Reds lineup vs Cubs
On Saturday, the Reds sent back OF/INF Mark Teahen to the D-backs after acquiring him in a trade for cash/PTBNL. There was an issue with Teahen’s physical, which voided the deal.
Courtesy of my colleague, MLB.com D-backs beat writer Steve Gilbert, Arizona GM Kevin Towers explained what happened:
“Two days prior to us trading him he dove for a ball, didn’t say anything, didn’t show up on any of our medical reports and Mike [Bell, the farm director] wasn’t aware of it,” Towers said. “When he did his physical over there he said he felt something in his shoulder, didn’t quite feel right — hadn’t said anything to us. They basically said ‘there’s some concerns because we were expecting to get a healthy player and if he’s not able to go right now we probably have less interest in doing it.’
“[Teahen] just didn’t say anything to anybody. He didn’t go see the trainer or show up on any medical records so we were caught by surprise as well as them.”
The three stars from a 6-5 Reds win over the Cubs.
No. 3 star: J.J. Hoover — first save of season — Hoover retired only one batter in the game but it was a huge one to get the 27th out. When Aroldis Chapman didn’t have it and gave up three runs, three hits and a walk to turn a four-run lead into a one-run nailbiter, Hoover struck out Darwin Barney to end it.
“It’s too bad Chapman couldn’t finish it off. But I’m glad to step in,” Hoover said. He also have one save in 2012.
No. 2 star: Shin-Soo Choo — 2-for-4, RBI single, double two runs scored — Choo has 13 multi-hit game and has reached in 27 of his 29 games.
No. 1 star: Joey Votto — 2-for-3, two runs, RBI, HB, BB — Votto has a six-game hitting streak ans has reached in 28 of 30 games. He leads the NL with 28 walks.
*As you might read more in my full game story soon on MLB.com, Dusty Baker defended the use of Chapman in a non-save situation in the bottom of the ninth.
“He hadn’t pitched in three days,” Baker said. “If we don’t pitch him, then it’s ‘ok, you’re pitching him too much or you’re not pitching him enough.’” Yeah, he needed work. It was only a four-run game. We have a strong bullpen and Broxton was in there with a four-run game too. There are no excuses or alibis or no one to blame. He just didn’t get them out today. It happens.”
*Chapman threw 32 pitches in the ninth. I don’t think I’m going out on a ledge by predicting he won’t be available on Saturday.
*First-pitch temperature was 41 degrees. The wind chill was 37.
*Four of the Reds’ six RBIs came via two-out hits. Huge.
“The team that gets the two-out hits is usually the team that wins the games,” Baker said. “Those are big, big clutch hits. We had some guys swinging the bat pretty good today. The last time we faced Villanueva, he was pretty tough on us. We got to him pretty early.”
*Mike Leake pitched pretty well, allowing only five singles through his first five innings and no one to reach third base. Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano’s back-to-back one-out doubles scored one run in the sixth. A bloop hit to short left field by Nate Schierholtz scored Soriano. Leake was lifted following Luis Valbuena’s two-out single. Sam LeCure took over from the bullpen and got the Reds out of the jam with one pitch that induced Darwin Barney’s pop out to second base.
“It was cold out there,” Leake said. “I was just trying to work on my strengths and work down in the zone. The umpire was working well with me on that low ball so it was nice to try and attack that lower half of the zone.”
*Leake is 5-2 with a 3.44 ERA in 12 career starts vs. the Cubs.
The Reds got some bad news during the off day that ace Johnny Cueto had a setback discovered during his checkup in Cincinnati. His rehab assignment start today at Double-A Pensacola has been scratched.
What’s particularly troubling is the injury. Cueto, who is on the DL for a strained right lat, felt soreness in his oblique muscle.
“He had a good bullpen [Monday] and he didn’t experience anything in his arm but he experienced soreness in that oblique that he hurt last year in the playoffs,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “So, we’ll wait and see.”
You may recall that Cueto had to exit Game 1 of the NLDS at San Francisco after only eight pitches because of a strained right oblique.
Cueto will be examined again on Monday and a potential rehab schedule will be updated then. That means any future roster move and figuring out what to do with Tony Cingrani has been tabled.
Reds lineup vs. Cubs
*No word yet on why Phillips is out of the lineup. It could be part of Dusty Baker’s M.O. to give a select guy two days off, around a team off day. Will update when I know more.
UPDATE – It is just a day off for Phillips for the reason I expected.
Greetings from frigid Chicago, where I’m hearing it will be even more frigid on Friday when the Reds open their series with the Cubs at Wrigley.
Sorry for the lack of blog action on Wednesday. I had a plane to catch postgame and some deadlines to meet on non-game stuff. I had to put this here blog on the backburner for a day.
*In my Reds notebook yesterday, I had an item on the now infamous tweets by Jay Bruce on Tuesday night in response to some abuse he was taking. I asked Bruce about it and he did not wish to discuss it further on the record. I felt what he wrote was generally a measured, rational and thoughtful response. But should he have sent it out for the masses to see? No. I don’t think Bruce was wrong to write what he wrote and I liked the fact that he stood up to people who wrote things to him that they would be embarrassed to tell their family, friends, co-workers or bosses about. Yet, it was a no-win situation for the player. I can admit to coming close to taking shots at people on Twitter, but have generally thought better of it after a few moments of contemplation. If someone writes something nasty or calls me a name, I usually just block them and move on.
*Pretty soon, my off day story will be posting. The Reds are pretty lucky to be 15-14 in my mind. I think it could be worse considering how subpar the hitting as been and how banged up they’ve been. I know it’s a different year and there is one less team in the division, but through 29 games of 2012, they were also 15-14. It just tells me that there is a long way to go still.
*Is anybody making the trip from Cincinnati for the series? As I noted at the top, dress warm and layer it up. You will be a hearty soul in my book after spending nine innings in the seats.
Reds lineup vs. Cardinals
As the St. Louis Blues won a playoff overtime game a few blocks away, here are the Three Stars from a closely contested baseball game as the Cardinals edged the Reds by a 2-1 score. (Click here for the full game story)
No. 3 star: Bronson Arroyo — 7 ip, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K. — 78 pitches. That’s it. No runners in scoring position. By usual standards, that’s enough to earn a win. But with the offense sputtering of late — not quite.
No. 2 star: Jamie Garcia, STL — 8 ip, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 92 pitches — All Garcia gave up that hurt was a two-out RBI double by Shin-Soo Choo in the fifth inning that scored Derrick Robinson. As you’ll read in the game story, Garcia noted that the Reds were swinging aggressively much of the night.
“That one ball hit by Choo was definitely something you didn’t see much of, which is mistakes up in the zone,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “He was down and the ball was really running all over the place. You can’t really teach the stuff he has. It’s just different, and it was sharp today.”
No. 1 star: Matt Holliday, STL — 1-for-4, 2-run HR — Holliday smacked a 3-2 Arroyo curveball for a low-line drive home run. It was deceptive in that it didn’t look like it would be high enough originally from up here. Arroyo explains his thinking on the pitch sequence:
“I went 3-0 on three sinkers there and then I threw him three breaking balls in a row,” Arroyo said. “The full count was either going to be a sinker in or another curveball. I thought I’d walk him with the sinker because he hasn’t been fishing for it much. I had to be perfect in there. I picked the choice of going right at him rather than having first and second with one out and [Allen] Craig up and kind of getting into the meat of their order with the crowd coming into play around the sixth or seventh inning like they always do. You take your chances and play the best odds you can. A big strong guy like Matt Holliday sometimes can beat you, which he did.
“He’s just so strong. There’s maybe a handful of guys in this game that can hit the ball out of the ballpark with that low of trajectory. Especially with the wind not blowing out tonight. He’s a beast. He’s 6-4, 6-5, 240. He is solid and swings as hard as anybody in this game. He hit it good.”
*The Reds have scored only 15 runs over their last eight games as they finished April with a 15-13 record.
*Choo is batting .316 (6-for-19) vs. STL This season.
*Garcia is 9-2 lifetime vs. the Reds. They are his most wins vs. any opponent.
*The game lasted only two hours and 15 minutes.
More than a few Reds players have watery eyes and irritated noses because of allergies on Tuesday
“We’ve got about 12-13 guys that have allergies,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
One of them is closer Aroldis Chapman.
“Chapman looked like hell. I don’t think he’s available tonight,” Baker said. “I don’t know if [Jonathan] Broxton is available tonight. We may have to close with somebody else. He’s gone two days in a row and he threw 30 pitches the day before. I was a little apprehensive about using him last night. I was little apprehensive about using him last night. It’s not the innings sometimes, but the workload of that inning.”
Chapman has also worked two days in a row and earned back-to-back saves.