Another series win over tough team

Well, we didn’t get the double perfect game everyone expected from a Johnny Cueto-Stephen Strasburg matchup on Sunday. I know I’m stretching the hype there but I’m sure more was expected. Neither pitcher was very crisp but Cueto was the winner in a 6-3 Reds victory.

Cueto: 6 ip, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 108 pitches/71 strikes. (including 30-pitch, three-run top of the 2nd)
Strasburg: 5 1/3 ip, 9 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 114 pitches/73 strikes

“I talked to Johnny Bench today before the game. Nobody can figure it out,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “What appears to be a low-scoring pitching matchup ends up [with] both sides scoring, seeming early, at will. Neither one was real sharp. Johnny wasn’t real sharp. He threw a lot of pitches in six innings, same as Strasburg. Who’s to know?”

Click here for the complete game story on MLB.com.

Three Stars:

No. 3 star: Kurt Suzuki, WAS (3-for-4, two doubles, 3-run HR) Suzuki’s homer off of Cueto made it a 3-3 game and took away the early advantage the Reds had early as Cueto admitted to being less than 100 percent.

No. 2 star: Derrick Robinson (first Major League hit, scored go-ahead run in the seventh inning) Robinson slashed a hard single on the ground into left field, booked from first to third on a Choo single to center field. His speed came in very handy as he scored on a groundball to second base. He beat Danny Espinosa’s on-target throw to Suzuki at the plate. I don’t think any other Reds player on the roster could have scored there.

“It was a great feeling to get that first one out of the way, especially in that situation – starting a rally right there to help us get ahead and win the game,” Robinson said. He got a big cheer when his first hit was acknowledged on the video board.

No. 1 star: Jay Bruce (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) Bruce staked the Reds to 2-0 lead with a double to left field off of Strasburg and reached on an infield high bouncer to shortstop for a RBI hit.

“It was a curveball that he left up,” Bruce said of his first inning hit vs. Strasburg. “I was able to do something with it. Especially against a guy like that, you have to take what he gives you. You’re going to get a whole lot to hit. With two strikes, you just have to see the ball as deeply as you can and try to put it in play.”

Notes:

*Brandon Phillips was 2-for-5 with an RBI single in the sixth. Through the first two series, Phillips is 9-for-27 (.333) with one homer and five RBIs.

*Strasburg did have one very positive moment in the game when his 89 mph changeup faded outside against Joey Votto in the second inning. It was 100 percent filthy. Votto could only muster a lunging type of swing for strike three.

*After all the wondering about Sean Marshall earlier, he debuted in the seventh inning and looked very good retiring the side in order. His 75 mph curveball struck out Bryce Harper to end the inning.

*As pointed out by Jamie Ramsey, the Reds were retired in order twice during this series.

*The pitching staff now has 62 strikeouts through six games.

*The Reds defense has gone 39 innings without committing an error.

*The Reds are off to a 4-2 start after a pair of nice series wins over the Angels and Nationals. St. Louis is next.

Quote:

“We can hit. No matter who is out there, whether it’s Joe Schmo or Strasburg, we’re hitters. It’s not going to deter from what we’re supposed to do in our mindset, no matter who it is.” – Todd Frazier

9 Comments

There you have it…after winning series from two very likely playoff teams…you’ve got to be impressed. The defense, the hitting, and the pitching really came together. You’ve got to believe the 2 ingredients that weren’t there last year are here now. The Reds have a center fielder that can get on base and he’s not a bad center fielder, plus the Reds have an everyday 3rd baseman who may cause a lot of people forget about Scott Rolen, and he was pretty good, too.
We now know what Frazier and Choo are capable of doing. There will be some periods of not hitting, but we can hope that those days are going to be few and far between.
What I hope is that the Reds will make an asserted effort to sign Choo to a long term contract. What about Hamilton? Not a problem. First of all we don’t know if he can hit AAA. At this point he can’t hit Major League pitching…He showed that this spring. We can worry about all that if and when a long term contract is signed by Choo.

I see Frazier and Cozart as the catalysts of this team now at least through the first two series. These guys playing defense next to each other on a daily basis and you can just them growing as a tag team duo.
I doubt that the Reds have any money left over to sign Choo since they got robbed by arbitration in him to begin with. And if we have any desire to sign Bailey long term… they better start saving now.
I know I will get a lot of flame for this but Votto is not the same hitter he was prior to his knee injury. It has nothing to do with his lack of home runs, rather, it has everything to do with his lack of patience at the plate. Watch his facial expressions this year he doesn’t look comfortable at all. If he doesn’t get in a groove soon the Reds better start lining up a doctor’s visit to inspect their 1/4 of a billion dollar investment.
Leake sucks. He has no velocity time to give Cingrani a chance. He was awesome at the end of last year and his first start this year he was unhittable. Leake needs to be a middle relief pitcher, something that the Reds need since that is not what Hoover is great at either. Hoover is really a one inning pitcher in the mode of Marshall and Broxton.

Votto has drawn lots of walks so far. He is one of the best hitters in baseball. I will give him some time before suggesting something is wrong. He himself said he is not there yet. Leake looked great up until the last inning. He shut down 10 of 11 at one point. Again one outing. Not going to freak out over that, plus he is the 5th option. Only 2 losses from extras. I will take that. Still think Hoover just needs a couple of days to rest. We really over used him in both losses.

what is dusty trying to do wear mes out

Dale,

Can’t say I agree with Cingrani. Yeah he was lights out in his first start at AAA this year, but he threw nothing but fast balls. He can’t throw more than 3 innings agains MLB hitters throwing nothing but fast balls. During the spring he couldn’t locate his other pitches. Untill he figures that out he is either a very good reliever or a AAA starter. I think he will be a good MLB starter he just is not ready yet. I am not saying that I am happy with Leake as the 5th starter, but Cingrani just isn’t ready to come up.

I was at both of Cuetos’ starts. Votto is fine, Leake is one of the best 5th starters in the NL. Cingrani has one pitch, Corsino is way closer to the show imho.
My major concern is Hannigan, guy looks effing lost with the stick.

Guys, it is six games. Vottos is a notorious slow starter. Nobody remembers this though because his numbers at the end of the year are awesome. I was at the third game against the angels and Votto hit a “pop fly” into left that carried all the way to the warning track. He is plenty healthy and he will get it going soon. Case in point, last year hit .289 in april, his MVP year he hit only .275 in april. Relax he will be fine. Leake will be fine too.

Those are my sentiments exactly. For those “naysayers” give everyone your opinion at the all star break.

Votto is not the only one having a slow start

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