Thursday, September 30, 2010

Surprisingly the Reds JV Team Doesn't Generate a lot of Offense, A-holes 2-0

It was probably a sound managerial decision by Dusty to sit the regulars last night but sure did make for a disappointing game against one of the least effective pitchers in the big leagues, Nelson Figueroa. That guy is brutal. And I can't imagine that Cueto was real pleased with the decision. Probably made him want to kick someone in the head and make them retire from their job. Probably the guy at the deli who keeps giving him creamy coleslaw rather than the vinegar based. That shit is brutal.

So, we'll have to see what gets run out there tonight. It would still be nice if they could move up from that 3 seed because, based on my understanding, the divisional leaders get seeded 1, 2, 3 with the Wild Card being assigned 4. Right now it goes Philly, San Francisco, Reds, and Braves. Typically, it would go 1-4 and 2-3, however, if the Wild Card and best divisional team are in the same division, it goes 1-3 and 2-4. I'm sure everyone already knew all of this but it allows me to appear intelligent or at least not borderline retarded. So, Reds in Phillville, which of course they still dominate. But they would dominate even more in San Francisco. Maybe make them quit playing baseball all together, which is preferred.

I think the team gets back on track today. Arroyo is going for win number 17 which would look pretty nice, at least to old stats guy Jocketty and his goon Bavasi, when he's encouraging the Reds to pick up his $12 million option this offseason.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bruuuuuucce! Reds In the Playoffs for the First Time in 15 Years

The fine people at Getty Images, in case there was any question as to who owned the above image, got a pretty good shot of Jay Bruce post-game winning swing last night. You can tell my the reaction of the fans behind him that there was little doubt about where that ball was heading. Old Ray Jay, who killed an earlier rally with a bases loaded double play, took the first pitch from Tim Byrdak, one of the tougher lefties, at least on other lefties, and deposited it over the center field wall for a walk-off, playoff-clinching home run. Pretty exciting Ray. Last time he hit a walk-off, you'll recall, he had to take a couple of weeks off with an abdominal issue brought on by the beating his teammates gave him, or something wholly unrelated. Hopefully that isn't the case this time, though he will have a few games to relax and recuperate.

The Reds Rocket's yearly prediction of the Reds winning the Central, though they did underachieve my prediction of 159-3, comes true. No surprise there. I think if you ask a consensus of sports-media they would agree that the Reds winning the division was a virtual certainty. Everyone knew this was the year the wheels fell off of the Cardinals broken down Winnebago. And the rest of the Central? Come on, get serious. So, the Reds get to play in October and not just those final two games against the Brewers. And Dusty Baker takes his third team to the playoffs. I'm sure that's also what everyone expected when he was hired. Not just a lot of stress on young arms, a preference towards useless veterans and an inability to comprehend statistics other than batting average and runs batted in. Big day for everyone.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Reds Continue to Take 'Er Easy on Way to Playoffs, Reds 12-2

The Reds exhibited no real urgency over the weekend in their last series with a realistic playoff contender. The Reds are already in, so were content to let Miguel Tejada pump his fist like he just bid correctly on a pair of surf boards on the Price is Right. He was fired up after Masset refused to throw strikes until he had to. However, you simply cannot walk David Eckstein ever. That's a free out. Regardless, the Reds dropped the first two games, big deal. Magic number is down to 1.

The Reds actually made some national news Friday with Chapman hitting 105 on the radar gun. That is pretty fast and doesn't seem like something that human arms should be able to do, especially with such a relaxed throwing motion. I was going to say he should be rewarded with a Cuban sandwich but do you think that Cubans actually like Cuban sandwiches or it's just an Americanized version of something local? Tough to say. When I get that interview scheduled with Aroldis, I'll have to remember to ask him. "What a scoop, Cubans do like Cuban sandwiches."

Yesterday the team looked quite a bit better. Bailey pitched well enough to earn his 4th win of the season and the offense took two games worth of frustration out of Clayton Richard. Votto did some yard work for the 37th time this year. I know Carlos Gonzalez's numbers are outstanding and Votto, because he hates all members of the media, is not very nice to interviewers but this should really be his MVP. Phillips also hit a bomb out of the 7 hole yesterday. Maybe he's starting to turn things around. He's had a tough month, how about giving him a couple of days off? Or maybe he wants to be in there ruining his stat line. Reds wrap the division up in a nice little package starting tomorrow. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reds Play Pretty Well, However, Lose 13-1

Cueto likes to mix in at least one god awful start per season. Last night qualified, just barely. He gave up 8 runs in 2nd, which included a three-run bomb by Craig Counsell, which should never happen, and the Reds lost a tight one, 13-1. After Cueto exited after 1 1/3 we got to see converted reliever Aaron Harang make his second appearance of the season out of the pen. He was hit hard as well. So, maybe it was just the Brewers hot bats last night. Nobody has been able to hit Harang this season.

The Reds were actually ahead in this game when Bruce scored on a Gomes single in the 1st. But then 13 unanswered runs. Even with the loss, the Reds lowered their magic number because the Cardinals have completely given up. Good for those guys, though I see they're leading 9-1 today over the Pirates. I'm sure they'll find some more crappy teams to lose to before the season is over. The Reds should just sit out the rest of their games and see if the Cardinals can catch them when the Reds have already been guaranteed a loss. It would give the team a chance to sit and relax and I'm pretty sure the Cardinals can't win 6 out of 9.

Reds move on to San Diego to stamp out their playoff chances. Sorry Padres but Dusty would rather see San Francisco in the playoffs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reds Follow Volquez At Reasonable Pace to Victory, Reds 4-3

It is very rare that I can use a un-photoshopped photo to work into my title. But look at this, Volquez leading the lines of Reds running, just like last night how he was figuratively leading them to victory. Pretty, pretty clever. If you look close, you can even see Coco who tried to snatch the victory away from Edinson , despite his fine 8 innings. Nice try Coco but you're going to have to stay put on your 6 victories.

Volquez was lights out last night. Looks like he enjoyed his trip to A ball, or hated it and never wants to go back. Since his recall, he's received an honorary doctorate in filthology. The Brewers were no match for him last night, or more accurately, the Reds middle infield. Four double plays turned is pretty good. Once the Reds are officially in the post season, he is making a strong case to start Game 1.

The offense began with the bat of Jim Edmunds, who after going yard, promptly broke down again. He forgot to drink his ensure before the game which would have kept him active at this late stage in his life. Actually, according to the Reds' home site he may have torn his achilles rounding the bases in homer trot mode. I cannot think of very many other times that has happened. Perhaps some of the loyal readers can find a graphic of some sort regarding player injuries during home run trots. After Edmunds' bomb, it was a Rolen RBI single and Cairo double which capped the scoring. Big Frucking Nasty Todd Coffey entered in the 6th and struck out both Volquez, which is a major achievement, and Phillips with the bases loaded. B. Phill seemed to enjoy reuniting with his old gingery friend.

Magical number down to 4. Playoffs are getting pretty close. You Reds fans had better order your Dusty Baker commemorative tooth picks before supplies run out. Cueto dominates today. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Additionally, DevilsAdvocate was nice enough to answer my question I was too lazy to answer yesterday regarding the direction of Drew Stubbs' home runs. Please enjoy:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Votto Can't Hang Around His Mama 'Cause He Scares Her, Reds 5-2

She of course scared of his powerful bat, not his explosive violent temper. He keeps that in check around family. Thanks to Joey Jo-Jo, Reds went home with a big ol' victory over the Brewers, which was nice because the team hasn't exactly being rolling teams over down the stretch. The Cardinals were shut out earlier in the day, they had the great misfortune of having to face Chris Volstead, who's lights out, so that had to lessen the pressure on the club somewhat. Or maybe they don't even know or care.

The Reds got on the board first, on Stubbs' 20th bomb of the season with a runner on board, to right field this time.  At the time I was trying to think if I have seen him hit a bomb that direction this season. I decided that I can't remember and it was giving me a headache thinking so hard. So, I will guess that that was the first one this season but who can be sure about these things. After that the offense went dormant. Homeboy, apparently not dizzy this time out, pitched a pretty nice ballgame. He went 6, allowed just the two runs and struck out 7. It's good to see a guy who touches 98 strike out a few batters. He usually shies away from the strikeouts. Must be that old Bull Durham mentality, doesn't want to take all of the glory from his teammates. Even with the strong performance, he was already back in the clubhouse thinking about killing deer by the time the Reds went back on top. With a runner on and three poor at bats preceding it (two strike outs looking, one GDP), Votto hit a bomb to left providing the advantage. Rolen followed it up with a bomb to right. That gives Votto 35 and Rolen 20. Remember when Rolen was leading the league in bombs? Actually, remember when he hit his last home run? It was about a month ago. I didn't remember until reading the recap.

Everyone goes home happy. The Brewers because they lost to such a high quality team and the Reds because they only need 6 more Cardinals' losses and then this whole thing is over. I think the Cards can handle that, irrespective of how the Reds play. Getting pretty close to playoff time. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Reds Still Feel Pretty Good About Their Lead, 6 Games with 12 Left, A-holes 4-3

The picture to the right, which Google was nice enough to provide, needs no explanation but I will attempt to provide one anyway. It is the first stack of pancakes to travel to, what appears to be Mars. Mars' is further from the sun, so that explains why the butter hasn't quite melted yet. The relevance of the photo is that yesterday the Reds wrapped up a series loss to a bunch of pancake astronauts.

The Reds were Wandied on Friday before they went buck wild on Saturday, dropping 11 runs on Astros pitching. Actually, now that I think about it, the team came back against Wandy, on a Gomes three-run bomb, but then Cueto allowed the tying run before his exit in the 6th and the Astronauts treated Chapman with much disrespect. They didn't even let him record an out, 3 hits and a walk and that was the difference. The Saturday victory provided Bronson Arroyo with enough run support to win his career high 16th game. He must have thought that there was no way that he'd ever win more than 15, having done it three times. And he'll have three more chances to add to that total. Then yesterday, the Reds had lots of chances against Brett Myers and his billy-goat beard but didn't capitalize. Wood allowed 3, 2 earned and struck out 5 over 6 and took home the loss. Boom, outta here. Votto was up with two on the 9th, but, somehow, Brandon Lyon, who is, to quote my favorite nerds, a replacement level pitcher, got Joey to pop out to shallow short. Votto had already picked up three hits in the game, so he was likely tired from all of that swinging.

The Cardinals took 2 of 3 from San Diego, who looks like they wouldn't mind letting the Rockies pass them for second place in the west, so the magic number stays at 8. Still, I think the Reds can muster 4 wins in the last 12 and I'm certain the Cardinals can manage 4 losses. The 4 wins start today versus Milwaukee. The Brewers are cool, they don't want to complicate things.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reds Are Comfortable With Their Lead in the Central, Snakes 3-1

With a 8 game lead and a magic number at 10, the team just couldn't muster the effort necessary to beat a very bad team with an even worse starting pitcher on the mound. Volquez had one bad inning, the 5th, but looked pretty good otherwise. He kept lots of runners on base with intermittent bouts of wild-itis but his change looked pretty darn good. He's really been hitting the iron in the weight room, or the Pump Station as the team likes to refer to it. Is it too early for Dusty to start talking about his post season roster? He doesn't think so and adds Volquez to the list.

The offense wasted all of their effort yesterday, putting up just enough runs, 7, to keep Coco from ruining things for everyone. That was some catch by Bruce to end the game. That guy is big time. If he's not careful, the fans are going to get used to him raking and playing strong defense every day and, if he's proven anything, that's not really his cup of tea. Back to today, the Reds started the game off well with Stubbs singling and Gomes driving him in with a double off the glove of Chris Young. They had some more opportunities but didn't do much of anything with them. Phillips got a break today, with Janish-Yanish taking his spot and Rolen was nowhere to be found with a bit of the old arthritis keeping him firmly planted on the bench. That was good news for all of you Juan Francisco fans out there, which the Reds Rocket is lucky enough to be included within.

So, the teams leaves home for 9 on the road after series with Pittsburgh and Arizona with a very fine 4 and 3 record. Great job guys, way to keep that emotion high as you approach the playoffs. The Cardinals actually picked up a win today, so the lead is down to 7. Looks like I was a little premature in jumping off the Willie Bloomquist bandwagon. That guy is going to be an important cog in the Reds Machine as we approach the end of the season. Reds pound Wandy tomorrow. You're going to love it. Belated Reds! Reds! Reds! for yesterday's win.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jay Bruce Is Back and Hates Barry Enright, Reds 7-2

After finishing getting emasculated in Colorado, the Reds returned home and, without any help from the bullpen, took 2 of 3. The 1 of 3 that went to the P-rats was thanks to a Coco meltdown, his second in two days, this time stripping a win from Cueto, who was dominant. The day before, Volquez was even better but went home with a no decision thanks to Masset's return to not being able to get people out. And Friday, Bailey was strong but Coco didn't think he was quite strong enough to deserve the win. So, he didn't get one.

The Reds Rocket apologizes for the even lazier performance than usual. The hot air balloon is currently hovering over the Grand Canyon and internet connectivity is limited, especially when the official Reds Rocket computer is about 15 years old.

On to today, Ray Jay reappeared from a strained side and hit two more bombs. That's 7 in his last 5 games. Granted it was "Don't Let the ERA Fool You" Barry Enright pitching this evening but that's still pretty impressive. Arroyo tied, for the third year in a row, his career high win number of 15. He still has about 5 more starts to set a new career high and only 2 and a 1/3 innings to get to 200 for the 6th year in a row. That's a pretty nice string for someone with the nickname Saturn Nuts. Or maybe that's not nearly enough years for someone with such an odd nickname. Reds win, Cardinals lose, magic number at 12. Getting closer Reds fans. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Finally, Reds acquire noted piece of garbage Willie Bloomquist for the second season of CSI Miami. Don't worry, Jocketty gave them his used copy. Of course the acquisition of anyone, piece of trash or not, required a roster move. The move was Enerio Del Rosario being DFA'd. Tough break Enerio but, apparently the team needed a guy who can play 8 positions, none of them well, and hit about .115 to maintain a 7 game lead for the next 20 games or so. No one has ever said Jocketty doesn't know what he's doing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Apparently No One Likes Playing at Coors Field, Rockies 9-2

Reds dropped number 4 in a row as the Rockies beat up Arroyo, forcing him out after only a little over 4 innings. By the time he left, Bronson had given up 7 runs and 3 bombs. Not great but he's just saving his good stuff for the playoffs. He's developed a slower breaking pitch that he's not going to throw until the first round.

The offense, after getting out to an early lead on a Votto RBI single, did do a whole lot, other than ground into double plays. 4 in a game is pretty good. I will have to check the Reds record books to see how that ranks. Fortunately, two things occurred, the Cardinals remain unable to beat the Brewers and Travis Wood is pitching today. He's still jacked up after dominating the Cardinals and hitting a bomb in front of Ma and Pa. And he's been drinking green tea all morning. He'll be ready for that 3:10 start. Reds salvage a game and come back home to beat the hell out of the Snakes and Pirates.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Reds Continue Vacation From Winning, Rockies 4-3

Everyone needs a little break now and then. The Padres took an extended stay at the loser hotel, dropping 10 straight. The Reds thought it looked so nice that they'd give it a try. So, that's 3 straight and 4 out of 5 but at least the Cardinals can't beat the Brewers. At least the Rockies are still in the playoff chase, so there.

Cueto had a tough first three batters, then cooled out and settled into a nice little groove. His only other blemish was due to an E4, which doesn't happen very often and, in fact hadn't happened in 63 games. But that fourth run turned out to be the decider. The Stubbs and Gomes show just didn't have enough to get it done. The lesson the Reds pitchers should take from these first two games is don't pitch to Carlos Gonzalez. That guy can flat out rake. Make Seth Smith and Todd Helton beat you because they won't. So, that is how the team with proceed today with more positive results. Magic number of 20, I think I will add a ticker to the site. If, I'm not too busy. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Reds Take a Little Break from Being Unstoppable, Rocks 10-5

Reds dropped another series to the red bird assholes, but at least took a game this time. Travis Wood was the key, dominating for 7 and hitting his first major league bomb. That guy isn't a bad athlete. Maybe everyone from Arkansas is like that. His parents didn't look too surprised when he went deep.

Ma: 'Hoo boy, Travis just took ol' Wainwright out of the ball field.'
Pa: 'Aw, Ma we seen Travis do that daggum near a hundred times. Go see about getting something fried and something cold and frosty from that food stand."

That's exactly how they talk and you know it. Sandwiched into between the win were two losses. Arroyo pitched pretty well but the offense didn't get much going against Jaime on Friday. Homeboy had a lead in the 6th before he allowed a double to Jay, the management opted to walk Pujols, then Holliday made the game not-tied byway of a long fly to center. The Reds hate hitting against Carpenter, so Bailey was lucky to get the two runs he got.

Today, the offense jumped on Ubaldo, providing Harang with a brief 4-0 lead. Big Ugly followed up the receipt of his lead by walking the opposing pitcher, giving up a bunch of hits, then hitting the comically oversized showers. It just serves to further ostracize the giant man. There is some speculation that, and I'm sure that's all it is, that after a few bad rehab starts and a couple pretty bad major league starts (though he was only charged with the one run against the terrible Cubs) that maybe he doesn't need to be making any more starts down the stretch. They only have a 6 game lead after all. Volquez has apparently remembered how to hit the strike zone down in A, so perhaps he is interested in reappearing in a fancier uniform.

Reds bounce back tomorrow and take the rest of the games in Colorado. No way the NL Central lead gets any closer than 6 games.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chapman Continues His Dominance of American Beisbol, Reds 6-1

The Reds fired up the broomobile again, taking the third and final game of the series with the Brewers. Tonight it was at the expense of Big Frucking Nasty who turned a 1-0 lead into a 6-1 deficit. Not too bad. He never did like pitching at GAB, which was a bit of an impediment while he was with the Reds.

Cueto pitched a strong 6, giving up a lone run on a single by the pitcher, Narveson. But, he didn't factor in the win as the offense was focused on getting Chapman's first W out of the way. After his dominating 7th, the offense 'sploded. Cairo tied things up with a double into the gap and Hanigan put the Reds up for good with a monster bomb to left. He letting his 5 homers do the speaking for him. Rolen wrapped up the scoring with a two run single to right. Just another night at the ballpark, Reds dominate.

The crowd appears to have adopted Chapman and his super human velocity. The Reds Rocket is relatively certain that he will continue to make all batters look foolish as the Reds trot towards the post season. Masset and Coco followed Chapman and both added scoreless innings. The bullpen is really taking form. Masset has returned to where he was last year, getting everybody out with that big, heavy fastball. So, looks like there is no reason for me to turn the game off after the starter exits and hope that when I turn it back on the bullpen will have not imploded. Everyone can watch, real relaxed-like.

Last big series of the season coming up in St. Louis starting on Friday. Even if the Reds are swept again, which seems pretty improbable, even with the lack of outfielders, the lead is still 5 with few games remaining. Arroyo gets another shot at Jaime Garcia tomorrow. Cardinals fans don't even need to bother showing up, your team has quit on you and LaRussa is already talking like he's ready to hit the road. Save yourself the disappointment. Reds! Reds! Reds!

Reds Don't Plan On Losing the Reds of the Season, Reds 8-4

Reds looked pretty solid again last night. Scoring 8 runs against a pretty good arm in Yovani Gallardo. Votto had two doubles knocking in runs and Gomes went yard. Harang gave up a ton of singles but was only charged with one run, with the other two scoring on a fine defensive play by Gomes in left, allowing Dickerson's single to skip by him, scoring Braun and Fielder. But, he's angry and hungry and should be ready to go in 5 days. The Reds Rocket continues to have faith in the big ugly guy.

All the offense last night was done with only three available outfielders: Gomes, Stubbs and Heisey. Bruce got slugged in the ribs last night during the post game chase and celebration, so he took the game off. Nix is on the DL and Edmonds may have to be put out to stud. And Cairo is suffering from osteoporosis. Fortunately, there are no other outfielders on the 40 man, so a roster move would have to be made to get somebody else up. Wait, that should read unfortunately. It would be nice to have someone else on the team who can chase down fly balls.

After Harang exited, LeCure and Bray filtered through (they both pitched well, Lecure earning his second win and first since his debut) Chapman entered the game to lots of flashbulbs or whatever you call the camera flash these days. He started at 98 but then pumped things up to 102 (or 103 if you believe Mark Sheldon). He looked pretty dominant out there, striking out the first batter of his career, then inducing two weak grounders. Aroldis has a lot of glamor shots and candid photos available on the web, so this one was a tough decision. The tank top/gold chain combination was probably the deciding factor. As his popularity grows, I look forward to more casually intense photographs available to me.

Reds sweep today. Reds! Reds! Reds!