Daily Archives: August 13, 2006

August 13, 2006

Welcome Back Love Shack, Good Luck EZ

After several consecutive poor performances, the Reds have optioned Elizardo Ramirez back to AAA Louisville and recalled reliever Brian Shackelford.

It's a shame: the Lizard was SO good for a while there. But he's just a 23. He's still got time to rediscover his awesomeness.

Kyle Lohse performed well his last outing and is pencilled in to start on Thursday. But if he's our fifth starter, who's going to be our fourth starter? Chris Michalak, Ryan Franklin, and Matt Belisle seem like reasonable possibilities.

August 13, 2006

Thank You, Pirates and Other Stuff

It's official, the Pittsburgh Pirates have done what the Reds could not last week: swept the St. Louis Cardinals. And with the Reds taking two of three from the Phillies, we're again in a position to see a battle for first place. The Reds sweep the series next week and we've got first place all to ourselves.

As Brian Baute, a guy I've never conversed with before and who has has not returned my follow-up message, pointed out on his blog, there are those who think that the Cardinals cannot be challenged for first place in the NLC. Mr. Baute himself agreed, just not with the reasoning that led SportsCenter's Jeff Brantley to that conclusion. They quibble over whether the Reds are good enough, all the while overlooking the fact that the Cardinals simply are not what they once were.

So, I just wanted to send a quick thanks to the Pirates for doing their part to bring the Cards down a peg or two. Here's hoping we can finish the job.

UPDATE 9:20 p.m. I have gotten a lovely e-mail from Mr. Baute, and he seems like a heck of a guy. I really shouldn't have called him out to begin with. I was just venting my frustrations that Redleg Nation managed to reference his post before I did, but that's not an appropriate outlet for my irritation, and I know that. I hope that, with time, you all can come to forgive me and that we can move past this, stronger for the experience.

Rich Aurilia
I'm psyched about Rich Aurilia. He had so many detractors last season, but people really seem to have come around this year. What has he done that's so different this year? Not having his comments to the media misconstrued by hotheads is the only thing I see. Smart move on his part.

Ten with Ten
Last season, in an effort to find something positive to talk about, the Cincinnati media made a bit of a deal out of the fact that the Reds were on pace to have ten different players with at least ten home runs. Sean Casey was the last piece of the puzzle with nine.

About that time Edwin Encarnación started coming on, and I said that Eddie was more likely to reach 10 than Casey. In fact, neither of them did. Casey had a concussion that took him out for the season and Encarnación just ran out of time and they both ended the season with nine.

This season, the Reds are close again. Eight players have had ten home runs for the team so far:

That's pretty close, but since the next highest on the list is Ryan Freel with 7 (really 8, stupid umps in Chicago), I'm not sure how likely the Reds are to make this milestone this year.

Conspicuously missing from the list: Jason LaRue and Javier Valentín, each with 5. Of course, they've both suffered a serious cut in playing time with David Ross in the picture. Our three catchers have combined to provide 24 homers this year.

Those guys will have to turn it on to make it to ten players with ten homers unless Bronson Arroyo's planning to smack eight more before the season is done.

Comeback Player of the Year
Ken Griffey, Jr. won the Comeback Player of the Year Award last year, but I think the Reds have an even stronger nominee this year in Eric Milton. Last year his suckitude was the thing of legend, and this year he's been downright nondescript. The climb he had to make to achieve mediocrity deserves some sort of recognition.

August 13, 2006

Game 117: Reds 9, Phillies 7

Javy, Freel, and FarneyThe Reds spared Elizardo Ramirez his second loss in two days with this 9-7 win over the Phillies on Saturday.

Ramirez lasted only an inning and a third, over the course of which he gave up five runs (earned) on five hits and one walk. This performance, along with the other recent sloppy appearances on the mound, got Ramirez optioned to Louisville in favor of Brian Shackelford.

Chris “I don't pronounce the C in my last name” Michalak, brand new to the Reds' roster, took over in long relief. He lasted six and two-thirds innings and allowed just a solo shot (earned) on three hits and two walks for the win. Eddie Guardado allowed a run on two hits in the ninth inning for the save.

You know it's a crazy day offense-wise when Ryan Freel provides three RBI on his 2-for-4 night. It's even crazier when Brandon Phillips gives you two more. When Ramirez gives you one, that's just lunacy. The more likely subjects, Scott Hatteberg, Edwin Encarnación, and Javier Valentín, provided the rest with one apiece.

Ken Griffey, Jr. went 0-for-5 last night, which probably has something to do with Ken Griffey, Sr. being in town tonight. And to both of their credits, Griffey *is* looking better tonight.

And that's all I've got. I was pretty tipsy as I watched this game, which you'll find out all about when you check out this week's podcast later tonight, so I don't remember much more than that. The Phillies think they can challenge for the wild card, so putting them down a little sure doesn't hurt.

The win brings the Reds' record to 60-57. They would go for the win of the series on Sunday, sending Eric Milton out to face Brett Myers.