Three stars, All Cardinals edition

It was a rather flat night for the Reds during a 7-1 loss to the Cardinals in Monday’s series opener. Not much to like about this game from the Reds point of view.

Homer Bailey found out there is no cruising through the St. Louis lineup, even without Albert Pujols. After two quick outs in the first inning, Bailey gave up three home runs for four runs and a quick 4-0 deficit. He settled down after the  first, but it proved to be already too late.

Especially when the Reds lineup totaled only three singles on the night.

On to tonight’s “Three Stars,” as selected by yours truly.

No. 3 star: David Freese, STL — 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs. Freese took a 0-1 pitch the other way for a two-run homer against Bailey for the second of three Cardinals homers in the top of the first.

No. 2 star: Jake Westbrook, STL — 7 ip, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. 88 pitches/55 strikes. Westbrook survived issuing four walks through the first two innings and kept the Reds hitless and scoreless for 5 2/3 innings. He also got a big strikeout on Joey Votto in the fifth to leave a runner stranded on second base.

And the No. 1 star: Yadier Molina, STL — 2-for-3, HR, 3 RBIs. He had the third long ball of the first inning against Bailey and it was launched to straightaway center field. Molina’s two-run double to left field against Jose Arredondo in the eighth put this game well out of reach.

News and notes:

*Brandon Phillips exited Monday’s game vs. the Cardinals before the sixth inning with a cramp in his left hamstring. Phillips legged around from first base to score on Westbrook’s error throw to first base following Zack Cozart’s comebacker to the mound. He was removed as a precaution.

“I don’t think it’s too serious, but he probably won’t play tomorrow because you’ve got to get him well,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s what you’re always guarded against, especially playing your first game in the kind of chilly air out there. It’s a thing you try to avoid. We’ve been good on leg injuries from Spring Training until now, except for Billy Bray’s groin. Other than that, we’ve had none. We just have to take caution and hope it won’t be too long.”

*The last Reds pitcher before Bailey to give up three homers in one inning was Justin Lehr against the Astros on Sept. 16, 2009.

*Bill Bray made his season debut with 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Bailey. Bray walked one and struck out three.


“I just got a little passive with two outs. I didn’t stay aggressive. Once you open that can, it’s kind of hard to shut sometimes. The wind blowing out like that, small park – it’s going to happen. After the first, I just tried to get as deep into the game as I could.” — Homer Bailey

“He got two quick outs and then made a couple of pitches that were improperly located. He had one down the middle to Holliday and then a walk and then one down the middle to Freese. And one down the middle to Yadier. After that, he settled down. But it was a little too late at that time.” — Dusty Baker about Bailey.



passive. another frustrating night from homer bailey. as bad inning and then dominant rest of evening. couple of things are apparent…those who said he could not relieve due to the length of time it takes him to warm up got more bullets for their argument. econdly… the excuse of chapman being in the pen because bray not ready got a bit more shaky.
i do not care what the arguments from baker are… if you have a guy with one of the best arms inbaseball… and and he did everything you asked of him in arizona….why is he not in the rotation?
worried about innings? let him go 5 for a while…give bailey or arroyo plenty of time to warm up to go a couple. if baker bristles…. cut him loose.

Watching Homer and Drew Stubbs play drives me crazy. They both always seem like their heads are some where else.

Bailey throws the straightest fastball I have ever seen. Nothing is going to change with this guy. Bill Bray sure looked fine to me last night though. I’m about to make a really BIG statement. But the fact that Aroldis Chapman is not in our starting rotation right now is really a crime. He earned it in the spring and is really hitting his prime in my opinion. He is a shutdown type of pitcher who can struggle with command. But not this spring or so far in his two outings this year. He’s learned to tone it down a bit. I’d rather see them run Chapman out there every 5th day and maybe have to deal with some wildness from time to time, then see Homer go out there and throw up gopher balls. Sure he did settle in and pitch well after the first. But he was still getting hit hard. Plus you can just see it in his stuff you know. He doesn’t have much confidence in the curve and the fastball is just straight as an arrow. No type of cut fastball. Why do we treat Bailey like he’s some kind of golden child and let him continuously produce mediocre numbers and continue to push Chapman to the bullpen. There is a reason we gave Chapman the $20m, so start utilizing him and send Homer’s a$$ to the bullpen.

I don’t really ever get to worked up about too many things that Dusty does. I think everyone is entitled to their decisions. But this one with Aroldis not starting is really driving me mad. After seeing Bray look completely fine last night. There is no more excuses. Something needs to happen very quickly here. Because if Bronson and Homer continue to put up mediocre at best numbers as starters and Chapman is hidden in the bullpen. This fan base is going to run those guys off the mound. You have a guy in Chapman who everyone see’s and says WOW! That is one of the best arms in baseball. AND WE HAVE THAT GUY ON OUR TEAM, BUT WERE HIDING HIM IN THE FREAKING BULLPEN SO HE CAN PITCH AN INNING OR TWO EVERY 2-3 DAYS. WTF ARE WE DOING? I could really understand it if he didn’t pitch well in the spring or something, but the kid is very very special and right now the Reds management and coaches are holding him back from becoming a star and helping this team reach their full potential.

Did anybody happen to catch some of the body language coming from some of the position players after that 4 run 1st. I just feel like there is no confidence in Homer from anyone. I know it’s a sad story with Homer. We all expected a ton out of him. BUt until he can get some better movement on his pitches…nothing is going to change. It hasn’t changed for the past 4 seasons.

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