Monthly Archives: September 2012

September 25, 2012

Cueto continues campaign for 20 wins

Last Game
The Reds took last night off, so they should be all rested and ready for action tonight. I’m sure we won’t see any big stars on the bench, right?

Johnny Cueto hands a fan's hat back after signing itNext Game
The Reds open a three-game series with the Brewers tonight at Great American Ball Park. Johnny Cueto (RHP, 18-9, 2.84 ERA) takes on Mike Fiers (RHP, 9-8, 3.38 ERA). First pitch at 7:10 p.m.

Cueto had been having a rough time of it for a while there, but he was looking pretty good in his last start against the Cubs. If he can win his remaining 2 starts, he still has a chance of getting to 20 wins for the season.

If you were worried about Baker’s win-loss record, you can rest easy
John Fay says that the last five games that Dusty Baker has missed will still be attributed to his win-loss record.

Baker went to the hospital while the team was in Chicago, thinking maybe he had pneumonia. He didn’t, but did end up admitted and stuck there for the next several days after the doctors noticed an irregular heart beat. He finally came back to Cincinnati last weekend, but there’s still not official word on whether he’ll be back to his managing duties today.

The organization has said very little, he hasn’t been available for interviews, and even his visit to the clubhouse was just long enough to get a hug and a “howyadoin’?” from each guy before he was back home resting. It’s kind of ominous, actually. I hope everything’s OK.

With no one talking, though, there’s not much for us to do but think about things like the career of bench coach Chris Speier, who’s been filling in. Speier, though, isn’t the one who get ultimate credit for these games; they still count toward Baker’s record. Even games during which the manager is serving a suspension do, which is funny, since a pitcher who missed a start while serving a suspension wouldn’t get credit for it. They must think that the manager of record casts a long shadow over the clubhouse, even when he’s not there. And, I suppose, Baker probably does.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
The 2012 Reds are only the 15th team in Major League history to have at least 6 pitchers with at least 100 strikeouts apiece. If you’re wondering who the 6 guys are, they are the starting rotation and Aroldis Chapman. Yes, even Mike Leake is rocking over 100 Ks.

Sean Marshall is the next closest pitcher on the Reds roster right now. He has 73.

September 24, 2012

Game 153: Dodgers 5, Reds 3

W: Tolleson (3-1) L: Bailey (12-10) S: League (14)


The Reds didn’t look so good in their first post-clinching game last night. It was the deciding game in the 3-game series against the Dodgers and it was a 5-3 loss.

Homer Bailey hands over the ball to acting manager Chris Speier. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)Homer Bailey was actually looking pretty good for the majority of his time on the mound, especially considering it was a home game (which are never his best performances) and especially considering that he had the JV team behind him.

He allowed only a solo shot through six innings, but then the seventh happened: another solo shot, a couple singles, an error on a sacrifice bunt play, and a walk, and suddenly Bailey’s night was over. Jose Arredondo held ’em scoreless in the rest of the seventh and eighth, and J.J. Hoover did the same in the ninth, but the Reds offense wasn’t up to the task.

I guess it’s kind of hard to fault the Reds for resting some of their guys about now. And it’s nice that Wilson Valdez, Miguel Cairo, and Denis Phipps get to see the field. Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey even got to take the field at the same time. (Take that all you people who insisted they were actually the same person!)

And it wasn’t lack of baserunners that undid the team this time. The Reds were outhit 8-6 by the Dodgers, but they also drew 7 walks. Unfortunately, 3 of those were to Joey Votto, which is probably among the reasons the Reds were outmatched in this game. It’s such a bummer to see that strategy be so effective, isn’t it?

The loss brings the Reds’ record to 92-61. They are already the owners of the first place position in the NLC, may actually do better to get the second seed in the play-offs, and might prefer to see their upcoming opponents challenge for the wildcard, so…these last 9 regular season games might not be that fun to watch.

They take the day off today and are back at it tomorrow when they host the Brewers. Johnny Cueto (RHP, 18-9, 2.84 ERA) takes on Mike Fiers (RHP, 9-8, 3.38 ERA). First pitch at 7:10 p.m.

September 24, 2012

Re-live the Reds’ division-clinching celebration

Last Game
You get the feeling the Reds were out partying a little too late after clinching the division, based on their performance last night. It was the rubber game against the Dodgers, and the Reds were actually hanging in there for a while. But in the end, 3 Joey Votto walks and a Denis Phipps home run were not enough.

The game was a must-win for the Dodgers who are still in contention for the wildcard. The Reds have already clinched and the Dodgers are battling the Cardinals, so maybe this isn’t all bad.

Next Game
Today is finally the Reds’ last off-day of September. They’ve had 4 off-days this month, which is probably good for the team but which felt weird to me. Tomorrow they’re back in action, hosting the Milwaukee Brewers for a 3-game set.

The Cincinnati Reds partied in the clubhouse following their 2012 NL Central win.

Set Your DVR for Celebratory Champagne Wastage
FOX Sports Ohio wanted to show you the Reds in their champagne-drenched division-clinching celebration as it happened, but had technical difficulties. They still recorded it, though, and will be showing it tonight at 8 p.m.

Here’s the email from FSO:

Going into today’s Reds game on FOX, the Reds magic number for clinching the NL Central was 1. FOX Sports Ohio had every intention of covering post-game celebration live if the Reds won.

When it looked as though the Reds were going to win, we promoted that we would have live celebration coverage immediately following the game.

Unfortunately just prior to air, the signal was lost out of Cincinnati. Our engineers feverishly tried to restore the transmission but they were unable to recover it.

We will air special on Monday at 8pm, featuring the post-game celebration. While this special cannot replace the live coverage lost this evening, we hope Reds fans will be able to enjoy the Reds clinching the Central Division.

We sincerely apologize for the disappointment and frustration this caused so many Reds fans.

Seeing as there’s no game, you can dedicate your whole evening to it. Heck, you could even record it, put up some tarps, send the kids to bed, and see for yourself what it feels like to be soaked, sticky, and exuberant.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
After spending 4 days in a Chicago hospital, undergoing testing for an irregular heartbeat, Dusty Baker was finally back in Cincinnati yesterday. He made an appearance in the clubhouse before the game, but wasn’t the one managing the game, despite the fact that Wilson Valdez was in the starting line-up.

September 23, 2012

Game 152: And the 2012 NL Central belongs to the Cincinnati Reds

Dodgers (78-74)000000000061
Reds (92-60)00011013-680
W: Latos (13-4) L: Fife (0-2)


The Cincinnati Reds partied in the clubhouse following their 2012 NL Central win.

The Cincinnati Reds started the game with a magic number of 1. All they needed was for the Chicago Cubs to hold on and beat the St. Louis Cardinals or to win their game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cubs were the Cubs and lost in extras, which meant the Reds were going to have to take care of business themselves if they wanted to clinch today.

Mat Latos held up his end of the deal, throwing a better 8 innings than Bronson Arroyo did the night before. In his 8 innings, he shutout the Dodgers and allowed 6 hits, no walks, and struck out 7. He’s been amazing the second half of the season, and it’ll be nice to see him in the playoffs. The kid can pitch.

The Reds’ offense was slow to get started again, and it looked for the first third of the game that another excellent start might be wasted. But Jay Bruce–he who hit the division-winning home run back in 2010–came to the plate in the 4th inning and launched his 34th home run of the season into the right field seats. That put the Reds on the board and gave them a lead they would never relinquish.

Plus, it gave Bruce home runs in consecutive division-clinching games. I think that a new rule should be passed saying he has to do that moving forward.

After that, the offense woke up. In the 5th, Todd Frazier singled in Brandon Phillips. In the 7th, Phillips hit his 18th home run. And in the 8th, the Reds scored a total of 3 runs, one from a sacrifice bunt from Chris Heisey, and 2 from a single from Zack Cozart.

Afterwards, the Reds partied on the field and in the clubhouse, but I have a feeling their work isn’t done. In 2010, the team hadn’t had a winning season in a decade, so the division was an achievement. This time, most of the players remember the early playoff exit, and none of them want that again.

The Reds do still have the best record in the National League and home-field advantage throughout the post-season to play for, but I imagine we’ll start seeing the regulars rested. Even though tonight’s game will be ESPN’s Sunday night game, don’t be surprised to see a lot of backups in the line up. Homer Bailey will start for Cincinnati, while for the Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw will start, if he’s deemed healthy enough. Otherwise, expect to see Aaron Harang. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05pm.

September 23, 2012

Reds celebrate clinching NLC

I wore my Reds tweet-up shirt to Best Buy yesterday to buy a couple discount DVDs, and the guy at the checkout counter was telling me how he hoped the Reds could win 100 games. That *would* be cool, but, yeah, probably not. For one thing, they’d have to win 80% of the remaining games. For another thing, they’re going to be resting up a bit, waiting for all the other divisions to get won.

Keep your edge, guys.