Monthly Archives: April 2013

April 30, 2013

In brief: Votto’s socks, Latos’ April, and Hal McCoy’s car

Joey Votto just hit an RBI

Those socks equal wins for the last two days. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Last game
For the second day in a row, Joey Votto wore his socks high, and for the second day in a row, the Reds won. It’s officially their longest road streak of the season. Is showing off his socks what Votto is paid to do? When it equals wins, I think you could argue that it is.

Mat Latos was completely awesome in this 2-1 win over the Cardinals. The RBI belonged to Joey Votto, who was 2-for-4 on the night, and Xavier Paul, who managed to get an RBI without getting a hit all night.

Next game
Tonight Bronson Arroyo (RHP, 2-2, 4.24 ERA) tries to keep it going against the Cardinals when he takes on Jaime Garcia (LHP, 2-1, 2.89 ERA). First pitch at 8:15 p.m.

The Reds are currently .5 games behind the Pirates and 0 games behind the Cards but they have a 0.004 winning percentage disadvantage. A Reds win tonight would catapult the Reds from third to first if it’s paired with a loss for the Pirates. The Pirates face a slightly easier foe in the Brewers at 8:10 p.m.

Hal McCoy profile on MLB Network
Tuesday, April 30 (today) | 6 p.m. ET | MLB Network

The MLB Network will be airing a profile of Reds’ beat writer for the Dayton Daily News, Hal McCoy. Specifically, it’s about his interaction with his driver, Ray Snedgar, whom he hired to drive him to each game since he’s now legally blind. Snedgar is a 31-year US Air Force veteran and recent widower, so these are a couple guys who have seen some things. From the PR:

This feature continues their story by following McCoy and Snedegar on their drives to and from Great American Ballpark for two days earlier this month. MLB Network equipped Snedegar’s car with two wallet-sized GoPro cameras over the roundtrip drives to give insight into their daily routine, how McCoy now watches a baseball game (at one point in the feature, McCoy says that he has not seen a home run land since 2003), and how revered McCoy is by Reds players, manager Dusty Baker and fans as he and Snedegar walk through the ballpark before and after games.

Tune in tonight at 6 p.m. for a different perspective on the game. You don’t have anything to watch until 8:15 anyway.

What to say to sound smart at the water cooler
Go over to Red Reporter to read the roundtable responses to the question of what to do about left field. That will give you up to 5 potentially smart-sounding things to say about left field when you’re chatting with coworkers.

April 30, 2013

Latos pitches his first stellar April

LatosIt took four tries, but Mat Latos finally overcame his streak of terrible Aprils to start seasons. That it came in his second year with the Cincinnati Reds is not really a surprise, given how much looser he was coming into camp.

Latos talked about this during spring training, mentioning the pressure that he felt after the trade in 2012.

“Who’s to say that I’m that good to be traded for four guys? That’s what killed me,” Latos said. “If I had been traded for one guy, it would have been a lot different. Something like that happens, automatically there’s a pressure regardless. You’re like, ‘Crap, I’ve got to prove that I’m worth four guys.'”

That feeling is over with this year.

And the results have shown it. Consider his first three Aprils in the majors.

2010 1 2 .333 6.20 4 4 0 20.1 24 14 14 5 6 1 13 0 1.475 5.8 2.17
2011 0 4 .000 4.98 4 4 0 21.2 19 17 12 5 10 0 25 1 1.338 10.4 2.50
2012 1 2 .333 5.97 5 5 0 28.2 35 19 19 4 10 0 18 0 1.570 5.7 1.80

6.20, 4.98, and 5.97. Those are not the ERAs of someone who starts the season strong.

Now look at 2013.

2013 2 0 1.000 1.83 6 6 0 39.1 35 11 8 3 8 0 37 1 1.093 8.5 4.63

An ERA below 2.00 and almost 40 innings. Back in the spring, Latos had this to say.

“I’m hoping to resurrect my April,” Latos said.

With those stats, consider that mission accomplished. Now if he can make this his weakest month, then 2013 will be shaping up to be an amazing year.

I’m so glad Mat Latos is a Red.

April 29, 2013

American sports has its first out player

Jason Collins

Jason Collins is America’s first openly gay athlete in a major male team sport. (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)

Effective today as of when the online edition of Sports Illustrated went live, the major male American team sports finally have one openly gay player. Jason Collins, a 12-year veteran of the NBA, published a first-person essay in Sports Illustrated in which he came out. From that essay:

I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, told me he had just marched in Boston’s 2012 Gay Pride Parade. I’m seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy. I was proud of him for participating but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn’t even cheer my straight friend on as a spectator. If I’d been questioned, I would have concocted half truths. What a shame to have to lie at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, “Me, too.”

Good for you, Collins! Not on the being gay part; that’s not really so much an achievement. But being the first guy to actually say it has been surprisingly difficult for what must literally be hundreds of active players.

Steam has clearly been building for a while now and the topic has come up often thanks to almost 20% of the states in the US now allowing gay marriages. In fact, I talked about this just last month when Dusty Baker was quoted in a story about the dearth of homosexual players in baseball.

I’m glad that the seal has finally been broken. Of course, I’m a little disappointed that it wasn’t an MLB player. I think that would have been something really historical to have been a part of.

April 26, 2013

In brief: Are the Reds worse than the Nats?

Look, man, I just don't think you have it today. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Look, man, it’s not them; it’s you. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Last game
The Reds began a visit with the Washington Nationals on the wrong foot yesterday, losing 1-8. They left Bronson Arroyo out there for 6.0 innings, even though the 6 runs (5 earned) he allowed came in the second and third innings. I guess they figured there was plenty of time to make it up?

But that would require the offense to be present, and the Reds offense has been away on holiday lately. The Reds’ only run came from a solo shot by Joey Votto in the fourth inning. Hell, that was the Reds’ only HIT.

Also, the Reds had two errors. Blerg.

Next game
Tonight Homer Bailey (RHP, 1-1, 3.24 ERA) tries to make up for the disastrophe that was last night’s game when he faces off against Jordan Zimmermann (RHP, 3-1, 2.67 ERA). Bailey is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins last Sunday, while Zimmermann’s coming off a loss to the Mets.

A bad day? Or something more?
I didn’t have the stomach to watch most of last night’s game for myself. It’s just too eerie to hear cheers going up for those guys in the doppelganger uniforms at exactly the opposite times as when I would cheer. It’s like slipping into a parallel dimension or something.

But I did see some, and I wondered whether this was really just a combination of Badroyo making an appearance, the offense playing hide-and-seek, and the defense having a bad day. Could it really be a perfect storm, or are the Nationals just a superior team? After all, they do have a barely-legal who’s hitting better than Votto (OBP’s not even close, but we all know Votto’s not paid to get on base) and they were picked by ESPN to win the World Series this year.

On the other hand, the Nats were under .500 coming in to this series (10-11), and the Reds can take credit for pinning 2 of those losses on the Nationals in the first week of the season. And though the season record between these two teams is now even, the Reds still outscored them 28-18 in the four games they’ve played so far. Also, it’s April.

What to say to sound smart at the water cooler
Of the last 12 times the Reds have played the Nationals, 5 of the games went into extras.

April 26, 2013

Bad-rroyo debuts in Reds 8-1 loss against the Nationals

Reds (13-10)000100000112
Nationals (11-11)02400002-8120
W: Gonzalez (2-1) L: Arroyo (2-2)


Bronson Arroyo waits for a new ball after Bryce Harper lost one in the seats.

Bronson Arroyo waits for a new ball after Bryce Harper lost one in the seats.

It took until the fifth start of the 2013 season, but Bronson Arroyo’s evil, incompetent twin Badrroyo finally made his first appearance. Arroyo pitched six innings, allowing nine hits, six runs–five earned, while striking out two. It was a bad performance that the Reds’ offense had no hope of overcoming.

The Reds scored just one run, and that was thanks to a solo home run by Joey Votto in the fourth inning off Washington Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez was on top of his game, though, as that was the only hit he allowed over his eight innings of work. I wonder if Votto will be criticized for hitting a “wasted” home run. It’s probably not something he’s paid to do.

Arroyo was bad and the offense was bad, what else? The bullpen didn’t help matters much. JJ Hoover contributed a scoreless inning, which is nice to see. He’s been a lot more effective now that he’s not being called on to pitch every game. But Logan Ondrusek had a bad outing in the eight, allowing the Nationals to score two more runs. Other than that, he’s been much improved since returning to the majors this year.

Today the Reds will go again for their second road victory of the season. That’s right. They’ve won just one road game so far, having an away record of 1-6. They’ll hope for better luck tonight when Homer Bailey goes against Jordan Zimmerman at 7:05pm.