No beating Oswalt, again

A great effort by Johnny Cueto was for naught as far as the Reds dropped a 4-1 game to the Astros. On the heels of his seven scoreless at Chicago last week, Cueto allowed one run and seven hits over seven innings. Last time, he had zero walks. This time, one walk. You have to be encouraged by his improved command and aggressiveness.

At least Cueto didn’t get a losing decision but too bad for him that the Reds were predictably neutralized by Roy Oswalt much of the time. They also hurt themselves with three double plays induced by Oswalt, including one by Brandon Phillips for a 6-4-3 GIDP with two on and one out in the fourth.

A nice two-out rally came in the sixth. Laynce Nix hit his fourth double of the season. Joey Votto (who else?) was clutch with a RBI single that tied the game at 1-1. The bases were later left loaded when Edwin Encarnacion tapped a ball that spun in front of the plate and was tagged out.

Francisco Cordero was brought out in a non-save situation in the top of the ninth to hold the game so the Reds could rally in the bottom half. Cordero gave up three-straight hits to open the inning, including Hunter Pence’s two-run double off the wall. Pence’s hit came on a 0-2 pitch.

Chris Dickerson came out after the fifth inning. In the bottom of the fourth, he had a head-to-head collision with Miguel Tejada while trying to break up a double play at second base. Dickerson has concussion-like symptoms and will be tested again Tuesday before being cleared to return.

The Reds might have used up all the capital they gained from the 7-3 road trip. After three crowds near or more than 30,000 over the weekend vs. Atlanta, Monday’s attendance was 12,365. It was 81 degrees at first pitch and a perfect night for baseball — so weather was no excuse.

Dickerson quotes:

“Everything was real spotty. It was like going from HD to regular television. Nothing is sharp and I was out there and couldn’t see the hitter’s face. The ball was splitting and coming apart almost. Looking out in the stands, everybody kind of meshed together. I knew that was definitely going in the wrong direction.”

I’m doing alright. My vision is coming back a little bit. Right now, I feel a little drowsy. I just want to sleep. It’s not as hard to focus, which is a good sign. I just had to answer simple questions like ‘what happened yesterday?’ It almost took me a while to answer but I got it.”

Cordero quotes:

“You’re going to have days like that. The thing I’m not happy about is because of the way Cueto pitched. He gave our team a chance to win a ballgame. That’s why I’m a little upset with myself. I should have made better decisions and better pitches. Cueto was unbelievable.”

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I live in Colorado now and have to watch the games the next day on so this may have been addressed already, but I don’t know. However when Edwin was tagged out by pudge shouldn’t Votto’s run have scored making it 2-1? It wasn’t a force out it was a tag out and Votto clearly touched home plate a full second before the tag. Just wondering if I’m missing something here, that could have made a huge difference in approach for the next couple of innings.

Does Encarnacion still have options left? It seems like we’re getting to the point where it’s time to stop making excuses for his habitual slow starts and send a message that we want to contend. At least sit him for a couple games and give Janish some playing time. Maybe consider moving Hernandez and Gonzalez up in the lineup since they’re actually getting hits. In any case, Phillips and EE both need to take some time off and get their heads back in the game. We saw the time Bruce was forced to sit helped him. But Bruce and Votto could both be a lot more effective if pitchers had to worry that the 4 and 6 hitters are going to put up good at bats. 3 weeks into the season is long enough to wait for guys to turn it around without some encouragement. We can’t afford to keep wasting all this good pitching and pray that the cubs and cards don’t pull too far ahead.


even though they tagged edwin out, he was still forced to go to first, so the force was still in place. if the force is in place, it does not matter when a runner is tagged, the run will not count.

the run only counts if a runner is tagged going to a base that is not forced and the run has already crossed the plate.

I, too, think it’s been long enough to wait for the bats to come around. I would like to see Rosales come up and take a turn or two at third/second. Even Gomes in left would be a good option.

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