August 2011

Right-handed heavy for Rodriguez

Reds lineup vs. Astros

Stubbs 8
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Cairo 5
Heisey 9
Hernandez 2
Frazier 7
Bailey 1

*For those wondering where Jay Bruce is in this lineup, he is 1-for-23 (.043) with 13 strikeouts lifetime vs. Wandy Rodriguez.

*Because the ERA qualifier is one inning pitched per team’s game, Johnny Cueto and his 1.72 ERA will no longer qualify for the Major League ERA lead after the game tonight. That title will be passed on to the likely soon-to-be suspended Jared Weaver of the Angels (1.88 ERA)

*The 4-3 loss in 10 innings last night to Houston was the Reds’ 11th walk-off loss of the season. That would be the most in the Major Leagues and the Reds’ highest total since they suffered 14 walkoff losses in 1993.

Another heartbreaker

Beat the Braves, get swept by the Mets, sweep the Giants, lose to the Astros. It’s a wonder that not every Reds fans’ hair has turned gray in 2011.

A 4-3 loss in 10 innings came on a dropped ball at the plate on a fielder’s choice. But don’t pin this on catcher Ryan Hanigan. The whole team was 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 men. The Reds were facing an Astros team with a lot of newbies as well.

Notes:

*Save for a three-run second inning, very nice start for Bronson Arroyo. He tied a season high with eight innings pitched and allowed only the three runs with six hits, two walks and three strikeouts He retired 13 of his last 14 batters and 18 of 20. For the first time since June 13, he did not allow a home run.

*Brandon Phillips might have had the play of the night in baseball in 10th had the Reds recorded the out. With the bases loaded and the infield in, Phillips made a spectacular diving stop on Jose Altuve’s screamer up the middle. Hanigan could not hold on to the throw to the plate.

*Since his 11 appearance, 8 2/3 innings scoreless streak, Logan Ondrusek has given up 4 ER, 8 H and over his last five appearances.

*The Reds are a season-high 7 1/2 games out of first place after the Brewers beat the Cardinals.

*With a third-inning double, Joey Votto has produced at least one extra-base hit in each of his last 11 games at Minute Maid Park. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest such streak by a player at any park since Houston’s Jeff Bagwell produced an extra-base hit in 11 straight games from 1993-95 at SF’s Candlestick Park/3Com Park.

*The Reds are 7-5 in extra inning games and 16-24 in one-run games.

Quotes:

I’ve had my back against the wall a lot lately. I’m just trying to survive out there. I was happy to go deep in the ballgame and giving us a chance to win. It’s not any more satisfying really at this point in the season seeing how many games far back we are. We need every win we can get regardless of how well you throw.” — Bronson Arroyo

“We left runners out there all night. We couldn’t get the big hit.” — Dusty Baker

“We had some chances and didn’t come through. This team is hungry. You can’t take this team real lightly because you never know who will be out there. We really don’t know many guys out there. But I’ll tell you one thing, the way they played, they showed they were really hungry and we have to motivate ourselves to really go out there and push ourselves harder for us to get the win.” — Brandon Phillips on the Astros

“It’s a good lineup over there. Those guys definitely can hit the ball and they mashed a lot of singles. Luckily enough, no any real damage, a couple doubles here and there but like I said, keeping them at bay is all I can do, and once again, hats go off to the bullpen and the guys for finding a way to win.” — Astros RHP Bud Norris

It could be worse…

Seems like the Reds are getting hammered a little today in the wake of the (no) trade deadline. I’ve definitely noticed the feedback from readers and have seen various media reports.

It’s understandable that people aren’t happy. There is no tangible result of the efforts Reds GM Walt Jocketty made to execute a deal and the bottom line is the Reds made no roster improvement. And because of the general lack of transperancy about talks among all GMs, we will likely never really know how close the Reds were to doing something.

Let’s be real here. The Reds are 6 1/2 games out of first place and have to leapfrog three teams to win the division. Would Ubaldo Jimenez or James Shields, pitching once every fifth day, have changed the outlook? Probably not. And that being unlikely, was it worth sending the cream of the crop in prospects (Mesoraco, Alonso or Hamilton, etc) to get one of those guys? If you’ve noticed, the Reds just won three games in a row against the Giants and picked up no games in the standings. That’s how tough the road ahead appears — with trades or not.

For whatever reason, Michael Bourn did not seem like someone the Reds should give up a lot to get. And it seems like even if the Reds produced an attractive package, the Astros were unlikely to send Bourn or Hunter Pence to a division rival.

Gutting the farm system to get any of the rental players out there would have completely undone the efforts to be long-term contenders. Had the Reds been closer to the top of hte NL Central, I would have been more aggressive. For better or worse, this is the team that has to make up a lot of ground.

As unhappy as you are about the Reds, imagine what the mood of an Astros fan is today. It’s already been a lousy year and they open a homestand tonight without the face of the franchise and an All-Star (Pence) and the leadoff hitter (Bourn). Other than Carlos Lee and Wandy Rodriguez, one would be hard-pressed to know many of the guys on the field. The players that came back in those deals are probably years away from reaching the big leagues. As Marty Brennaman might say “That’s a big ol’ hang with ‘em.”

Reds lineup vs. Astros

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

*Just announced: Joey Votto was named NL Player of the Week.

*Of course, this is Yonder Alonso’s first big league start in LF.

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