Saturday matinee, it wasn't pretty

The sun is shining. Ball will be played. This is good.

Slightly different lineup vs. Pirates LHP Paul Maholm.

Taveras CF, Hairston LF, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Encarnacion 3B, Bruce RF, Hernandez C, Gonzalez SS, Cueto.

Dusty Baker flip-flopped Jay Bruce with Edwin Encarnacion.

“Maholm is tough on lefties,” Baker said. “It will take a little pressure off of Jay. He’s struggling some. It just depends on who the left-hander is. It’s no slight on Jay.”

  • As mentioned last night, fifth starter Micah Owings (originally slated to pitch today) will work from the bullpen for a few days and will start on Wednesday at Milwaukee. But it will more challenging for Baker to use Owings as a pinch-hitter.

“Now I have to be more careful when I use him as a pinch-hitter now,” Baker said. “Unless I’m going to bring him into a game or something, then you have to figure out how to warm him up and then come in to pinch-hit. It’s much like what Milwaukee did with Brooks Kieschnick. I will call upon my memory on how they did it because I’ve never had that situation.”

  • Outfielder Chris Dickerson hasn’t had a fun week, despite turning 27 on Friday. Dickerson hasn’t played much because the Reds have faced three lefties, including Maholm on Saturday, and his Friday start was wiped out by the rain. On top of that, Dickerson got clocked in the head by a revolving glass door this morning at his hotel. He was sporting a bandage above his right eye.

“My ‘real’ story is I hit my head on the rim during a celebrity slam dunk contest,” Dickerson said.

“Don’t play. Birthday and then get beat up the door at the hotel. Three lefties and a rain out. As we would say, ‘hang with ‘em.'”

POSTGAME jottings from a 10-2 beating to the Pirates:

Baker was pretty livid after the game, especially with the ending. Jay Bruce got doubled off first base when he took off on contact with one out. Ramon Hernandez wound up flying out deep to center field.

some quotes from Baker:

“It’s hard to take when you make mental mistakes like that. You know when you have a young, young team, you know you’re going to make some mistakes. You just hope they’re not game costing or game ending mistakes. We constantly remind them how many outs there are. These are things you should know. Like in all sports, you run with your head up.”

quotes from Bruce:

“I don’t know what I was thinking. I wasn’t. There is absolutely no excuse for that. It was a lack of focus and I have to do a better job. Who knows if we would have won or not but that’s not even giving my team a chance.”

“One out down nine runs, my run doesn’t mean anything first of all. I just have to give us a chance and I didn’t. I have to have more focus and more concentration. I had nothing.”

“Off the bat I didn’t think he was going to catch it. That’s no reason to take off to the races like that. You’ve got to know the outs and be in position to do both. I just wasn’t paying attention. It was ridiculous and embarrassing. It can’t happen again, that’s for sure. I have to do a better job.”

More postgame news you can use:

  • Joey Votto said he was fine after Saturday’s game after a painful home plate collision in the fourth inning on Saturday. Votto was thrown out trying to score from second on Edwin Encarnacion’s single when his left knee crashed hard into catcher Ryan Doumit’s spikes. Votto, who ripped his pants, was hobbling for several moments but remained in the game.
  • Daniel Herrera was better his second time out but still paid for a walk. Herrera issued a one-out walk to Nyjer Morgan, who stole second and scored on Nate McLouth’s RBI blooped single. Herrera struck out the side, too, including Freddy Sanchez on a 62 mph screwball.
  • Mike Lincoln has three relief appearances in the books and two of them have been pretty lousy. While working the top of the ninth on Saturday, Lincoln gave up five runs and three hits, which included back-to-back homers — Ryan Doumit’s grand slam and Adam LaRoche’s homer. Lincoln also allowed three walks. In his 2 1/3 innings, Lincoln has a 34.71 ERA with nine earned runs allowed, six hits and six walks.
  • After 15 runs over the previous two game, the offense was on sabbatical with only three singles off Paul Maholm. Owings’ PH double in the eighth off John Grabow was the only Reds extra base hit.

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