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Why the sac bunt?

It was a 5-3 loss for the Reds on Monday vs. the Cardinals but a game loaded with chances early. The Reds put the leadoff guy on base in each of the first four innings and couldn’t score.

In the top of the first inning after a Billy Hamilton leadoff double, Brandon Phillips sacrificed to move him him to third base. Hamilton would be left stranded. Many wanted to know why the Reds bunted there. Here is manager Bryan Price’s explanation:

“We had Tony [Cingrani] going, who was coming off of a great first start. We’ve got [Michael] Wacha, who has had really nothing but success as a starter in the big leagues. So we don’t know if he’s on or if he’s not. We know they’ve been tough to score against. We wanted Brandon to move him. It didn’t have to be through the bunt. He could try to drive one through the right side. He wanted to make sure he got the job done and he pushed the ball over there to the right side and got the job done. I think it’s always nice to try to get on top, to try to get that first run. It didn’t work out for us but he’s a very good performer in that situation, a very effective bunter and good at moving guys over. And he did his job.”

Game 7: Reds at Cardinals

Hamilton 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Bruce 9
Ludwick 7
Frazier 5
Cozart 6
Pena 2
Cingrani 1

*Devin Mesoraco has been activated from the DL. Tucker Barnhart optioned to Triple-A Louisville.

*Here is a nugget of info courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau: Reds first baseman Joey Votto and second baseman Brandon Phillips have made 787 starts together, the most on the right side of the infield for any tandem in franchise history and second-most among active players behind Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and second baseman Chase Utley (950). First baseman Frank McCormick and second baseman Lonny Frey rank second in Reds history with 774 starts together.

*Across from Busch Stadium, the St. Louis version of The Banks has opened. It’s called Ballpark Village. It includes the new Cardinals Hall of Fame. If it weren’t raining cats and dogs, I might have taken a walk over there to check out the new neighborhood.

Simon, Parra brilliant in win

I’ve got a plane to St. Louis to catch so this is going to be brief. It was a nice 2-1 win for the Reds over the Mets as it salvaged the three game series with a victory and also chased the bad taste left over from Saturday’s heartbreaker.

Alfredo Simon had 79 pitches over seven innings and Manny Parra notched a six-out save.

Items of note:

*For Simon, it was his longest outing since a career-high eight innings in a start for the Orioles on 9/23/11 at Det.

*The save was Parra’s first of his professional career.

*Brayan Pena notched his first stolen base since 7/21/10 for KC vs Toronto.

Read all the rest on

Game 6: Reds at Mets

Heisey 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Ludwick 7
Bruce 9
Frazier 5
Cozart 6
Pena 2
Simon 1

Cueto bit by bad luck again

The Reds’ 6-3 defeat was a ninth-inning heartbreaker on several levels — ending with an Ike Davis pinch-hit walk-off grand slam against J.J. Hoover. The last time a grand slam ended a game against the Reds was 5/20/10 vs. the Braves at Turner Field. You may remember that one — against Francisco Cordero, Brooks Conrad hit a long ball off of Laynce Nix’s glove that trickled over the fence.

Read all about the ninth inning on

Overlooked in the outcome was another fine start by Johnny Cueto.

Cueto pitched seven innings and allowed two earned runs and five hits with three walks and nine strikeouts. That gave him three earned runs over his first 14 innings as he is coming off of a 1-0 defeat vs. the Cardinals on Opening Day. His ERA is 1.93 but his record is 0-1.

“I feel very good. I hope that I can continue to pitch like that,” Cueto said.

The only mistake Cueto made was a 3-2 pitch that went for a two-run homer by Curtis Granderson in the sixth.

“I’m happy. One bad pitch. I wanted to throw to the corners but it was right in the middle,” Cueto said.

Just before that pitch when the count was 2-2, Granderson looked like he went around on a check swing. The Reds appealed to third base but didn’t get the call.

“I thought that he swung. It is what it is,” Cueto said.

Other items:

*Since 6/17/12, Cueto is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA in five starts vs. the Mets.

*Tucker Barnhart notched his first Major League hit with a single to right field in the third. Barnhart added another single in the fifth.

“You’re not really afforded to look for pitches as a pinch-hitter. I was actually kind of mad at myself for not swinging at the first-pitch fastball. I was a little out in front, but I recognized it and kept my body from drifting too much, and was able to put the barrel on it and have enough to make it leave the yard.” — Mets PH Ike Davis on his game-winning grand slam.

Game 5: Reds at Mets

Hamilton Bernadina 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Bruce 9
Ludwick 7
Frazier 5
Cozart 6
Barnhart 2
Cueto 1

***UPDATE: Hamilton said he jammed his left middle finger in his stolen base attempt last night. He is day-to-day.

LeCure OK, Hamilton caught

The Reds suffered their third one-run loss of the season in a 4-3 defeat to the Mets. All the game story info is on

A couple of postgame items are here as well…

*In all four games, Sam LeCure has yet to emerge through the bullpen door. There is no injury issue, however.

“LeCure is fine,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “We’ve gotten him up in every game. In this case tonight, we wanted to have him to close. I didn’t want to get him up and not get him in. That would have been four consecutive games where we got him up and not get him in.”

*Billy Hamilton, who got the night off from the lineup, pinch-ran for Brayan Pena in the eighth as the Reds tried to even the game. He was caught stealing for only the second time in 15 big league tries. Both were against the Mets. Anthony Recker was the successful catcher this time — getting him after a 0-1 pitch from Kyle Farnsworth.

“He’s in that situation to get into scoring position and after strike one, it’s even more challenging because it opens up the possibility of a pitch out,” Price said. “It takes away the hit-and-run. Nobody is a sure thing. He’s going to be a very high percentage base stealer. He already has been in his limited time in the big leagues. There have been better conditions to run under but they did a great job. Farnsworth was quick to the plate. Recker made a perfect throw and still just got him.”

“I actually faced him in the Minor Leagues a couple years ago and he’s just as fast as he was then. He can still run,” Recker said. “Honestly, I’d like to say I threw him out twice in two tries, but both times they called him safe. But my shortstop told me that he was out both times so I’ll believe him, because I thought he was out both times.

“It was after he had already broken the record in the Minor Leagues. It was at the end of 2012 and he already had 100 and I don’t know how many bases. So I knew who he was. That was pretty exciting because I thought I threw him out both times, but I didn’t get the call.”

Santiago is 24th SS for Phillips

Ramon Santiago became the 24th different Reds shortstop to partner in the middle infield with second baseman Brandon Phillips since 2006 when he started on Friday.

Courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau and the Reds is the list of the previous 23, in order of games played with Phillips. Enjoy the walk down memory lane…

276 Cozart, Zack
259 Janish, Paul
162 Gonzalez, Alex
138 Keppinger, Jeff
118 Cabrera, Orlando
76 Renteria, Edgar
72 Lopez, Felipe
64 Hairston, Jerry Jr.
44 Castro, Juan
40 Clayton, Royce
31 Valdez, Wilson
28 Izturis, Cesar
25 Aurilia, Rich
11 Lopez, Pedro
9 Cabrera, Jolbert
8 Sutton, Drew
6 Rosales, Adam
4 Gregorius, Didi
3 Valaika, Chris
3 Olmedo, Ray
2 Frazier, Todd
1 Cruz, Enrique
1 Cairo, Miguel

Latos touched up in rehab outing

Courtesy of Hook, Line and Sinker, the blog for the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos, some information on Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos, who made a rehab assignment start on Thursday.

The line was 4.0 ip, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 75 pitches. That included a two-run homer allowed in the first inning.

“My ego is a little bruised, but it is what it is. I feel great,” Latos told reporters in Pensacola. “I was throwing strikes. I got hit around and hit around hard, but regardless, the control was there. It’s just a matter of finishing the hitters, making that pitch when I needed to.”

Most importantly, it didn’t sound like he had any issues with his surgically repaired left knee and right elbow.

“The body of the knee feels good, the elbow feels good,” Latos said.

*Devin Mesoraco was also there for the start of his rehab assignment while catching for Latos. At the plate, Mesoraco had two walks and a RBI in two plate appearances. He is working his way back from a strained left oblique.

Game 4: Reds at Mets

Apologies for the lack of post game blogging lately. The rain delays, some tough turnarounds and early travel haven’t helped. I will try to do better.

Is there anything you’d like to see post game that isn’t currently done here? My big issue is I don’t want to be redundant with what I’ve written already for

The forecast isn’t good for tonight as it’s expected to rain. It’s pretty and blustery as well.

What that means in terms of odds of a delay or postponement … I have no idea. I’m still stunned the Reds and Cardinals played Thursday.

As for the Reds lineup vs. the Mets, here it is…with days off for Billy Hamilton and Zack Cozart.

Bernadina 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Bruce 9
Ludwick 7
Frazier 5
Pena 2
Santiago 6
Leake 1

Santiago becomes the 24th different Reds shortstop to play alongside Brandon Phillips since 2006.


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