Monday, August 30, 2010
The bullpen was more than satisfactory, throwing 4 scoreless innings with Coco picking up the win. The offense featured a leadoff bomb from Bruce and a tying double from Votto. Phillips scored the winner in the 12th, showing that he is also a very fine pinch runner, bruised paw and all. The big news out of Cincinnati is the impending call up of Chapman and his 140 mph fastball. That will be a big story, with Strasburg broken down and Joel Zumaya's body unable to do anything which involves throwing a baseball for more than a couple of weeks at a time. Rhodes, also, is rumored to be disintegrating, so it will be nice to have a lefty down there who is not Bill Bray. So, watch out Cincinnati and, while I'm on the subject, when is the concession stand going to start selling Cuban sandwiches. I like the pickle/swiss cheese combination. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, however, the bats went all narcoleptic on the team. Votto took one out of the park but 2 runs against that potent Cubs' offense, as Arroyo sadly learned, will not suffice. So, everyone, including all of the Cubs fans who should always be sad and disappointed, went home sad and disappointed. Fortunately the Cardinals suddenly can't beat anyone. But the team bounced back today with some late run scoring after Arty Rhodes had his second consecutive bad relief performance. The Giants, whose offense was as potent as it has been impotent with the Snakes, is somewhat excusable because their bats were apparently powered by some sort of magic. But, a two-run game tying bomb to Fukudome? Hory Kow! But Hernandez singled in the go-ahead and Gomes added a pinch RBI single to top things off. Wood wasn't great, giving up 10 hits over 5, but was serviceable. Bruce went yard again and Hernandez added two hits in addition to the go-ahead.
So, that brings everything up to date. Volquez is now in the bullpen until he relearns his release point allowing Harangutan to reenter the rotation starting Tuesday against the Brewers. Homeboy is up tomorrow and everyone is expecting big things. Reds should continue with their dominance against the Central. Expect an 8 game lead by the end of the day Wednesday heading out of town to St. Louis. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Friday, August 27, 2010
Skipping the ugly part of the game, Votto, Gomes and Hanigan all hit bombs in the 1st of Madison Bumgarner. Votto hit another one later. Pat Burrell revealed himself to be, Pat Burrell, backing into the wall on a deep shot to left by Stubbs which knocked in two and Stubbs ended up at 3rd. Bailey threw way too many pitches and ended up with a pretty ugly line, but he pitched reasonably well. Especially when considered in light of the performances which preceded him and, as it turns out, succeeded him. So, now the Reds are back at home with the awful clubs team. The Cardinals can't beat the Pirates. Pujols is hurt but the extent is currently unknown. No reason the Reds can't expand this divisional lead to the 15 games we all expected from the beginning of the year. Good job, for the most part, by the Reds. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Lost in the horrible, horrible pitching, was some pretty decent offense. B. Phill went deep twice and Rolen hit his first bomb in about 2 months. Wasn't he leading the league in bombs when he gave them up for some religious reason. So, the last hope against the Giants is the resurrected Homer Bailey, who has been pretty good his last two tries. The Reds Rocket is confident that the team will actually try out there today, throw a few strikes and go home with a 6-3 road record. That would be pretty sweet. If the Reds are victorious, Mr. Redlegs plans to club "Lou Seal" pictured above, and feed his carcass to his many illegitimate children. He just wants to see his kids, who have trouble subsisting on unpaid child support from a mascot's salary. Reds play less offensive tonight, you can bet on it.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Regarding the offensive outburst, remember this is the Giants. I don't think they scored 11 runs total on their trip east. So, expect a little stronger pitching performance from the staff tonight and tomorrow. I like that when they showed the graphic last night of the Giants' starters, all ERAs were under 4 but no one had more wins than 11. The offense really hates those guys.
Also of note last night was the injury two outfielders. Edmonds isn't terribly unexpected because he's 58 but Nix looks like he's been working out with Lou Ferigno. He shouldn't be pulling up lame. His comments seems to indicate that he is interested in returning to the lineup sooner, as opposed to later. At least the injury bug struck the area where the Reds had a surplus. If Yanish goes down and Cabrera isn't ready, I think Dusty (or Cairo) is out there manning short.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Yesterday, Cueto returned from his kicking suspension and pitched not so good. However, he did knock LaRue out for the year with one of those kicks, at least that's what the Cardinals are alleging. Sure, LaRue was a Red for a long time and by all accounts is a great guy, but that doesn't mean he doesn't deserve to be kicked in the head because he rarely plays for the Cardinals. The team appreciates Cueto's team spirit. Back to Cueto's start yesterday and it being not that great. He give up four bombs, two sets of back to backers and didn't last very long. Leake made his first relief appearance with mixed results. I'm still not sure what the strategy is for him going forward. Dusty will have to explain it to me during out weekly conference call. Though the team made an attempt at a comeback, it fizzled and the 7 game winning streak came to an end. Too bad, I was pretty sure they were going to win out.
Friday, Homeboy was pretty good again - making that two in a row. He went 7, gave up one run and picked up his 3rd win of the year. Scully was calling him David. So, I'll call him David. David appears to be a little more coachable than Homer, as opposed to simply relying on the fact that he is exceedingly good at baseball without having much interest in fixing things which may go wrong.
Phillips had the strongest series of the group, three hits Friday, four today. His average is back up in the .290 region which is very impressive as he seems to fall down 0-2 in every single at bat. Reds' traveling salvation continues to San Francisco tomorrow, getting Matt Cain who was a real asshole in Cincinnati. Complete game with singular hit allowed. Reds haven't forgotten that and he, Cain, hasn't been as sharp as of late. That seems to fit right into Volquez's plan of attack. Allow the other guy to be bad. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Friday, August 20, 2010
Wood was very good again. He opened the game with a walk to Stephen Drew then commenced dominating. He allowed a single in the 4th on a check swing and a bomb to Mark Reynolds, which is embarrassing. Hernandez opened the scoring against Joe Saunders, who for some reason Arizona is very pleased to have starting in place of Dan Haren, with a three-run jobber. Bruce followed that up with his second bomb in two days. He, Bruce, had an additional hit as well and his average is quickly approaching .270 which will be a nice place for him to remain. The additional scoring was thanks to a dropped liner by Snakes left fielder, whom nobody but locals is aware exists, Rusty Ryan, with two-outs in the 7th. The Reds poured it on then. Janish walked, Nix pinch singled, Phillips walked, Stubbs knocked in two to center, and Votto doubled to left center. But the game was already long over.
So, that makes 6 in a row for the dominating Reds ballclub just prior to their trip to L.A., where they have lost consecutively for about 5 years. This should be the year they turn that around and start getting a couple wins of their own. No Manny, who seems to hit Reds pitching especially well and the staff, with the exception of Ted Dafodil, is doube-s struggling. Reds push the winning streak the 9? I think so. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
The Lion from Zion, Volquez, took his typical approach to the game for the first four innings, tons of pitches, runners all over the basepaths, but very few of them actually scored. When you're viewing him in person you realize how excruciatingly slow he works. It's like Homer Bailey, who takes forever, took a sedative. But in the 5th, after recording an out, Ryan Church punched a ball into left for a single which Gomes misplayed for an error allowing Church second. On the next play, Stephen Drew again hit the ball to Gomes, more solidly this time. Jonny got caught in-between on a very catchable ball, let it drop, then airmailed his cutoff man allowing Drew to take second. So, instead of Church on 1st with two outs, runners second and third with one. Volquez who looked as if he was using some of his new American curse words, then hung a curve ball to Upton tying the game. After a bomb to Chris Young with a runner aboard, both Volquez and Gomes were out of the game. This last month or so has been a real bummer for Gomes. Rodrigo Lopez, the D-Bags starter last night, is someone that Jonny has traditionally killed at the plate. Last night, however, three pop-ups in three at bats. Poor defense in left certainly won't help his playing time, especially with Nix hitting a little bit.
But, all is forgiven as the offense was very good last night. Sweep tonight with the reappearance of Travis Wood, who was in Louisville for the last 10 days. Unsure about who gets removed from the active roster. My guess is Jordan Smith, who pitched last night and gave up a bomb to Adam DeLoage. It will just have to be a surprise. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
After giving up a double to Chris Young to open things, Arroyo's sidearm changeup was met with the heavy bat of Kelly Johnson. Johnson deposited the ball in the right field seats but that was all the offense we saw from the previously-described hapless Arizona club. The Reds fought back, had a run stolen Jerry Lane determined that Stubbs missed 3rd base on a Janish double, but that was of little consequence. The team scored two in the 6 to even things, Yanish-Janish homered in the 7th to provide the lead, and the Snakes' bullpen melted down in the 9th to provide Coco with some cushion, which, for some reason he didn't need last night. It's been quite a while since I've seen a 1-2-3 inning out of the closer spot.
On an aside, it is my recollection that Ray Jay Bruce, sandwiched around a single, grounded into three 3-6-3 double plays. Again, I have no ability to look up when a player might have done that previously, but sure seems like it would be a rarity. Nice job Jay. Let's try sneaking one of those by the first baseman tonight.
In addition to Arroyo picking up his 13th win, some additional interesting things happened yesterday. The team, apparently, was so satisfied with Homeboy's performance against the Marlins that Leake has been permanently banished to the bullpen. The Reds Rocket does not dispute this decision, especially if the limitation of Leake's innings was going to result in missed starts here and there and unusual rest for the other starters. Starting pitchers are creatures of habit. Also, the Reds signed the highly reviewed first round pick Grandal at the deadline. Since he, as both Alonso and Leake did, was added to the 40-man roster. That meant a move was needed to clear a spot, that move was Micah Owings. Owings could swing it a little but not really do his regular job, throw, all that well. So, while the Reds Rocket wishes him well, of all the options, he seemed like the best. Though, that means we lose one more connection to the Big Donkey. It's a sad day.
Game 2 tonight at Chase Field. The Reds Rocket will be in attendance. I'll be the guy that looks like a white version of Volquez. Same weave. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Starting with Josh Johnson on Friday, the offense looked quite a bit better than they did against the Tardinal pitching. Johnson, maybe the best arm in the league, didn't last 4 and saw his ERA jump a half point. Tough break Josh. Volquez was the opposite, allowing few runs, one to be exact, on a Mike Stanton bomb. Stanton later hit another bomb but it was of no consequence as the Reds had already displayed their dominance.
Saturday was very similar. Leake re-transformed into an out machine, going six and picking up his 8th win of the year despite Coco's sabotage attempts. He, Coco, loaded the bases up no outs, but got a double play out of Gaby Sanchez and a pop-out from Uggla to end the game. The fanbase appears to be tiring of the excitement that Coco regularly brings to the 9th, as he got a rousing round of boos after walking out-factory Bonofacio. That guy doesn't know the first thing about getting on base or helping the offense. But, after everything, Coco got the save and everyone remained upbeat.
Today, we saw the return of Homeboy from shoulder-soreness exile and, in his first start in 3 months, looked real good. He went 6, walked no one and allowed only the three hits. The offense, in the form of Miguel Cairo's two-run bomb, was all that was needed. Votto got tossed for muttering something under his breath of to the home plate umpire, something about the ump maybe being a mongoloid. So, Edmonds took over at first and Stubbs got to be third in the order for the first time. He concluded Votto's at bat with a double off the wall. Pretty sweet, coming up cold and down 1-2. Skip to the 9th, Coco put runner on first and third again but got out of it. Ondrusek, an inning prior, loaded the bases with two-outs but the Marlins sent Chad Tracey to the plate. I don't think he's gotten a hit since 2005.
So, that brings us up to date. The team gets a travel day tomorrow as they head out to my area of the country to stomp on the snakes for three-games. Arroyo starts things off on Tuesday, Volquez Wednesday and to be determined Thursday. My calculations show that Johnny the Mule, or maybe Johnny the kangaroo since he was kicking forward, will be eligible to re-appear by Thursday. My math may be off since I'm not sure of the exact day that he was served with his medicine. Harangutan is also thinking it's about time for him to be reactivated. Dusty will then finally get to use that 7 man rotation he's been considering for some time.
Nice weekend Reds, that's the way to shove it up the Cardinals' ass. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
That was about it, as the offense had little interest in putting much together against Wainwright, who is only the second best pitcher in baseball, ERA-wise anyway. They get to face the best pitcher, ERA-wise, in the first game of the Marlins series, Josh Johnson. So, expect a lot of offense. Fortunately, after the failed experiment with St. Louis, the Reds still have the easiest schedule going forward of all of the teams in the playoff chase. That includes 7 with the Diamondbacks in addition to the non-Cardinal teams in the Central. So, plenty to look forward to, though one win, or maybe not an interview which seemed to spark the whole Cardinals team. They can think about that stuff next time they play and the Reds dominate the series.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
But, after the fight, the Reds showed some onions, came back twice by Ondrusek allowed a 1-run 7th inning lead to turn to 4. It wasn't all his fault, Cueto wasn't very good, the offense didn't produce a whole lot and the defense made three errors. The errors part hasn't happened much at all for this Reds team. For those of you who have watched this team play in previous seasons, know something about poor defense. Phill for all his talking, which we heartily encourage at the Reds Rocket, didn't show a whole lot at the plate. He knocked in the first run with a RBI ground out and picked up a single. Fortunately, they have been saving everything up to light up Wainwright in today's mid-day titanic struggle. Now tied for 1st, it would be nice if they picked up a win today, however, with young teams, especially those in Cincinnati, they don't get a chance to play in games that mean something very often. Win or lose, these games will serve them well as the season progresses. At least that's the colorful spin that I'm putting on the dual eggs laid in the first two. Reds dominate today. Phillips shows bitches how they're supposed to behave. 'You mind me LaRussa!'
Monday, August 9, 2010
So, Leake has something off or it's just a case of the league catching up to him. These guys, for as much tail as they get, sure are willing to put the time into the video room. Leake will eventually figure things out but it remains to be seen whether or not it will be this season. At least he had a quality first half.
Of additional note was the acquisition of an aging friend of Jocketty, Jim Edmonds. So Taguchi and Scott Spezio have already been working out for Reds personnel. Regarding Edmonds, I think he can legitimately play all three outfield positions, should bring a little "pop", as they like to say, and a left-handed bat off the bench late in games. After both players passed through waivers, the Reds gave up formerly loyal contributor Chris Dickerson for the acquisition rights. As the Reds Rocket may have mentioned, we have nothing in particular against Dickerson other than he is frequently injured and 28. There were portions of last season where he was really quite acceptable in the outfield. He should get a chance to play in Milwaukee or maybe not. What do I know about Milwaukee other than what Alice Cooper tells me. To make room for Edmonds, the Reds sent Wood down temporarily. His spot in the rotation wouldn't be up again for about 10 days. So, he can hang around in Louisville with his old pals. Edmonds got the start this evening and looked quite old. I'm sure things will improve, starting tomorrow.
Jonny Gomes walked four times to double his season total. In his one official at bat, Gomes singled, so he was on base 5 times and scored 4 runs. Votto also scored 4 times and hit his 28th bomb of the season, which due to the Big Donkey's recent frenzy, is only good for a tie for second in the NL. Ray Jay shifted the manual switch on his back from "complete liability at the plate" to "able to hit mistakes" in picking up three hits. He got things started with a two-run double in the first after the Cubs threw the ball all over the park and into the dugout. Things got exciting briefly in the 7th when Wood, who held the Cubs hitless until the 6th, gave up a bomb and a double and Francisco, filling in for the aging bones of Scott Rolen, did his best Cubs impression and fired a routine throw way over Votto's head. But, the Cubs returned to normal the following inning and the stress level was greatly reduced.
Friday and Saturday were more competitive. Arroyo threw 7 scoreless Friday night and picked up his 12th win of the season. Gorzelanny was all over the place but settled in and held the Reds to a Ryan Hanigan two-run bomb and a two-out single from B. Phill in the 7th. When Arroyo is dishing up quality salad, he needs nothing more. Saturday was the Drew Stubbs show. Adapting to his new role of bench player, he doubled and scored the first run, then hit a tie breaking bomb in the 8th. Fortunately, the Reds added a couple more because Coco had a near meltdown or maybe it was a full meltdown, since he had to leave the game. He couldn't find the plate, walked three and hit Starlin Castro on an 0-2 pitch. Masset came in and, after punishing Cordero for his misdeeds by walking Ramirez with the bases loaded, k'd the one legitimate Cubs hitting threat, Marlon Byrd, on a filthy overhand curve. If you're going to swing at a pitch like that, that's how you're going to look. That makes two saves on the season for old Masset. Good for him
So, here we are. In August with the Reds 16 games over .500 with a series at home against the Cardinals. The lead is 2 games. I am typing all this out so I can consult back just in case the team goes all Dusty on us. But, I of course expect nothing less than a sweep of all three starting today against Carpenter. He's been a pain in the ass for entirely too long, so the Reds exact their revenge today, assuming, of course, Leake is a little better this time out. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
The major contributors, outside of Cueto who was rock solid again, was the newly pain free wrist of Joey Votto and of course new starting shortstop, Paul Janish Yanish. Janish didn't record an out at the plate, going 3 for 3 with a 3-run bomb in the big 7th inning. So, for everyone who has been saying how much better the Reds would be with him playing everyday, there's your proof. I, however, am not one of those people but still feel he is a fine bench player and a fine gentleman. He can go ahead and use that sentence for motivation in continuing his strong play.
Reds head to Chicago after the day off today. The Cubs have given up, though they didn't move as many players as I'd hope, which would have made them a complete joke. They still have a couple of at least average players and sometimes play well at home. So, let's stay focused here Reds. Big series with the Cardinals to follow. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Last night we also saw the first day of the Paul Janish-Yanish era. Cabrera's got a pulled gut, so needs to sit out for a couple of weeks. We wish him well but the Reds Rocket is at least a little interested to see what kind of step down the offense would have encountered this season with Janish up the middle. His defense, at least, is always pretty strong. Reds turn things around today. Cueto is looking forward to that 11th win.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Wood continued fine rookie season, dominating for 7 innings. He allowed just the 2 hits and, of course, no runs. Reds scored one in the first, third and fourth in support. Heisey closed out the scoring on a very favorably scored in-the-park home run in the 8th. That guy's like a young B. Phill with all of his hustle. I do like that slide-stop by outfielders, that McCutcheun attempted, especially when it goes through the opposition's legs and rolls to the wall.
Russ Springer got a little taste of what late-inning relief with the Reds is like with a scoreless frame. Art Rhodes shut it down in the 9th, giving Coco a break. The win tonight brought the team to a solid 13 games over .500 which is the high water mark of the season to this point. It is approximately 1/2 the level they will be to close out the season. And all of this was done today with Votto taking a break with what Marty was very clear to state was not a sprained wrist (though the official site says Votto not playing due to sprained wrist). Everyone is downplaying the severity but it's not like the offense needs him in there anyway. Solid from top to bottom. Reds! Reds! Reds!
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Volquez's performance was much more manageable today. Sure he still threw 100 pitches while lasting only 5 and may have walked a guy an inning but, he only allowed one Savage to cross home plate and struck out 6, in route to his 2nd big ol' win of the season. That salad coming out from under his hate, by the way, impeccable.
Friday, Reds lost but not before Votto hit a game-tying bomb in the 8th and Heisey stole a home run from Brooks Conrad. Yeah, they remember you Brooks and that home run which you thought was in Nix's glove. It's too bad that he didn't assume that this one was gone, as opposed to last time when he turned around and headed toward the dugout even after the ball was over the fence. But, Coco couldn't find the strike zone, melted down and the Reds lost game one on a two-run double by Heyward.
Saturday, however, Arroyo pitched well even with even less velocity than usual. Though, he usually handles the Braves. Rolen hit a bomb but Hanigan had the big hit, after Bruce rolled a single through the right side, Hanigan doubled to deep left center. The positioning of the defense seemed to indicate that the Braves didn't think that Hanigan has great strength and power. They learned a very important lesson. Ryan Hanigan does not respond well for what he takes to be disrespect. Coco put some more guys on base, which makes me want to turn the channel and watch the commercials for the new iPhone where the dad is singing to his daughter with new braces, you know, because that's the worst thing possible on tv but Coco's performance is similarly unappealing. The runs, however, didn't score and, after today's big performance, that's means the Reds win the series. Which is certainly not a surprise but but pleasing. Tomorrow through Wednesday, they get to pound on the Pirates who may be the worst sports franchise in the country. So, expect a sweep. Reds! Reds! Reds!