Daily Archives: June 11, 2012

June 11, 2012

Baker begrudgingly acknowledges that getting on base is good

There’s a secondary headline in a story on Reds.com today about how Dusty Baker is mentoring his guys through their struggles with hitting with runners in scoring position. It actually paints Baker in a pretty good light, especially considering that many times when he opens his mouth it’s to say really stupid things.

This time, though, he was saying how young guys come up and don’t know to think about what the pitcher is trying to do to them. Knowing if the guy is trying to strike you out, pop you up, or keep you on the ground can give you an advantage in your approach.

Sounds pretty smart to me. And then, this:

“Over the years since I’ve been here, I’ve tried to tell the guys the same thing that was told to me. The RBI man is a big man,” Baker said. “Everybody talks about on-base percentage, which is important. But even more important is when you get them out there, how many RBI men are around?”

Sing it from the hilltops, my friends: on-base percentage is important, at least in a subordinate clause kind of way. At this rate, we might even hear him utter that walks don’t clog the bases. You know, sometime before the end of this century.

June 11, 2012

Cardinals literally make Perez puke

Put this one in the You Don’t See That Every Day category: just moments after the final pitch of the Indian’s 4-1 win over the Cardinals yesterday, Indians’ closer Chris Perez vomited in the field. From the game wrap on Indians.com:

[Indians’ manager Manny] Acta called on former Cardinal Chris Perez to close out the game. Perez recorded his American League leading 20th save. Immediately after getting a pat on the back from [catcher Carlos] Santana following the last out, Perez turned toward the outfield and threw up on the field. He didn’t make it much further before going down to one knee and vomiting again.

“It’s a hot day and when I came out to throw, I took a couple drinks of warm water and it didn’t really sit well with my stomach,” Perez said. “After I struck out [Daniel] Descalso it almost came up and when the game was over I just let it out. Nothing serious, I’m fine.”

It’s understandable: the Cardinals have made us all want to gag at some point or another. And what a nice consolation prize for the Cardinals, who were hosting the Indians last night. Maybe he’ll autograph it for them.

The Indians come to Cincinnati for a visit tomorrow, and hopefully Perez is feeling better by then (or at least staying home sick, if that’s the case). The World Famous Great American Ball Park grounds crew doesn’t deserve that.

Video still from Deadspin.com

P.S. – Deadspin has video. The best part is how the vomit seems to take Perez entirely by surprise. No, the really best part is how the talking head just continues with closing out the broadcast, despite the fact that the vomit was actually caught on tape and the crowd of concerned teammates that were surrounding him by the end of the clip.

Even if the broadcaster wasn’t looking at the screen, wasn’t there anyone else in the booth to give him an elbow? Sort of a “hey buddy, hold off on the record and demonstrate a bit of human compassion to the guy losing his lunch in center.” On the other hand, I’m not sure what the broadcaster could say at that point. He’s not exactly in a hair-holding position.

June 11, 2012

Game 59: Tigers 7, Reds 6

W: Villarreal (3-1) L: Chapman (4-2) S: Valverde (12)


It looked so good for the Reds at first. They chased the starter after the third (with the help of a blister), they were enjoying a solid bounce-back performance from Homer Bailey, and they were rocking a 4-run lead. If only we could just remember this game as it was in the sixth inning.

Bailey took the mound for the Reds, having just come off that unfortunate performance against the Pirates last week. But he put together a respectable start last night. In 6.2 innings pitched he allowed 3 runs (earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks. He had two outs in the seventh but when he let Berry get a single, Dusty Baker couldn’t keep his dirty little fingers out of the pie any longer and yanked him for Jose Arredondo.

Arredondo promptly walked Miguel Cabrera and got the hook himself. Sean Marshall was the next mismanaged pitcher, who gave up a hit to Prince Fielder and was unceremoniously yanked. Logan Ondrusek then came in to get the last out of the inning.

Now, to me, walking Cabrera isn’t exactly a crime. Nor is giving up a hit to Fielder. These are things that happen basically every day when teams are playing the Tigers. For a guy who’s supposed to be a players’ manager, sticking two guys with a line that says “couldn’t get an out” seems like kind of a jerk thing to do.

Myself, I would have given Bailey one more guy. Even if he gave up the home run the Reds still would have had the lead and the whole situation wouldn’t have reeked of overmanagement.

Of course, the pitching situation didn’t get blown-save ugly until the eighth inning. Ondrusek came back out to face two batters and gave up another run. So what do you do when you can’t leave the pitchers alone for a minute in the eighth inning in a save situation? Say your save word, of course: Chapman.

Aroldis Chapman, however, was not his usual self for his second outing in a row. He allowed 2 runs (earned) on 2 hits and a walk. This put Baker in a tough situation. He’d already played his ace and lost.

But the reliever everyone forgot about, Alfredo Simon, valiantly took the mound. He threw a one-hit ninth and even struck a guy out. And it’s hard to imagine that the Tigers were going easy on him, with just a one-run lead. So, good for Simon.

For the offense, Todd Frazier was all ready to take his turn as hero. He went 2-for-4 with 4 RBI and a 2-run home run in the sixth that extended the lead to 6-2.

Zack Cozart and Devin Mesoraco also contributed solo shots to the scoring total. Jay Bruce walked twice. Joey Votto, on the other hand, when 0-for-4, breaking his 15 game hitting streak.

The loss brings the Reds’ record to 32-27 and opened the door just enough for the Pirates to swashbuckle their way into a share of first place. The Reds have an off day today to think about what they’ve done before hosting the Cleveland Indians tomorrow. Johnny Cueto (6-3, 2.63 ERA) goes against Jeanmar Gomes (4-4, 4.97 ERA) at 7:10 p.m.

June 11, 2012

Daily Brief: Reds blow lead on national stage

Last Game
The Reds gave up an early lead on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball last night when they ended up losing to the Tigers, 7-6. The box score makes it look like Jose Arredondo and Sean Marshall put in terrible performances, unable to get a single out, but in both cases they only got one batter before Baker yanked them. It was bullpen mismangement like we haven’t seen out of Baker in years: maybe the high-profile game made him feel the need to put his mark on the game.

There were other problems too. There were a couple defensive gaffes and Joey Votto had a crap night at the plate, but I think the Reds with better management would have pulled this one out.

Next Game
The Reds have today off to lick their wounds and deal with the fact that they’ve lost two series in a row. Tomorrow they host the Cleveland Indians.

Another Streak Bites the Dust
Yesterday’s 0-for-4 performance from Joey Votto broke a 15-game hitting streak. That streak was the longest in his career, and the longest for a Red since Brandon Phillips did it in 2010. Phillips had a 22-game hit streak in 2007, and we may need such performances from both these guys to pull out of this recent scuffling.

Especially considering that last night’s game began a “streak” of two straight rough outings for Aroldis Chapman. And I’m not talking about “rough by Chapman’s standards”: 2 runs (earned) on 2 hits and a walk in 1.0 innings is pretty bad for any reliever. Might want to get that guy looked over.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Yesterday was the 67th anniversary of Joe Nuxhall becoming the youngest player in Major League history. He was 15 when he took the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals and did terribly, but he turned out to be something special. Maybe there’s hope for this young Dusty Baker character.