Monthly Archives: August 2011

August 27, 2011

Reds hit .500; Cubs magic number in single digits

The Cincinnati Reds’ win tonight over the Washington Nationals brought their record to 66-66, making them a .500 team for the first time since the beginning of July. At just 2.5 games back on the second place St. Louis Cardinals, the Reds are the team in the division with the most hope of overtaking the team in front of them.

Sappelt had his part in staving off the inevitableAt 13 games back on the first place Milwaukee Brewers and 12.5 games back on the NL wild card, hope for the postseason is something we just won’t talk about for the moment.

At least, not with regards to Cincinnati. But I’m perfectly willing to talk about how the Houston Astros have been eliminated from postseason contention for about a week now, and the Chicago Cubs have a magic number of just 7, making it difficult but not impossible for them to be eliminated from winning the NLC before September. Hurricane Irene may save them the distinction of being eliminated from the wild card in that time frame.

Here in Indy, the minor league season has almost wrapped up, and the populous is making the transition to football. Myself, I want to cling to baseball for as long as I can, lest another summer slip away too fast. No need for another season to slip away too fast.

August 27, 2011

Game 132: Offense, Defense, and Pitching Combine for Return to .500

Nationals (62-69)002000010382
Reds (66-66)10310100-691
W: Leake (11-8) L: Detwiler (2-4) S: Corder (29)


Mike Leake started the game for the Cincinnati Reds in their first attempt to return their record to .500 in longer than I can remember. It was his 3rd attempt for his 11th win, and things didn’t look promising when he walked the first batter.

However, he settled down. Leake allowed no runs in that first inning, and with the exception of 2 runs in the 3rd, the rest of his 6 innings were scoreless. He pitched 6 innings, allowed 2 runs, and left with his team having a 5-2 lead.

That lead was spread around the whole team, with Brandon Phillips driving in one run and scoring 2 more, and Miguel Cairo driving in one and scoring one. Drew Stubbs also went 3-3 and drove in a run. The other runs were driven in by Dave Sappelt and Edgar Renteria.

If this had been Dontrelle Willis starting, you know the bullpen would’ve coughed up that lead. But there were no blown saves tonight. It was the most complete, well put-together win I’ve seen the Reds have in a while. After Leake was pulled, Sam LeCure and Bill Bray held the lead for Francisco Cordero, who had a perfect 9th for the save.

The move improved the team’s record to .500 at 66-66. This is the first time since the beginning of July that they’ve been at .500. They are now 2.5 games behind the 2nd place St. Louis Cardinals.

August 26, 2011

Game 131: Closing in on a Second Winning Season

Nationals (62-68)000300000381
Reds (65-66)0100011014121
W: Cordero (5-3) L: Balester (1-2)


What a difference 100 games makes.

At the beginning of the season, dreams of the Cincinnati Reds winning a second consecutive division title danced in fans’ heads. And now, with 31 games left in the 2011 season, we’re just hoping for a second consecutive winning season. Oh, and maybe finishing higher than the St. Louis Cardinals.

Friday’s starter was hard-luck no-decisioner Dontrelle Willis. It may not surprise you to learn that Willis again did not get the win. He had good results, albeit a bit lucky, with 6 hits, 5 walks, and 3 runs over 7 innings. On the season, he has a solid 4.14 ERA and a 0-3 record. With the way he’s pitched, he’s certainly deserved more than 0 wins.

Again, though, the Reds failed to score for Willis, saving their runs for after he’d left the game. Down 3-2 in the bottom of the 7th, Jay Bruce walked. After a Ramon Hernandez single and a Drew Stubbs strikeout, Todd Frazier hit a line drive to center field to drive in Bruce and tie the game

They had a great opportunity to score in the 8th, but failed as we’ve come to expect this 2011 team to. But then in the 9th–after Francisco Cordero had an easy top of the 9th–Drew Stubbs singled. Frazier had another single to keep the inning alive for Miguel Cairo, who hit his own line drive to center to drive in Stubbs for the walk-off hit.

The win improves Cincinnati to 65-66 and 3.5 games back of the second-place Cardinals

August 25, 2011

So quiet, you could hear Joey’s HRs drop

They should upgrade them all to the Diamond SeatsI was still at the office when yesterday’s double-header started, so I didn’t tune in until about the fourth inning. By that time, I would have missed the conversation about the apparently shockingly low number of attendees for the start of the game. An unofficial count had only 347 fans in the stands at the first pitch.

Or maybe not so shocking. The very reason they were having a double-header was to avoid playing during the hurricane that’s on its way. Wise fans would also be arranging not to be caught in the weather. As important as baseball is, it’s not more important than that. But while you know that intellectually, it still seems funny that a team that can’t break into four-digits for the start of a double-header is on its ways to a new stadium. Maybe they could arrange for it to double as a hurricane shelter.

August 24, 2011

Three Things on a Wednesday

Thing One: The Astros are officially eliminated from winning the division. Dude, it’s not even September yet.

Thing Two: Joey Votto is all manner of awesome. I mean, seriously. He ought to be MVP again, but he probably won’t, since the Reds are going to be struggling to even finish the season at .500.

Thing Three: Dontrelle Willis goes tomorrow, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a loss. The team could take the lead after he leaves the game.