June 20, 2012
MLB columnist Anthony Castrovince has an article today on Scott Rolen. It reads almost like a eulogy to a career that isn’t actually dead yet, but it highlights a lot of what makes Rolen so awesome:
- He’s down-to-earth – “I have a job, you know,” he said. “That’s the short answer, I guess. Having four surgeries and rehab, I don’t like any of that. But I wasn’t given a choice, necessarily. That’s kind of where I am and what I’m doing. We’re free to feel sorry for ourselves, and I do. But I have a job. I play baseball for the Cincinnati Reds, and I take it very seriously. I have a responsibility, an accountability to get myself in physical and mental shape and go to work.”
- He’s in touch with reality – “I’m 100 percent of whatever I’ve got,” Rolen said with a laugh. “That’s about it. I don’t know what that equates to [relative to] the rest of the league.”
- He knows there’s more to life than baseball – “I feel like I’m more valuable,” he said, “than just where my locker space is.”
In my opinion, Scott Rolen has been a rare example of a “veteran presence” actually making a difference on a ball team. Especially when he first came around, the Reds were fielding a lot of young guys with more talent on the field than sense about how to comport themselves. I suspect he played a big part in shaping the grown-up team you see today. I think the Reds can’t really give Joey Votto the captain’s C while Rolen is still on the roster.
I don’t want to add to the eulogy of Rolen’s career, but I do think his best contributions have already been made. And they’ve been really important ones. I hope that the rest of his last contract year with the team is kind to the guy, and lets him go out on top like the class act that he is.
June 20, 2012
W: Hagadone (1-0)
L: Chapman (4-3)
What a tough break for the Reds. They held their own in a pitcher’s duel all the way into extras, only to have their once-ace give it away in the 10th.
Mike Leake started for the Reds and gave ’em all he could. He went beyond his normal pitch count through the 7th, hoping his offense would break the 1-1 tie. In his 7.0 innings pitched, he allowed 1 run (earned) on 6 hits and a walk, but alas, he wasn’t eligible for the win when he left the game.
Sean Marshall came in for the 8th and 9th innings. Two whole innings? Why, that’s the exact opposite of the LOOGY role that Dusty Baker had knocked him down to when he didn’t come strong out of the gate as closer. Marshall allowed 0 runs on 2 hits.
And maybe it’s good that Marshall is finally working his way back into Baker’s good graces, because Aroldis Chapman continues to struggle in the closer role. He got one guy out in the 10th, but also let a guy on before serving up a walk-off home run pitch to Asdrubal Cabrera.
There’s not much to say as far as the offense goes. Zack Cozart went 3-for-5 and scored one of the Reds’ 2 runs. Chris Heisey only went 1-for-5 but got an RBI and a run scored.
The loss brings the Reds’ record to 38-29. They close out the series and this season’s games against the Indians tonight at 7:05 p.m. Bronson Arroyo (3-4, 3.84 ERA) takes on Justin Masterson (3-6, 4.38 ERA).
June 20, 2012
The Reds lost a heartbreaker last night to the Cleveland Indians, 2-3. It was tied at 1 since the fourth inning but the Reds managed to squeak a run in in the top of the tenth, just under the tag and everything. But then, a story that’s becoming all too familiar: Aroldis Chapman blew the save. He gave up a walk-off 2-run home run to deliver the game into the Indians’ win column.
The series finishes up tonight at 7:05 p.m. in Cleveland. Bronson Arroyo (3-4, 3.84 ERA) takes on Justin Masterson (3-6, 4.38 ERA). Both pitchers are coming off pretty good outings, but Arroyo has been giving up too many home runs.
The final game of the series will determine whether the Reds win or tie the Battle for Ohio. Tonight’s game will be played by two first-place teams, as the Indians’ just overtook the ALE from the Chicago White Sox.
Inside the park HR for Phillips?
In Monday’s game against Cleveland, Brandon Phillips hit a ball into left-field that took a bad bounce off the wall for Johnny Damon and Phillips came all the way home. The play was scored an double with an error, so Phillips did not get credit for the inside-the-parker.
The play certainly wasn’t the caliber of defense we’ve become accustomed to as Reds fans, but was it really an error? Balls take bad hops and it’s not an error to be of average defensive skill and unlucky.
So Phillips is appealing the scoring decision to MLB. He’s not making a big deal about it; just giving it a try and won’t complain if MLB doesn’t see it his way. It would be pretty cool though, especially after Jay Bruce just had an inside-the-park home run against the Mets on June 15.
What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Joey Votto leads the National League in:
- average (.368)
- doubles (29)
- walks (55)
- intentional walks (12)
- on-base percentage (.491)
- slugging percentage (.667)
- extra-base hits (42)