September 2013

Latos to start Weds

Reds manager Dusty Baker made official something that seemed inevitable. Following Tuesday’s, 4-2 Reds loss to the Mets, Baker revealed that Mat Latos would start Wednesday in the series finale. Greg Reynolds was originally listed.

Pitching Latos on Wednesday would enable him to pitch on Tuesday with five days rest before a potential Wild Card game next Tuesday. Had Latos pitched Friday as originally scheduled, he would have to work on short rest.

Other quick notes:

*A Cardinals victory over the Nationals put the Reds three games back in the NL Central with four games left. That makes winning the division slim for Cincinnati.

*The Reds bullpen dealt 7 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Mike Leake. I will have more from Leake and the full game story on Reds.com/MLB.com.

*Jay Bruce recorded his 13th outfield assist of the season when he threw out Wilfredo Tovar at the plate in the top of the second inning.

Game 158: vs. NYM

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Game 157: vs. NYM

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Where things stand, 9/23

Here are how the postseason scenarios are shaping up for the Reds heading into Monday night:

Cincinnati can clinch a playoff spot if they beat New York AND St. Louis beats Washington. BOTH outcomes must occur for Cincinnati to clinch outright.

Pittsburgh can also clinch a playoff spot if they beat Chicago AND St. Louis beats Washington. Just like above, BOTH outcomes must occur for Pittsburgh to clinch outright.

If the season ended today:

NL Wild Card: Reds vs. Pirates (home field TBD since both clubs have the same record and their season series is tied 8-8 with three games to play)

NL Division Series ‘A’: NL Wild Card winner (CIN/PIT) at Atlanta

NL Division Series ‘B’: LA Dodgers at St. Louis

ADDENDUM: clinching a playoff spot tonight does not stop the postseason chase. The Reds and Pirates are still 2 games behind the first-place Cardinals. The NL Central title is attainable…tough…but attainable. Of course, getting a home Wild Card game is very possible with 6 games remaining.

Some lofty Reds numbers

Have a plane to catch but here are some quick numbers to digest after a 11-3 Reds victory over the Pirates on Sunday to win two of three in series.

*Bronson Arroyo won his 14th game of the season, joining Mat Latos (14-6) and Mike Leake (also 14-6). The last time the Reds had three 14-game winners: 1975 (Jack Billingham 15-10, Don Gullett 15-4, Gary Nolan 15-9).

*Joey Votto hit a RBI double in the eighth inning. It gave him 30 for the season, for the sixth-straight season. Only Pete Rose (1965-70, 1972-78) had six-straight 30 double seasons for Cincinnati.

*The Reds pitching staff notched six strikeouts today, giving them 1,249 Ks for 2013. That snapped last season’s club record.

*Billy Hamilton had three hits and two more stolen bases. Hamilton is 12-for-12 in steals.

*The Reds road record for the regular season ended at an even .500 at 41-41.

I will have more on the game and the big series win soon on Reds.com/MLB.com

Choo: X-rays negative, available

Shin-Soo Choo and his jammed left thumb were doing OK on Sunday morning. Choo expected to be available for the series finale vs. the Pirates, if needed. He expects to be back in the lineup Monday vs. the Mets.

“I was warming up in the sixth inning last night and ready to pinch-hit,” Choo said. “It was tough to stay in the dugout. I don’t like sitting in the dugout. I want to play every day. That’s me. Especially in a team situation, it’s very tough sitting in the dugout watching the game. I can’t do anything. I can’t help my team. That’s the most tough time for myself on a team.”

X-rays taken on the thumb were negative. He had a plate and screw put on his thumb during a 2011 surgery.

“The doctor said the bone was ok,” Choo said. “I saw it and after that, my mind was better. I think I healed quicker. Every hour, I feel better. I keep moving it.”

Game 156: at PIT

Reds lineup vs. Pirates

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

Choo has jammed left thumb

Reds CF and leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo is out of the lineup vs. the Pirates Saturday because of a jammed left thumb. He will be examined by a doctor later today. It happened when Choo slid head first into first base in the ninth inning of Friday’s 6-5 win in 10 innings.

“It’s not really bad. It’s a little sore,” Choo said. “It was the same thumb that had surgery in 2011. We’re looking for the playoffs and a big series coming up. I don’t want to make it worse. So maybe it’s one or two days.”

Choo doesn’t usually slide headfirst into first base, and now regrets it.

“Stupid play,” Choo said. “I tell myself and I tell a lot of players the worst play is the head first slide into first base and home plate. But I did it. I don’t know why I did it. It’s a situation, big game, tie ballgame, we came about. I don’t know, my body just did it.”

I will have more later in my Reds notebook, including comments from manager Dusty Baker and the decision to start Derrick Robinson.

Game 155: at PIT

Reds lineup vs. Pirates

Robinson 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Ludwick 7
Bruce 9
Cozart 6
Hannahan 5
Hanigan 2
Bailey 1

UPDATE: Choo out with a jammed left thumb. Will have more later.

Cingrani still in Cincinnati

LHP Tony Cingrani, who hasn’t pitched since exiting his last start Sept. 10 vs. the Cubs when he had back spasms, did not rejoin the Reds in Pittsburgh like had been originally planned.

Cingrani has not shown much improvement.

“It’s progressed but I didn’t want it to get worse just to come here,” Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said on Friday. “He’s tried to go off a mound but it’s still tender. That’s why we didn’t want to continue to keep going off a mound.”

Cingrani also missed two starts on the disabled list in August because of a lower back strain. He will continue to rehab in Cincinnati.

“We didn’t want him to take a puddle jumper [flight] out here just for him to hang out here and be here,” Lessard said. “I’d rather him stay there and keep working on it.”

The Reds will evaluate Cingrani again next week when the team is home. But to me, it’s certainly not looking good for Cingrani’s postseason status at this point.

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