Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Reds Don't Stop Believing (Reds Actually Quit Believin' Some Time Ago) Reds 6-4

The Reds Rocket has been somewhat remiss in its promise to comment, usually without analysis or even reason, about the Reds play. Well, as the season winds down and I find myself in the busy season of the animal-carcass gathering business (the daylight reduces the stop time) I just haven't been able to find the 2 minutes necessary to write about the Reds mediocre play. Well, that may or may not change today. At least I'm writing about the Reds' big ol' win over them Astros last night. The win, of course follows four consecutive losses, including a sweep by the Brewers and a bullpen malfunction on Monday resulting a loss in the first game of this series.

Since I didn't commemorate Mesoraco's first career bombo with a picture of him admiring his shot, here's one. But in full disclosure, this is actually a photo of his first home run, however, we can both pretend it's from last night, even if Getty Images didn't bother to send a photographer to very relevant Reds/Astros game. He took Bud Norris' high fastball out to left in a hurry, showing some of that plus power everyone is hoping he showcases on a regular basis next season. I'm pretty sure he will. It's nice that he get a chance to take a couple of swings here in September.

Bailey, who loves pitching in Texas, was quite good again last night. He went 7 and gave up just 2 runs on a J.D. Martinez home run. He also had a career high 3 hits at the plate, bringing his average up above .290. Marty even took the time to compliment his approach at the plate, saying his hard work really shows up there. How about that? I think he still has one start to be labeled the 'most frustrating pitcher who has ever existed in the Major Leagues.' Bruce picked up three hits after abstaining for the weekend and Phillips hit his 18th homer of the year. He's really turned it on in September. He may or may not be seeing flashing dollar signs in front of his eyes. Either way, the Red are going to have a tough time explaining turning down his option ($12 million) after the season if that happens. That's a high price tag. There are rumors that Jocketty may be heading out of town, I'm not sure how reliable they are, so, that could be a decision he doesn't have to make. Maybe they'd promote Joe Morgan to run the team. I think he's probably near the top of the list.

The Reds have an afternoon game today, which I enjoy. I'm not sure about everyone else's opinion. Arroyo is trying to avoid giving up homers 199 and 200 on the year. I suppose it's nice to be in the record books anyway you can get there, even if it's for being terrible. 'Turn to page 167, that's right, worst pitcher in the major league in 2011.' Just kidding Bronson, you're at least better than Casey Coleman, Esmil Rogers, Aaron Cook and J. Happ. Those guys didn't even bother making 30 starts. Or have mono. There are lots of excuses in place.  Reds! Reds! Reds!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Know This Game Doesn't Really Matter But My Arm Hurts, Reds Win 7-2

Cueto exited early with a sore lat, likely putting an end to a very fine season. His flank started hurting in the 4th, with the training staff coming out to look him over with one out. He shooed them away, however, they returned after he popped Soriano out and decided it was time for him to hit the showers. He held the Cubs to 3 hits and no runs over his time on the mound and reduced his ERA by a bit to 2.31. Maybe he'll get back out there to accumulate 5 more innings, the amount needed to bring the ERA title back to Cincinnati for the first time in many years, but that seems unlikely.

Hernandez got the scoring going tonight with a 3-run bomb in the second. The Cubs really weren't looking for the win, giving Casey Coleman the ball. He's not very good at pitching. Francisco added a two-run double in the 3rd. He's been swinging a nice bat lately. The win tonight joins with last Mike Leake's gem last night, in his final start of the season, to give the Reds the series. Nice job everyone. The Reds will take series late in the season from teams that don't care very much all day long. All day long! Reds! Reds! Reds!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reds Feel the Season is About 20 Games Too Long, Cubs 12-8

The Reds, despite the public opinion indicating otherwise, continue to play baseball. They put together some sporadic good play over the weekend versus the Rockies in the light air all the up in the mountains of Denver. The short bursts of good play were contrasted with larger portions of poor play, notably, poor pitching. Arroyo only last 1+ on Saturday and, though the Reds hit a ton of homers (Bruce, Heisey (2), Francisco, etc.) making for a very enjoyable game, they didn't win. That was the story last night. The D-train appears to be running out of coal or Sparx or whatever it is he runs on, as he wasn't very good last night. He didn't last 4 and the Cubs beat him around.

Fortunately, there were lots of other interesting things to watch during the game, bad pitching aside. Francisco hit a ultra-super bomb to right, landing out of the stadium and hitting a horse that was walking by. Actually, I'm not sure about the horse part, but I picture the ball hitting the horse, who then rears up, knocking off the rider and everyone laughing about the commotion. What we do know is the homer went 502 feet and is the first to leave the stadium since the Big Donkey was still roaming the pastures in left. Mesoraco also hit his first career homer and second career double. Hopefully there will be many home runs to follow. You can't face Rodrigo Lopez every day, unfortunately. Some bad news in that Chris Valaika blew up his knee and is done for a while. Doctors think the non-working knee make actually improve his range at short. Chris, we kid. As I'm sure everyone learned from the fabulous Robin Williams vehicle, laughter is, indeed, the best medicine.

The big series with the Cubs continues today without two football games conflicting the Reds viewership. Now everyone can lock in and focus on watching the Reds humiliate the Cubs, publicly, for their disrespect yesterday. That will sure be something.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reds Feed Too Much Garbage to Garbage Eating Cub Bears, Cubs 6-3

The Reds long Labor Day weekend finally concluded resulting in this post you're probably not reading. That's okay. I enjoy reading my incorrect grammar and poorly constructed sentences as much as the limited readership.

The Reds ran into the the bear buzzsaw in Chicago, losing two of three to the terrible, terrible Cubs. Tonight there was a little too much Carlos Pena. That guy can rake - about 2 out of every 10 at bats, one of which is a home run. He had his two hits of the week tonight, the big one being a three-run bomb in the 8th off Bray. Cueto came off a poor outing last time against the Cardinals to go 7 and give up 3. He left trailing but the offense picked him up, tying things at three, immediately prior to Renteria getting thrown out at the plate trying to score the fourth run of the evening. Ondrusek got hung withe loss, penalized for leaving men on base for Bray to remove, not before touching home plate.

The last few days we've gotten the opportunity to see some of the kids. Mesoraco has been getting regular at bats and Alonso has been seeing more and more time. He had three hits tonight. Valaika even got a shot at short which he hasn't done for a while and, according to the the nerds in charge of telling me about baseball, probably shouldn't ever play the 6 position. Bruce and Votto each added two hits tonight. Hernandez took over the role of having runners on base and not doing much with them. He hasn't been the problem for most of the season, so he's entitled to a turn. And the Reds likely get a draft pick based upon his 'A' free agent status following the season. That's assuming he's offered and rejects arbitration, only to sign elsewhere. It's a very complicated process reserved only for the very smart. I do not fall into that category, so will cease my explanation here.

Yesterday, I won't backtrack too far, Leake had a chance for his first career shutout but gave up a two-run, game-tying bomb to something called a LeHair. I think that translates to 'the hair', based upon my remedial knowledge of the French language. If I had to give up my first career shutout, I think a home run to The Hair would be an acceptable way to go about it. The Reds came back to win in the 14th, so everything worked out for the best. Though, again presented with the options, a meaningless win for a team eliminated from playoff contention versus first career shutout, it's probably a toss-up. At least after listening to Dusty spin it for me.

The Reds get the privilege of playing the Rockies for a couple of days, which should be worth a watch. I know I'll be tuning in. The offense has scheduled many hits and runs for the weekend. It's already on the calendar - in pen - so, expect it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Reds Continue to Practice Abstinence at the Plate, Phillies 3-0

The bats, ignoring the 9th where the Reds placed 3 runners on base denying Cliff Lee his complete game shutout, were quiet as a mouse against the Phillies this evening. Stubbs was the only member of the lineup with more than one hit and Dusty asked him to take a seat with the bases loaded in the 9th in favor of Yonder Alonso. Granted, Alonso been rakin' but, well, Dusty knows what he's doing, so I'll leave it at that.

Willis was pretty good again, albeit a little wild. He doesn't show a whole lot of interest in throwing strikes to right-handed batters. Those willing to wait him out are able to draw a walk on a semi-regular basis. He walked 5 on the night but only gave up 3 runs over 6.2. The radio guys were speculating he may be better served as a left-handed specialist going forward as the funny-handed hitters are hitting under .190 against him this year but one of them was Jim Kelch, who, as you recall, is solely responsible for the Reds underachieving this year. Utley and Howard, who both drove in runs with groundouts, were each 0 for 5 on the evening. Pence took Willis out of the park for the Phills' loan extra base hit. Arredondo and Chapman pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless relief which was nice to see, since the rest of the bullpen seems pretty gassed at this time of the season. Fortunately reinforcements arrive tomorrow with the September 1 roster expansion. Jeremy Hermida, who had a fine season at Louisville, though not nice enough to spend much time at the big league level, was designated to make room for Mesoraco's addition to the 40 man. In addition to Mesoraco, Fisher, Horst, Valaika and Francisco are apparently heading up to receive some big league treatment for a month or so. We're also going to see the return of Travis Wood and old pal Edinson Volquez. The talk is that Volquez is going to get some starts, likely in place of Leake (after Leake makes a couple more starts) and Wood is going to resume his long man bullpen routine.

Leake takes the hill against someone not named Halladay, Hamels or Lee tomorrow. He's excited about the opportunity. Vance Worley turns out to be the name of the other guy in the rotation. The Reds look forward to scoring more than 0 runs. I think that will be a step in the right direction.

Reds Look a Little Overmatched, Phillies 9-0

At least the mascots appeared to be enjoying themselves. That is a possible marketing opportunity for the Reds - more mascots. I don't think three, one of which looks and behaves like a muppet with autism, is adequate.

The Reds didn't play their best game of the year yesterday. Arroyo gave up quite a few runs and the offense generated very few, in fact none. That's not the best equation if you want to win games. I think if you asked Dusty, he'd tell you he was indifferent as long as his arm bands get plenty of air time. No, that's not what Dusty thinks. He wants to win every game and I'm sure is a little disappointed that the Reds are -1 in the win/loss category. They'll get back over .500, only to fall back under and maybe get back over again.

Last game with the Phillies this year, which will be a relief. I can think of about 5 guys I'd like the Philadelphia police to use their taser on. Placido Polanco tops the list. Willis is ready to win a game today.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Knew There Was Reason Mr. Redlegs Hates Hawaiians, Phillies 3-2

The Reds played well enough last night, especially with old scourge Hamels on the hill. The Reds have never been able to figure him out, even when he was going through some struggles last year, he can always count on a good performance against Cincinnati. Last night was no different, even though Manual was nice enough to remove Hamels after 6, despite throwing only 75 or so pitches. He figured Cole had a modeling show or some other stupid shit to do. He was probably right.

Bailey matched Hamels at 1-1 until the 8th. He threw Victorino a first-pitch curve ball (which he had used to strike him out with runners on 2nd and 3rd with two out in the 5th) which the Pineapple King deposited over the right field wall. The Reds got another run to cut it to 3-2 but that's as close as they got. Bailey ended up going 8 and striking out 9. Nice performance. He was even able to pitch around Yonder Alonso getting his first start, at any professional level, at 3rd base. Alonso contributed to the sum total of 0 outs. Pretty good pitching keeping the ball away from him.

Phillips scored the Reds' first run in the 4th when Hunter Pence came down with acute vertigo and fell down while tracking his fly ball. Phill ended up at 3rd with a triple and Votto knocked him in with a grounder to second. The Phillies' matched that in the top of the 5th with a misplay by Phillips (that went as a hit) followed by a poor jump in left by Sappelt and a questionable decision to dive, leading to a tied 1-1 game. Sappelt's play prompted Marty to state 'this kid's play in left really leaves a lot to be desired.' It sure does Marty. Arroyo battles Halladay in today's titanic struggle. Reds rebound.