Daily Archives: September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012

Game 142: Pirates 3, Reds 4

Pirates (72-68)00030000000000390
Reds (85-57)00010020000001480
W: Simon (3-2) L: van den Hurk (0-1)


“I stunk,” [Ludwick] said. “I stunk the entire game. I felt like I had a thousand chances to win the game. I finally did it on 1,001st. Every time I got up, there were runners in scoring position and less than two outs. I stunk. I’m glad I got the job done in the 14th.”

That was a very, very long game.

In a game that took 5 hours and 22 minutes to play, the Cincinnati Reds finally came away with a win after a grueling 14-inning affair.

The Reds had plenty of chances to win the game, but it took until the bottom of the 14th. Devin Mesoraco lead off the inning with a screaming line drive that my tired eyes were hoping would just clear the wall. It didn’t, but it put the winning run on with no outs. Brandon Phillips reached next when he hit a ball that the catcher fielded. The catcher attempted to throw Mesoraco out at 2nd, but the throw was late. With 2 on and no outs, Chris Heisey showed bunt for the first two pitches before lining out to left field.

That brought Joey Votto to the plate. It would’ve been a nice storybook ending for him to have the walk-off hit on his birthday, but it was after midnight: his birthday was in the past. He struck out on a foul tip. Ryan Ludwick came to the plate next, and after a wild pitch that advanced both runners, he singled the winning run in on a ground ball that the shortstop couldn’t handle. The Reds players and fans could go to sleep, tired but happy.

The game wasn’t without drama. Brandon Phillips was hit by a pitch in the 8th inning. When he tossed the ball back to pitcher Jared Hughes, Hughes shouted something at Phillips and the umpires quickly intervened. Then after the game, Phillips tweeted this.

If Phillips’ charges of something racist being said are true–and I think that would be easy enough to prove with all the recording equipment on the field–then something should be done. There’s no place for that.

Following that, Aroldis Chapman began pitching the top of the 10th. Like his last appearance, his velocity was way down and he had less control. In his 2/3 of an inning, he struck out 1, but walked 3 before being removed for Sam LeCure. One bad outing isn’t a big deal. But two in a row becomes a trend, and that dip in velocity is especially troubling.

Overall, it was an ugly game that saw both teams leave 13 men on base. But the Reds won and their magic number has dropped to 12, thanks to a St. Louis Cardinals loss.

Mike Leake will try to eat some innings for the tired bullpen tonight when he starts against Kevin Correia. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm EDT.

September 11, 2012

Shoulder fatigue causes Chapman meltdown

Last Game
The Reds won the series opener against the Pirates last night, 3-4, in 14 innings. This was a more exciting one to watch, with the team tying it up in the seventh, but it was also frustrating that they couldn’t get one more guy across the plate until the 14th.

The Reds’ inability to string together hits for runs is annoying, but it’s been a problem that’s haunted the team all year, from time to time. Aroldis Chapman’s inability to strike guys out, on the other hand, is a new problem and entirely more scary.

Chapman issued 3 walks in his 0.2 innings of work last night. He had to be removed in the middle of an inning for the first time all season. Even worse, this was his second poor outing in a row. His velocity was down and his control was all over the place. Apparently the medical staff is saying he’s got a fatigued shoulder. With just 20 more games left in the season, we’ll all be hoping there’s time for that shoulder to get rested up.

Next Game
Today is Mike Leake’s turn to try to inspire some run support from the Reds offense. He ought to be well-rested after his last outing, which lasted only 2.1 innings last Wednesday. Leake (RHP, 7-9, 4.73 ERA) faces off against the Pirates’ Kevin Correia (RHP, 10-8, 4.28 ERA)

Joey Votto talking with fansYesterday was Joey Votto’s 29th birthday
Just 29 years old and Joey Votto is already a mega-millionaire at the top of his field. He’s popular, in great shape, and easy on the eyes, to boot.

Jeez, what have I been doing with my life?

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
In the game against the Astros on Sunday, LHP Tony Cingrani made his major league debut by pitching 3.0 innings in relief of Johnny Cueto and his short start. With that appearance, Cingrani became only the second pitcher in Reds’ history to strike out 5 in his major league debut.

Hopefully Cingrani’s auspicious start will serve him better than the first guy to do it, Angel Torres. Torres pitched only 8.1 innings his entire major league career.