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May 5, 2014

Force strong with Reds over the weekend

Jar Jar Jocketty

The character from Star Wars that most closely resembles Walt Jocketty.

The Cincinnati Reds took the 4-game series from the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend, thanks to more excellent pitching. Or maybe, since it was Star Wars weekend in Cincinnati, it was the Force.

The lineup on the stadium’s scoreboard showed each of the players in Star Wars regalia. I didn’t catch one for so-called General Manager Walt Jocketty. I imagine that image to the right is the one that would have been used.

Despite any lack of effort from Jocketty, though, the team took the series and found themselves one game below .500 again. Homer Bailey, Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto, and Alfredo Simon, along with the bullpen, limited the Brewers to just 10 runs over the 4 games.

The offense even showed up with some timely hitting, most notable in Sunday’s walk-off extra inning win that was won on Todd Frazier’s 10th inning double. It was a good weekend to be a Reds fan.

At least until this morning, when the news reported that Jay Bruce will be out for a month or two because of an injured knee. The injuries keep coming. If only the Reds had a real general manager instead of a so-called one in times like these.

April 1, 2014

Opening Day 2014: Cardinals 1, Reds 0

Cardinals (1-0)000000100153
Reds (0-1)000000000030
W: Wainwright (1-0) L: Cueto (0-1) S: Rosenthal (1)


Cueto checks the runner.

Cueto checks the runner.

The Cincinnati Reds opened the 2014 season yesterday with a shutout loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. It was the first time they’d been shutout on opening day since 1953.

Johnny Cueto started for the Reds and was excellent. Following a trainer’s visit to the mound in the first inning, Cueto was almost unhittable. His only hiccup was in the seventh inning when he allowed a solo home run to Yadier Molina. After that, the bullpen of Manny Parra and Logan Ondrusek took over, shutting out the Cardinals for the rest of the game.

Unfortunately, all that excellent pitching was wasted. The offense from the latter days of the 2013 season was in full force, as the team managed just three hits and no runs. This lack of production despite the Cardinals committing three errors, as if they were daring the Reds to take advantage.

The final tally of Opening Day 2014.

The final tally of Opening Day 2014.

The series continues on Wednesday after a break today, with Michael Wacha taking on Homer Bailey at 7:10pm.

July 23, 2013

Reds score in 7 straight innings

W: Arroyo (9-7) L: Lincecum (5-10)


Bronson Arroyo celebrates after pitching a shutout win.

“Yeah! Shutout! That’s what people will remember!” (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

I ought to be talking about how Ryan Braun will sit out the rest of the season. Heck, I haven’t even mentioned the thing about Brandon Phillips complaining that the team misled him about his last contract yet. But I am just too eager to see what last night’s line-score will look like in this post. Sort of like a social security number, I imagine.

The Reds thoroughly trounced the defending champion San Francisco Giants in the wee hours of the Pacific Time Zone last night, 11-0. They scored in each of the first seven innings. In fact, since they also scored in the ninth inning of the last game before the All-Star break, I guess that’s 8 innings in a row, with an extremely long rest in the middle.

Bronson Arroyo would normally get more attention for a complete game shutout. He allowed 7 hits through 9.0 innings. He even struck out 6.

The offense is harder to summarize. Devin Mesoraco, Shin-Soo Choo, and Jay Bruce each hit home runs early on to account for three of the runs, but Todd Frazier contributed the most RBI with 3. 11 different guys had hits, and 6 different guys had RBI. Joey Votto struck out twice. Go figure.

The win brings the Reds’ record to 56-43, and brings a certain sense of catharsis to Reds fans, even those who didn’t stay up till 1 a.m. to see it finish.

They play a traditional double-header tonight to make up a rain-out that happened the last time the Giants were in town. Tony Cingrani (LHP, 3-1, 3.23 ERA) will pitch the first game against Eric Surkamp (LHP, 0-0, -.– ERA) who has just returned from Tommy John surgery. First pitch at 7:05 p.m.

Greg Reynolds (RHP, 0-0, -.– ERA) is slated to pitch the second game for the Reds against Barry Zito (LHP, 4-7, 4.88 ERA). Zito is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA when he is the home team pitcher, but though today’s game will happen in AT&T park, the Reds will actually be the home team. First pitch will be 30-minutes after the completion of the previous game, probably around 10 p.m.

July 15, 2013

Closing out the first half with a win

REds (53-42)0040100038111
Braves (54-41)011000011490
W: Ondrusek (3-0) L: Teheran (7-5)


Jay Bruce hits his 19th home run off the Braves.

Jay Bruce hits his 19th home run off the Braves.

After the way the Cincinnati Reds have been playing of late, it sure was nice to see them end the unofficial first half of the season with a win. The win over the Atlanta Braves also earned them a split in the series against one of the major’s best teams.

It wasn’t always a sure thing, though. Tony Cingrani started and pitched fairly well, but his defense let him down and cost him the win. Thanks to Todd Frazier losing a pop-up in the sun in the second, Cingrani ended up throwing 24 more pitches to end the inning. What should’ve been the final out to the inning resulted in a run scoring and Cingrani blowing his pitch count. He was removed after the fourth.

The bullpen held the lead. They allowed a few runs, but the lead was never in jeopardy. Speaking of, it sure was nice to see the offense create a lead and then add to it as the game continued. So often they’ve scored early and then never again. But not Sunday.

After the fiasco with Frazier allowed the Braves the early lead in the second, the Reds came right back in the third. Joey Votto doubled in Cingrani, who’d reached on a bunt. Brandon Phillips grounded out, scoring Shin-Soo Choo. And then Jay Bruce brought Votto home with his 19th home run.

Later in the game, Choo provided needed insurance runs with his 13th home run. Also, Phillips and Frazier each drove in runs in the 9th.

All in all, it was a nice last game before the All Star break. Hopefully, the offense that showed up yesterday won’t get lost driving around during the break. It’d be nice to see that Reds team from May again.

July 2, 2013

Game 85: Giants 1, Reds 8

W: Arroyo (7-6) L: Kickham (0-3)


Cozart fields the ball in the rain.

Using two hands is especially important in the rain.

I’ve never written a game wrap for a shortened game before. I wondered what the line-score would look like.

With a score like 1-8, you wouldn’t have guessed that this game was called after the sixth inning, but in fact, this was a complete game for Bronson Arroyo. In his 6.0 innings of work, he allowed just 1 run on 2 hits and a walk.

His opponent, young Mike Kickham, was not so lucky. This was only the third start for this lefty, but for a change the Reds’ offense beat up on a pitcher they didn’t already know. Everyone in the lineup except Arroyo and Shin-Soo Choo had a hit, and Todd Frazier got 4 of the RBI thanks in large part to a three-run homer in the third inning.

It’s been a rough time for the Reds lately, but 5.0 games back on the Pirates doesn’t seem so far coming off a win at home and knowing you’ve still got three more games against the Giants.

The win brings the Reds’ record to 47-36. They continue the series tonight in Great American Ball Park at 7:10 p.m. Homer Bailey (RHP, 4-6, 3.88 ERA) is coming off a good-except-for-one-inning performance against the A’s last week. He’ll face Tim Lincecum (RHP, 4-8, 4.64 ERA).