Monthly Archives: September 2012

September 27, 2012

Game 155: Brewers 8, Reds 1

W: Marcum (6-4) L: Arroyo (12-9)


Joey Votto hits the double that brings in the Reds' only run (AP Photo/Al Behrman)The Reds have already clinched and may be better off with the #2 seed than with the #1 seed. Meanwhile, the Brewers have to have a really spectacular showing the rest of the season to have a chance to sniff the second wildcard bid to the post season.

And it showed last night.

Bronson Arroyo had his worst outing in a long, long time. He worked 6.0 innings and allowed 4 runs (earned) on 8 hits and a walk. The bullpen was even more surprisingly bad. Logan Ondrusek, Sam LeCure, and Alfredo Simon each pitched and inning and each allowed 1 or more runs (Ondrusek allowed 2). Very weird.

Of course, it didn’t look like it was going to turn out this way at first. The Brewers made the mistake of not walking Joey Votto in the first inning, and he promptly doubled in Zack Cozart. That lead held until the third inning, but it would turn out to be all the offense the Reds were going to get. The Brewers wised up and walked Votto twice after that.

The loss brings the Reds’ record to 93-62. They are playing the rubber game with the Brewers even a I type this. Mat Latos faces off against Wily Peralta.

September 27, 2012

Cueto still has a chance at the Cy Young award

Last Game
The Brewers evened the series yesterday at 1 game apiece, beating the Reds 7-1. Bronson Arroyo turned in a crappy performance, allowing 4 of those 7 runs in his 6 innings. The bullpen brought gasoline to the fire with every reliever allowing runs, combining to let 4 more runs to score. The poor pitching was a disappointment after the Reds scored first in the bottom of the first thanks to a double from Joey Votto. But the offense managed no runs after that.

Next Game
The Reds will attempt to win the series today, sending Mat Latos out against Wily “Mo” Peralta. Latos had one of his best outings of the season in his last start, and has been competing with Johnny Cueto for being the best starter on the team since the All Star break. The game, which is the final regular season game at Great American Ball Park this year, starts at 12:35pm.

Cueto’s chance of winning elite award relies on advanced metrics
Cincinnati Enquirer beat reporter John Fay delved into statistics deeper than wins, losses, ERA, and strikeouts in an article about Johnny Cueto. With Cueto’s struggles to get his 18th win–it took him 4 tries–his case for the Cy Young award based on gaudy win totals fell apart. But Fay, who will be voting for the award this year, doesn’t think Cueto’s out of the running and compares him to R.A. Dickey, Kyle Lohse, and Gio Gonzalez.

I decided to take a look at home-road splits for those four. If you factor in the Park Factor, Cueto deserves strong consideration. Of the aforementioned contenders, he pitches in the most hitter-friendly park, Great American Ball Park — or as Homer Bailey calls it “a Little League park.”

GAPB yields the third most home runs in baseball and the ninth most runs. Nationals Park, where Gonzalez pitches, is 11th and 10th. Dickey’s home yard, Citi Field, is 13th and 25th. Lohse’s home park, Busch Stadium, is 20th and 18th.

It would be awesome to have Cueto pick up Cincinnati’s first Cy Young. As Fay points out, Cueto does lead in Wins above Replacement (WAR) as reported by and and is second on It would be a surprise pick, though, given the resistance to modern stats by so many of the other voters.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
The Reds have 4 pitchers–Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, and Mat Latos–with at least 30 starts each and a 5th–Mike Leake–scheduled to make his 30th on Saturday at Pittsburgh. Only 7 staffs in Major League history produced 5 pitchers with at least 30 starts each: 1977 Dodgers, 1980 A’s, 1993 Dodgers, 2003 Mariners, 2005 Cardinals, 2005 Indians and 2006 White Sox.

September 26, 2012

Game 154: Brewers 2, Reds 4

Brewers (739-75)000010100250
Reds (93-61)02002000-490
W: Cueto (19-9) L: Fiers (9-9) S: Chapman (36)


Dioner Navarro drives in the Reds’ first two runs of the night.

The Cincinnati Reds won the opener of their final home series of the 2012 season, defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2.

Johnny Cueto started and pitched better than he has in a while. Cueto lasted 7 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and no walks while striking out 5. He weathered some concern over a potential leg issue early on in the game, but clearly it didn’t bother his pitching. In his first attempt to pick up his 19th win, he did so. He should have 1 more chance to get to number 20.

The Reds took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd and never let it go. After three singles from Jay Bruce, Chris Heisey, and Drew Stubbs, Dioner Navarro came to the plate and drove in two with a line drive to left field.

In the 5th, after the Brewers had gotten on the board, the Reds responded by getting that run plus another back. Zack Cozart led off the inning with a triple. Joey Votto followed up with a double to score him. Two batter later, Bruce doubled in Votto.

Those 4 runs were enough for Cueto and the bullpen to handle. Jonathan Broxton pitched his scoreless 8th, and Aroldis Chapman, in his first save appearance since his long break, had an easy 1-2-3 9th. Chapman failed to strike anyone out, but his fastball was in the high-90s. His control was improving as the inning went along, too.

The Reds and Brewers play the second game of their series tonight. Bronson Arroyo will continue the Reds’ fight for the best record in the National League, while Shaun Marcum will try to keep the Brewers’ wild card hopes alive. Game time is 7:10pm.

September 26, 2012

Baker due back in St. Louis series after stroke

Dioner Navarro hitting against MilwaukeeLast Game
After their day off on Monday, the Reds won the series opener with the Brewers, 4-2, last night. It got Johnny Cueto his 19th win of the season (so 20 is still a possibility) and got Aroldis Chapman his 36th save (his first since he’s been back from that arm weakness). Dioner Navarro went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI.

Next Game
The series continues tonight at 7:10 p.m. Bronson Arroyo (RHP, 12-8, 3.63 ERA) takes on Shaun Marcum (RHP, 5-4, 3.86 ERA). Marcum has done well since returning from the DL, but Arroyo has been on-freaking-fire for the last month plus. He’s allowed only 1 run over 8 innings his last time out, against the Dodgers on Friday.

Get Well Soon, Dusty
The tight-lip-ness of the Reds about the condition of manager Dusty Baker seemed to indicate there was something big they weren’t telling us, and that did turn out to be the case. As he was being discharged from the hospital in Chicago, he suffered a minor stroke and was treated on the spot.

Baker had been admitted to the hospital for an irregular heartbeat, and apparently small strokes aren’t uncommon in people who have that condition, so the folks at the hospital knew to be on the lookout for it and responded promptly. He’s expected to make a full recovery and may even be back to managing the team when they play the last regular season series in St. Louis.

Interestingly, another thing that’s typical for people with Baker’s condition is for them to retain water. The treatment apparently caused him to lose a bunch of water weight because all the guys who are being quoted in the stories are saying how good he looks. He hasn’t met with the media since he’s been in the hospital, so it’ll be quite the unveiling of a slender Baker come the St. Louis series.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
The last time the Reds had a 20-game winning pitcher was 24 years ago (1988) when Danny Jackson won 23 games. Johnny Cueto was 2 years old when that happened.

September 25, 2012

Dusty Baker had a stroke

The Cincinnati Reds released today what had kept manager Dusty Baker away from the team for so long. As everyone feared, it was more than just an irregular heartbeat. Baker had a stroke on Friday.

While in Chicago on Wednesday, Reds manager Dusty Baker was admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, commonly referred to as an irregular heartbeat. As he was being discharged on Friday, he suffered a mini-stroke and immediately was treated by the hospital’s stroke team, which minimized the effects of the stroke.

Dusty returned to Cincinnati on Sunday, and his condition has improved dramatically. His Cincinnati neurologist, Dr. Joseph Broderick, and cardiologists, Dr. Dean Kereiakes and Dr. Daniel Beyerbach, expect Dusty to make a full recovery and return to the dugout, possibly as soon as the season’s final series next week in St. Louis.

Dusty said, “While at Wrigley Field I was blessed to have our trainer, Paul Lessard, have the good sense to call in Cubs team physician Dr. Stephen Adams, who examined me in the clubhouse, immediately determined how serious by condition was and personally rushed me to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Dr. Broderick and Dr. Kereiakes are going to make sure I’m ready to handle the duties of managing before I return full time. My family and I are very grateful for the support we’ve received the past few days from Mr. Castellini and our ownership group, Walt, our friends, the baseball family and especially Reds fans. I’m feeling much better, and it’s great being back here in Cincinnati. Chris Speier and my staff are doing a terrific job, and I look forward to getting back to the dugout.”

I hope Baker is able to recover enough to manage the team again soon. He’s already had to miss the division-clinching night. Missing the playoffs would be tragic. Get well soon, Dusty.