Monthly Archives: August 2010

August 25, 2010

Reds 5, Giants 16: Taking Another Beating

Reds (72-54)0011300005112
Giants (71-56)31036300-16180
W: Casilla (5-2) L: Wood (4-2)


Wow. Two games in a row that weren’t worth staying up until tomorrow for. Thank goodness I didn’t.

The San Francisco Giants again beat down the Cincinnati Reds, hard and fast. This time Travis Wood was the starting pitcher to get rocked. He did last quite a bit longer than Volquez did the night before, but it was still a horrible outing, with 7 earned runs over 4 innings. Mike Leake made his second relief appearance and was also terrible, and did nothing more than supply the Giants with brass knuckles. Over 1/3 of an inning, Leake allowed 6 runs on 6 hits, 2 of which were home runs. The outing was so bad that there’s now talk of shutting him down for the season. Recent callup Sam LeCure got in on the run-allowing action, too, giving up 3 in his 3 innings. Only Nick Masset showed competence last night.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The offense was solid. At least, I think 5 runs is a good showing. Heck, they scored 3 to get within 2 in the 5th before Mike Leake came in. In the 5th, Brandon Phillips hit his second solo shot of the evening. Then a few batters later, Scott Rolen launched a two-run home run. That was all for the rest of the game. I imagine the massive amounts of runs the bullpen was leaking didn’t provide much incentive to score.

This marks the first series the Reds have lost since being swept by the Cardinals. The good news is that this road trip had just one game left, the Reds will have a winning record on it, and that they will return home in first place. The season isn’t over; the Reds have simply had 2 bad games in a row. It happens, and if past performance is any predictor of the future, then this team will bounce back. And hopefully, it’ll be today.

August 24, 2010

The Daily Brief: Injuries and More Details on Baker’s Extension Offer

Last Game
I hope you didn’t stay up late for last night’s game. It wasn’t pretty. Edinson Volquez couldn’t get out of the first inning, and the bullpen was never able to stop the blowout. In addition, Laynce Nix sprained his ankle and Jim Edmonds strained his right oblique. All in all, an ugly 11-2 loss.

Next Game
It’s game 2 of the series against the San Francisco Giants. The Cincinnati Reds have secured a winning record on this West Coast trip, but it would still be nice to take the series from the Giants. They have to win today to do that, and they’ll be sending out Travis Wood. The Giants counter with Jonathan Sanchez. Game-time is 10:15pm EDT.

Extending Baker One Year at a Time
Some more details have come out about the extension the Reds have offered Dusty Baker, primarily that it’s only for one year.

Dusty Baker is prepared to take his time weighing an offer to manage the Reds again next season.

The Reds have offered Baker a one-year contract extension for the 2011 campaign, but he has yet to give the club an answer and certainly wants to weigh his options.

Many managers are retiring after this season, so the article posits that Baker may have other suitors. It would make sense for him to see what other interest there is, and I wouldn’t hate for the Reds to lose him. Winning clears up a lot of things, but even so, Baker’s managing can still annoy and possibly rob the team of a few wins that a more modern manager wouldn’t.

The one-year offer is a prudent strategy, though. Don’t forget that the Reds were losers for the first 2 years under Baker.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
In the final game of the Los Angeles Dodgers series, Bronson Arroyo picked up his 100th career win. He is 100-90 for his career.

August 23, 2010

Joey Votto on the Cover of Sports Illustrated

Unafraid of the curse, Joey Votto will appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated on August 30, 2010.

I’m about as unsuperstitious as they come, but I will point out that the last Red to appear on the cover of this magazine was Ken Griffey, Jr., and we all know how that turned out.

It’s a common for magazine covers to have numerals in their headlines. For some reason, plugging stories like “5 Easy Ways to Lose Your Gut at the Game” and “The 0 Best Places for Ball Park Sushi” are just really appealing to readers.

But this cover features only one numeral: the 19 on Votto’s chest. Even the secondary story about the kindergartner-slugger breaks AP style by spelling out an age. Apparently that 19 carries a lot of weight all on its own.

That, and the come-hither look Votto’s giving the newstand passer-by, a smoldering look that seems to say, “Me? Cursed? I’ve already survived Dusty Baker: I’m untouchable.”

August 23, 2010

Piniella Calls It Quits

Piniella calls it quitsIt’s the end of an era.

Sunday, Lou Piniella hung up his spikes to spend more time with his family. His 90-year old mother is apparently ailing, and a guy has to have his priorities.

According to the press release, Piniella won three Manager of the Year Awards, including in 2008 with the Cubs. He’s retiring as the 14th winningest manager in Major League history.

Will he be back in a few years to climb up to lucky number 13? Retirement can get awful boring.

Also from the press release:

“to the Cubs fans, thank you for four wonderful seasons. You are the best, most deserving fans in all of baseball and it has been an honor to manage your ballclub.”

Well, I don’t know about that, but it was a nice thing to say.

The Cubs organization has promoted third-base coach Mike Quade to fill in the manager role, and to celebrate, the Cubs went to town on the Nationals. Sure, it’s just the Nationals, but I’m sure Cubs nation is looking for this to spark the team to get back in this NLC race. Hope springs eternal, and that would be a pretty sweet send off for Sweet Lou.

August 21, 2010

Cardinals Try to Make it 6 Straight Losses

Yesterday, the St. Louis Cardinals lost their 5th game in a row. And from a distance, it does have the feel of a spectacular implosion. Tony LaRussa’s losing his cool and bitching and moaning about the strike zone.

“We had a great chance in the ninth, and MLB can go ahead and fine [me], I don’t care, but there were several strikes a guy as good as Brian Wilson got, he doesn’t need. Who knows how that inning would have been? You know they are supposed to review that stuff and they are supposed to fine you if you say anything about it, but that is just not right,” said LaRussa.

I can understand his frustration at losing. But can you imagine Albert Pujols? Viva El Birdos attempts to, taking into account the recent acquisition of Pedro Feliz and the end of Pujols’ contract after the 2010 season.

what on earth do you think albert is thinking as he looks around the infield and sees pedro feliz at third, felipe lopez at short, and aaron miles at second? “i have arrived in the eighth circle of hell” [except in spanish]?

i guarantee that it is not: “i should sign a below-market value contract for the next eight or so years so that i can ensure that this continues to happen to me.” [except in spanish]

Tonight the Cardinals are sending their best–and bitchiest–player, Chris Carpenter, to the mound to attempt to stop the losing. But the San Francisco Giants are sending out Tim Lincecum. The game is on the MLB network now in many areas, including mine. I would recommend tuning in, for the bitching and the good baseball.