Since so many clamored for it, thought I’d headline it.
Reds lineup vs Pirates
A lot of people (and you know who you are) are harping about the lack of playing time for Chris Heisey. Today’s lineup probably doesn’t totally satisfy you because Heisey isn’t in left field. But the manager wanted to give Drew Stubbs a break.
“I’m going to need Drew all the way through Milwaukee (end of May, early June),” manager Dusty Baker said. Unless something happens, he’s not going to get a day off. We’re in a stretch of 20-straight games and 33 in 34 days, and this is May. He’s a racehorse. You can’t run those horses in the ground. I have to preserve him and his legs.”
As for the Heisey question that’s been asked and answered time and again, by all parties involved, here are some long-form quotes from Baker about how he uses Heisey and what his big picture thoughts about him:
“Everybody was screaming for Nix to play before. They were screaming for Dickerson to play and then they screamed for Gomes, how come Gomes isn’t playing every day? Then they were screaming about sending Stubbs out of here and they were screaming about sending Bruce out of here.”
“Every good basketball team has a sixth man. John Havlicek was a sixth man before he was a regular. He still has some things to learn – to me – hitting wise before he’s an everyday play, but he will be. He knows it. I told him. Sometimes you have to be that sixth man before you can be a fifth man.”
“Coming off the bench is hard to do and so very important. Who would you rather have come off the bench every day and be the secret weapon, Heisey or Gomes at this point? I’m trying to be patient waiting on Jonny. I know how he can carry the club. He’s putting a lot of pressure on himself being his option year. If he’s not playing some, he’s not going to get it at all. He’s the only guy I’ve got here that knows how to DH when we get to the American League, which is not easy to do.”
“Show me a lineup around that doesn’t have somebody in there that’s not productive in the lineup. There ain’t one around. We can look for what we ain’t doing. In the meantime, how many have we won now? That ain’t too bad. We’re trying to get better. We will. We’re not clicking on all cylinders yet. We’re getting there.”
“If you’ve noticed, Heisey stands by me every day during the National Anthem. If things weren’t cool, would he stand by me every day?”
Reds lineup vs Cardinals
*Gomes is 0-for-13 lifetime vs Carpenter, and Lewis is hitting well and left handed. Therefore no surprise there that he is starting.
*Ryan Hanigan was supposed to be in the starting lineup today but is still bothered by a sore right hand. Hanigan was hit on the base of his hand by a Fernando Salas fastball in the eighth inning on Friday night. There was still some swelling where his hand and wrist met. X-rays were negative for a fracture.
“It’s got some fluid in there. It’s tender,” Hanigan said. “Nothing to be too concerned about, I can play. I’m trying to get one more day. Hopefully, it will be significantly better tomorrow. If something were to happen, I could play.”
Reds lineup vs. Brewers
Well, I made a sizable goof in my game story last night. I wrote the Reds had only three seven-inning starts this season — two from Leake. I neglected the fact that Travis Wood pitched seven innings vs. the Brewers on April 2. Of course, I missed that game and didn’t update my book. It’s my fault and I apologize for the error.
Reds lineup vs. Brewers
*The lineup went up later than normal today. Dusty Baker had both Votto and Phillips in his office to discuss things, presumably about the change of order.
*According to Elias Sports Bureau, only three players in MLB have reached base safely in each of his team’s games — Joey Votto, Ryan Braun (MIL) and Aramis Ramirez (CHC).
*Tonight will be Bronson Arroyo’s 300th career Major League appearance, and 264th start.
*Reds relievers have a 1.55 ERA over their last 13 games.
*Although it is sunny now as I type, rain is in the forecast all three days. It’s also going to be rather chilly. Highs the next two days are in the 40s. But as you know Miller Park has a roof, and as far as I’m concerned at this moment — that roof makes this yard the greatest place on Earth. For the first time this week, there is no rain delay — or the threat of a rain delay — hanging over us.
Great Oden’s raven, here is the Reds lineup vs. Padres.
*Johnny Cueto (shoulder) pitched today at the complex in Goodyear. His line vs. extended spring guys:
2 ip, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K 34 pitches. Details were not available with, however.
“I know he came through it unscathed. I haven’t got the full report,” pitching coach Bryan Price said.
*Not too surprising Stubbs is sitting. He is 0-for-his-last 10 and has struggled since that last game vs. Houston on Thursday. His average, after a great start, is down to .237.
*RHP Jose Arredondo started his rehab assignment this morning at Double-A Carolina. Arredondo pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.
*Beautiful day here in San Diego. A little cool near the water but not a cloud in the sky.
*Apologies for the ‘Anchorman’ references. I will try to keep them to a minimum.
It’s hardly the time to start declaring the NL Central as belonging to the Reds again, but the 3-0start to the season with a sweep of the Brewers was still impressive. Sunday’s 12-3 pounding of Milwaukee featured 19 hits and four home runs.
*Every member of the starting lineup notched at least one hit.
*Ryan Hanigan set career highs with four hits (4-for-4, walk) and two home runs.
*Brandon Phillips had three hits and a homer.
*Bronson Arroyo pitched seven strong innings despite all six of his hits being for extra bases. Hestayed out of big innings and the two homers against him were solo shots. Impressive day especially when you factor in his having mono.
*Aroldis Chapman was firing bullets (or Cuban missiles) during his 2011 debut in the ninth. Chapmanregular topped 100 mph during his 1-2-3 inning, with one strikeout. The fastest he hit on MLB.com’s gameday screen was 102.
*Drew Stubbs’ infield hit gave him an 11-game hitting streak going back to Sept. 24 of last season.
*Phillips had 16 three-hit games last season.
*The Reds have not opened the season with a three-game sweep since doing it to the Mets in 2005. The last 4-0 start to a season was in 1990 — the world championship season.
*The Reds had 19 hits twice in 2010 (5/28 vs. HOU and 7/27 at MIL)
*CIN has eight home runs from seven different players in the three games.
“We beat a very good ball club. It was close for a while and our offense took over. It was just a big weekend. Any time you start the season 3-0 against a team you know is going to be there at the end, that’s always a big boost for you.” — Dusty Baker
“I battled out there today. Those guys, the hits they did get, they hit real hard. I had good command and I had decent stuff. The wind was a little funny blowing at the back a little bit. It was kind of hard at times to make the ball move a little bit.” — Bronson Arroyo
“Since Monie [Ramon Hernandez] had the walk-off home run, the momentum has been in our favor. We kind of rode that high for the last couple of games. The Brewers have a great team. They’re going to be in the mix. They have a great offense, great pitching. It was just our weekend.” — Ryan Hanigan
“We have a very good team. When Cincinnati’s good, obviously they’re a great team. But you can come across anybody and when they’re locked-in for three games, you can get beat in three games. If we’re not on top of our game against a club like this, they’re going to beat us. But I think that, in all three areas, we’re going to be good. In all of the phases of the game, we weren’t good in this series.” — Brewers manager Ron Roenicke
Follow me on Twitter at
That Reds penchant for the drama didn’t disappear after an off-season. Ramon Hernandez brought it all back, and then, some with a stunning three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. It gave the Reds a 7-6 win.
Cincinnati came into the ninth down 6-3 against Brewers closer John Axford. A fun conclusion for the Reds and their 42,398 fans at GABP…but not a well-played game overall.
*The Reds were 1-for-10 RISP with 10 LOB. They were 0-for-9 before Hernandez came through.
*Edinson Volquez was rocked for three homers, including two in a row to start the game. Carlos Gomez hit the second one and it sailed 429 feet into the upper deck of right field. Not a cheapie by any stretch.
*Jonny Gomes made an error fielding Ryan Braun’s two-out single. It put Braun on 2B and a Jordan Smith balk later put runners on second and third. A possibly tough insurance run scored on Casey McGehee single.
*The Reds were resilent, give them credit. They did not pack it in on a freezing cold day.
*Brandon Phillips’ nifty slide step to avoid McGehee’s tag saved a rally. McGehee should have just thrown to first base and that game likely doesn’t end like it did. Scott Rolen hustled hard to beat the throw to first base, as well. Asked to describe his speed, Rolen dryly replied “Electric.”
*Credit the Reds bullpen, especially Sam LeCure and winning pitcher Logan Ondrusek for keeping Milwaukee in check.
*Gomes nearly won the game himself with a long screamer of a fly to center field. It went for a sac fly but put Hernandez in position to win the game.
*The last Reds walk-off home run on Opening Day came from the bat of Joe Randa on 4/7/2005 vs. the Mets in a 7-6 win.
*Hernandez is the fifth Reds player to collect four hits on Opening Day.
*The Reds are now 4-9-1 in their last 14 openers. The tie, incidentally came vs. MIL in 2000, after an official game was called because of rain.
*The last time a team hit two home runs to begin a season was the Reds on April 7, 1969 vs. the Dodgers. Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan each went deep against Don Drysdale at
Riverfront Stadium. Crosley Field.
*Cincinnati hadn’t won an Opening Day game since 2007, so it was the first in the tenure of Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty.
“We don’t want to win it like that. We got lucky enough we got the win today. To me, it’s amazing. This is one of the best opening days I’ve ever had in my career. I’m so happy that I helped my team and my team won a ballgame.” — Ramon Hernandez
“They were getting some hits with runners in scoring position and we weren’t. If you keep putting them out there, sooner or later something good is going to happen. The key is opporutunies. If you don’t have opportunities, you don’t have much of a chance.” — Dusty Baker
“We ended the season on a walk-off last year to clinch the division and start it that way this year. We kind of struggled to put together productive innings today. We got some base runners and weren’t able to capitalize and get them across. I think it’s a huge shot in the arm for us to start the year. It’s always great to win the first one and in that fashion, it’s even more special.” — Drew Stubbs, who hit a homer in the fourth inning.
“I think I was a little bit excited in the first inning. After that, I calmed down and threw my pitches.” — Edinson Volquez
“Obviously, my opinion doesn’t really matter. But if my first inclination was that he was not out of the baseline, I would have made sure I kept going towards him a little bit more than I did instead of also trying to make a throw. In hindsight, I wish I had just come through and made a thtow to first and not even worried about him.” — Brewers 3B Casey McGehee on the non-tag of Phillips in the ninth.
“I got away with one in the at-bat before with Gomes. This time I paid for it.” — John Axford, who gave up the game-ending homer to Hernandez.
Follow me on Twitter at
Several Reds players came through for pregame press conferences before Thursday’s game. Here is a quick sample:
“I can’t recall being anywhere where we’ve had a parade prior to the season. We’re just hoping we have two parades. One at the beginning of the season and one at the end of the season.” — manager Dusty Baker.
“There’s always a buzz for opening day in Cincinnati. Everybody is a little more excited to be here and ready for today. It’s not such a bitter taste in your mouth from last year or year’s past.” — RF Jay Bruce
“Last year, there was a lot of unknown whereas this year I feel like we’ve seen some of our potential and it’s going to push us to do a little more this year. Our goal isn’t to have a winning season or break a streak of sub .500 seasons. Our goal is to win the World Series this year.” — 1B Joey Votto
“The feeling you get on Opening Day is similar to the feeling you get with that first postseason game. It’s just a different level. Spring Training is – unless you’re a guy fighting for a job – it is just practice. You try to get your work in and feel good physically. Once they turn on the lights and it’s game one, every out, every strikeout, every walk, every hit – it stays on the back of your baseball card forever. It’s definitely a different vibe.” — RHP Bronson Arroyo
RHP Jared Burton was added to the list of names placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday, retroactive to 3/29. Burton has right shoulder inflammation, and was diagnosed following an afternoon exam with Dr. Tim Kremchek.
RHP Jordan Smith was recalled from Triple-A Louisville.
Formally placed on DL were Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Jose Arredondo and Fred Lewis
Cueto is eligible to be reinstated on Wednesday, Bailey on 4/8, Arredondo on 4/9, Lewis on 4/11 and Burton on 4/13.
Follow me on Twitter at
Here is your Reds tentative Opening Day lineup for Thursday.
6 Drew Stubbs, cf
4 Brandon Phillips, 2b
19 Joey Votto, 1b
27 Scott Rolen, 3b
32 Jay Bruce, rf
31 Jonny Gomes, lf
55 Ramon Hernandez, c
6 Paul Janish, ss
36 Edinson Volquez, rhp
This is the kind of weather that can fade an Arizona tan rather quick. It will be hard to tell from the pictures, but it’s currently snowing and sleeting at Great American Ball Park and temperatures are about 35 degrees.
The teams worked out today but neither the Brewers, nor Reds hit on the field. The high temperature forecasted for Thursday is 48 degrees and cloudy.
“[Miguel] Cairo’s favorite saying is ‘it’s all mental,’” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “When you get hit by a pitch, it doesn’t hurt. Sometimes, it really is cold. Or it hurts. You have to foolyourself. They have to deal with the elements too, you know?”
“One thing I’ve learned about Ohio. I don’t really believe [the weather] until I’ve talked to Marty.He swears he is the weather man.”
Marty, of course, is Marty Brennaman — the dean of Cincinnati weather forecasters.
Some Opening Day preview links:
Reds bring confidence into the season (includes the Reds Opening Day lineup)
The workout on the field didn’t last long, mostly playing catch.