Monthly Archives: July 2013

July 23, 2013

Reds score in 7 straight innings

W: Arroyo (9-7) L: Lincecum (5-10)


Bronson Arroyo celebrates after pitching a shutout win.

“Yeah! Shutout! That’s what people will remember!” (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

I ought to be talking about how Ryan Braun will sit out the rest of the season. Heck, I haven’t even mentioned the thing about Brandon Phillips complaining that the team misled him about his last contract yet. But I am just too eager to see what last night’s line-score will look like in this post. Sort of like a social security number, I imagine.

The Reds thoroughly trounced the defending champion San Francisco Giants in the wee hours of the Pacific Time Zone last night, 11-0. They scored in each of the first seven innings. In fact, since they also scored in the ninth inning of the last game before the All-Star break, I guess that’s 8 innings in a row, with an extremely long rest in the middle.

Bronson Arroyo would normally get more attention for a complete game shutout. He allowed 7 hits through 9.0 innings. He even struck out 6.

The offense is harder to summarize. Devin Mesoraco, Shin-Soo Choo, and Jay Bruce each hit home runs early on to account for three of the runs, but Todd Frazier contributed the most RBI with 3. 11 different guys had hits, and 6 different guys had RBI. Joey Votto struck out twice. Go figure.

The win brings the Reds’ record to 56-43, and brings a certain sense of catharsis to Reds fans, even those who didn’t stay up till 1 a.m. to see it finish.

They play a traditional double-header tonight to make up a rain-out that happened the last time the Giants were in town. Tony Cingrani (LHP, 3-1, 3.23 ERA) will pitch the first game against Eric Surkamp (LHP, 0-0, -.– ERA) who has just returned from Tommy John surgery. First pitch at 7:05 p.m.

Greg Reynolds (RHP, 0-0, -.– ERA) is slated to pitch the second game for the Reds against Barry Zito (LHP, 4-7, 4.88 ERA). Zito is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA when he is the home team pitcher, but though today’s game will happen in AT&T park, the Reds will actually be the home team. First pitch will be 30-minutes after the completion of the previous game, probably around 10 p.m.

July 22, 2013

Ludwick to start rehab assignment

Ryan Ludwick at the plate.

Ooh, and just think all the fun discussions about line-up construction we can have with another right-handed threat!

At last the Reds have hope of getting some help for the left side of the field and the right side of the plate. Ryan Ludwick, who has been on the DL since Opening Day, is finally slated to begin his rehab assignment.

Ludwick tore the labrum in his right shoulder sliding head-first in to third base and surgery was required to correct the problem. It’s been slow-going coming back for the just-turned-35-year-old. Having been 35 for a while myself now, I can understand.

But at last he’s getting back into real games. On Wednesday, he’ll join the Dayton Dragons, who will be playing in Lansing. He can has as long as a 20-day rehab assignment, and if the rehab goes as slowly as everything else, he’ll use it.

Still, “in three weeks” is better than the “never again” in which I thought we might next see Ludwick with the Reds.

Ludwick didn’t have any official at-bats before his injury on Opening Day, but he did draw 2 walks. So, his average for the season is .000 but his OBP is 1.000. Small sample-size fun in August! That’s just an awesome bonus.

July 19, 2013

Reds open second half against Buccos

How about we extend this All-Star break another week or so? Ideally I’d really appreciate the return of the sport, but honestly, I don’t quite miss baseball yet. I mean, I actually managed to finish a book during the All-Star break. An adult American reading an honest-to-goodness 900-page book in their spare time? Doesn’t that deserve a little consideration??

Leake winds up against the AngelsBut the calendar marches on, and tonight the Reds open up the second half against the Pirates. Pittsburgh found itself nudged into second place behind the Cardinals just before the break, so the Reds have the opportunity to fix their eyes on the target directly in front of them.

And lest you worry that the Reds got less rest than the Pirates due to the All-Star game, realize that the Pirates’ actually had more reps in the midsummer classic. That includes two pitchers. Apparently the All-Star game rewards hitting a lot of guys.

Hopefully it will be an entertaining game at least. Mike Leake (RHP, 8-4, 2.69 ERA) will start for the Reds, and he’s due for a little good luck. He’ll have his work cut out for him as the Pirates send out Francisco Liriano (LHP, 9-3, 2.00 ERA). First pitch at 7:10 p.m.

July 17, 2013

Huey Lewis doesn’t like canned stadium music

The cover of Huey Lewis and the News' Sports album

The cover of Huey Lewis and the News’ Sports album

Huey Lewis, of Huey Lewis and the News fame, wrote a piece for The Talkhouse this week where he voiced his desire to ban all pre-recorded music at sporting events.

[A]s a sports fan who knows a little about music, I have to get something off my chest: Can we all agree it’s time to ban most, if not all, pre-recorded music from sporting events?

That’s a bold question. Anyone who’s been to any baseball game within the last decades is familiar with the music that’s played, and it’s always a combination of recent pop hits and old rock standards. Not to mention each player’s at-bat music. What’s Lewis got against all that?

He lists 5 reasons.

1. The murmur of tens of thousands of people in a baseball park, vendors hollering about beer and hot dogs, along with the thrilling crack of a bat hitting a ball, an umpire’s throaty call, and the occasional player’s whistle or cry of “I got it!” is a wonderful symphony of sounds that we almost never get to hear anymore.

It is true that the music during the inning breaks often impedes enjoyment of the game’s sounds. But Lewis’ complaint about the music being played too loudly does remind me of a certain scene from Back to the Future.

Lewis continues to criticize the speaker systems in stadiums, noting that oftentimes speakers interfere with each other, reducing the song to just the beat. He also criticizes the over-use of common songs and laments the lack of live bands and organists in parks.

And I gotta say, I can’t help but agree with him on many of his points. I mean, we have heard the boom-boom-clap portion of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” too many times now. Plus, the idea of roving live bands in each stadium, reflecting a part of the city’s musical heritage, is very appealing.

But banning plate music? That seems a step too far. That’s where some of my recent, fondest baseball memories lie. Now whenever I hear Coldplay, I envision Scott Rolen somewhere walking to the plate. Or Adam Dunn always using Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian.” And of course, Joey Votto and the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black.” No, the plate music I want to keep. But the rest? That I can live without.

July 16, 2013

All-Star Game tonight!

The National League takes on the American League tonight in Citi Field, the home of the Mets. Despite the Mets being an NL team, each line-up includes a DH. I can’t remember why. Do they alternate years? I’m a bad fan for not knowing, but that doesn’t stop me from talking.

Here are the line-ups:
National League:

  • 2B Brandon Phillips, Reds
  • RF: Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
  • 1B: Joey Votto, Reds
  • 3B: David Wright, Mets
  • LF: Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
  • C Yadier Molina, Cardinals
  • SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
  • DH: Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
  • CF: Bryce Harper, Nationals

American League

  • CF: Mike Trout, Angels
  • 2B: Robinson Cano, Yankees
  • 3B: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
  • 1B: Chris Davis, Orioles
  • LF: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
  • DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox
  • RF: Adam Jones, Orioles
  • C: Joe Mauer, Twins
  • SS: J.J. Hardy, Orioles

Pitching for the NL will be Matt Harvey (RHP of the Mets). It’s not very often that the All-Star Game starter is pitching at home (it hasn’t happened since 2004), but Harvey’s had a helluva year. He’s 7-2 with 2.35 ERA and 147 strike-outs in his first 19 starts.

He’ll be facing off against Max Scherzer (RHP of the Tigers). Scherzer is 13-1, with a 3.19 ERA and 152 Ks in his first 19 starts.

I’m excited to see Joey Votto in such a prominent place in the line-up. Maybe this will finally be the year he gets an All-Star hit. He’s 0-for-7 in his prior 3 All-Star appearances. Same goes for Brandon Phillips. Leading off is a big deal. He’s 0-for-2 in his two previous All-Star games.

Whatever you want to say about these guys, the Reds have clearly contributed the best looking component of the roster.