Daily Archives: April 8, 2006

April 8, 2006

The Once and Future Heartthrob

Chris Denorfia has been sent down, per Marc, to make room for our newest second baseman, Brandon Phillips.

No big surprise here. Denorfia wouldn't have been with the big team at all if Jason LaRue hadn't gone on the DL to have his knee scoped. Even so, it's hard not to agree with Anon8:08:

Denorfia was with the squad in 2005 and started 6 games and made 3 webgems on ESPN and has the heart of Rudy. Two for two this year in pinch hits including scoring the winning run Thursday night. Minor league player of the year… yeah let's send him down… smart move.

I just keep telling myself that he'll be back, but I can't shake the sneaking suspicion that general manager Wayne “Kriv-dog” Krivsky might just trade him for another middle infielder. In a way, he already has.

April 8, 2006

It’s Saturday Again.

It's Saturday again, the day I usually try to make a weekly entry on the Red Hot Diaries. A big thanks and a tip of the Reds cap to RHM for creating this for us…as for those of you who aren't taking advantage of it, a big “Shame On You” for leaving RHM hanging here!

As I sit here typing this, it's a little after 5PM on Saturday afternoon here in Buffalo, and the Reds have won today's game. Again. For the record, it was 11-9 over the Pirates. Harang made up for his Opening Day loss by matching a career high (for the fifth time) with ten strikeouts in 6-2/3 innings. Aurilia and Kearns homered. Freel went 3-for-4 with two steals and scored three runs. Dunn, who went 1,085 plate appearances from July 22, 2003 to June 29, 2005 without a sacrifice fly, had one today and now has two in five games this season. Our starting pitchers have gone have gone 25-1/3 innings without walking a batter. Griffey walked on four pitches with the sacks drunk to record his 1540th career RBI, tying Willie Stargell for 30th on the all-time list. And, the Reds have won four in a row.

While all this is going on, here we are shaking our heads wondering what Krivsky's up to with stockpiling this glut of catchers, middle infielders, and even outfielders. I've thought about this for a couple of days now since he signed Brandon Phillips, and I keep coming back to this: On November 29, 1971 (a day which will live in infamy for Astros fans), a bold blockbuster trade engineered by then-Reds GM Bob Howsam sent Lee May, Tommy Helms, and Jimmy Stewart to Houston for Joe Morgan, Jack Billingham, Denis Menke, Cesar Geronimo, and Ed Armbrister. The deal transformed a marginal contender into one of baseball's best teams of all time.

I can't put my finger on why, but I have this strange feeling Krivsky is stockpiling talent with an eye toward making a real humdinger of a deal here. Who knows, that might just end up on the list of all-time biggest deals in Reds history, along with the greatest trade in Reds history, Howsam's 1971 deal that put the finishing touches on the Big Red Machine.

In the meantime, hey, the Reds are winning, and they're ahead of the Cardinals, Cubs, and Astros in the standings. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts, and hope Krivsky pulls a rabbit out of his hat that lets them keep this going all season long.

When Marty gets to keep saying “This one belongs to the Reds!” as often as he has this week? Hey, right now it is fun to be a Reds fan! When's the last time you could say THAT with a straight face?

Best regards to all, keep smilin', and GO REDS!

John, KC2HMZ

April 8, 2006

Good Thing We’ve Got that Offense

After giving up 22 runs to the Cubs in the opening two-game series, the Reds have now handed over 20 runs in the first three games of the Pirates series.

Just sayin'.

April 8, 2006

Game 5: Pirates 9, Reds 11

The Reds provided the Pirates with their sixth straight loss today with a 9-11 win in Cincinnati.

Opening Day starter Aaron Harang gave a much better show today, getting the win and striking out 10. He worked two batters into the seventh, giving up five runs (all earned) on eight hits. Mike Burns got the final out of he seventh, after allowing two inherited runners to score on a hit. Matt Belise gave up an earned run on a hit in the eighth.

Chris Hammond finally got an out today, in his third appearance. Unfortunately, it came with three earned runs on two hits. His ERA for 2006 is 189. Moving in the right direction!

Rick White took over after that one out to hold the Pirates scoreless on a hit and get the save.

The Reds got it going right away in the bottom of the first. Ryan Freel and Felipe Lopez both singled. Ken Griffey Jr. popped out. While Rich Aurilia was batting, Freel and Lopez pulled off the double-steal just in time for Aurilia to knock a homer to left field. Adam Dunn struck out and Edwin Encarnación popped out. Score: 0-3.

The Pirates came back in the top of the third when Jason Bay doubled and Jose Castillo homered three batters later. Humberto Cota struck out to end the threat. Score 2-3.

The Reds got one of the runs back in the bottom of the third. Freel walked, then stole second while Lopez was batting. Lopez then walked, and both runners advanced when Griffey grounded out to second. Aurilia walked to set up Adam Dunn for his second sacrifice fly of the year. It was a gentle hit to right field, but Freel's a madman and got in just before the throw. Lopez and Aurilia advanced on the throw home, but EncarnaciĆ³n popped out to end the inning. Score: 2-4.

The top of the fourth saw the Pirates score when Jose Castillo singled to knock in Freddy Sanchez with two outs. Cota again stuck out to end the threat. Score: 3-4.

The bottom of the fourth was a big one for the Reds. Kearns led off with a home run to center field. Javier Valentín struck out, but Aaron Harang reached on a fielding error. Freel singled to left and Lopez singled to center to load up the bases. Griffey walked, bringing in a run, getting Harang out from in front of Freel on the basepath, and prompting a pitching change.

Pirates pitcher Ryan Vogelsong didn't have much luck himself. A passed ball while Aurilia was batting allowed Freel to come in (and I bet he was disappointed that it was so easy). Aurilia lined out to the pitcher. Vogelsong then intentionally walked Dunn to load up the bases and face Encarnación. EE stood there dutifully while Vogelsong served up a wild pitch that allowed Lopez to score before grounding out to end the inning. Score: 3-8.

In the top of the seventh, Harang gave up a single to Castillo before striking out both McClouth and Ryan Doumit. But then Chris Duffy doubled and Narron pulled the plug. Mike Burns came in and immediately allowed the two inherited runners to score on a Jack Wilson double to right field. Thankfully, he struck out the next batter, Sean Casey, to end the threat. Score: 5-8.

In the bottom of seven, Encarnación singled and Kearns doubled to set up Valentín to hit a double down the right field line and score the runners. Soon-to-be-sent-down Andy Abad flied out to left on the first pitch he saw, but Freel singled to bring in Valentín. Lopez and Griffey made the final two outs of the inning. Score: 5-11.

The Pirates came up and got one of those runs back in the eighth when Sanchez doubled in Jason Bay. But it was the top of the ninth that about gave me a heart attack. For some reason, Narron put in Chris Hammond who struck out Chris Duffy. Then he walked Jack Wilson and allowed singles to Sean Casey and Jason Bay to load up the bases.

In came Rick White. He struck out Jose Hernandez, but gave up a 2-RBI single to Sanchez. White started to throw over to first, but Aurilia wasn't on the bag and it was a balk. Bay scored. Finally, Castillo grounded out to short and the victory was the Reds'. Score 9-11.

The win brings the Reds' record to 4-1. Tomorrow Dave Williams takes on his former team when the Reds finish the series with the Pirates at 1:15 p.m. Victor Santos goes for the Pirates.

April 8, 2006

Blog Buzz About Game 4 vs Pirates

As the Reds See It
Daedalus has a fever, and the only prescription is a closer. Tee-hee.

JinAZ has love for Milton, Felipe, and Freel. At least one of them gets to play every day.

Chad at RLN quotes an official news source. Imagine that.

JD of Red Reporter attended the game, rain delay and all. He says:

I'm 100% in favor of having Reds cheerleaders after seeing them in person. Pretty nice addition to GABP.

I'm appalled! To think, a married blogger drooling over baseball-related members of the opposite sex on the Internet. For shame!

Yesterday, Shawn named his post Reds Beat Pirates and I snarkily wondered what he'd name all the rest of the game wraps again Pittsburgh. Today, his post is Reds Beat Pirates Again. Consider me schooled.

As the Pirates See It
Bucco Blog suggests that perhaps Jim Tracy is mismanaging the team. I don't know much about the Pirates, but even I would have Craig “Thor” Wilson starting these games. --P.S. While you're at Bucco Blog, check out the Sean Casey GIDP Watch. I was amused.

Mike Boyko of Buried Treasure ponders the losing streak. He says that the last time the Pirates started the season with five straight losses was 1974, when they started with six losses. The 2006 squad will have to lose nine in a row if they want to take the record from the 1955 squad.