Votto: ‘We’ve got a choice…’

*Reds batters enter the day batting .191 as a team this season, and .138 with runners in scoring position. Joey Votto was one who expected that things will improve.

“Whenever we start being like ourselves, we’re one of the best offenses in the National League,” Votto said. “We’ve got a choice. We can either panic through this whole thing, or be determined and continue to grind through and treat this as a nice early season challenge that we’ll overcome and let the season play out. We’ll prep for the rest of the season and not today’s shortcomings.”

*I have a little more from Votto, and Jay Bruce, in today’s notebook later on MLB.com.

*Reds pitchers over the last five games have a 2.81 ERA, but a 1-4 record.

*Dusty Baker, who had considered batting Brandon Phillips further down once he returned to spare his legs, decided to bat him leadoff after all.

“With Detwiler being left-handed, we probably won’t try to steal that much anyway,” Baker said. “He has a pretty good move. It’s who’s the best candidate. I talked to him about it and he said he’d rather bat leadoff. I told him to not do anything excessive. We need an igniter in that position and he’s it. He hits well against left-handers so everything pointed towards Brandon.”

*Drew Stubbs, batting .147 thus far among the several struggling hitters, gets a break today.

*INF Miguel Cairo likely won’t play at all today but remains day-to-day. Baker said a decision on Cairo’s status wouldn’t come until Tuesday after the 37-year-old gets a couple of days of rest. Monday is an off day.

“It’s tight but it’s less sore than yesterday,” Cairo said. “It’s a good sign. The strength is good. Maybe it was just a cramp or the muscle was trying to protect something.”

*Today is Jackie Robinson Day. Every player/coach/manager on both sides will be wearing No. 42.

9 Comments

Pingback: Anonymous

Still a long season to go. There will be many ups and downs but I still think they have a great team put together this season. (Even with injuries)

The key will be to keep close to St. Louis until the Reds can make up ground. Unfortunately, they appear to not be quivering in the cleats over the loss of Pujols
and their two coaches. They are winning and winning soundly. This next series
with the Cards will be indicative. We need to take 2 of 3. Our pitching is coming together, however as fast as they are getting it together, our hitting is failing. Had it not been for a poor sighted umpire, we would have lost yesterdays game while only scoring a run or 2.

If they maintain health, the Cards will be better without Pujols: move a liability in rightfield in Berkman to a more natural position at first, replace him in right with a much better fielder and a pretty big bat in Beltran, get a full year from up–and-coming star Freese, a full year from Furcal whose presence in the second half a year ago was a critical factor in their September and playoff surge, anointed Jay in center with no Rasmus distraction, a returning Wainwright who, even if not fully recovered, will still be one of the top hurlers in the league, and a revamped and greatly improved bullpen. This is still a team game, and they are still a very good team. Reds fans seemed to miss this point, but not a lot of other baseball people.

Mark, I’ve been tracking the Pitch FX on MLB.TV and have been mildly surprised to see how accurate the homeplate umpires have been calling balls and strikes. Last night, Laz Diaz, however, was awful!!!! He missed so many calls that the game should not have counted for either team. Ryan Ludwick only had his grand slam thanks to a blown strike three call on the pitch before. And his strike zone shrunk so far for Leake in the middle innings, that it was nearly impossible for him to throw a strike. Votto got called out on three pitches that all showed outside the box. In short, he should NOT be calling balls and strikes. Other umps have proven that it is possible to do it well, but he doesn’t have the ability for some reason. I’d like to read a blog on what you feel about this subject and the possibility of automating the ball and strike calls in the near future. I would be all for it since the technology has caught up with the game.

I don’t think “automating” is the answer, at least I certainly hope that never happens. What I do think should happen is that umpires are trained properly, re-trained if necessary and monies deducted if a game is called as ridiculous as last nights umpire called the game. However, never would I like to see any automating of the game in any way. These umpires have the walk of the land without recourse. They must be held accountable and trained properly. How many times have we tuned in to watch a ballgame, yet the announcer states that the umpire has a “closed strike zone” or a “liberal strike zone”; too many. There is only one strike zone and it must be applied by 100% of the umpires. If not, sanctions and/or penalties should apply for umpires in some fashion.

Right Joey. “This team’s gonna hit Marty.”

Still can’t believe Sheldon wrote an article about Votto’s “shakey” start after five games. 5 out of 162 games? Are you a Red’s fan or are you just a sports writer trying to make money?

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