July 2, 2006
CINCINNATI, OH -- The Cincinnati Reds revealed today that the bullpen hasn't been blowing leads as commonly believed. They've been donating them.
Much like last year's popular program to donate runs to a local retirement community, this charitable endeavor helps out those less fortunate than the Reds. Every lead the bullpen gives up goes straight to an area reporter.
“I couldn't figure out why people were booing our charity work when the program was supposed to be announced back in April,” said David Weathers, mastermind of the plan. “Then I found out that the Marketing Department accidentally used the draft of the press release as the scorepad for their annual conasta tournament.”
The bullpen has been surprisingly effective in giving up leads this season. This may be the most successful charity effort in Reds' history.
“You just love to see the looks on the reporters' faces when you give them a good lead,” said Kent Mercker. “It makes giving up that lead worthwhile.”
The bullpen will continue to give up leads until it is dismantled later this month. No word yet on donating punny headlines.
July 2, 2006
The official site says that Bronson Arroyo is the only Red going to the All-Star game. Well, him and Jerry Narron.
In other news, a suprising number of Reds will staff the National League All Star Team of Suck. Almost the entire bullpen will be in attendance. It'll be nice for them to get to see Tony Womack again.
July 2, 2006
After taking two-of-three from the Indians in Cleveland last weekend, the Reds gave up two-of-three this weekend in Cincinnati. They capped off the performance this afternoon with a 6-3 loss.
Eric Milton gave the kind of start we would have loved out of him last year, allowing three runs (earned) on six hits and two walks through six innings.
Kent Mercker put up a hitless seventh. David Weathers identified himself as next to be replaced by giving up two runs on two hits in the eighth for the loss. Matt Belisle allowed one more run on a solo shot in the ninth.
In fact, this game looked very winnable most of the way through. The Reds' matched the Indians' run in the second with a solo shot by David Ross. They took the lead in the third when Felipe Lopez walked, advanced to second on a Brandon Phillips single, and scored on a Adam Dunn single. Ross sent flying another solo shot in the sixth to keep it close.
A bad call in the eighth sent Dunn back to the dugout when he should have been safe at first and Jerry Narron to the showers when he should have been sitting calmly on the bench, watching a beautifully executed come-from-behind victory.
Austin Kearns then walked with one out and no one on, instead of no outs and one on. Scott Hatteberg singled and sent Kearns to third, instead of also sending Dunn home.
When Ross hit into a double play, the inning was over with no runs scoring, instead of two away, one run scored, and Juan Castro coming to the plate. Casto doubled when he came up in the ninth.
Sigh. Two games in a row with bad calls and two winnable games in a row with a notch in the loss column.
The loss brings the Reds' record to 44-38 and starts the mathematical second half off wrong. They head to Milwaukee tomorrow to send Aaron Harang up against Dave Bush.
July 2, 2006
The Reds spared the bullpen the focus of a loss for a change by hanging the starter out to the dry on Saturday in a 12-7 loss to the Indians.
Joe “Stopgap” Mays allowed eight runs (earned) on eleven hits and four walks through his five innings of work. Four of those runs came on a grand slam to Travis Hafner in the fifth inning.
Still, you can understand why manager Jerry Narron wasn't quicker with the hook on Mays. Though Jason Standridge put up a scoreless inning on one hit in the sixth, the next two pitchers were not so effective. Brian Shackelford allowed two runs (earned) on two hits in the seventh and Matt Belisle allowed two runs on three hits in the eighth. David Weathers worked a hitless ninth.
If the bullpen had pitched scoreless innings, the Reds would have won this game. Not because their four runs allowed were the difference, but because if we had a bullpen that could do such a thing, the starter never would have been allowed to get himself into so much trouble.
Ryan Freel had a good night, going 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Rich Aurilia went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. But the story of the evening was the stand-out defense. Juan Castro had one particularly phenomenal play where he made an impossibly quick flip to Freel at third for the out, though a bad call found the runner safe at third. Brandon Phillips also contributed to some excellent infield defense.
So that was nice for a change. If only they could pitch.
The loss brought the Reds' record to 44-37. They would go for the series win on Sunday when Eric Milton faced off against CC Sabathia.