to Stubbs' three, Phillips, Gomes, Janish-Yanish and Cork's mustache took balls into the seats. Janish-Yanish was filling in as the day's three hole hitter after Votto got the old heave-ho for taking out the fact that he was jobbed out of an All-Star nomination on the umpire, and went 4 for 4 with the aforementioned bomb. He laid down a nice bunt in the fourth with Cabrera on first which preceded a Hernandez two-run triple, giving the Reds their first lead. Hernandez actually had to head out of the game due to all of the hustle, prompting the entrance Cork's mustache.
Leake was pretty solid but didn't really have to be. This is the first time in a while that the offense has decided that it needs to show up to offer any support. That could be due to his last couple of starts where he didn't look as sharp as that goatee he wears.
Back to the All-Star Game, numero uno, Votto absolutely deserves to be there. If he has been not the best National League position player, he has been very close thereto. Kruk broke it down tonight, several Padres pitchers were wrongfully excluded and due to that they had to invite Adrien Gonzalez instead of the Canadian Crippler. But we can still vote him in. The Reds Rocket already turned on its army of spam bots to stuff the ballots. But, even without Votto, the Reds are nicely represented with Rolen, Phillips and Arty Rhodes. Rolen has been there before but this is probably a pretty big deal for B. Phill and Old man Rhodes. When you're in your 31st season and you've never had the opportunity to participate in a mid-season exhibition game rather than spend time with your horrible wife and spoiled children, it's a big deal. Phill will likely have a shot a going in future years. He said that he and his mom will just drive out to Anaheim after the game with the Phillies next Sunday.
Finally, I realize this is an uncharacteristically great amount of words stuffed into a single post, Volquez made what was rumored to be his final rehab start today. He lasted 5, gave up 2 and looked pretty good. The brain trust in the front office has some decisions to make. Wood was good but belongs in the minors, but what about Bailey? He is likely not going to respond well to spending another year in the minors. The team is going to have to re-hire Dick Pole just so Homeboy has someone to blast in the media. "Dick Pole needs to pull his head out of his god-damned ass." Nice series Reds, continue it in New York. Yesterday they gave up a 8-0 lead to the Nationals. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Friday, July 2, 2010
Arroyo was sharp today in picking up his 8th win of the season, rivaling Woods competence. He even contributed at the plate by allowing Dumpster, who I have not forgotten was once a terrible member of the Reds, to walk him with the bases loaded on four pitches. That's a quality at bat. Yesterday, Wood looked like he probably deserves another start before Volquez is back. He lasted 7+, the + constituting to the portion of the game which he could have probably done without. He walked two batters, after walking that amount prior to that point, then turned things over to Masset who missed his spot allowing the tying runs to score. So, Wood can look back on his work, the final product being jack shit. However, it was a win for the team keeping them in first place.
The Reds Rocket read a rumor today that the Reds may be secretly interested in procuring Cliff Lee's services for the remainder of the season. Such an idea is intriguing - because he has been a consistent pain in the ass when pitching against the Reds. It is assumed that he would be an equivalent pain in the ass for the opposition. I like the sound of that. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
That time allowed the offense to slowly get going against Holliday and by the end of the 8 innings, they'd picked up 13 hits against him, a career high. Tough break Roy-Boy. The big hits were in the form of a Votto bomb, a Cabrera RBI single to center, and finally a two-run shot by featured photo Ray-Jay Bruce in the bottom of the 8th. After Harang's exit, the bullpen, even Coco, held up their end of the bargain. So, Reds leave town happy after taking a series from a good team before rolling into the Chicago to pound Carlos Silva today. Travis Wood is to be the beneficiary of the beating propounded upon Silva, making his major league debut replacing recently demoted Sam LeCure. Good luck Travis but remember, it is the Cubs. Nothing to worry about. Reds! Reds! Reds!