Results tagged ‘ Aroldis Chapman ’

Just the quotes…

All quotes today for this postgame blog. Get complete stories about the game, sweep, Chapman and postgame incident on MLB.com/Reds.com.

“Nobody can just keep beating you all the time even though he had a heck of a run. They helped us out with a couple of defensive plays. He looked like the same Carpenter to me. It might have been our turn. That was a big sweep right there. They came in 1 ½ up and left 1 ½ out. Had it been adverse results, we could have been 4 ½ out. That was a big, big series for us.” — Dusty Baker on beating Chris Carpenter for the first time since 8/15/06.

“The word is getting around the league now because they were just up there taking. They got advance scouts like we do. It’s a matter of him focusing and remaining confident. Everybody’s confidence is so fragile sometimes. Hopefully he can have a good outing. That’s what we were hoping for today so he could get back on track again.” — Baker on Chapman, who walked four batters in the ninth.

“I think it was because I hit Pujols 0-2. Gerald Laird was all loud in the dugout. He was yelling at me and pointing at me and saying a whole bunch of stuff. I will say it again. Out of all those guys they have there, those great hitters and great players, Gerald Laird did not even play and he’s the one yelling at me because I hit Pujols 0-2…0-2. I wasn’t trying to hit him. I’ve got to face Holliday next. They can take the lead with one swing. Lance Berkman is one of the great hitters in the National League. All I know is [Laird] was loud and saying something to me. I said something back to him.” — Francisco Cordero on the postgame shouting to the Cardinals dugout.

“I looked in the dugout and Pujols was sitting down. He was quiet because he knows I wasn’t trying to hit him. This stuff happens. Obviously we swept them and are up a game and a half in the division. Whatever happened last year was last year. It’s a new year. We’re just trying to play baseball. It’s not wrestling. It’s a baseball game. That’s all we’re trying to do here.” — Cordero

“We don’t like it when somebody like Albert gets hit, especially in that type of situation. A lot of guys took offense to it, didn’t like it. That’s baseball. You pitch inside, but you better have a clue when you come inside. They took offense to it, we took offense to it, and the soap opera continues between these guys. There’s always something when you come in here.” – Cardinals acting manager Joe Pettini

“When you’re up by two, do you really want to put the tying run on first base with one out and Holliday and Berkman – one of the hottest hitters of the season so far? On his part, it wasn’t professional.  Coco got off because it was the whole inning. It was really loud and everybody heard what he’s saying, stuff you’re not supposed to say to nobody. We’re just trying to play the game, to get an out. We’re not trying to hit anybody. We’re just trying to get the victory. A guy that didn’t play in this series coming out and trying to be all – I guess stepping up for everybody to be the toughest. He really got the wrong point and the wrong time to be a toughest when you don’t have to don’t have to be. If you know the game a little bit, you have to be smarter and see what’s going on the baseball field.” — Ramon Hernandez on Laird

“Everybody has their day. Carpenter is one of the best pitchers in this game and we just hit his mistakes and took advantage of the situations. That’s what good teams do. I just love the way we’re playing right now. Regardless of who’s pitching, I feel like we can go out there and beat everybody.”
— Brandon Phillips.

“I don’t want to sound trite, but there’s no significance. We lost three games. We have five and a half months to play. Heck, we may not even be in it in September. They might not, we might not. It’s just so early.” — Cardinals RF Lance Berkman

Cueto brilliant in debut

Since I need to make my way to the airport, I will keep this brief.

Johnny Cueto gave the Reds exactly what they hoped for today with six-plus scoreless innings for a 2-0 victory. Cueto allowed five hits and a walk with four strikeouts. He threw 102 pitches and was lifted after a leadoff single in the seventh since he was at his pitch limit.

With Homer Bailey back and Cueto back and both with nice starts, the Reds could really see what they’ve got going forward. Bronson Arroyo pitched great yesterday and Travis Wood was mostly solid — save for four walks — his last time out. Maybe I’m a dissenter to you, but I believe Edinson Volquez isn’t too far from finding his rhythm on a consistent basis. To me, his moments of brilliance are too good to think he can’t start clicking.
 

“We’re on a little bit of a roll now,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Hopefully we can get on a big roll if we can get everybody back. This is the team we slated to be the team. The other guys did a good job for them in their absence but these guys are my horses.”

Notes:

*Joey Votto’s on-base streak to start the season was ended at 33 games after he was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. That left him one shy of Dave Collins’ 1981 club record. Interestingly, Votto’s 41-game on-base streak last season was ended here as well on July 4 when he was ejected in the first inning for balls and strikes.

“You go through stretches where you miss. I’ve been missing lately. It will pass,” Votto said.

*For those wondering, Aroldis Chapman was up in the bullpen during the seventh inning jam and was intended to use against lefty hitter Kosuke Fukudome. Chapman wasn’t ready in time, however. And Sam LeCure walked Fukudome to load the bases, but he escaped the jam of his own making.

“We were thinking about him but he takes a long time to get loose,” Baker said of Chapman. “We have to give him a full inning to get loose. I called down and he wasn’t ready. We didn’t want to take a chance.”

*Jay Bruce was 2-for-3 today, making him 12-for-36 (.333) with four homers and eight RBIs over his last 10 games.

*Going back to last season, the Reds have won 12 of the last 15 games vs. the Cubs.

*Cueto and Nick Masset were both called for balks today. It was the first time that two balks were called on the team since it happened to Brandon Claussen and Brian Shackelford on 8/25/05 vs. the Nationals. That interesting nugget came from the Cubs media relations staff.

Quotes:

“That was a great outing by Cueto. We took him to his limit, I think. That’s why we got him. He was still throwing the ball well but you’ve got to remember that’s his first outing. That was awesome.” — Dusty Baker

“My fastball was landing where I wanted it. And I was happy with the location because my fastball was getting good location.” — Johnny Cueto

*
“We had the tough loss yesterday and to be able to bounce back from that and get a win today was great. Cueto came back and pitched outstanding. Our relievers did a great job also holding that lead. Not a lot of hits, but luckily the one I got was a homer and Ramon got the big hit early too.” — Drew Stubbs

“It might have been one of the best I’ve ever seen him throw, to be honest with you. He looked fantastic. He threw his breaking ball really well. It seemed like they were off balance the entire game. I’m really glad he came back after missing some time and threw so well today.” — Joey Votto on Cueto

*
****That’s it for me for a few days. I’m skipping Houston but resuming on Friday for the Cardinals series.

Nice series turnaround

Just think, there was a moment on Wednesday when the Reds were three outs away from losing this series. They had only one hit through eight innings and all was bleak.

Fast forward to today’s 10-4 win. The Reds took the series with back-to-back wins, the first time they did that since April 11-12. And they did it behind a very fine season debut from Homer Bailey.

Bailey’s line: 6 ip, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. 95 pitches/62 strikes. His 1-2-3 first inning was a good barometer — 15 pitches/11 strikes. You can read more on him when my full game story is published on MLB.com.

“Pretty much, we were always in a good count,” Bailey said. “There were only a couple of batters where we fell behind. When you’re ahead in the count, good things are going to happen.”

The Reds could not have asked for a better outing for his first game back from the right-shoulder impingement. Another anticipation is brewing for Sunday when Johnny Cueto makes his 2011 debut.

Notes:

*Joey Votto’s on-base streak is at 31 with his fourth-inning single. Now that Ryan Braun’s streak ended yesterday at 28, Votto is the only big league player to reach base in all of his team’s games.

*Ryan Hanigan’s three RBIs accounted for the first three runs of the game.

*Bailey’s 1-2-3 top of the first inning was only the fifth for the rotation in that troublesome inning this season. However, it was the second in a row after Travis Wood did it Wednesday.

*Fred Lewis had the first PH homer of his career and his first homer with the Reds in the sixth inning.

*Aroldis Chapman had a rough one today. Chapman entered with two on and two out in the seventh and did not retire any of his three batters. He walked two, including one with the bases loaded and gave up a two-run single.

*Nick Masset did a nice job with a 1-2-3 eighth inning. His two strikeouts both came on 96 mph pitches.

*Jay Bruce hit an eighth inning homer during the important four-run eighth that put the game away. Bruce is tied with Jonny Gomes for the team lead with six homers.

*The Reds have had four-straight games without an error.

Quotes:

“This guy is capable of a lot of victories for us. We were hoping this injury or the layoff for him and Cueto both – we’re in September and they’ll still be strong when everybody else has another month on them. Hopefully into October, he’ll be September with innings and wear and tear. This could work out great for us.” — Dusty Baker on Homer Bailey

“I had a lot of confidence that we were going to score some runs. I had Hanigan back there doing a great job. It was more about executing pitches.” — Homer Bailey

“He’s had spurts of dominance throughout his career. It’s just a matter of consistency. He’s such a competitor and he wants it bad. He works at it as hard as anybody. He’s got the stuff to do it when he’s on. We’re just going to try and take it game by game, have a good game plan, try and stick with it, make adjustments on the fly and hopefully he can have a good year.” — Ryan Hanigan on Bailey
 
“It feels good to shut the door a little bit, not having to come from behind. It’s always comforting, especially on get-away days.” — Jay Bruce

“He didn’t have it today; I’m sure he will next time. The rest of the guys picked him up.” Ryan Hanigan on Aroldis Chapman

Just the quotes…

Here is a plethora of quotes coming after the Reds hard-fought 7-6 win over the Brewers in 10 innings:

“We fought hard for it. They fought hard for it. You know they’re not going to quit, especially with the offense they have. We’re not going to quit with the offense we have. We’re pretty evenly matched. That was a good game to win.” — Dusty Baker

“If that ball had stayed in the ballpark, I might have had to hang them up. I hit that one pretty well. The only thing that made me question it was the way he went after it to make a play on it. As soon as I hit it, I thought it was gone.” — Drew Stubbs on his game-winning homer in the 10th.

“I can’t complain. I’ve been throwing strikes. I’ve been pitching this year. It’s a little bit different than last year — sometimes I didn’t know where the ball was going. This year, I’m throwing more strikes and getting people out. I feel good about myself and the thing I’m doing.” — Francisco Cordero, who is 4-for-4 in save chances this season.

“It’s tough, but you know that if you put it in play, anything can happen. Obviously, that’s why they brought him in, because they needed strikeouts at the time. Once he hit Rickie [Weeks], I felt pretty good, and then all of a sudden he was throwing strikes.” — Brewers manager Ron Roenicke on facing Aroldis Chapman in the eighth

“Yeah, he went two innings, which he usually doesn’t go. Fortunately for us, he was throwing quality strikes and getting quality hitters out. You never want to face Rickie Weeks. You’re not in a hurry to face Prince. You’re not in a hurry to face — certainly with the bases loaded – Ryan Braun. And with their clutch man, McGehee, they have some guys that can hit and hit in the clutch.” — Baker when asked if Chapman had his best outing as a Major Leaguer today.

“I keep saying it and I’m going to say it again, that’s just unbelievable. I’m real glad that I’m here and get to see that and enjoy it.” — Cordero on Chapman

“After coming away with the series loss at the Cardinals, it was a big bounce back for us to complete the road trip at .500. It’s good considering the fact we started off a little slow. Anytime you can win divisional series against an opponent like the Brewers, it’s a huge plus. Hopefully we can carry that momentum into the next series.” — Stubbs

Reds have .500 record

There will no doubt be hemming and hawing throughout Greater Cincinnati tonight. After the uber hot start, the Reds are suddenly 9-9. A 3-1 loss gave them four-straight losses and a 1-5 homestand.

Some things I looked at for my postgame story:

*Through 18 games last season, they were 7-11.

*Through 30 games last season, they were 15-15.

I’m usually pretty pragmatic about winning and losing skids. At the moment, obviously, this team is not getting it done. But maybe it’ll be OK to keep the glass sealed over the panic button a little while longer.

Notes:

*Joey Votto went 2-for-4 with a RBI double to keep his reach safely streak to all 18 games.

*Ryan Hanigan snapped a 0-for-12 streak with his one-out single in the fifth inning.

*Bronson Arroyo threw first pitch strikes to 20 of the 25 batters he faced. He retired 15 in a row at one point, with eight of them strikeouts. Arroyo did give up a run in the first inning, which has become all too familiar lately for this rotation.

*The Reds have been outscored 22-12 in the first inning this season. The 22 runs allowed leads MLB.

*Aroldis Chapman hit 100 a couple of times during 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He had two walks — one with two outs in the seventh and the other with two outs in the eighth.

Quotes:

“You don’t like where you are. It adds to sleepless nights when you’re losing but the reality of it all, our best days haven’t even gotten here yet as a team. As long we don’t listen to people, as long as we don’t panic, and we continue to work hard, things are going to be great. I’m as positive now as I ever was. I’m not as happy as I was. Our start spoiled people. It spoiled us. It spoiled everybody.” — Dusty Baker.

“You think about the first series of the year against Houston and what those guys were feeling like when everything was going our way, all the big hits at the right time and making all the pitches when you needed to. It’s such a long season and that’s the ebb and flow of the game. That’s why you cherish every win you get in the game. There are times when they come easy and seems like they’re just going to keep coming. You know eventually you’re going to go down the other side of the mountain. Those are the times you have to come to the ballpark and try to simplify things.” — Bronson Arroyo

Rough night/series at the yard

 Reds starting pitching has suddenly not looked so hot. The only pitcher to reach six innings in the lost series vs. the Pirates was Mike Leake (six on Saturday). We all know he has some other issues going on that could affect his next outing. Bronson Arroyo lasted only four innings and allowed five runs on Friday. Edinson Volquez gave up six runs in 5 2/3 innings on Sunday.

And on Monday, Travis Wood lasted a rotation season-low 3 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs and eight hits during a 9-3 loss. The rotation has a 5.23 ERA through 16 games this season.

“The bottom line is we’ve got to get our starting pitching straight,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “They jumped us four runs yesterday, jumped us three today and our pitch count gets extremely high for our starters early.”

Some notes:
*Aroldis Chapman made his return to the mound after a four-day break. Chapman reached top speeds of 102 mph, according to MLB.com Gameday’s Pitch F/X. Sorry to be a killjoy, but he did not reach 106 mph against Andrew McCutchen, as the scoreboard read. It was 102. The bottom line to me, is that Chapman has more life on his fastball again.

*The Pirates hitters challenged Reds pitching all night. The staff threw 196 pitches tonight.

*Travis Wood threw 42 of those pitches in the top of the first inning.

*Pittsburgh series win is their first at Great American Ball Park since a 2-1 visit here from 9/2-9/4, 2008, snapping an 0-4-1 streak.

*Dusty Baker said that Brandon Phillips will return Tuesday. His production was certainly missed in the series.

*Joey Votto has reached safely in all 16 games this season. Votto drew a third inning walk tonight.

*Reds batters notched a season-low four hits vs. Kevin Correia. From the fourth-thru-seventh innings, Correia needed only 28 pitches.

Quotes:

“I don’t know what I’m doing. The guy is throwing 103 and I’m just trying to – I don’t know what I’m trying to do but I was able to foul off a couple of pitches and that’s good by me.” — Kevin Correia on facing Aroldis Chapman

“I feel good. I don’t think my speed went away. It was just like a normal day, like any other pitcher. My arm wasn’t feeling as well as it is and that’s it. My arm never felt bad.” — Aroldis Chapman

“Can you afford to give him three or four days off so he can throw as hard as he did tonight? Or will he get conditioned to going a couple of days in a row? Remember, everybody wanted him to be the closer. You can’t be the closer right now going a couple of days a week. A closer has to go three, four, five days in a row sometimes. Then, you might not use your closer for a week. That’s how things go.” — Dusty Baker on Chapman

“They battled and fouled off some pitches, fouled off some good pitches and hit some good pitches. The times that maybe I made a mistake, they hit it as well. They played well tonight.” — Travis Wood.

West Coast trip finale

Reds lineup vs. Padres

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Gomes 7
Francisco 5
Heisey 9
Hernandez 2
Janish 6
Wood 1

*Bruce is not in the lineup after he drew two walks and hit a single. He scored two runs. But he’s struggled overall in the early going with a .220 average and .267 OBP. Those two walks gave him a total of three for the season. He has zero homers.

***UPDATE — Bruce tweaked his right groin running past second base and holding up in the fifth inning on that throwing error by the pitcher. Both Dusty Baker and Bruce said he’s available to play today.

*Ryan Hanigan is not catching today because he caught 11 innings last night. Baker plans on having Hanigan catch on Friday as usual for Bronson Arroyo.

*I got a few questions last night about LHP Aroldis Chapman’s lowered velocity — he topped out at 98 mph, and that was his last pitch. Baker was not concerned and there is no issue.

“He was throwing some fastballs but you don’t have the same fastball every day,” Baker said. “You don’t have the same nothing every day. You don’t have to same bat speed. You don’t have the same leg speed. You don’t write as fast, right? There’s nothing to be alarmed about.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to say about him. People want to see him every day. He had gone three out of four days. If he goes two innings last night, he’d be even worse the second inning. Then we wouldn’t have him today at all and there’s a good chance the one off day wouldn’t help that much…Some days you can throw. But some days you’re going to have to pitch. Everybody is concerned about his velocity. I even saw an umpire last night turn around and look at the scoreboard. That’s a first for me. I know he wasn’t looking at the out of town scores.”

Big win in extras

I won’t run it all down here but please read the game story on the web site for how all the great defensive plays saved the Reds collective bacon tonight — namely Brandon Phillips exceptional bare-handed snag and throw in the eighth.

*Unfortunately, starter Sam LeCure got the short end with a no-decision after a really nice night of pitching. In his second start of the season, eCure was sensational for six innings as he gave up one earned run on only one hit with two walks and eight strikeouts. LeCure retired the last 12 batters faced in a row.

*The Reds took LeCure out after 87 pitches.

“Young LeCure pitched great tonight,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He pitched outstanding. But his endurance level wasn’t quite where we want it to be to go deep in the ballgame. He gave us all he had.”

“We got into a good groove and there wasn’t a whole lot of shaking going on and we were able to get on the same page early,” said LeCure about himself and catcher Ryan Hanigan.

Notes:

*All of the hits, and all six runs scored, in the top of the 11th came with two outs.

*Hanigan was 0-for-4 until his two-out double to left field in the 11th scored Jonny Gomes with the go-ahead run in a 2-2 game.

*Drew Stubbs homer was a first-pitch shot and absolutely tattooed. You don’t see many get of center field that quick.

*Aroldis Chapman had a quick 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh. Interestingly, Chapman only topped out at 98 mph when struck out Brad Hawpe looking with his final pitch.

*Nick Masset had another rough one — his third in a row. Two hard hits started the eighth and led to the game-tying run scoring on a groundout. It was Phillips’ play that kept San Diego from taking the lead.

*And in tonight’s notebook — I talked to Phillips and Bill Bray about their good starts to the season.

*Also a Homer Bailey update: 3 ip, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K and 37 pitches during his game at the team complex in Goodyear.

Quotes:

“We played good defense. Sam made a great start. There at the end, I got a pitch to hit. You never know with two outs. I was having a tough night at the plate to that point. I was just trying to battle. I got a pitch I could handle and put a good swing on it. — Ryan Hanigan
“Hani just let the game come to me. I thought it was really fitting that he got what turned into the game-winning RBI there. He did such a great job with everybody. He called a great game. How many balls did he block in big situations? I thought it was really fitting that he came up with that hit.” — Sam LeCure

“We’ve got to get Masset together. He’s struggling right now. He’s struggling with location. Great velocity, just poor location. The ball is right down the middle. He suffered with this last year. We have to do something to help him figure it out.” — Dusty Baker.

Heisey looking good

It was another wild offensive day in the Cactus League for the Reds. This was a 9-8 victory, which has moved the spring record to 14-9-1.

The good:

The Reds collected 17 hits in the game.

*Chris Heisey went 3-for-6 with two RBIs, including a solo homer to left field in the top of the eighth. He was a double shy of hitting for the cycle. Heisey is batting .325 (13-for-40) this spring and has hit safely in 9 of his last 12 games. He seems to have all but claimed a reserve outfielder’s spot. Heisey started in center field again and despite a throwing error today, has shown that he can play all three spots.

*Todd Frazier cranked a three-run homer to left field in the  fourth inning off of Brewers starter Chris Narveson. It was his second long ball since Thursday. Frazier got off to a slow start and seems to be coming on.

*The Dave Sappelt hitting show had another strong day. Sappelt was 2-for-4, which actually lowered his average from .536 to .531.

*Dontrelle Willis pitched well in the game, despite giving up a three-run homer to George Kottaras in the bottom of the fifth. A one-out walk to Casey McGhee two batters before Kottaras hurt.

“Willis made one bad pitch on a breaking ball to George Kottaras and what got him in trouble was the walk also,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

*Aroldis Chapman pitched two scoreless innings with two walks. Chapman also batted for himself in the eighth and slapped a single the opposite way through the left side.

“I turned to him and said ‘are you ready to hit?’ He said ‘oh no.’ And he got a hit. I’m glad for him,” Baker said.

Not-so-good:

*Reds pitchers combined to allowed 11 walks. Five came via Edinson Volquez, including four in the bottom of the third. Volquez walked two runs in and was removed after 2 1/3 innings. He was charged with five earned runs.

“I had a little bit of problem with control. It’s nothing big,” Volquez said. “It’s nothing but mechanical. I was jumping from of the rubber to home plate. … My arm is good, my body, everything is fine.”

Volquez believes he’ll be ready for the Brewers again on March 31.

“I have a good idea now of what they’re looking for,” he said. “It will be a good game.”

*Playing first base in the eighth inning, Yonder Alonso had his foot stepped on accidentally by former Red Chris Dickerson as he ran out a groundball. Alonso needed a couple of moments and was looked over by trainer Paul Lessard and Baker. But he was able to continue.

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Nice days for Leake, Willis

More than a few highlights today from a 5-1 Reds win over the Indians.

*Mike Leake provided four scoreless innings and allowed three hits in a strong performance. A few of the balls that went for outs were sharply hit into the outfield. But Leake also picked up five outs on the ground, which is generally his bread and butter.

“I felt good,” Leake said. “It’s been a progression. I’m trying to slowly get back into it and get stronger.”

*Hustle award of the day for Dontrelle Willis. He ripped a liner into the right field corner. He could have easily coasted into second base but never slowed and lumbered to third base with a head first slide for a triple. More importantly, Willis worked a scoreless inning with one hit. His chances of making the team are looking better and better. It was also his first game since spraining his ankle on Saturday. He didn’t appear to have trouble.

“If he makes the team, he might be in that long relief role,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He always could hit. Him and Leake can both hit. I want Willis to get some at-bats in case in the season we leave him in there. He can still run and hit. He threw the ball well too.”

*Aroldis Chapman survived a one-run ninth where he started out with a single, a walk and a RBI single from Lou Marson. Chapman received a mound visit from Bryan Price and head trainer Paul Lessard.

“He’s OK,” Baker said. “We thought we saw him limp a little bit. He said he was fine.”

*Todd Frazier notched his first homer of spring and knocked one the opposite way to right field for the game’s first run.

*The drumbeat from fans for the Reds to have Dave Sappelt make the club will only grow louder. In his first at-bat in the seventh, Sappelt had a RBI triple to right field. This spring, Sappelt is batting .538 with a team-high tying seven RBIs. Sappelt also leads the club with 14 hits and 24 total bases this spring.

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