September 2011

Final home game of 2011

Reds lineup vs. Astros

Phillips 4
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Heisey 7 8
Bruce 9
Cairo 5
Stubbs 8 Sappelt 7
Mesoraco 2
Arroyo 1

Looking for hits, runs

Reds lineup vs. Astros

Phillips 4
Sappelt 7
Votto 3
Bruce 9
Francisco 5
Stubbs 8
Mesoraco 2
Janish 6
Bailey 1

*The current four game losing streak is tied for the Reds longest this season. The last 5-game losing streak was Aug. 14-19, 2010.

*The Elias Sports Bureau has an interesting nugget on the Reds hitting struggles. From the gamenotes:
“In each the last 3 games, the Reds recorded no more than 2 runs or 4 hits, their longest such streak since a 5-game stretch in August 1993.”

*Over the last three games, the Reds are 8-for-87 (.092) and 2-for-10 RISP with 4 runs scored.

Wood to start

Reds lineup vs. Astros

Phillips 4
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Bruce 9
Heisey 7
Stubbs 8
Frazier 5
Hernandez 2
Willis 1 WOOD 1

*It’s pouring outside and has been all day. As of now, the game is still a go. Stay tuned.

*It looks like Dontrelle Willis’ back is good enough to go. As you can see, he is in the starting lineup and slated to pitch.

**UPDATE: Willis scratched again. Wood is starting.

*Jay Bruce has 92 RBIs and Joey Votto (98 RBIs) could become the 14th set of Reds teammates toproduce 100 RBIs in the same season and only the first to do it since 1977 when George Foster had 149 RBIs and Johnny Bench had 109.

*Despite the nasty weather, I had a very nice time participating in the Marty Brennaman Golf Classic at the Belterra Resort in Indiana. I only got 13 holes done before packing it in and even though there was constant rain, it was a good time with my group — Dave “Yid” Armbuster, Tony Yates, Trent Rosecrans and Wayne “Box” Miller. Good thing it was a best ball event or it could have been super embarrassing for yours truly. Hopefully, a lot of money was raised for the Reds Community Fund.

It’s Sunday

Reds lineup vs. Brewers

Phillips 4
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Bruce 9
Alonso 7
Francisco 5
Stubbs 8
Mesoraco 2
Willis 1

 

 

Saturday lineup

Reds lineup vs. Brewers

Phillips 4
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Bruce 9
Alonso 7
Francisco 5
Stubbs 8
Mesoraco 2
Volquez 1

*I will have more later in my notebook on Reds.com/MLB.com, but Dusty Baker has no plans to shelve Bronson Arroyo or Drew Stubbs to prevent them reaching some dubious numbers. With 44 home runs allowed, Arroyo is four away from the NL record and six from the MLB record of 50 held by Bert Blyleven. Stubbs has 193 strikeouts, which of course is seven from 200. It’s also two shy of Adam Dunn’s Reds record.

*Ramon Hernandez is sore after fouling a ball off his lower left leg last night. Ryan Hanigan is still dealing with back spasms.

*It’s Johnny Bench Night here at GABP. For fans that want to see the Bench ceremonies, etc., you’ll need to get here early. The statue unveiling is at 5 p.m. in front of the Reds Hall of Fame. Bench will be on the field for the pre-game program at around 6:35 p.m.

Maloney on Monday

Left handed pitcher Matt Maloney was given the word that he will start for the Reds on Monday. Maloney is replacing the injured Johnny Cueto for at least one turn.

UPDATED QUOTE after listening to my iPod: “They told me yesterday. I’m happy I’m getting an opportunity to start,” Maloney said. “I was feeling good about how I was throwing in Louisville. I was throwing the ball well. Hopefully I can carry it over to here. I’m real excited about getting the opportunity again.”

Maloney last pitched in relief on Saturday in Colorado. He pitched two innings and gave up 2 runs, 1 earned for the loss in a 12-7 game.

Stubbs nearing 200 Ks

Reds lineup vs. Brewers

Phillips 4
Sappelt 7
Votto 3
Bruce 9
Heisey 8
Cairo 5
Hernandez 2
Janish 6
Arroyo 1

*Drew Stubbs is getting the day off today. Stubbs had three hits last night, but also had two strikeouts. His 193 strikeouts this season leads the Major Leagues and is 10th all-time in the Majors for a single season. The Reds have 12 games to go in the season so it’s highly unlikely Stubbs will surpass Mark Reynolds’ record of 223 strikeouts in 2009. Adam Dunn holds the Reds record with 195, set in 2004.

Cueto not optimistic to return in 2011

Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto and his strained right lat muscle were examined today. While he said the visit went well, he wasn’t optimistic about returning to the mound in 2011.

“I don’t think so,” Cueto said in English.

As reporters started to gather however, Cueto asked for a Spanish-language translator. He altered his outlook slightly but he is definitely not going to make his next start on Monday.

“I don’t know at this point,” Cueto said via translator Tomas Vera. “I want to throw but it hurts. I feel sore. It’s painful right now. As the doctor told me, I will most likely lose the next outing but we’ll see how it progresses to see if I can pitch one more time.”

The club brass, along with Cueto and the medical staff are slated to meet later today to go over the options. With the Reds eliminated, is there any point in risking Cueto’s arm health long term?

“I don’t know if there is going to be a benefit,” he said. “I don’t want to get any medication in my shoulder just to pitch one more time. I just want to see if I feel OK to pitch one more time. If not, I just have to get ready and be healthy for next year.”

Cueto is six innings shy of qualifying for the ERA and his 2.31 ERA and trails Clayton Kershaw’s 2.30 ERA by the slightest of margins. That won’t factor too much in the decision to pitch.

“He’s going to skip a start so you at least have nine, or possibly 10, days,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We’ll see. It just depends on how he feels. If he feels OK, then possibly. The key word is ‘possibly.’ If he doesn’t, then he definiutely is not.”

Baker hasn’t made a decision about who will start in Cueto’s place on Monday vs. the Astros. The two likeliest candidates are Travis Wood and Matt Maloney. Baker also said it could be used as ‘bullpen day.’

Thursday’s lineup

Reds lineup vs. Cubs
Phillips 4
Stubbs 8
Votto 3
Alonso 7
Heisey 9
Frazier 5
Hanigan 2
Janish 6
Bailey 1

*Johnny Cueto, who exited last night with a strained right lat muscle, is still listed on the probable pitchers for Monday vs. the Astros. Whether that means he checked out OK today or not, I do not know. Will update his situation later. Cueto is taking part with a panel of fellow Reds players for a Spanish-language press conference ahead Hispanic Heritage Night, which is tonight.

Alonso to drop LBs, focus on LF

Rookie Yonder Alonso’s position limbo is over. You won’t be seeing him experimenting at 3B anymore. Obviously 1B isn’t an option. He will be spending his off-season completely focused on left field.

“A couple of days ago, they told me to just work on left field and be ready for it. That’s what I am doing,” Alonso said on Wednesday.

The Reds also told him they would like him to slim down to increase his speed, which is Alonso’s main deficiency at the position. The instructions were similar to what former LF Jonny Gomes was told a couple of years ago.

“In the off-season, my plans are getting my body in check and work very hard to transform my body to play left field,” Alonso said. “Last year was more of a first base-left field type. It wasn’t 100 percent left field. This year is 100 percent left field. I hired a chef. I talked to a trainer already. I’m putting all of my efforts and stuff into my career and will make sure I am 100 percent ready to be the left fielder.”

The plan is to work with the outfield instructor from the Univ of  Miami. Alonso is also roommates with Cardinals CF Jon Jay and the two will workout together.

Alonso said he weighs 230 pounds and wants to get down to 215-220, if possible.

“Definitely my body fat needs to go down to be an adequate left fielder,” he said. “I will work my butt off in left field.”

 

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