Monthly Archives: June 2012

June 30, 2012

Joey Votto and his #VoteVotto lead

Votto during Opening Night.

Voting for the All Star game has ended, and the last time Major League Baseball released the vote totals, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto was far-and-away the overall vote leader for the National League. He’s set to join a list of some impressive Reds.

He will join Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Ken Griffey Jr. as Reds who have won the overall NL vote.

“That would an enormous deal for me,” Votto said.

Votto leads St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman by 3 million votes. When Votto wins, this will be his third All-Star game, but his first as a starter.

“It means a lot,” he said. “We’re a small-market team. For the fans to think I worthy of garnering so many votes is a great honor. If I win the NL vote, it will be one of the cooler things that has happened for me.”

It sounds like the rest of the baseball world is starting to wake up and realize the awesomeness that is a grown man named Joey. The Reds better hurry and lock up this guy to a long-term contract soon.

June 30, 2012

Game 76: Reds 5, Giants 1

Reds (42-34)3000011005130
Giants (44-34)000000001191
W: Leake (3-5) L: Cain (9-3)


After two games in the series between the division leading Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants, the Reds have been outscored 6-5. But thanks to not scoring at all during the first game and saving those runs for the second, the series is tied and the Reds have a chance at the series win today.

From looking at the pitching match-up beforehand, it wasn’t the outcome I expected. Matt Cain, he of the recent perfect game and with an ERA in the 2s, against Mike Leake, who struggled at the beginning of the season but has made signs of improvement lately.

Instead of another shutout for the Giants–it would’ve been a 5th straight–the Reds jumped on Cain early. As-early -as-you-can early. Zach Cozart lead off the game with a solo shot, and before the inning was over the Reds added two more, giving Leake a 3-0 lead before setting foot on the mound.

Mike Leake was excellent with that lead. It took 111 pitches, but he accomplished his first complete game. And if it weren’t for a mistake pitch to Pablo Sandoval in the bottom of the 9th–Sandoval kindly deposited that into the right field seats–Leake would have had his first shut-out, too.

In his 9 innings, Leake allowed 1 run, 9 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 4. Oh, and he joined Pete Harnisch in becoming just the second Reds pitcher to pitch a complete game and hit a home run in the same game. It was Leake’s second home run on the season.

Clearly, Leake was the primary Reds’ star of the game. But Joey Votto and Jay Bruce showed some excellence, too. Votto went 3-5, with his 33rd double, and scored a run, while Bruce may just be getting on another of his patented streaks again. He went 4-4 and drove in 3 runs. Maybe that will make Thom Brennaman swallow some of his disgust for Bruce for a while.

The two teams finish the series this afternoon at 4:05pm EDT. Mat Latos goes to the mound for the Reds, with everyone hoping that his excellent outing last time was a sign that he’s settled down and will start pitching the way he knows how. The Giants will counter with Barry Zito.

June 29, 2012

Game 75: Reds 0, Giants 5

W: Bumgarner (10-4) L: Cueto (9-4)


I stayed up until 1 a.m., but then turned it off after the 8th and missed all the excitement. Oh wait, there was no excitement. The Reds were shut-out and 1-hit. Final score: Reds 0, Giants 5.

Johnny Cueto took the mound for the Reds, but he got touched early and his team never recovered. In 6.0 innings pitched he allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits and 4 walks. I’m not sure what to think about all those walks, but he did pick off two runners in the fourth inning. That was a meager bright spot.

Sam LeCure came in for an inning and gave up the other runs, and Jose Arredondo finished it out with a scoreless inning, but the game could have ended after the first inning with the same result.

There’s not much to say about the Reds’ offense: they had three baserunners on the whole night. Drew Stubbs drew walks twice and successfully stole once. Ryan Hannigan broke up the no-hitter (reducing it to a mere 1-hitter) in the sixth. And that’s it.

The pain is unlikely to end as the series continues tonight. Mike Leake (2-5, 4.46 ERA) goes against Matt Cain (9-2, 2.27 ERA) who isn’t far removed from a perfect game and has gone 4-0 with a 1.25 ERA in June. It’s another late one, with the first pitch at 10:15 p.m. ET

June 29, 2012

Daily Brief: The dreaded West Coast trip

Last Game
Since the Reds are visiting the Giants, you might expect some “Left my Heart in San Francisco” reference, but last night it looked more like the Reds forgot to pack their defense and left the offense in Cincinnati, too. Reds lose 0-5.

Miguel Cairo was filling in for Brandon Phillips who was a late scratch due to lingering effects of the knee-to-the-head he got a couple days ago, but it was Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen who got the team’s two errors. They were going to have to do a lot better than that against Bumgarner, who took the no-hitter into the sixth before Ryan Hannigan got the one hit the Reds would end up with.

Joey Votto, the most walked guy in the universe, never sniffed first base, but Drew Stubbs, the guy who just can’t stop swinging, got on twice with walks. It was a weird game, but not in the good way. More in the “I stayed up for this?” way.

Next Game
The Reds try to get over their jetlag tonight as the series continues with the Giants. Mike “Not Quite As Bad As My Record” Leake (2-5, 4.46 ERA) faces of against Matt “I Threw A Perfect Game A Couple Weeks Ago” Cain (9-2, 2.27 ERA).

First pitch at 10:15 p.m. ET. At least I don’t have to get up for work tomorrow.

Cueto Unavailable for ASG
All-Star voting has concluded, and now all that’s left to do is choose the pitchers, find representatives from the less-fortunate teams, and fluff up a lot of pageantry with a “selection show” on Sunday, which is pretty fake, since the “selection” was all finished up last night.

One of those things is pretty easy on the NL side: Johnny Cueto is a no-brainer to represent the senior circuit. Unfortunately for NLer’s, he’s unlikely to be available. Cueto is currently scheduled to start the last Sunday before the All-Star Break, and then be right back at ’em afterward when the Reds take on the Cardinals.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
If the Reds lose tonight, it’ll be the longest losing streak of the season, at 4.

June 29, 2012

Phillips scratched late, not saying “concussion” word

Brandon Phillips in civviesBrandon Phillips, who turns 31 today, was a late scratch from the Reds’ line-up tonight against the San Francisco Giants. He’s still not 100% after Aramis Ramirez kneed him in the head while getting caught stealing in the third inning of last night’s game.

Phillips was on the line-up early in the day and went to AT&T Park to take batting practice and fielding practice. He described himself as “OK,” but an infielder needs to be pretty darn sharp or risk getting a line-drive to the skull, so Baker put in Miguel Cairo instead.

According to John Fay’s blog, Phillips did admit that the possibility that he has a mild concussion has been discussed. But in true BP style, he’s not letting it get him down:

To tell the truth, that word came up yesterday. I’m trying to stay positive. I’ve never felt like this before…It’s my birthday and I’m happy.