April 2011

Leake pleads guilty to lesser charge

Reds pitcher Mike Leake pleaded guilty Friday to a lesser charge of unauthorized use of property – a fourth degree misdemeanor — stemming from his April 18 arrest on accusations of shoplifting six shirts valued at $59 from the downtown Macy’s.

Leake was accepted into court sponsored diversion program. If he completes 30 hrs of community service and counseling, his case to be dismissed. The deal was agreed to by prosecutors, Leake’s attorneys, Leake and Macy’s.

This afternoon, Leake held a press conference in the Reds dugout. He offered apologies to the Reds, the Castellini family, the front office and his teammates.
“I sincerely apologize to them for putting all this pressure on them and the drama I caused,” Leake said.

Leake then told his side of the story.

“On April 2, I went into purchase six shirts and they did not fit – wrong size. I proceeded to go to Macy’s and exchange them on my own instead of talking to the clerk. I set the six shirts down and got the correct sizes myself, walked out and they stopped me. I realize how boneheaded of a move that was. It was very wrong and I sincerely apologize.

“It was a serious lapse in judgment. For that, I  will be willing to do anything I have to do.”

There is much more. Go to MLB.com/Reds.com later for the full story.

Lineup, Leake to speak

 Reds lineup vs. Marlins

Stubbs 8
Bruce 9
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Hermida 7
Cairo 5
Hernandez 2
Janish 6
Wood 1

*Mike Leake will be talking about his court case today at 4 p.m. — not sure why that’s happening today. Will have more later.

*Since I know you’ll be asking, I’m guessing Jeremy Hermida is starting because he is 4-for-12 with one homer lifetime vs. Marlins starter Javier Vazquez. However, Hermida also has six strikeouts.

*Scott Rolen, Brandon Phillips and Bronson Arroyo will receive their Gold Glove Awards tonight before the game.

*Until the Ohio River drops below the level of the public landing, there will be no home run fireworks or fireworks following a win.

Just the quotes…

Here is a plethora of quotes coming after the Reds hard-fought 7-6 win over the Brewers in 10 innings:

“We fought hard for it. They fought hard for it. You know they’re not going to quit, especially with the offense they have. We’re not going to quit with the offense we have. We’re pretty evenly matched. That was a good game to win.” — Dusty Baker

“If that ball had stayed in the ballpark, I might have had to hang them up. I hit that one pretty well. The only thing that made me question it was the way he went after it to make a play on it. As soon as I hit it, I thought it was gone.” — Drew Stubbs on his game-winning homer in the 10th.

“I can’t complain. I’ve been throwing strikes. I’ve been pitching this year. It’s a little bit different than last year — sometimes I didn’t know where the ball was going. This year, I’m throwing more strikes and getting people out. I feel good about myself and the thing I’m doing.” — Francisco Cordero, who is 4-for-4 in save chances this season.

“It’s tough, but you know that if you put it in play, anything can happen. Obviously, that’s why they brought him in, because they needed strikeouts at the time. Once he hit Rickie [Weeks], I felt pretty good, and then all of a sudden he was throwing strikes.” — Brewers manager Ron Roenicke on facing Aroldis Chapman in the eighth

“Yeah, he went two innings, which he usually doesn’t go. Fortunately for us, he was throwing quality strikes and getting quality hitters out. You never want to face Rickie Weeks. You’re not in a hurry to face Prince. You’re not in a hurry to face — certainly with the bases loaded – Ryan Braun. And with their clutch man, McGehee, they have some guys that can hit and hit in the clutch.” — Baker when asked if Chapman had his best outing as a Major Leaguer today.

“I keep saying it and I’m going to say it again, that’s just unbelievable. I’m real glad that I’m here and get to see that and enjoy it.” — Cordero on Chapman

“After coming away with the series loss at the Cardinals, it was a big bounce back for us to complete the road trip at .500. It’s good considering the fact we started off a little slow. Anytime you can win divisional series against an opponent like the Brewers, it’s a huge plus. Hopefully we can carry that momentum into the next series.” — Stubbs

Seeking .500 trip

Reds lineup vs. Brewers

Stubbs 8
Bruce 9
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Gomes 7
Cairo 5
Janish 6
Hanigan 2
LeCure 1

Well, I made a sizable goof in my game story last night. I wrote the Reds had only three seven-inning starts this season — two from Leake. I neglected the fact that Travis Wood pitched seven innings vs. the Brewers on April 2. Of course, I missed that game and didn’t update my book. It’s my fault and I apologize for the error.

Not much to support Leake

Marco Estrada of the Brewers did a nice job to keep the Reds offense’s hot-game streak to one.

The Reds notched a season-low two hits for the game and took a 3-2 loss, rendering a very nice night from Mike Leake moot. Milwaukee had three solo homers to win while Brandon Phillips’ two-run homer amounted for the Reds lineup’s moment.

Leake has back-to-back seven inning performances and three-straight quality starts. He allowed seven hits and two runs with no walks and six strikeouts.

Notes:

*Phillips is batting .364 (12-for-33, two HRs) over his last eight games.

*With two walks, Joey Votto’s streak of reaching base extended to all 24 Reds games this season.

*The Reds are 0-7 this season when scoring fewer than three runs.

*Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce were a combined 0-for-7 tonight with four strikeouts.

Quotes:

“We didn’t have a lot of offense today. Both pitchers pitched well. Both pitched outstanding. That was perhaps the best game Leakie pitched this year. We’ve got a big rubber match game tomorrow. We’re due to win a get-a-way day. I don’t think we’ve won one all year. Odds are in our favor tomorrow.” — Dusty Baker

“I’m just pounding the zone and attacking them. I’m not showing that I’m there to lose. I’m showing that I’m there to win.” — Mike Leake

“I thought I threw a pretty good change-up. I kept it down, and he must have hit that on one knee. I don’t know what happened. He golfed it. He’s strong. He must have been sitting on it.” — Marco Estrada on the Phillips’ homer in the fourth inning.

Janish starts at 3B

Reds lineup vs. Brewers
Stubbs 8
Bruce 9
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Renteria 6
Hermida 7
Hernandez 2
Janish 5
Leake 1

*Interesting lineup tonight. Dusty Baker indicated he was looking at possibly pairing Janish and Renteria on the left side of the infield. Miguel Cairo has done a good job filling in for Scott Rolen, but at 36, he’ll need breaks to stay fresh if he wants to stay productive.

*It’s also a good chance for Renteria to snap out of his funk. Although batting .360, he’s 2-for-13 over his last five games. Both hits were singles.

*Hermida is also searching for first hit as a Red. He is 0-for-9, mostly as a pinch-hitter. This is his second start.

The bats back Arroyo

It’s too early to say if everything is back in business offensively, but at least on Monday the Reds lineup had found their mojo, some giddyup…some — well, something. A 9-5 win over the Brewers featured 12 hits, including a season-high eight in the top of the third inning.

Big night for Brandon Phillips in the cleanup spot — 3-for-4, 3 RBIs, 2 runs scored. He also drew a walk. He had a RBI single during the six-run third inning and his two-run single provided insurance in the top of the ninth as Milwaukee inched back into the game.

What did you think of the altered lineup?

Notes:

*Nice game for Bronson Arroyo, who pitched 6.1 ip, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. He also had a two-out RBI single in the big third inning. The early lead allowed Arroyo to cruise. He was working nice and easy and had some pitches down in the low 80s mph getting the job done.

*With two singles in the third, Drew Stubbs became the first Reds batter with two hits in an inning since Adam Dunn on 8/22/06 vs HOU

*The Reds were 5-for-11 RISP.

*Of the 16 batters to face Brewers starter Chris Narveson, eight notched hits.

*Bill Bray saw his scoreless streak come to an end. Bray, who came in with 8 1/3 scoreless inningsover 10 appearances (including 0-for-3 inherited runners scored). Bray allowed a one-out single to Casey McGehee and a walk in the eighth. Against Nick Masset, Jonathan Lucroy drove in McGehee with a single up the middle.

*The Reds have 19 of the last 22 games vs. Milwaukee, including all four this season and six in a row going back to 2010.

Quotes:

“When stuff like that happens, it lets you know we’re almost there. We’re coming together. It’s about that time. Good things are going to go through things like that. The change to the lineup really woke us up a little bit…it was an eye-opener.” — Brandon Phillips.

“Every time we go into St. Louis it’s mentally draining and physically draining because they’re always hard-fought games and those guys seem to place us really tough. Hopefully we can get tomorrow and wrap this series up and go into the last one looking for a sweep.” — Bronson Arroyo

“Arroyo is a tough pitcher. He throws exactly what you’re not looking for.” — Brewers manager Ron Roenicke

“That’s what we’re going to have to do, kind of, especially until we get Scotty back. I’m glad we got Brandon hot behind Joey. Jay Bruce swung the bat well tonight. He got only one hit but hit the ball well three times.” — Dusty Baker

Phillips cleaning up

Reds lineup vs. Brewers

Stubbs 8
Bruce 9
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Gomes 7
Cairo 5
Hanigan 2
Janish 6
Arroyo 1

*The lineup went up later than normal today. Dusty Baker had both Votto and Phillips in his office to discuss things, presumably about the change of order.

*According to Elias Sports Bureau, only three players in MLB have reached base safely in each of his team’s games — Joey Votto, Ryan Braun (MIL) and Aramis Ramirez (CHC).

*Tonight will be Bronson Arroyo’s 300th career Major League appearance, and 264th start.

*Reds relievers have a 1.55 ERA over their last 13 games.

*Although it is sunny now as I type, rain is in the forecast all three days. It’s also going to be rather chilly. Highs the next two days are in the 40s. But as you know Miller Park has a roof, and as far as I’m concerned at this moment — that roof makes this yard the greatest place on Earth. For the first time this week, there is no rain delay — or the threat of a rain delay — hanging over us.

Nice night for naught for Volquez

 As good as Edinson Volquez pitched, he deserved a better outcome. But one fastball that missed location to Yadier Molina became a three-run home run in a 3-0 loss. Not helping was Cardinals starter Jake Westrbook with his 9.82 ERA shutting the Reds lineup down.

Volquez had a nice fastball working and a nice changeup. He was hitting 97 mph. He even got through the first inning for the first time this season without allowing a run.

“I think he took a pretty good swing on that ball,” Volquez said of Molina’s homer. “He’s real aggressive with runners on base, especially deep in the game. He’s always hitting the ball the other way and I think he was looking for that pitch inside. He took a very good swing.”

Notes:

*Molina appeared to enjoy his homer an awful lot, with a raised fist in the air after it cleared the fence and a curtain call after returning to the dugout. Some wondered if it might bring retribution later on. Sure enough in the eighth, Aroldis Chapman came in very tight at the midsection with a fastball. Molina looked Chapman’s way and both benches were warned. I asked Dusty Baker later if there was some displeasure at Molina’s homer celebration, but he said no. Also Chapman threw inside at Molina with two runners on. If he hit Molina, it would’ve loaded the bases and likely could have helped blow a still close game open.

“Every time you hit a home run, what do you want? You want to be mad? Or sad?” Molina said. “No. you’ve got enjoy it, man, especially me. I don’t hit a bunch of home runs. Every time I get an opportunity to enjoy it, that’s the way you have to play this game — fun.  [Volquez] is a great pitcher. He was throwing hard. The breaking ball was good. He was pretty good today.”

*Joey Votto continues to be a base-reaching machine despite the lack of quality of pitches he sees. Votto walked twice (once intentionally) and hit a ninth-inning double. He has reached  in all 22 games played this season.

*Jonny Gomes has struggled hitting clean up behind Votto with Scott Rolen out. Gomes was 0-for-3 with a walk and all three outs came with runners in scoring position. The Reds were 0-for-5 overall RISP. Since moving into the fourth spot, Gomes is 1-for-12. Baker did not say if he was considering a lineup change.

*Nick Masset had another nice relief outing with a perfect 1 1/3 innings. He’s had four-straight scoreless appearances since the two bad games at San Diego.

*Chapman has not allowed an earned run in 10 appearances, 9 2/3 innings.

Quotes:

“He threw the ball better than he has in a couple of years – under control, throwing strikes, and excellent changeup, a good breaking ball. I thought we were going to get out of that one inning. He popped up a couple of guys.” — Dusty Baker on Volquez

“Good stuff, man. He was having his live fastball that he’s had in the past and keeping that changeup down really good man. He threw me a 3-2, really, really nasty changeup. He was mixing his pitches. I guess he made one mistake and Yadi took advantage. Besides that he was keeping everybody off-balance and was pitching in and out and mixed his pitches pretty well. he always had that stuff, and the main thing is if he can stay healthy, he’s going to be one of the good ones in the game.” Albert Pujols on Volquez

“I just made a mistake, wrong pitch to him. I know he’s really aggressive with runners on base. I just threw the wrong pitch. That was my call too. Ryan wanted a different pitch. I made a mistake. He wanted a changeup because we got him out the AB before with breaking ball, changeup and a fastball/two-seamer to strike out in his last at-bat. He was looking straight fastball.” — Edinson Volquez on the Molina at-bat.

Volquez starting

Reds lineup vs. Cardinals

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Cairo 5
Hernandez 2 Hanigan 2
Janish 6
Volquez 1

 *Volquez was slated to next pitch on Wednesday at Milwaukee, so there will obviously be a change there coming eventually. Stay tuned.

*Volquez has a 29.25 ERA in the first inning this season and a 1.93 ERA over the rest of the game. Over his first four starts, he combined to throw 128 pitches in the first inning and allowed 12 hits, 8 walks and 13 runs.

*In his second rehab assignment start for Triple-A Louisville, RHP Homer Bailey (rt. shoulder impingement) threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings with three hits, one walk and six strikeouts at Toledo. He threw 72 pitches, 48 strikes. Unless he feels lousy Monday, I can’t see how his next start isn’t for the Reds in five days.

*The Reds are looking for their first series win at Busch Stadium since a three-game sweep from June 5-7, 2006. Since then, they are 0-10-1 in the last 11 series here.

*This will be the 21st time the Reds appear on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. They are 7-13 in those games. The last time they played in the evening on Sunday was 5/8/05 vs. the Dodgers, a 9-3 loss. The last Sunday night win was a 3-0 victory over the Cubs on 8/13/00.

*Nothing is wrong with Hernandez, it was just a mistake and the club printed the wrong name at first.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 452 other followers

%d bloggers like this: