Daily Archives: August 14, 2012

August 14, 2012

Remembering an epic Jason LaRue failure

The Hardball Times is today celebrating the 10 year anniversary of one particular inning of infamy for Jason LaRue. This was before the days when “Jason LaRue” was synonymous with “career ended by Johnny Cueto’s boot to the head.” (Though, frankly, his career was already over, and I suspect all that hype was a machination of Tony LaRussa.)

But that’s neither here nor there. No, this post is about LaRussa committing the heinous act of three passed balls in a single inning when catching knuckleballer Jared Fernandez:

Two pitches after the walk, a knuckler got away from LaRue for a passed ball. Williams went to second. On the very next pitch, it happened again. Williams scooted to third and LaRue now had three passed balls on the day – and it was still just the first inning.

Two pitches later the ball made it to the backstop again, allowing Williams to score. At least this time it wasn’t a passed ball. This time it was a wild pitch, so LaRue was still at three passed balls on the inning. But in a single five-pitch plate appearance, three balls went to the backstop allowing a runner on first to score. Yeesh.

You’ll want to read the whole post on The Hardball Times. It’s a nice narrative. Plus it contains lots of other Reds-related anniversaries and day-versaries to satisfy your inner history geek.

August 14, 2012

Hamilton on pace to smash steals record

Last Game
The Reds had an off-day yesterday while they made the lengthy trip home from Chicago. They can use their off-time to prepare to compensate for the loss of Joey Votto even longer: he needed a follow-up procedure to his arthroscopic knee surgery and now will be out for another 7-10 days longer than initially expected.

Next Game
Tonight the Reds open a series with the New York Mets. The Mets’ Chris Young (RHP, 3-6, 4.87 ERA) has been having a rough time of it lately. He’ll be facing the Reds’ Mat Latos (RHP, 10-3, 3.81 ERA) who allowed only 1 run while striking out 8 in 7 innings his last time out. First pitch at 7:10 p.m.

Billy Hamilton and Todd Frazier at Reds CaravanBilly Hamilton
The Reds’ top prospect is a double-A shortstop named Billy Hamilton. Even if you don’t follow the minors, you may have heard his name, since he is on the precipice of beating the minor league record for the number of steals in a season.

The record is 145, and here at August 14 with another 2 weeks to go in the minor league season, he already has 139. That’s 1.23 stolen bases per game, so barring the unexpected, he ought to blow that record away.

Of course, we in Reds country know that base-stealing ability means nothing if you can’t get on base. There’s a nice article on the Minor League Baseball site talking about how hard Hamilton has been working on his hitting. This season he’s hitting .315 with a .412 OBP.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
The Reds have gone 18-8 since Votto left the line-up to get his knee scoped on July 16.