Daily Archives: May 7, 2008

May 7, 2008

Reds Play Whack-A-Cub, Win 9-0



The revival of the Whack-A-Cub game here at Red Hot Mama was perfectly timed, apparently…and the Reds must have really liked the idea, because they staged their own version this afternoon at GABP during a 9-0 win over the Chicago Cubs in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Whack A Cub, indeed. The Reds whacked seven home runs against Cubs pitching. They whacked Jon Lieber (2-2) four times – all in the second inning. Joey Votto (who won the Whack-A-Cub contest by whacking three of the Reds’ seven home runs on the day) got things started by pulling a 1-1 slider from Lieber into the seats in right field to lead off the second inning. Then it was Adam Dunn’s turn. Then, two batters later, it was Paul Bako. Three batters later, Jerry Hairston Jr. applied the coup de grace by parking a 3-1 Lieber offering for a two-run shot to stake Edinson Volquez (5-1) to a five-run lead.

That was considerably more run support than Volquez would need on this day, but the Reds weren’t through whacking the Cubs just yet. Brandon Phillips and Votto whacked Sean Marshall back-to-back in the fifth inning. Phillips clanged the first pitch off the foul pole in left, and Votto followed by depositing a 2-0 fastball over the wall in left-center. Votto also whacked Sean Gallagher in the sixth, parking a 1-0 fastball in left-center for a two-run shot.

Meanwhile, Volquez kept putting up goose eggs, throwing seven shutout innings, notching ten strikeouts, and lowering his ERA to a league-leading 1.06 before giving way to David Weathers in the eighth and Jeremy Affeldt in the ninth. The Cubs couldn’t score against them either, and suffered their 9th loss in their last 13 games.

The four-homer inning tied a team record last accomplished in old Riverfront Stadium on August 17, 1996 when Eddie Taubensee, Reggie Sanders, Jeff Branson, and Barry Larkin played Whack-A-Rockie.

Volquez has allowed one earned run or less in each of his starts so far this season. That’s something no Reds pitcher has done, at least not since the Elias Sports Bureau started keeping earned runs as a statistic in 1912. Meanwhile, the Reds have scored 44 runs in Volquez’ five wins, including eight or more runs five times (in the two starts he didn’t win, the Reds were shut out).

Votto became the 23rd Red to hit three homers in a game. The last before today was Aaron Boone, who played Whack-A-Cardinal on May 8, 2003. The seven homers set a new Reds’ team single-game record at GABP, and is the most homers the Reds have hit in a game since they set an NL record with nine while playing Whack-A-Phillie at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia on September 4, 1999.

Next up for the Reds is a three-game series against the Mets in New York beginning on Friday.

May 7, 2008

Cubs 3, Reds 0: Trying to Drive Harang Insane



The Reds (13-21) continued their Candid Camera shenanigans as they see how long it will take before mild-mannered Aaron Harang (1-5) snaps. Here’s a guy who pitched 7 innings and allowed three runs. The previous two games, the Reds had scored 7 and 5 runs, so I imagine he liked his chances.

Of course, Harang isn’t aware of the practical joke being played on him, so he wasn’t prepared for the 0 runs the team scored against the Cubs (19-14). You’ll get ’em next time, Aaron. (Laughter.)

Carlos Zambrano (5-1) didn’t have his best stuff, but against the Reds, you never do, so he cruised to an easy win. Kerry Wood (S 5) picked up the save, insuring that Chicago didn’t fall any further behind the first-place Cardinals.

The two teams finish their three-game series this afternoon at 12:35pm EDT when Jon Lieber goes against Edinson Volquez.

May 7, 2008

Giants 6, Pirates 12: We Have a Winner!



In the competition between suck and suck, the Pirates (13-19) emerged victorious over the Giants (14-19). (At this point, I’d declare the Pirates the victor over the Reds in the competition for suck, but just barely.)

Nate McLouth has had an amazing year so far. This game was no exception as he belted two home runs and drove in three. Xavier Nady continues to hit, and wonder of all wonders, Adam LaRoche hit a home run on his way to getting his batting average over the Mendoza line. Way to go, Adam!

Zach Duke (1-2) was solid for the win and Jonathan Sanchez (2-2) wasn’t for the loss. Strangely, no save was recorded in this game.

Up next, the Giants send out Barry Zito, who’s apparently escaped the bullpen, to start against Phil Dumatrait. Considering the terrible ERAs both pitchers carry, we’ll likely be looking at a pitchers duel when the game begins at 7:05pm EDT.

May 7, 2008

We’ve been here before: Another Friggin Train Wreck

Ah well you may have noticed I have been curiously absent from the postings here at RHM. That is because, like you, I am in a state of absolute shock about the way this season has begun. Aaron Harang 1-5 with an ERA below 3? Just how cursed are we here? And more importantly how do we rid ourselves of this curse?

Well if your like me (and that would mean you are drinking beer morning to night while walking thru this nightmare) then you are ready to cut ties with Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn. Is it because we don’t believe they can turn it around? No not really. Its because they make a combined 25 million dollars while you and I are wondering if we can afford to go out to eat in a sit down restaurant tomorrow.

Did you see the play by Adam Dunn a series ago where he actually threw the ball backwards off the wall, allowing an inside the park homerun? Well, I tell you I meant to post that very day but watching that buffoonery has affected my own reflexes. And as I mentioned I am drinking constantly so forgive me for my tardy commentary on that particular play, but suffice it to say that I had a flashback to a scene in the Bad News Bears where that kid Lupus tried to pick up the ball and throw it unsuccessfully 3 times in a row. Buttermaker, the manager, on my wavelength apparently, numbs his thoughts with a constant beer supply while seated in the dugout. eventually he comes out and signals forfeit as his team cannot record an out.

The worst and best part of all of this is that the two unknown major variables, Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez, have been for the most part lights out. Okay Cueto blew up on one of his starts (and look back at my predictions and you’ll see I predicted that would happen based on his spring training results) but nontheless we could not have asked for better combined numbers for two new entries in the rotation. The bullpen is vastly improved from last season. The failures of this young season fall squarely on the shoulders of the offense. And believe it or not Paul Bako is not the culprit. No, in fact Paul Bako is gonna win the Joe Randa award for most amazing season by a low wage player. Seriously, at this juncture I wouldn’t mind seeing Bako batting fourth, if nothing else just to shame the rest of the team.

I didn’t want to call up Bailey and Bruce prematurely, but that was only in the case that we were within sniffing distance of a pennant race. Clearly that is not the case here. We are in major BLOW IT UP AND REBUILD THE DAMN THING mode. I expect Dunn and Griffey to get moved soon. The writing is on the wall. Today Griffey told USA Today he wanted to play for a contender and that “everyone wants to return to where they started.” If they want him in Seattle I think that is win-win as we need to start thinking about next year and Griffey at 16 million would be utter madness. If they fail to trade him this year they would have to exercise a 4 million dollar buy out.

All I ask is this: if we do indeed dump Griffey and/or Dunn we the fans should get a bone thrown our way. I’m talking about one dollar dogs and one dollar softdrinks for the rest of the season. I don’t think that is unreasonable. I wouldn’t mind watching a rebuilding project if I can kick back at a modest price. Otherwise there is no chance I would attend a game unless I got a free ticket.

Since we last spoke GM Wayne Krivsky was given the boot and Walt Jocketty was coronated. Walt, what the hell are you doing? Do you see the debacle that is our season? Can you please do something to show us that you have some general disapproval of the way the team is performing, beside swapping Bray and Weathers back and forth? We’re pissed as hell at the players but you aren’t exactly hiding in the shadows right now. Get your ass in gear!

Well my buzz is fading into a gentle numbness, and that isn’t gonna do the job, so I must go now to seek out my next beer. Good luck fellow Reds fan, try not to inflict bodily harm on yourself. I know it is tempting. Believe me, I know all to well.