Three Stars, Getaway win again

For the third-straight series, the Reds were staring at a possible series sweep. Once again, they put it together for a getaway day win to get one game.

It might not seem like much, but it was huge to get a 6-3 win for a few reasons. If nothing else, they are 2-5 on the road trip and can still finish it with a .500 record if they can sweep the 3-10 Cubs. That didn’t seem possible a few days ago.

On to a Reds-centric Three Stars of the game….

No. 3 star: Drew Stubbs — 3-for-5 with his first homer of the season. Stubbs has a five-game hitting streak going. His seventh inning homer was a good response for the club because Matt Holliday hit a 3-run bomb in the sixth to tighten the game at 4-3. The last extra base hit he had was a triple vs. the Mets on 9/27/11, spanning 50 at-bats.

“I’m still not where I need to be or feel like where I want to be,” Stubbs said. “But a lot of times, it takes a few days like today to get you rolling. I think the home run was the best swing I’ve had this year. If I can start to get some of those, I can find my groove and hopefully take off.”

No. 2 star: Brandon Phillips — 2-for-5, 2 RBIs with his first homer that season that put the Reds on the scoreboard first in the three-run fourth inning. Phillips also had a RBI single in the fifth.

“It felt good to get my first RBI. My leg is feeling so much better,” said Phillips, playing with a sore hamstring. “I’ve been treating it every day. I feel like it’s getting stronger. I stayed back on my leg more. The more innings I played, the more I started feeling it. At the beginning of the game, I felt real good. I think the heat on my leg was wearing off … I got a lot of Icy Hot on my leg. I have to put the whole jar on me next time.”

And your No. 1 star: Bronson Arroyo — 8 ip, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 90 pitches/66 strikes. Arroyo was sensational and has a 2.91 ERA through three starts. As evidenced by his strike-to-ball ratio, he had it going all right today. His only blemish of the day was two singles and Holliday’s three-run homer in the sixth. After that, he retired his last eight batters. Dusty Baker did not consider letting Arroyo complete the game.

“The guys they had coming up were some dangerous dudes,” Baker said. “One of them was Holliday, who hit him out of the ballpark. That was enough.”

Arroyo got the rotation its first win since Johnny Cueto on April 5.

News and notes:

*Sean Marshall got his 2nd save in the ninth. After a leadoff single by Holliday, Marshall struck out the side using a lot of off-speed stuff.

*Before his homer against Arroyo, Holliday entered the at-bat in a 0-for-11 funk and had been 5-for-his-last 34.

*The homers by Phillips and Ryan Ludwick in the fourth marked the first time this season that the Reds homered twice in one inning.

*It was also the first time the Reds hit three homers in a game this season.

*The Reds took advantage of the fact that Adam Wainwright is still not 100 percent back from Tommy John surgery. Wainwright hasn’t pitched well yet and lasted five innings with 88 pitches today.

“Going into a day like today facing a guy like Wainwright, in the past you’d thinking ‘oh man, we’re down 0-2 facing a guy like Wainwright,’” left fielder Ryan Ludwick said. “But he’s coming back from an injury. His velocity is a little bit down. I feel like we were able to take advantage a little bit. In that scenario, you’ve got to because when he’s on and back 100 percent, he’s one of those guys that you’re lucky just to get one run.”

More quotes:

“It was big. Just as a staff for the five guys, we’ve been toeing the rubber and throwing the ball pretty decent and have not been able to pull out victories for ourselves or the team. It’s huge definitely. We’re still early in the season but you want  to get the ball rolling and that if you do what you’re supposed to do out there, you have a chance to win and the club is in support of that. Today, that all fell into place.” — Bronson Arroyo on the rotation getting a long-awaited victory.

“No. 1, he’s not sick. That’s huge. Last year the guy had mono early. That takes a lot out of you for a long period of time. The guy can pitch. Plus, Steve Carlton once lost 20 games and came back and won a whole bunch of games. Sometimes, there are bad years, for whatever reason. It seems like in modern baseball, there is no room or tolerance for a guy that has a down or bad year. Those things happen.” — Dusty Baker on Arroyo

“We’re going to Chicago. It’s going to be cold up there. We’re going to have to grind. They are playing about the same type of baseball we’ve been playing right now. Obviously, these guys we just played are the guys everybody is chasing. We have to take care of business. Hopefully we finish this road trip strong.” — Ryan Ludwick

***I will not be in Chicago. Catch you next time from Cincinnati when the Reds play the Giants.

29 Comments

No love for Studwick? He’s been playing pretty well lately.

Today’s win (4/19/12) establishes an interesting statistic. ALL of the REDS wins so far in 2012 have been day games. They are 0 for 6 in night games so far this year. It’s also interesting to note the absence of NIGHT games in their Spring Training Schedule. There were only 3 night games during Spring Training if I read their schedule correctly.

Wow, that’s interesting.

I went to Goodyear to see a few spring training games this year, and almost all of them are during the day. I’m not sure why. The locals aren’t too happy about it. They are at work and in school, and generally can’t get to day games. It’s hotter than the hinges of heck during the day most of the time. And when the season starts, most games are at night. So why don’t they play more night games?

Welcome to 2012 Mr. Drew Stubbs. What did I tell you guys yesterday? Told ya he was going to have a good day.

Someone pointed out that Drew Stubbs’ closest comp at age 25 was…Curtis Granderson. You know, the guy who went 5 for 5 with 3 home runs yesterday. Maybe we shouldn’t give up on Drew Stubbs just yet.

Ya, I said he was my pick to click too. I said that would be Wednesday, so I guess I was a day off.
Curt

That’s what hitting ahead of Votto does for you. Cozart leads off and goes 0-5, while Stubbs goes 3-5. Votto is worth his weight in gold. On Rolen: since the 2010 All-Star break, Rolen has played in 131 games. In those games, he’s hitting .249/.303/.401, with 8 homers, 64 RBI, 31 BB, and 39 doubles. If Dusty won’t play him in a day game following a night game, I suggest we start the faze out of playing Rolen daily and start playing Frazier, as we did yesterday. Frazier had some great contact ABs. Rolen could become a part time PH and defensive specialist in the late innings. His bat is not what it once was. Let him play out the year and retire.

Exciting news several rumors are being made public as to the exact length of time Baker will be the manager.

wow, three days and no new reds info? please don’t make me go read fay’s blog! its baseball season man!

4 days and nothing??!! sheldon go on vacation in the third week of the season? guess i will have to join the sheep of america and sign up for facebook so i can go read some typos and advertisements on fay’s blog.

Wow, that was some ugly baseball in Chicago! Joey Votto must be the greatest batter in baseball: Stubbs might make the All-Star team batting in front of him.

Taking one series off does not equate to a vacation. As it said in this very blog post at the bottom, I was taking the Chicago series off and resuming with Reds-Giants.

we have to keep you in line. time off already though mark? the season just started! :) GO REDS!

My season started in Arizona, where I was for 45 days before the opener. I love my job and everything and would not dream of complaining, but everyone needs a break. And my boss must agree, since he is the one that sets my schedule.

Mark, within the discretion of your position, can you discuss the Chapman situation? It looks like he is being used as a starter-in-waiting: always multiple innings, only when the team has a lead. He went Sunday to Friday without getting any work, including the tied game where it might have been judicious to give him an inning or two. It seems to me a pretty strange role, unless the Reds are waiting for someone to pitch himself out of the rotation. Is that how it seems to you?

There’s no discretion of the position. But the answer is I don’t know. I think he should have started from the get-go this year, but understand that injuries to Madson, Masset and Bray forced their hand some. The reason why he’s able to do multiple innings is Chapman is all stretched out still from camp. And it’s not true about always with the lead. I believe his first victory came when he entered while the team was down.

By the way, take all the time off you want or need – I’ve had seven days off myself since the start of the season. Personally, I find even jocose copmments about people’s work habits in poor taste (listening Marty?).

OK so before yesterday’s game Chapman had pitched the following:

9IP, 3 hits allowed, 0 runs allowed and had struck out 17 of the 30 batters he had faced.

Do I need to say anything else really? We don’t allow him to pitch back to back days so don’t you think starting him would be a pretty wise decision? I mean he does only have s 2+ K per inning ratio. I just don’t get why managament or anbody for that matter wouldn’t want to run this guy out there every 5th day. You will get more walk up fans and more wins for your team. I just don’t get why he is being hide in our bullpen.

If we make the playoff’s…I want this guy starting one of the first three games….don’t you???? I mean at this point, I would go Cueto, Chapman and Latos (who I think will be fine).

PLain and simple. Chapman has given up 3 hits through 10.1 innings man! Struck out 18 and walked 2! Seriously what the hell is going on here? What are we waiting for?

I can’t claim credit for this thought — it came from elsewhere….people bang on this manager as a guy that historically “ruins arms.” The club has been been protective of Chapman and now he’s getting destroyed for that. Is this the epitome of a can’t win situation?

Maybe so.

Yeah, but can we really sit on that excuse any more Mark. I agree with you that Dusty does have the history of “ruining” arms. But Geeeeeeesh! Let’s open our eyes hear a little you know what I mean. The guy has a top 5 arm in ALL OF BASEBALL and we we are holding him back rfom being great. He’s proven he can start since the beginning of spring training and has shown a $hit ton of basball IQ by taking that fastball down a notch and throwing 100+ every pitch. It’s just a sad story for Chapman in my opinion. He wants to starts, he does everything he can to win a starters role and doesn’t get it because Bill Bray was ready to start the season. Then we Bray proves that he is fine, ntohing changes. This guy is getting drug around by his toes by an organization that is scared to ruin his arm. But isn’t scared to spend $250 million dollars on a 10 year contract. I’m a die hard Reds fan Mark. But can’t you agree that there is no good reason to not have Chapman starting?

If it were up to me, Chapman would stay in the bullpen. He’s lights out, that’s what you want at the back end of the game. The fans that watch Chapman strike people out and say, HE NEEDS TO BE IN THE ROTATION, are missing something. You realize that if he goes to the rotation and pitches every fifth day that he won’t be available out of the pen right? You do realize that right? I don’t think you do. Having a guy like Chapman to stop the bleeding and get the ball to the closer is a major plus. If he’s not there, then when Cueto goes six or seven, you are running Ondrusek, Arredondo, and Bray out there, does that make you feel comfortable? Heck no. I don’t like the way they are using Chapman right now, but I do NOT think he should be in the rotation this year.
Curt

You aren’t making bad points Mike W, but pitching him once a week isn’t the best way to maximize his ability to help the team this year, not with Madson out. I said this year, not his career.
Curt

To get Bailey out of the rotation and insert Chapman….well hell yeah I would have no problem with running arrendondo, Ondrusek and Bailey out there. Those guys are really solid RP’s and I would be confident with those guys in the 7th and 8th innings. Lefties can’t touch Bray at all! Arrendondo is extremely underrated and Ondrusek pops the mit! It would hurt the bullpen some, I’m not saying it wouldn’t. I love seeing Chapman come in shut down teams for 1-2 innings. But I would love it even more to see him do it for 6-7 innings every 5th day. Trust me, I see both side here. But the point is, Chapman has been saying and doing everything he is expected to since day 1 when he decided to trust in the Reds and leave his his wife, kids and the rest of his family in Cuba to come be a Cincinnati Red STARTING pitcher. I think it’s time for the organization to “pay it forward”. Because he has done everything they have asked of him and then some.

With Madson and Masset out; Bray slowly trying to play into shape, we would be cutting out throat if we attempted to move Chapman into the starting pitching roll.
First, he would need to go to the minors for 2 or 3 starts in order to build up his stamina. Second, who is he going to replace in the starting pitching. Third, who is going to be the stopper in the bullpen and hand the ball to Marshall? Chapman is in the correct roll for now. Later, and if both Bray and Masset are up and running, we could afford to place Chapman into the starting rotation, once one of the 5 cannot get it done and must be replaced. So far, Cueto, Arroyo and even Bailey appear to be throwing well. Leake has his one-inning woes and Latos needs to relax and find what got him there. Overall, I am not disappointed with either the starting rotation or the bullpen, however our position players need to stop swinging for the fences and Dusty needs to play a great deal more fundamental baseball. We are pathetic with men on base in nearly every statistic obtainable. Most of these guys think they can swing a hole in the wind, and try it, instead of moving along the runners and scoring runs. I lay this at the feet of Dusty Baker.

why buy a lamborghini if you’re just going to keep it in the garage?

You say keep it in the garage, I say bring it out to seal the deal on the weekends.
Curt

Mike W. The reason lefty’s can’t touch Bray at all, is because his pitches are nowher close to the strike zone. Does anyone know how many times he has come in for one batter and walk them? I can think of a couple. I agree that Chapman needs to stay in the bullpen for the time being. Come July/August if the rest of the bullpen is roling with Bray back to where he needs to be, Masset up and pitching well and maybe one other suprise. Then Chapman will move to the rotation. Leake and Chapman are both on a strict inning count for the season. Chapman being in the pen keeps his innings down for now and when it becomes time to shut Leake down for the season, Chapman will be ready to come in and tek over the role.

Ah, the best laid plans…Leake is no longer on an innings count. Of course, if he continues to pitch through the first half the way he has early on, then the swap you envision in the rotation might still happen, though mounting innings for Leake would be moot. Quality innings instead would come into play!

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