April 2013

Cueto to DL

After being remarkably fortunate last season with good health, especially in the rotation, an injury has hit the Reds rotation…and it’s the ace.

Johnny Cueto was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right lat muscle. The contract of Justin Freeman was selected from Triple-A Louisville. OF Ryan Ludwick was moved to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster. I’d expect LHP Tony Cingrani to get the call-up once Cueto’s turn in the rotation comes around.

So far this season — the Reds have lost Ludwick, Cueto and Sean Marshall to the DL….and that’s only through 12 games of the season.

Not at all the expectation coming in.

Here is some more on MLB.com — it will updated after the clubhouse access period.

Game 13: vs PHI

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I’m not in Pittsburgh

I have this series off. As the Reds play the Pirates, please chat (politely) amongst yourselves.

I’m back on Monday for the homestand.

Blanked in St. Louis

Considering how well the series started for the Reds, it was a bleak way to split town with 10-0 shutout loss to the Cardinals. Click here for the game story.

Notes:

*The Reds are 3-23-2 in 28 series at STL since 2003.

*Reds lineup has one run over last two games, held scoreless last 14 innings.

*Homer Bailey’s scoreless streak of 23 2/3 innings (since 2012) blew up with a four-run fifth and four-run sixth. Bailey gave up three of the four St. Louis homers. He was whacked on the ankle by a sixth-inning comebacker from Pete Kozma and exited the game. But he was not injured.

“I didn’t really come out of the game because of my foot,” Bailey said. “I was trying to wave them off. It was because of me giving up the rockets that haven’t really landed yet.”

*Bailey’s line: 5 ip, 9 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 87 pitches/52 strikes

*Shin-Soo Choo walked and was hit by a pitch (5 HBPs already in ’13). He has reached base in all nine games this season.

*Joey Votto was 2-for-3 with a double — his first extra base hit of the season. Votto has also reached safely in all nine games and 22 of 44 plate appearances.

Three stars

No. 3 star: Matt Adams, STL (2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI) Adams has two homers in as many games and he’s very impressive considering there isn’t a spot for him in the Cardinals lineup. He could be quite dangerous later in the season if he does find a spot.

No. 2 star: Matt Carpenter, STL (4-for-5, HR, 2 RBI)

“He was making good pitches the whole game,” Carpenter said of Bailey. “I think he just started catching more of the plate in the inning, he gave up the home run, and things kind of escalated from there. It’s just a testament to our team not pushing the panic button a couple times through the lineup when things weren’t going the way we wanted.”

No. 1 star: Jake Westbrook, STL (9 ip, 5 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 5 K, 111 pitches/69 strikes. Westbrook has thrown 15 2/3 scoreless innings in two starts to start the season.

“He was obviously throwing strikes, and throwing strikes with his sinker,” Votto said. “There were some misses on our part and some good sinking pitches on his part. It was perfect storm of a complete-game shutout. You need a little bit of luck, you need some skill and that’s exactly what happened today. I thought he threw fantastic, competed well and I wasn’t particularly surprised by that because he definitely has that capability.”

Marshall to DL

The Reds on Wednesday placed LHp Sean Marshall on the 15 day disabled list with left shoulder tendinitis. RHP Logan Ondrusek was recalled from Double-A Pensacola. Ondrusek will be here for today’s game.

UPDATE:

“He’s not able to go back to back days and that’s critical, especially with the fact we’re going to go 20 days in a row starting Friday,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Marshall. “It taxes the rest of the bullpen.”

The Reds tried to avoid making this move and hoped Marshall’s shoulder would improve with rest. The move can’t be backdated to before Monday because Marshall pitched Sunday with a scoreless innings vs. Washington. I learned that the most a team can have a DL move backdated is 10 days…but that’s all moot now in Marshall’s case.

“Monday it didn’t feel great,” Marshall said. “I would’ve liked to have bounced back but it was my first appearance in a while. We thought it was the best idea because the bullpen has been pitching and working very hard to have somebody fresh that’s able to pitch consecutive days. I was close to being able to do that … I felt like it was in the best interest of myself and the rest of the guys to take this DL stint and really continue to strengthen my shoulder and get it back to 100 percent and pitch the rest of the year without any problems.”

Ondrusek has 2 1/3 scoreless innings in three appearances at Pensacola.

Game 9: at STL

Reds lineup vs. Cardinals

Choo 8
Heisey 7
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Frazier 5
Mesoraco 2
Izturis 6
Bailey 1

*Lineup was updated. Mesoraco originally batted 8th but was flipped with Izturis.

Rough sixth dooms Arroyo

The Reds were 5-1 losers to the Cardinals on Tuesday and have split the first two games of the series. Click here for the full game story on MLB.com.

Three Stars:

No. 3 star: Bronson Arroyo (6 ip, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR) That’s not the type of line that get recognition…but boy was Arroyo cruising through the first five perfect innings. Of his first 63 pitches, 43 were strikes while the Cardinals had swung and missed only three times. Then it all came apart in the sixth inning with a Daniel Descalso leadoff double and an eventual two-run homer by Matt Adams.

“This is a tough lineup to keep down like that,” Arroyo said. “To be honest with you, I hate being in ballgames when you have a no-hitter and you’re only winning 1-0. I always feel like the guy with the no-no always loses it. I’ve seen that happen so many times, it’s ridiculous.”

No. 2 star: Lance Lynn – STL (6 ip, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K) Lynn retired his first 10 batters in a row before giving up two singles in the fourth to Zack Cozart and Joey Votto. Brandon Phillips’ sac fly was the lone run. Cozart was a teammate of Lynn’s at Ole Miss.

“We go way back. He’s good,” Cozart said. “He comes right after you. He’s not scared to throw his fastball. That’s what he did tonight. He got ahead and threw a lot of fastballs. He’s a competitor. He obviously out-did us tonight. He pitched well.”

No. 1 star: Matt Adams  – STL (pinch-hit HR in 6th for go-ahead runs) Adams crushed a 68 mph curveball and deposited it into the right field bullpen.

“He was throwing the majority of off-speed all game,” Adams said. “With the tying run at third base, I had a pretty good idea that I was going to get an off-speed pitch sometime during that at-bat.”

Notes:

*There was an issue in the sixth inning as the visiting dugout and bullpen phones stopped working. Although it seemed like there were two mound visits, Bryan Price was able to come to the mound to signal the bullpen. The crew chief, umpire Jeff Nelson, came over to talk with Dusty Baker as things were going downhill for the Reds.

“That was about the phones. He said we had to go out and signal like that old days,” Baker said.

*As Arroyo looked good in the early innings, he got some nice defensive help. In the bottom of the first, second batter Matt Carpenter skied a fly near the line in left field, where Derrick Robinson’s speed provided a nice running catch. Leading off the fourth, Jon Jay hit a soft bouncer to third base. Todd Frazier had to come in and rush a one-hop throw to Joey Votto at first base for the out. To finish the fifth inning, right fielder Jay Bruce made a diving catch on a Yadier Molina line drive to take away a potential hit.

*We got to see the arm of Shin-Soo Choo on display. During a two-out single to center field by Carlos Beltran scored a run in the sixth, Matt Holliday tried to score a second run. He was nailed at the plate by a perfect Choo throw to Ryan Hanigan.

*Reds batters struck out 14 times on the night.

*Despite batting .250 Votto has reached safely via walk orhit in all eight games this season and 19 of 40 plate appearances

Heisey’s slide into Molina – why?

Lost in the shuffle during a 13-4 Reds win over the Cardinals Monday was a strange play at the plate. In the fourth inning with the Reds trailing, 2-0, runners were on first and third when Brandon Phillips hit a grounder to third base. Chris Heisey tried to score as the fielder’s choice throw came to the plate. During his slide, Heisey missed the plate completely and went into catcher Yadier Molina. It didn’t make much sense at the time.

Heisey, who was tagged for the first out of the inning, explained what happened on Tuesday.

“To be honest with you, I guess for a split-second, I was thinking I needed to take him out so he couldn’t throw Brandon out,” Heisey said. “It was a brain [cramp], that’s all. I went up to Yadi the next at-bat and said ‘I just had a brain [cramp], I wasn’t going after you or anything. I forgot you had to tag me and not just step on the plate.’”

There were no hard feelings from Molina.

“He was actually really nice to me and was like ‘hey dude, don’t worry about it. It happens,'” Heisey said.

Game 8: at STL

Reds lineup vs. Cardinals

Choo 8
Cozart 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Frazier 5
Robinson 7
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1

*This will be Derrick Robinson’s first big league starting lineup appearance.

*The Elias Sports Bureau provided this nugget today:

The Reds scored nine runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a 4-4 tie, pinning a 13-4 loss on the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Cincinnati became only the fifth team in major-league history to score nine or more runs in the ninth inning in a game that was tied entering that frame. The others were the 2002 Mets (at Atlanta), 2001 Tigers (at Texas), 1950 Braves (at Pittsburgh) and 1939 Indians (at Philadelphia).

Phillips loves the booing

As you will see once the final version of my game story on MLB.com is posted, we saw on Monday an example of why the Reds were willing to give up some defense for the offense that Shin-Soo Choo could provide.

Choo made two errors in center field — both on Yadier Molina drives — that scored three runs. But his teammates picked him up and Choo would score the go-ahead run and hit a three-run double in a wild nine-run ninth as the Reds won a 15-4 13-4 game vs. the Cardinals. Like I said, read more about it on MLB.com.

Three Stars:

No. 3 star: Mat Latos (6 ip, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 98 pitches/61 strikes — Latos had a 27-pitch first inning and not the greatest stuff but he came through to keep the Cardinals in striking distance while the offense kept pecking away.

“I didn’t have good command early on and it was kind of bugging me,” Latos said. “I was pulling the slider away. I just made an adjustment. Especially against a team like that, those guys are going to get their hits and are going to score their runs. It’s good to be able to go out there with subpar stuff and be able to at least keep the damage to the minimum.”

No. 2 star: Jay Bruce (4-for-5, 1 RBI, 2 runs scored). Bruce is 10-for-21 (.476) in his last four games.

No. 1 star: Brandon Phillips (2-for-5, HR, game-winning RBI double). It was Phillips’ ninth-inning double on a 0-2 Mitchell Boggs pitch that landed on the right-field line and scored Choo with the go-ahead run. Throughout the game, and pregame, Phillips was booed lustily by the 47,345 fans at Busch Stadium. They still loathe him for his 2010 comments about the Cardinals. He says keep the boos coming. He revels in it.

“The fans are doing their job,” Phillips said. “They’re supposed to boo me, for the things I said about the organization. I respect them for booing me. But the thing is though, they have to realize I’m the type of person that loves that [stuff]. I love it. They don’t realize they’re throwing gas on the fire. I feed off of that. They’re one of the best fans in baseball, they really are. For them to keep on booing me like that, it’s letting me know they’re dreaming about me at night.”

Note:

*The Reds do Opening Day like no other but if they have a rival in the pageantry and well-produced pre-games to the opener,it’s the Cardinals. St. Louis had its home opener and from the Budweiser Clydesdales to each member of the team arriving on the backs of a truck, it’s pretty good. The best part of all was the moving tribute to the one Cardinals great that was really missing — the late Stan Musial. There was a video tribute and the Musial children and grandchildren unveiled a No. 6 tribute on the left field wall — which is a replica of the patch the Cardinals will wear on their sleeves in 2013.

Yes, Phillips was quite impressed.

“The atmosphere here was nice,” Phillips said. “I loved everything that they did here. They had the legends out there. They did the tribute for Stan the Man. …. It was beautiful.”

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