August 2012

8/25 vs. STL

Reds lineup vs. Cardinals
Cozart 6
Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Ludwick 7
Frazier 3
Bruce 9
Rolen 5
Navarro 2
Leake 1

8/24 vs. STL

Reds lineup vs. Cardinals

Cozart 6
Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Ludwick 7
Bruce 9
Frazier 3
Rolen 5
Hanigan 2
Latos 1

*This could be a big series, especially if the Reds don’t win. Right now, they’re seven games up on the second-place Cardinals. If St. Louis sweeps or gets two out of three, things could get a little hot under the collar for Cincinnati because then the Cardinals would be back within striking distance. If the Reds win the series, or sweep, they could head to Arizona either nine or 10 games up and feel even better about their situation before getting Joey Votto back.

*The Reds remain a MLB-best 29-12 since the All-Star break. At 76-50 entering the night, they are on pace for 97 wins.

Mesoraco optioned

Devin Mesoraco’s 2 game suspension is over but on Thursday, he was optioned to Triple A Louisville. RHP JJ Hoover was recalled.

That means C Dioner Navarro is staying. This could be more ABs for Mesoraco in Louisville.

Mesoraco was batting .210 with 5 HR and 14 RBI in 52 games — primarily catching Homer Bailey and Mike Leake. Reds manager Dusty Baker met with him this afternoon and hoped he can get into a groove and find fun in the game again in Louisville.

Also — Mesoraco can still be eligible for the postseason roster despite this move and could still make the team.

“We’re hoping that’s what the final outcome is,” Baker said. “It depends on him and depends on the progress that he makes. We really want to stress that it has nothing to do with his suspension. This has kind of been dabbled about for a while. We could see his confidence has gone down some. We want to get his confidence back, offensively, defensively, throwing and all kind of ways.

“It’s a tough position like I said in Spring Training when you have a rookie catcher that’s not playing every day and the fact that Hanigan was playing so well.”

8/23 at PHI

Reds lineup vs. Phillies

Cozart 6
Stubbs 8
Bruce 9
Ludwick 7
Frazier 5
Cairo 3
Valdez 4
Hanigan 2
Cueto 1

*This will be a good pitching matchup. Going against Johnny Cueto is LHP Cole Hamels, who is 7-0, with a 1.44 ERA and two complete games in the regular season lifetime vs. the Reds. In the 2010 NLDS, Hamels buried the Reds with a five-hit complete game shutout as well.

Arroyo masterful in win

The Reds earned 3-2 win over the Phillies on Wednesday that gave them two wins in the series. At worst, they leave with a split or they can win their first series here since 2006 by beating Cole Hamels on Thursday. Johnny Cueto will start for the Reds.

The Three Stars:

No. 3 star: Jay Bruce — 2-for-4, HR, triple. Bruce now has 26 home runs to lead the team in that category and with 79 RBIs. His homer to RF in the fifth was long drive into the second deck of right field

No. 2 star: Domonic Brown, PHI – 2-for-3, HR, double. Brown was the big pesky hitter that got in Arroyo’s way. He hit Arroyo’s first pitch into the right field seats in the fifth to break up a perfect game. After that, Arroyo retired eight more in a row until Brown burned him a second time with a one-out double to the wall in right-center field. Brown robbed Arroyo of a hit with a nice diving catch in right field to end the top of the second. He also lost a ball in the lights in the fourth, which allowed Bruce to get a triple. Then he threw out Bruce trying to tag up and score of Todd Frazier’s fly for an inning-ending double play.

No. 1 star: Bronson Arroyo — 8 ip, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 86 pitches/61 strikes. Arroyo was dominating and retired his 14 in a row and first 22 of 23. He hadn’t beaten the Phillies since 2000, when he pitched for the Pirates. Entering the night, he was 1-7 with a 7.28 ERA lifetime vs. PHI. He was 0-2 with a 18.00 ERA here.

“I can’t complain about anything, really,” Arroyo said. “My sinker was there. I had command of the strike zone. I got quick outs. It was as good of a ballgame as I could throw.”

The Reds now have four 10-game winners as Arroyo has moved to 10-7. The last time the Reds had four 10-game winners was 2000 and the pitchers were Steve Parris, Elmer Dessens, Ron Villone and Danny Graves.

Click here to read the game story.

News and notes:

*Aroldis Chapman took a broken bat off of his lower left leg in the ninth when Ty Wiggington notched a RBI single. Chapman was looked at briefly by the trainer but was expected to be OK. He had an ice pack but didn’t seemed bothered by the incident.

*Chapman now has 31 saves but that was his 23rd in a row, which tied a club record held by John Franco and Rob Dibble. I wrote about Chapman pre-game and you can read that story here.

*Todd Frazier has a seven-game hitting streak. He hit a second-inning single. During the streak, he is 10-for-23 (.435).

 

8/22 at PHI

Reds lineup vs. Phillies

Cozart 6
Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Ludwick 7
Bruce 9
Rolen 5
Frazier 3
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1

*The Reds 7 1/2 game lead in the NL Central is their largest of the season.

*The Phillies have historically been a rough opponent for Bronson Arroyo. He is 1-7 with a 7.28 ERA in 10 games lifetime vs. the Phillies and is 0-2 with a 18.00 ERA at Citizens Bank Park.

*Aroldis Chapman has 22 consecutive saves since his last blown one on June 24 vs. the Twins and is tied with the Rangers’ Joe Nathan for the longest active streak. Chapman is one save shy of the club record for converting consecutive saves, held by John Franco (1988) and Rob Dibble (1991).

*And speaking of 1991, the Reds and Phillies will be wearing uniforms of that era tonight. The Phillies are doing it for some reason that we don’t know and the Reds are going along. Of course, Cincinnati’s 1991 uniforms are no different than the 1990 or 1975 uniforms. UPDATE — It’s 90′s night here at CBP. The band “Spacehog” is on the field rehearsing for their pre-game concert.

Cozart, Frazier big in resilient win

That was a nice gut-check win for the Reds, especially at this ballpark, during a 5-4 victory over the Phillies. They survived a strong performance from Cliff Lee and their own bullpen blowing two saves in the late innings.

The Three Stars:

No. 3 star: Todd Frazier — 2-for-3, HR, double, RBI. The Reds blew their 3-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh. In the top of the eighth, Frazier hit a two-out homer, his 18th of the season. The drumbeat for Rookie of the Year gets louder.

No. 2 star: Kevin Frandsen, PHI — 3-for-4, RBI triple. It was Frandsen’s triple against Jonathan Broxton that made it a 4-4 game in the bottom of the eighth. He also made two spectacular diving plays and throws to get outs on defense.

No. 1 star: Zack Cozart — 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs. Cozart had a sacrifice fly in the three-run Reds seventh inning against Cliff Lee. But after the second blown save, he jumped all over Jonathan Papelbon’s first pitch fastball for the game-winning home run.

Fans often jump on players when they are aggressive and don’t “work the count.” This was a case where Cozart was right to attack the first pitch he saw.

“Any guy that has a fastball like that, you don’t want to fall behind,” Cozart said. “I was looking for a pitch out over the plate. He threw a fastball and I put a good swing on it.”

Click here for the game story

News and notes:

Homer Bailey’s line: 6 1/3 ip, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 100 pitches/61 strikes. It was  a strong performance for Bailey, who corrected a mechanical flaw since his last start. He had been struggling for much of the month. The Reds have won nine straight road starts made by Bailey, by the way.

“Homer pitched an outstanding game,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

*Aroldis Chapman earned his 30th save, and his 22nd consecutive save, in the ninth. He had a great defensive play. After a leadoff single, Chapman fielded a bunt from Jimmy Rollins and fired a laser to Cozart at second base. I wondered if it might have been high 90s, low 100s mph if there was radar on throws to second base. Cozart’s left hand might not be the same for a day or so.

“I was shocked because the way he went after it, I didn’t know he was 100 percent coming to me,” Cozart said. “Then when he turned around, I was like ‘here we go.’ He threw a good throw and got me pretty good, right in the palm. … We’ve done PFP’s (pitchers fielding practice) before so I was ready for it. … It was a little two-seamer too.”

*The Reds are now 10-21 all time at Citizens Bank Park, and snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Phillies going back to last season.

*And at Double-A Pensacola, SS Billy Hamilton broke Vince Coleman’s single season record of stolen bases in professional baseball. It was 145 set in 1983. Hamilton swiped three bags in the first game of a doubleheader to overtake Coleman.

Mesoraco gets two games

The Reds announced that C Devin Mesoraco will serve a two-game suspension Tuesday and Wednesday, which is one game less than the original three-game suspension that was levied after his contact in a July 30 argument with home plate umpire Chad Fairchild. Mesoraco, who appealed the original discipline from MLB, suffered a concussion from a collision one inning before that argument over balls and strikes with Fairchild.

The Reds have recalled catcher Dioner Navarro and optioned reliever Logan Ondrusek to Triple-A Louisville. Ondrusek allowed two runs and three hits over two innings in Monday’s loss. In August, he’s given up five runs over 6 2/3 innings (6.75 ERA in that stretch).

Mesoraco, who is batting .210 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in 52 games, is the regular catcher for Mike Leake and Homer Bailey. With Bailey starting vs. the Phillies on Tuesday, the Reds are starting Ryan Hanigan.

8/21 at PHI

Reds lineup vs. Phillies

Cozart 6
Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Ludwick 7
Bruce 9
Rolen 5
Frazier 3
Hanigan 2
Bailey 1

*UPDATE — Mesoraco would normally catch Bailey. Wonder if his suspension is beginning tonight. I will update when we know.

*In four starts since July 31, Homer Bailey is 1-2 with an 8.24 ERA. He could definitely use a nice outing today, and the Reds certainly wouldn’t mind it opposite Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee.

*Hard to believe Lee has only two wins this season (2-7, 3.83). He is winless in his last 11 starts at home (0-6, 4.82).

Rough night for Reds pitchers

The Three Stars from the Reds’ 12-5 loss to the Phillies:

No. 3 star: Jay Bruce — 3-for-3, two RBIs.  Bruce hit a RBI double in the first inning during a big threat against Roy Halladay and added a RBI single in the fifth. I wrote about Bruce pre-game and you can click here to read that.

No. 2 star: Ryan Howard, PHI — 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs. After the Reds had an early 2-0 lead, Howard erased it himself with a two-out RBI single in the first inning and a two-out, solo homer in the third.

No. 1 star: John Mayberry Jr., PHI — 3-for-5, HR, 3 RBIs, 3 runs scored. Mayberry hit a RBI single during the four-run knockout fourth inning. He added a two-run homer inside the left field foul pole off of Jose Arredondo in the sixth.

“The big one was the hanging curveball to Mayberry. We were trying to get a double play on that particular time,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Mayberry’s single.

Click here to read the game story

News and notes:

*The 12 runs were a season high against the Reds pitching staff this season. Baker was particularly bummed because his offense roughed up Halladay, who has had Cincinnati’s number (2.56 ERA lifetime coming in, not including the 2010 NLDS no-hitter).

“It was just a bad night for us and those were the most runs we’ve ever scored off Halladay,” Baker said.

*The Reds are 9-21 all-time at Citizens Bank Park, including 4-18 since 2006.

*The Reds ran themselves out of a more damaging rally in the first inning against Halladay. Chris Heisey had a miscommunication with third base coach Mark Berry as he rounded third and then stopped. Heisey already had a late jump because he thought he might have to tag up on Jay Bruce’s hit. Here’s the full explanation:

“I was making sure, at worst, I was going to get to third if the ball was caught,” Heisey said. “Brandon was right on my heels. Mark had sent me and as I was going by him, he was trying to communicate with Brandon. I heard him say ‘right here, right here, right here.’ It’s probably my fault for not getting a good jump on the ball. I could have put some distance on Brandon and I with a good read but I wanted to make sure I was able to tag. Brandon read it real well.”

*Mike Leake tied a career-high with seven earned runs allowed, to go with his 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings. The Reds bullpen, perhaps still smarting from its heavy use in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader, was not very effective and allowed five runs and five hits. Logan Ondrusek had another shaky outing with two runs and three hits over two innings. In August, he’s given up five runs over 6 2/3 innings (6.75 ERA in that stretch).

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