Daily Archives: August 12, 2007

August 12, 2007

Game 115: Padres 12, Reds 7

Griffey's number 590Things were looking promising for the Reds, going into extra innings at home on Friday, before the wheels fell off in the eleventh to cause them a 12-7 loss to the Padres.

It's stressful for me to watch a baseball game with my 6-year old boy because I neither parent with an iron fist nor stare off into space while he goes wild doing whatever he wants. In fact, I probably put too much effort into trying to make the game a fun and engaging experience for him. It's not easy, either, because he hasn't really gotten into baseball yet and his attention span is about as long as SpongeBob Square Pants'.

Belisle on the mound
That being the case, I spent more time trying to show him how to add up the runs on the scoreboard and tracking down the cotton candy guy than observing the game. Matt Belisle had gotten the start, and he wasn't exactly rocking the house, so at least I didn't miss much. He did last five innings, but gave up five runs (earned) on six hits and two walks. He allowed two home runs.

Gary Majewski came in for the sixth and didn't do any better. He allowed a solo shot, which doesn't seem like a lot, until you consider that it was over the course of one inning. On the other hand, it did bring his ERA down to a healthy 14.85, so maybe it was a good thing.

You know, I've complained a lot about Majewski during his time with the Reds, but I'm starting to feel a little sorry for the guy. He seems to be suffering from the same Cincinnat-itis that's been affecting so many of the pitching staff, causing them to function perfectly well in Louisville and fall to pieces as soon as they step over the state line. The poor guy's even cut his hair. I hope things turn around for him soon.

EdE and Hatcher chatting at first
Mike Gosling got a turn next, allowing a run (earned) on a hit in two-thirds of an inning. Jared Burton also worked two-thirds, but didn't allow any runs on his hit. “Everyday” Eddie Guardado worked his second day in a row on his second day back from his extended injury but didn't have a lead to blow this time. He pitched a hitless two-thirds, though the Pads were hitting some very long outs.

Around this time, my son was dancing like a maniac hoping to get on the Jumbotron. However, he was very tired and, even in the best of times, isn't all that coordinated, and somehow fell over to skin the heck out of his knee right there in front of our seats. So we missed Mike Stanton taking over for innings nine and ten. We were rummaging around in the unattended first aid station looking for a Band-Aid and some antibiotic ointment while he managed to keep the Padres runless on one hit and a walk.

But we made it out for the eleventh. Oh, the eleventh!

David Weathers has been very good this year. Far, far better than I think anyone had any right to expect him to be. So I'm hoping that his performance on Friday was just him working out some of that suckage that he's successfully delayed for so long. He allowed four runs (earned) on one hit and three walks through two-thirds of the eleventh. They had to bring in Victor Stantos to finish 'er off, and he allowed another run via solo shot before it was all done.

Quick aside (as if there haven't been enough of those this game wrap): during the tenth inning, a rather grumpy woman walked by in the course of her ushering duties. She stopped right next to me, looked out at the field, and grouched, “hurry up people! I want to go home and have a glass of buttermilk!” So at least I had that.

Plus, there was Ken Griffey, Jr's 590th home run. Changing the numbers between the smokestacks was interesting enough to my boy to win me almost a whole minute between requests to go home and/or buy Dippin' Dots.

The whole debacle, though it wasn't truly a debacle for most of the game but totally felt like it by the end, took over four hours to complete. It hardly had us whistling a happy tune as we trudged back over the river where we were staying in Newport. (BTW, if you were considering trying out the Travelodge Inn there, stay far, FAR away.) It brought the Reds' record to 49-66. They would go on to pit Bobby Livingston against Justin Germano on Saturday afternoon.
That wacky scoreboard

August 12, 2007

Klue For Krivsky: Keep Keppinger!

Yes, I know the word “clue” begins with a C. That's called literary license; it is also called alliteration, beginning rhyme, head rhyme, or initial rhyme, to save you from having to scurry for your dictionary or grade-school English textbooks. But since you're here to read about baseball, not get an English lesson, let's talk about Jeff Keppinger, shall we?

With Keppinger hitting .354 and carrying a .302 lifetime major league average according to his page on Baseball Reference as I post this, it occurred to me to compare his early stats to those of another player, now retired, who was also considered primarily a slap hitter, just for what I'll call “grins and giggles” in case there are kids reading this. I'll call this now-retired player Player X.

Keppinger made it to the majors as a rookie in 2004 with the Mets, and since the Mets already had Matsui and Reyes in the middle infield, Wright at third, and guys like Wigginton, Garcia, and McEwing in the infield mix as well, Keppinger got buried, then traded to the Royals.

Kansas City had Grudzielanek, Graffanino, and Berroa in the middle and former first-rounder (by Oakland) Mark Teahen at third. Besides, they're the Royals, the guys who took LaRue off our hands for us, and gave us Keppinger for Russ Haltiwanger, who's now 23 and still pitching in Class-A ball (but at least he has one of baseball's most comical names this side of Dick Pole, eh?).

That's after they sent Ruben Gotay to the Mets to get Keppinger in the first place. Gotay's currently hitting .343 for New York. Anybody still wonder why the Royals have the third-worst winning percentage in the AL? No? Good! Now let's get back to Keppinger again.

Finally he comes to Cinci for his third major league season, ends up with a chance to play because some of the guys ahead of him got hurt (Lopez, Castro, Gil) or were on the bereavement list (Gonzalez), and has made the most of it so far.

So now let's compare Keppinger's early career numbers to those of Player X. Here are their respective BA/OBP/SLG for their first three years as major leaguers:

Player X's rookie year: .298/.337/.389
Keppinger's rookie year: .284/.317/.379

Player X's second year: .309/.355/.372
Keppinger's second year: .267/.323/.400

Player X's third year: .351/.410/.444
Keppinger's (So far): .354/.407/.532

As you can see, Keppinger's major league numbers so far are somewhat comparable to those of Player X.

“So what,” you ask?

Well, you see, Player X was a guy who stuck around for a few more years after that, and did fairly well. So well, in fact, that a couple of weeks ago he was summoned to Cooperstown, NY where, in front of the largest crowd in the history of the institution, he was summarily inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Player X was Tony Gwynn.

Now, don't get me wrong here, I am by no means am I pushing Jeff Keppinger as a future HOFer. Maybe if he keeps hitting like this for the next 15 years, I will start, especially if by some miracle he is still in a Reds' uniform then. But right now, it's safe to say that Jeff Keppinger sure as shootin' doesn't look at all out of place in the major leagues…and that the Reds might want to hang onto this guy, just in case!


August 12, 2007

12 August 2007, Padres at Reds

Shall we…?

Yeah, let's have a game thread!

The starting lineups for this afternoon, courtesy of the Associated Press:


Brian Giles, rf
Geoff Blum, 2b
Mike Cameron, cf (ex-Red)
Adrian Gonzalez, 1b
Khalil Greene, ss
Rob Mackowiak, lf
Morgan Ensberg, 3b
Josh Bard, c
Jake Peavy, p

Peavy is 4-0, 1.99 in 7 career starts against the Reds.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, your Cincinnati…


Scott Hatteberg, 1b
Norris Hopper, cf
Brandon Phillips, 2b
Adam Dunn, lf
Jeff Keppinger, ss
Edwin Encarnación, 3b
Jason Ellison, rf
David Ross, c
Bronson Arroyo, p

Arroyo is 2-3, 3.49 in 5 career starts against the Padres.

John Fay reported that Alex Gonzalez has a “tender” throwing arm. Here's hoping this doesn't signal another infielder with arm problems, to go along with Juan Castro and Jerry Gil, who have already had Tommy John ligament replacements on their throwing arms this season. Anyway, Gonzalez is getting the day off, along with Ken Griffey, Jr.

I have to run to the store real quick, but will be back for the 1:15 PM start time…the store is right around the corner….just wanted to get the lineups up before I went. BRB!