Results tagged ‘ David Weathers ’

Three in a row

The Reds are above .500 for the first time in 2009 and earned their 4-3 record with a 6-1 win over the Brewers. That’s a three-game winning streak and they can leave town with a series sweep if they win tomorrow.

The key to the game was a strong pitching effort by Bronson Arroyo, who gave up one run and four hits over 6 1/3 innings. I think we can say his carpal tunnel issue is behind Arroyo. Although he had four walks, he was changing speed pretty well and Milwaukee didn’t look too comfortable against him.Jerry Hairston Jr.’s first homer of the season snapped a 1-1 tie in the third inning and was the go-ahead score.

Willy Taveras was solid at reaching the bases, doing so in three of his five plate appearances. Taveras drew two walks and singled. He also swiped two bases. His OBP thus far is .409 —  that’s more than pretty good. Taveras was on base when Hairston went deep.

In the eighth, David Weathers notched his 900th career appearance and became just the 20th pitcher in Major League history reach that plateau. Weathers faced two batters and got them both out.

Post-game quotes:

Hairston on his homer off a 2-2 changeup from Manny Parra:

“He left it up a little bit and I was able to put a good swing on it and fortunately, it barely got out.”

Arroyo:

“I can’t be any happier with the results. Going out there and still feeling a little bit uncomfortable. I haven’t been in my normal routine in a while. It’s coming around and I’m just happy to be 2-0 with no feeling like I’m totally dialed in yet.”

“My arm felt good. My hand felt good. I felt like I had at least the same fastball in the seventh inning as I had the first. Last time out, I definitely did not have that.”

Baker:

“The guys are feeling pretty good, feeling very confident and playing better baseball. We just have to keep it rolling.”

on taking out Arroyo:

“When I took him out, he said he was spent. You could tell when he scuttled those four balls in there. Our bullpen came in and did a great job.”

 

3-3 record.

The Reds scored seven runs on just three hits and had six hits overall for a 7-6 win over the Brewers.

The highlights:

  • Edwin Encarnacion sucked all the noise out Miller Park with a big grand slam in the six-run Reds’ third inning after Milwaukee had taken a 5-1 lead after two innings.

“It hit the perfect spot on my bat. I knew right away the ball was gone,” Encarnacion said.

  • All of the Reds third-inning runs came after having two outs and nobody on.
  • As mentioned in the earlier post, Jay Bruce has grappled lately with his timing. Bruce hit a high fastball for a solo homer in the second inning.

“I found something I was doing last year that I’m doing a little different this year,” Bruce said. “I think I have to get back to my game, myself. Doing what I was doing really helps. It had to do with timing. It wasn’t necessarily gone but not as consistent as I wanted it to be.”

  • The bullpen came up solid again. In the seventh, Arthur Rhodes gave up back-to-back one-out singles but escaped with a double play. David Weathers gave up a two-out triple and two walks to load the bases but also kept the Brewers down.
  • The Reds have won three of their last four to climb back to a 3-3 record. It was a good win to get on the first day of an 11-day, 10-game marathon road trip.
  • It overshadowed another shaky outing by Edinson Volquez, who threw 99 pitches over five innings and gave up six runs, seven hits and four walks with four strikeouts. Volquez has a 9.64 ERA and 13 hits allowed through 9 1/3 innings and two starts. His eight walks are tied for the National League lead and he’s already allowed three homers after giving up 14 all of last season.

“Edinson wasn’t sharp but he gave us all he had,” manager Dusty Baker said.

  • In the first inning, Volquez was late covering first base on a double play ball and it cost him the first run of the game.

“I’m going to get fined for that,” Volquez said.

  • Volquez gave up Corey Hart’s three-run homer in the second that made it 5-1, Brewers. But the pitcher worked out of a bases-loaded, no outs jam in the fourth.

“I was confident,” Volquez said. “I looked at them and [thought] ‘I’m going to get those guys outs.”

“Edinson has a way of getting into trouble and getting out of trouble,” Baker said. “That was huge because they could have blasted that game open.”

 “We knew we were behind but we never got our heads down,” Encarnacion said. “We have to keep our head up and keep going. We knew the game was early. That’s why we have to play aggressive every inning. You never know what can happen in this game.”

Rain be gone, please

I’d love to say it’s a perfect night for baseball here at Great American Ball Park but it’s raining — sometimes light and other times cats and dogs. The Reds are usually willing to hunker down all night to wait out the weather so there’s a belief here that the game vs. PIT could be played. But the forecast calls for more rain and there’s a 1:10 p.m. game just around the corner on Saturday. Let’s hope it clears up enough, and sooner than later.

News you can use:

For the first time after three games this season, Dusty Baker could make the lineup he expected to make against a right-handed pitcher.

Taveras CF, Dickerson LF, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Encarnacion 3B, Hernandez C, Gonzalez SS, Cueto P

“It wouldn’t be new if everyone was healthy and fresh. We haven’t had it like that,” Baker said.

  • Jerry Hairston Jr. (tight left leg) says he could play tonight. Hairston wasn’t in the lineup, partially because Baker’s platoon has Chris Dickerson hitting vs. right-handed pitchers like Pittsburgh’s Jeff Karstens.

“It feels a lot better today,” Hairston said. “I could have played today but they wanted to give me an extra day.”

  • Entering tonight, Arthur Rhodes and David Weathers have combined to retire all 13 batters faced with a total of 42 pitches, 35 strikes. Rhodes has 31 pitches/27 strikes while Weathers has 11 pitches/8 strikes.
  • A closed door team meeting was called for about 10 minutes during the afternoon. Players were informed that the mother of pitching prospect Pedro Viola, Teresa Contreras, had surgery today to remove a tumor from her face. The surgery went without complications.
  • In the former Reds department, former pitcher Matt Belisle had his Minor League contract purchased by Rockies today. Belisle, who was 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA, seven strikeouts and two walks in Spring Training, will work from Colorado’s bullpen.

If Belisle does well for the Rockies, what is the over/under on how long it will take for comments and e-mails to flow about the Reds letting him go? Every year when an ex-Reds had a good week elsewhere (Justin Germano, Cody Ross, Brandon Harris come to mind), the inbox gets heavy. I don’t think these were guys the Reds have really missed in the big picture. I have no doubt Jeff Keppinger’s name will come up soon too.

  • In the get to know him department, Baker is a big fan of the Weather Channel and calls it his favorite stop on the dial.

“I watch it at home – the five day forecast to see how accurate the weather guy is,” Baker said. “It’s a tough job. I don’t second guess them. You’re trying to predict what God is making and creating and changing.” 

One down, 161 to go

Who’s written the season off after one game? That’s a common occurance after an Opening Day loss, especially in Cincinnati. Just remember, it’s one game and only the first game. Obviously, the opener is a bigger deal around here, it doesn’t mean the season is over already.

While there were some negatives to take away from the 2-1 loss to the Mets, I will start with my positives:

  • Alex Gonzalez looked pretty good and played all nine innings in lousy conditions. He also made a nice diving stop to his left on Johan Santana’s second-inning groundout for the third out. Dusty Baker considered not playing Gonzalez because of the weather.

“I considered it but he probably would have shot me after he’s been out a year and a half,” Baker said.

  • The late-inning bullpen effort was strong. Arthur Rhodes and David Weathers each threw a perfect inning. Francisco Cordero was throwing 94 mph and gave up one hit in a scoreless ninth.
  • Aaron Harang had a high pitch count of 114 but mostly got out of jams. He only gave up one run and seven hits. Of those seven hits, two were infield hits, three were bloopers and there were two solid hits – including the homer by Murphy.

The negative:

  • The outfield defense was sloppy. Darnell McDonald and Jerry Hairston Jr. seemed to get crossed up. I think Willy Taveras makes a couple of the balls McDonald didn’t get to.
  • I know Johan Santana was pitching for the Mets, but just three hits in the game isn’t a good sign for those of us (me included) worried about whether the Reds will have enough production to be real contenders.

Dusty Baker post-game quotes:

“Our outfield is still learning the range of each other. They’re learning the speed of each other. We’ll get it together. I love our outfield. They’re not going to be too many balls that drop in.”

“He usually leads the league in strikeouts. A lot of people don’t get a lot of runs against Santana. Aaron matched him except for that home run he gave up to the youngerster we don’t know either. There weren;t many negatives today. People look for negatives when you lose, but they played a good game and beat us today.”

“I love the way [Harang] pitched. His zip and velocity were back. He had a sharp breaking ball. He got some tough hitters out in some tough jams.”

Harang on throwing a lot of pitches the first game:

“I was up to 100 pitches at the end of spring. It was definitely hard to pitch in those conditions. Johan had the same situation to deal with. You want to have enough feeling in your fingers to keep track of the ball.”

Harang on the conditions — 37 degrees and raining:

“They’re up there trying to keep their hands warm but they’re not out there trying to throw a ball with numb fingers. When it gets cold like that, the ball gets real slick and you might not have your best stuff. Now that I think about it, hitters have a little more of an advantage.”

If you were at the game, or watched on TV, what did you think?

 

Cordero to get more work

The Reds have devised a plan they hope will get closer Francisco Cordero back on track. Cordero will get more work and pitch in some extra Minor League games, including one on Saturday.

“Instead of being three days in between, or a couple, we’ll get him on more of a routine and see if he can get into a rhythm,” pitching coach Dick Pole said on Friday. “Right now, he just doesn’t have good flow to him.”

Last night vs. Boston was Cordero’s roughest outing yet with four runs, four hits and two walks allowed in one inning. Most of the hitters were Minor Leaguers. Pole said that Cordero’s velocity was in the 92-93 mph range in the game.

“You have to take into account getting adrenaline flowing during the course of a season,” Pole said of Cordero’s lower pitch speed. “Last year, his results were better so we didn’t pay attention as much to it. Looking back at last year, his velocity was about the same and then all of a sudden the last couple of times he pitched, he was popping up to 94-95.”

The difference between last year and this year is Cordero is trying to return from right ankle surgery. That is the pitcher’s push off foot and the source of his power.

“He’s going to get more action,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He didn’t throw a lot this winter to get his arm strength up. He couldn’t because of his ankle operation and he’s a little behind. We still have two weeks and he’ll get some consecutive days. The more he throws the stronger he’ll get.

“It doesn’t do any good to get concerned. All you can do is figure out how to get him back. Concern helps no one and worry helps even less. You just have to go to work.”

Maybe, but is anyone wondering whether Cordero will be ready for start of the regular season? He has has an 18.00 ERA (12 ER over 6 IN) with 17 hits and four walks allowed in his six games. If he isn’t improving, would a stint on the DL and some extended spring training help? That would mean David Weathers would step up and be the closer.

FYI — both Pole and Baker both said that Cordero’s ankle is healthy.

Postgame news you can use:

  • Johnny Cueto gave up two earned runs and six hits over five innings. No walks, one strikeout. A majority of the hits were bloopers and not hard hit. The exception was pitcher Russ Ortiz’s RBI single to center field off of Cueto in the second. After, he faced the minimum and retired eight of his last 10 batters, getting a double play and a caught stealing along the way.

“He threw the ball good. He had good location, good movement,” Baker said.

  • Nick Masset gave up two earned runs and three hits over three innings with three walks and one strikeout. The outing didn’t start well. Masset began by giving up Darin Erstad’s double and Lance Berkman hit a 2-2 pitch to the right field corner for a two-run homer ruled just inside the pole. Then Carlos Lee walked.Masset’s final two innings were mostly smooth.
  • Norris Hopper was scratched from the lineup because of bronchitis.

Rough one for Harang

Not a whole lot went very well for Aaron Harang during his Tuesday start vs. the Phillies. His line was 3 1/3 innings pitched and he gave up six earned runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts. A total of 11 batters came up in the second inning, where Harang gave up all of his runs.

Harang left the game in the fourth trailing, 6-0. The Reds went on to lose, 8-1.

Five of the hits were for extra bases — all doubles actually. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were both in 0-2 counts and walked. On top of that, Harang botched a sacrifice bunt attempt and popped out foul in the third.

“I never got into a groove. I didn’t feel comfortable out there,” Harang said. “I didn’t have that finish pitch today. They did a good job of hitting me. I threw some good pitches down and away and they were taking them to right field. I’ve got to get into a groove early on to stay out there for a while.”

“They were all with two outs, almost all of them,” manager Dusty Baker said of the runs in the second. “He’d get ahead of them and get two strikes and he just couldn’t put them away today. He lost his rhythm some in that one inning but we had to get his pitch count up though.”

  • After four-straight outings without a run crossing on his watch, David Weathers was tapped for two earned runs and four hits during his one-inning relief appearance.
  • In what had to be the most entertaining performance of the National Anthem I’ve ever seen, singer and Broadway producer Dale Badway sang the “Star Spangled Banner” and made it his own. Badway, wearing a suit with a bright green silky shirt, paced on the home plate dirt area. While punctuating each word in his tenor voice (or was it baritone?), he genuflected with dramatic hand gestures during each verse and alternated looks towards both dugouts. When it was over, he bowed and walked confidently off the field and high-fived Phillies players as the crowd of 9,202 fans cheered. This guy would kill at Great American Ball Park. A few of the Reds were visibly cracking up at Mr. Badway’s moxie.
  • While the Reds went with green hats for St. Patrick’s Day, the Phillies went with green jerseys and caps. 

Windblown win for Reds

The wind was blowing out today between 15-20 mph, which made for not a banner day for pitchers of either team. There were eight homers and 33 hits totaled in the 13-11 Reds win over the Yankees on Sunday.

“You knew it’d be a wild one when it started. I was predicting 15-12,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “The balls were flying today. They were hit pretty good.”

The need to know rundown:

Like many starters in their first spring outing, Reds starter Aaron Harang spent some time trying to get his bearings on the mound. Harang’s line was three innings pitched with three earned runs and six hits, including a home run. Two of the runs and four of the hits came in the first inning.

“I felt good out there. The first inning, of course, the adrenaline gets going,” Harang said. “I kind of have to get everything back under control. I got a little erratic with my mechanics. I was out in front and I was keeping the ball over the plate and up a little bit. In the second and third innings, I kind of settled in.”

“Aaron threw the ball well,” Baker said. “At first he started out so-so, like he usually does. But his delivery was good. His control was good. And that wasn’t a bad lineup he was facing.”

  • The Yankees brought regulars like Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez to Sarasota.
  • The numbers were grim looking for veteran relievers David Weathers, Arthur Rhodes and Francisco Cordero. Weathers gave up two earned runs and three hits in one inning, including two homers in the fourth. Rhodes gave up three earned runs and five hits over his one inning while Cordero allowed three earned runs and four hits in one inning with two strikeouts. Baker didn’t seem too concerned.

“Our veteran guys were throwing the ball good,” he said. “They just got roughed up a little bit. They all threw the ball with good velocity. It usually takes them a little longer to get going, the older guys. I like where they are at this point.”

  • The Reds totaled five homers, their most in a spring game since 2003. Chris Dickerson went deep twice while Joey Votto, Laynce Nix and Craig Tatum (grand slam) hit one homer each.
  • Daryle Ward was supposed to play left field as a replacement but was sent home with the flu.
  • The announced attendance was 6,345 — I’d guess half were comprised of Yankees fans. Rodriguez got a mix of lusty boos and cheers when he came to the plate.

 

 

Final score: Twins 10, Reds 4

For starter Micah Owings, it was a decent first time on the mound for the Reds. Owings threw three scoreless innings with two hits, no walks and two strikeouts. Only two balls were solidly hit — Brendan Harris’ double to the center field wall in the first inning and a tailing liner to center field that Willy Taveras where made a nice diving catch in the third.

Owings mostly threw fastballs in the first two innings and kept the ball down pretty well. By the third, he started mixing it up. Considering it was the first game action he had seen since August when he was shut down with a sore shoulder, Owings was pleased.

“Initially warming up during pre-game stuff, you start thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve been out there,” Owings said. “It was nice to get back out there and compete. Everything felt pretty good. For the first time out, I was pretty happy. The arm felt good, most important.”

It wasn’t a smooth first outing for Francisco Cordero, who gave up two earned runs and four hits (including two infield singles) in the fourth inning. Brian Buscher’s two-run home run to right field was the big hit off Cordero. I happened to miss the whole inning because I was in the clubhouse talking to Owings.

After Cordero, David Weathers worked a perfect fifth inning. In the sixth, Arthur Rhodes gave up two earned runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout in the sixth.

A four-run seventh got the Reds on the scoreboard. Danny Richar lined a single and scored on Juan Francisco’s RBI single to left field. Craig Tatum added a RBI single to left field and Kevin Barker hit a two-run double to right field.

For those itching to get Joey Votto moved to left field to make room for Yonder Alonso, it wasn’t an easy day for the kid at first base. Alonso missed a scoop in the dirt in the seventh and committed a run-scoring E3 on Luke Hughes’ slow, slow roller up the first base line in the eighth. That would have been the third out. The next batter, Brock Petersen, hit a grand slam to right field. So that was five unearned runs off pitcher Ramon Ramirez that inning.

“Yonder was a little out of control and too aggressive,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He comes in early every morning and works on his defense. He’s getting a lot better.”

 

 

 

One down, many more to go

Mid 70s with a nice breeze — you couldn’t ask for a more pleasant day to start Spring Training on Saturday.

The 29 pitchers and seven of the eight catchers hit the field after morning physicals on the report day. It was basic stuff — pitchers doing PFP drills (fielding practice), bunting drills and bullpen sessions. Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey were among those that threw in the ‘pen.

Some of the observations from day one:

 

Cueto looked in better shape than last year. He looked to be throwing pretty well too. His catcher, Ramon Hernandez repeatedly was praising the right-hander in Spanish after several of the throws.

Also in great shape was Harang. He went from around 280 lbs. to 255 lbs.

Non-roster catcher Humberto Cota was the only catcher missing. He was still en route from Mexico.

Here’s a quiz for you — do you know who the most tenured Reds are now that Griffey, Dunn and Freel are gone?

1. Harang – since 2003 (six years)

2. David Weathers – 1998, 2005-pres (five years)

3. Edwin Encarnacion – since 2005 (four years and he’s only 26)

4. Bronson Arroyo – since 2006 (three years)

Harang, Weathers and Bailey are the only three pitchers left that started camp in 2006. Bailey was just in camp for a first look but not a roster contender. Arroyo arrived mid-camp after being traded from the Red Sox.

“How weird is that? That’s a lot of turnaround,” Weathers said.

Finally — in prank of the day…someone left bears, balloons, and hearts at Jay Bruce’s locker for Valentine’s Day. The nice touch was the framed picture of his girlfriend on the chair.

 

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