The Reds haven’t looked too sharp coming out of the All-Star break and have dropped two in a row to the Yankees. On Saturday, it was a 7-1 loss. Plenty of details to come in the game story on MLB.com/Reds.com.
Here is one unsavory tidbit: The lineup has 14 hits, 23 strikeouts and one walk in the two games.
“That’s not where we want to be. We knew it would be tough. At the same time, if our pitchers keep us in the ballgame like they have, we have a better shot,” Reds third baseman Todd Frazier said.
“We really did struggle to put the ball in play and really just to create anything offensively,” Reds manager Bryan Price said of Saturday’s game vs. Brandon McCarthy. “We fell behind early in that 4-1 deficit and tacked on the three. We just weren’t able to really get ourselves back in the game at any point.”
*The Reds have lost five-straight road games and are 3-7 in Interleague Play.
*The Reds dropped their second series in the last 12. The last series loss was the three-game sweep at San Diego June 30-July 2.
*Reds batters have at least one home run in six-straight games (9 total).
Reds OF/2B Skip Schumaker thought he’d be back on the field by now vs. the Yankees. Schumaker was eligible for activation from the seven-day concussion disabled list on Friday, but was not yet cleared to play because he did not pass the required tests.
The concussion symptoms still persist and Schumaker can’t shake them.
“I thought I’d be activated already. It’s so frustrating that I’m not,” Schumaker said on Friday. “I’m hoping every day that [the symptoms] will go away and they haven’t yet. I thought the All-Star break would have been fine and that I’d be back and ready. I did the test [Thursday] before we left and it didn’t go as planned.”
On July 10, Schumaker slammed hard into the right-field wall trying to make a leaping catch vs. the Cubs. He hoped to take another test on Friday evening before the game.
The list of upcoming probable pitchers from the Reds:
Fri at NYY: RHP Mike Leake (7-7, 3.54) vs RHP David Phelps (3-4, 3.94) 700 wlw/fso, 7:05et
Sat at NYY: RHP Alfredo Simon (12-3, 2.70) vs RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-0, 1.35) 700 wlw/fso, 1:05et
Sun at NYY: RHP Johnny Cueto (10-6, 2.13) vs RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-6, 4.10) 700 wlw/fso, 1:05et
Mon at Mil: RHP Mat Latos (2-1, 2.79) vs RHP Wily Peralta (10-6, 3.72) 700 wlw/fso, 8:10et
Tue at Mil: RHP Homer Bailey (8-5, 4.21) vs RHP Jimmy Nelson (1-1, 5.40) 700 wlw/fso, 8:10et
Wed at Mil: RHP Mike Leake vs RHP Kyle Lohse (9-4, 3.26, +Friday at Wsh) 700 wlw/fso, 2:10et
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman came up limping with a sore right hamstring after he covered first base on a groundout to end the bottom of the eighth inning for the National League in the All-Star Game.
“I’m not 100 percent ready to run full speed,” Chapman said with D-backs catcher Miguel Montero translating. “I kind of hesitated a little bit and I just kind of took it easy to go to first.”
Chapman first injured the hamstring on July 6 in Cincinnati while in the outfield before a game vs. the Brewers. As for his status when the second half begins on Friday vs. the Yankees in New York, Chapman was not concerned.
“I will be fine,” Chapman said. “I’ve been pitching through it for a while. As long as I don’t have to run, it feels good to pitch.”
As for the other Reds in the game, catcher Devin Mesoraco replaced Jonathan Lucroy behind the plate in the fourth and went 0-for-1 with a strikeout. Todd Frazier entered in the bottom of the sixth to replace Aramis Ramirez and drew a four-pitch walk from Fernando Rodney in the top of the eighth.
A Reds All-Star has not notched a hit in the game since 2010, when Scott Rolen hit a seventh-inning single. Cincinnati is 0-for-19 since that hit.
“It was fun. It was cool. It was cool to be in the dugout with all the guys, just hanging out,” Mesoraco said.
“I didn’t know when I was going in. The anticipation was a little crazy for me,” Frazier said. “I got in there. I wanted to face [A's lefty Sean] Doolittle because I faced him in high school. He’s a Jersey guy. I was a little upset they took him out. At the same time, they put Rodney in and four-straight pitches [to walk]. I didn’t even get a swing. I’ll take it. At least I lead the All-Stars in on-base percentage.”
Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon gave up a leadoff single lofted to right field by Derek Jeter but worked a scoreless third inning. Read his story here.
Jeter went 2-for-2 in his final game. Frazier was among the many players who enjoyed the All-Star sendoff the retiring Yankees captain received.
“That was cool. That was awesome,” Frazier said. “I liked the [Bob] Sheppard announcer, ‘Now batting, No. 2…’ I used to mimic him all the time. They did it up right. I was happy for him. He got two hits, unfortunately for the National League. He’s a great athlete. He’s a Hall of Famer. I’m very happy for the sendoff he had.”
Here are some quotes from the five Reds All-Stars during Monday’s media session:
“I know they gave me the news yesterday. I thought I had the numbers to be here. I had my suitcase ready just in case they invited me here. I’m really happy to be an All-Star in 2014. I’m happy my team was next to me. I appreciated that and for Cincinnati to give me the opportunity to be a starter.” — starting pitcher Alfredo Simon
“Offensively throughout the year, I’ve felt pretty good about myself. I’ve been able to go out there and put the barrel of the bat on the ball, hit some home runs and doubles. That’s the kind of hitter that I am – more of a gap doubles guy. I’m not really somebody that sprays the ball around a whole lot to all parts of the field. That’s not my strength. Sometimes when you come up, you get so focused on your weaknesses and want to correct them – like going the other way. I got away from what got me here – hitting the ball for power, pulling the ball. That’s what I’ve been able to get back to doing, and it’s been very successful.” — catcher Devin Mesoraco
“In March in Spring Training, I was laying down in that bed, I thought it was going to be really hard to be here. I’m here. Being here makes me feel happy. I feel really blessed to be in this situation right now. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do it.” — closer Aroldis Chapman
“It doesn’t bother me. I pitched yesterday. It was my job. I came here to enjoy it. I came here to have fun. This isn’t going to be my first time. I’m going to have a chance to pitch in the All-Star Game again.” — starting pitcher Johnny Cueto on not being able to pitch on Tuesday.
“I’ve got to [credit] that to Don Long. He helped me in Spring Training and had me keep my hands down a little bit. We worked on a couple of things – old school methods. I look a lot cleaner. My brother tells me I look more relaxed at the plate. I think that’s half the battle. You try not to get too crazy at the plate. You’re not going to get your pitch every time. It’s been a fun year so far for me. Hopefully I can keep doing that.” — 3B Todd Frazier on the validation of being an All-Star during a strong season.
The weather has been spectacular on Sunday and it has certainly lent to a really good first full day of All-Star Game festivities.
The big All-Star news as it relates to the Reds is that RHP Alfredo Simon was named to the NL team to replace Johnny Cueto. It’s a shame that Cueto can’t pitch on Tuesday since it’s his first time being on the team. But at least he can take part in the festivities and enjoy being an All-Star. Simon gets a much-deserved late invite as a reward for his breakout season so far.
My first impressions of Target Field are two big thumbs up. The architecture and design of the stadium with the limestone and various details is distinctively Minnesotan. The park does seem more vast that you’d expect on a relatively small area of land.
Downtown Minneapolis seems pretty well prepared for the thousands of visitors that have come to town. I haven’t noticed any real calamity around the city. Signs are everywhere to get people where they need to go. One smart move was painting a bright green line on the sidewalk from the light rail stop to the FanFest at the convention center. There is All-Star Game merchandise everywhere.
Before Sunday’s Futures Game, I spoke with both Robert Stephenson and Jesse Winker. Be sure to check out my story on Reds.com. Both players are aware that being selected to play in this game is a good sign for their big league aspirations. In Winker’s 1-for-2 day, he banged an opposite field double off of the left field wall to lead off the third inning and scored the game’s first run. He flied out to left field in the fourth inning.
Here are some pictures from the rainy Saturday and sunny Sunday…
Greetings from downtown Minneapolis, as I’ve arrived in town to cover the Reds contingent at the All-Star Game. It’s interesting to see this city from two perspectives. I used to live here for five years, so I am happy that the Twin Cities gets to show off for a national audience for several days. Also, I will get a sense of what my longtime home of Cincinnati is in for when it hosts the game and all the festivities one year from now.
While I will have full coverage of the Reds doings at the game, I will try to provide extra pictures, quotes and other observations here on the blog.
As for the rolling Reds, Friday’s win might have been their best yet. Yes, they overcame a 5-0 deficit vs. the Cubs but overtaking the Pirates when down 5-1 was a topper. Especially against a reliever like Tony Watson, who has given up little all season. This is a beat up Reds team in need of any good news where it can get it and nothing is better news than a victory and being another notch closer to the Brewers.
You just wonder how many more injuries this team can handle. They’ll never be an excuse and every team goes through it at some point. But I’m sure the All-Star break will be very welcomed so some guys can regroup and recover for four days before getting back at it.