Blog Archives

May 8, 2013

In brief: Reds walk off with back-to-back homers

Mexoraco's home run was just barely over the wall, which is just fine with these front-row fans. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Mexoraco’s home run was just barely over the wall, which is just fine with these front-row fans. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Last game
Reds win 5-4. It took back-to-back home runs from Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo, but it was all awesomeness. Read the game wrap here.

Next game
It’s the rubber match this afternoon. The Reds have won all of their home series so far this year, so they need to win today to keep the streak alive. It’ll be a rough one, though. The Braves are sending out Mike Minor (LHP, 3-2, 3.26 ERA) who has retired his last 18 batters in a row. The Reds will counter with Mike Leake (RHP, 2-1, 4.15 ERA). First pitch at 12:35 p.m.

Reds on MLB Network Today
If you are the sort of person who finds themselves with access to a television in the middle of the day, then you’ll be glad to know that today’s afternoon game is being televised on MLB Network. Here’s the press release:

Secaucus, N.J., May 7, 2013 – The Atlanta Braves at Cincinnati Reds game tomorrow, May 8 at 12:30 PM ET will be available live on MLB Network in the Cincinnati television market. Mike Leake is scheduled to pitch against Mike Minor of the Braves.

MLB Network is available in Cincinnati on Cincinnati Bell, DirecTV, DISH Network, FAVE and Time Warner Cable, among other providers. Local channel listings are available here and MLB Network’s complete May game schedule is available here.

What to say to sound smart at the water cooler
Joel says the ending we got to last night’s game hasn’t been done since opening day, 1995 when Adam Dunn and Joe Randa teamed up to beat the Mets. Apparently Elias Sports Bureau is saying it hasn’t happened since 1977, but they’re only counting times when it was solo shots.

May 7, 2013

In brief: when Cueto returns, who leaves?

Choo getting hit by a pitch

Can you believe the number of times this poor guy has been hit? He must a walking bruise by this point. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Last game
After sweeping the series with the Cubs, the Reds lost the series opener against the Braves last night, 7-4.

Bronson Arroyo had another rough start, giving up 4 runs (earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks through 5.0 innings. Alfredo Simon pitched 2 innings of hitless relief, but Logan Ondrusek gave the Braves their winning margin: 3 runs (earned) on 3 hits and 1 walk in the eighth. It was too late by the time J. J. Hoover closed it out without a hit.

Zack Cozart’s ears must have been burning, because he suddenly pulled out a 2-hole worthy performance, going 2-for-5 with 2 runs scored.

Next game
The Reds try to even the record against the Braves tonight. It’s the hot-hitting Homer Bailey (RHP, 1-3, 3.38 ERA) tonight against Kris Medlen (RHP, 1-4, 3.38 ERA). First pitch at 7:10 p.m.

Hey, remember Johnny Cueto?
On May 13, Johnny Cueto left a game after experiencing pain in his right lat and oblique muscles. They put him on the 15-day DL a couple days later. He might have been back already, except he suffered a setback, causing all of Redsland to suddenly realize how lucky we were about injuries last season.

Good news yesterday: Cueto long tossed and threw 25 pitches in the bullpen and seems to be healthy again. Swiped from Mark Sheldon’s blog:

“He did very well. He looked very good and said he felt very good,” head trainer Paul Lessard said.

Cueto is scheduled to see Dr. Tim Kremchek later today and will probably have another bullpen session before thoughts of a rehab assignment resume.

The question is: when Cueto comes back, who leaves? Tony Cingrani, who’s been taking Cueto’s spot in the rotation, has outperformed 60% of the other starters while he’s been with the team. As far as ERA is concerned, he’s almost as good as Cueto himself was, and leads Bailey, Mike Leake, and Bronson Arroyo by 3/4 of a run or more and his WHIP is sub-1. Not bad for a rookie.

What to say to sound smart at the water cooler
The Reds have won all 5 home series they’ve played so far this season.

May 6, 2013

In brief: knocking out Choo’s teeth and Phillips’ memory

Last game
Yesterday the Reds completed a three-game sweep with a 7-4 win over the Cubs. You might think that doesn’t mean much, given the state the Cubs are in this year, but it certainly means better things than if they’d lost. All the games count the same when it comes time to pick a division winner.

Mat Latos has been amazing so far this season, but yesterday was a little rough. He gave up 3 runs (earned) on 6 hits and 3 walks through 5 innings. Sam LeCure gave up the other run, but Sean Marshall and J.J. Hoover put in scoreless innings. The Reds never trailed, so it didn’t feel as urgent as it might have otherwise.

Shin-Soo Choo went 2-for-5, Joey Votto went 3-for-5, and Todd Frazier went 2-for-3 with a walk. Four other guys had one hit. It was a team effort this time around.

Next game
Today the Reds host the 18-12 Braves. Bronson Arroyo (RHP, 2-3, 3.95 ERA) takes on a guy I hoped we wouldn’t see again for a while, Paul Maholm (LHP, 3-3, 3.08 ERA). Maholm has allowed 2 or fewer runs in four of his first six starts this season, so I hope the offense is awake.

Collision in center field
Brandon Phillips actually had to come out of the game yesterday in the eighth inning due not being able to see the ball. Even more unsettling is that it sounds like he doesn’t really remember the collision with Shin-Soo Choo that caused it. At the time I saw this happen, I thought Choo got the worst of it with the ball caroming off his lip, but Phillips’ “Whatever Dusty says, that’s what happened” is pretty foreboding.

MLB’s ideas on DRM are about as evil as they come, so I can’t embed the video here, but clicking the preview will take you to the MLB site where you can see it for yourself:

Click to see video.

Choo and Phillips collided trying to catch a ball that was subject to the famous Chicago breezes. Click to see the video.

Both guys are in the line-up today, so hopefully all is well. I’m sure we’ll all be watching closely, though.

What to say to sound smart at the water cooler
Dusty Baker is among only 6 MLB managers in history to win at least one division title with each of three different teams.

May 2, 2013

In brief: videos for the off day

Last game
The Reds couldn’t get a win for get-away day yesterday in St. Louis. The 2-4 loss pushes them back in to fourth place in the division, though they’re still closer to first (2.0 games back from the Cardinals) than they are to last (3.0 games ahead of the Cubs).

Homer Bailey was really great through 5.0 innings, allowing just one run (earned; a solo shot by Carlos Beltran) on 5 hits. Unfortunately for the Reds, he pitched 5.1 innings and ended up with 4 runs (earned) on 9 hits and a walk.

Except for Brandon Phillips, the offense wasn’t up to the challenge. Phillips had both Reds’ RBIs, including a solo shot in the ninth inning, but ultimately the team simply fell short.

Next game
The Reds have to day off, which is something they’re probably desperately in need of. It’s weird because you usually see a lot of off-days early in the season, but the Reds have been playing for the last 20 straight days. Tomorrow, they’ll go to Chicago and try to put some more distance between themselves (15-14) and the Cubs (11-16).

Hal McCoy profile on MLB Network
If you didn’t manage to tune in for the profile of Hal McCoy that was on MLB Network on Tuesday, or if you just want to see it again, you’ll want to check out this video. It’s a touching, heartwarming story, and perfect viewing for an off-day like today. It’s only about 7 minutes long.

Not quite enough? There’s also a couple minutes’ worth of interview with Sean Casey about his relationship with the Hall of Fame writer.

What to say to sound smart at the water cooler
Even though he has walked only twice in the last 10 games, Joey Votto still leads the league in bases on balls. The Mets’ Lucas Duda is a distant second, with 21 walks to Votto’s 27.

April 30, 2013

In brief: Votto’s socks, Latos’ April, and Hal McCoy’s car

Joey Votto just hit an RBI

Those socks equal wins for the last two days. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Last game
For the second day in a row, Joey Votto wore his socks high, and for the second day in a row, the Reds won. It’s officially their longest road streak of the season. Is showing off his socks what Votto is paid to do? When it equals wins, I think you could argue that it is.

Mat Latos was completely awesome in this 2-1 win over the Cardinals. The RBI belonged to Joey Votto, who was 2-for-4 on the night, and Xavier Paul, who managed to get an RBI without getting a hit all night.

Next game
Tonight Bronson Arroyo (RHP, 2-2, 4.24 ERA) tries to keep it going against the Cardinals when he takes on Jaime Garcia (LHP, 2-1, 2.89 ERA). First pitch at 8:15 p.m.

The Reds are currently .5 games behind the Pirates and 0 games behind the Cards but they have a 0.004 winning percentage disadvantage. A Reds win tonight would catapult the Reds from third to first if it’s paired with a loss for the Pirates. The Pirates face a slightly easier foe in the Brewers at 8:10 p.m.

Hal McCoy profile on MLB Network
Tuesday, April 30 (today) | 6 p.m. ET | MLB Network

The MLB Network will be airing a profile of Reds’ beat writer for the Dayton Daily News, Hal McCoy. Specifically, it’s about his interaction with his driver, Ray Snedgar, whom he hired to drive him to each game since he’s now legally blind. Snedgar is a 31-year US Air Force veteran and recent widower, so these are a couple guys who have seen some things. From the PR:

This feature continues their story by following McCoy and Snedegar on their drives to and from Great American Ballpark for two days earlier this month. MLB Network equipped Snedegar’s car with two wallet-sized GoPro cameras over the roundtrip drives to give insight into their daily routine, how McCoy now watches a baseball game (at one point in the feature, McCoy says that he has not seen a home run land since 2003), and how revered McCoy is by Reds players, manager Dusty Baker and fans as he and Snedegar walk through the ballpark before and after games.

Tune in tonight at 6 p.m. for a different perspective on the game. You don’t have anything to watch until 8:15 anyway.

What to say to sound smart at the water cooler
Go over to Red Reporter to read the roundtable responses to the question of what to do about left field. That will give you up to 5 potentially smart-sounding things to say about left field when you’re chatting with coworkers.