Results tagged ‘ Drew Stubbs ’

Games a welcomed sight

Today’s 1:05 intrasquad game is scheduled for five innings.

Team White:

Sappelt 8
Cozart 6
Lewis 7
Francisco 5
Hermida 9
Heisey DH
Alonso 3
Valaika 4
Miller 2
Wood 1

Team Gray:

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Mesoraco DH
Frazier 5
Janish 6
Hanigan 2
Ondrusek 1

Scott Rolen, Edgar Renteria and Ramon Hernandez are not playing in the scrimmage. Miguel Cairo will replace Votto at first base.

“You notice the common denominator here? Age,” manager Dusty Baker said. “If I play them today, do I start off two days in a row with Renteria, Hernandez or Rolen? I don’t think so.”

Baker is trying to program the camp for his veterans to get enough rest to be fresher, longer during the regular season.

*Also scheduled to pitch today:

RHP Daryl Thompson, RHP Jerry Gil, RHP Matt Klinker, RHP Logan Ondrusek, RHP Jordan
Smith, LHP Philippe Valiquette and LHP Jeremy Horst.

The games are generally a welcomed time for players, coaches and writers alike. You get excited for the first workouts to get here and just when you’re getting itchy to get beyond that, the exhibition games start. And just when that seems to get tedious, it’s time for the regular season to open.

“Like anything else out here, you get used to the monotony and you’re ready for a change,” center fielder Drew Stubbs said. “We’ll still obviously have the same workouts we’re doing now but we’ll start mixing in some games. We’ll start seeing some new faces on the other side. It keeps everything fresh for us.”

Some people often ask me how a player “looks” during the early workouts or bullpen session. I’m not a scout or coach so I don’t often pick up on mechanical issues with deliveries or swings. There’s not much to tell from one live BP or a bullpen session. But in a game, you can begin to judge outcomes and how they fare in competition.

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Baker: No closer controversy

The topic of Aroldis Chapman and his role for this season came up this morning in Reds manager Dusty Baker’s office. But before a certain particular question could be asked, Baker jumped in with his own proclamation.

“One thing I want to squash right now: there is no closer situation controversy,” Baker said. “I know everybody wants to be in a hurry to rush [Chapman] in there but we’ve got to get him acclimated to what he’s doing first. Cordero, even though it’s been exciting a couple of times, still was second in in our league in saves the last two years. That’s something most people overlook. There are only a couple of non-exciting closers in baseball and one of them is getting older in Mariano.”

Francisco Cordero was actually third in the NL last season with 40 saves. He had eight blown saves. Near the end of last season, Baker staunchly defended Cordero when there was clamoring for Chapman to close games with his 100-plus mph velocity.

Right now, Chapman will continue to be used in the set-up role he gradually assumed over the final month of last season.

“I plan on using him like I used him last year and we’ll see how he progresses and things,” Baker said. “We need him now more as a reliever than as a starter. The fact he’s left-handed, the fact he seems to throw more strikes and it might be easier on his arm relieving right now.”

Chapman will be speaking to reporters after the workout today and I will have more on MLB.com.

In other news –

*Edinson Volquez was in camp today. A emergency light flashing on his plane in the Dominican delayed him two hours and he missed his connection to Phoenix.

*Dontrelle Willis was also back after he missed yesterday because his wife was having a baby.

*Drew Stubbs arrived to the complex today.

*There were no injuries from the first day’s workout.

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Did that really happen? A no-hitter

Quite frankly, I still can’t believe what I saw tonight. I had never in-person witnessed a no-hitter before and the one I saw from Roy Halladay in a 4-0 Reds loss in Game 1 was only the second ever thrown in a postseason game.

It was remarkable. It was incredible. It was…almost perfection had it not been for Jay Bruce’s walk in the fifth inning.

*104 pitches, 79 strikes, 25 balls.

*25 of 28 first-pitch strikes.

*11 batters began with 0-2 counts.

Here is my game story

It’s hard to appreciate what you’re seeing while trying to work, type and everything else, but you could definitely sense it was coming — especially after Philadelphia took a 4-0 lead in the second inning. Each inning seemed to speed along and by the eighth, Halladay needed just seven pitches to retire the side.

I won’t lie — my heart was beating a little harder when we got to the ninth. Each pitch was more exciting than the previous one. A no-hitter? It’s still almost impossible to fathom that it happened and that I was here to see it.

*Credit many of the Reds players postgame. They realized they were on the wrong side of history but were graceful about it.  .

“I think words would ruin that performance,” Scott Rolen said. “He just dominated the game, from beginning to end.”

“I appreciate it right now,” Joey Votto said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Roy. To throw a no-hitter in your very first playoff game is amazing. I think our team, speaking the Reds, we keep in mind it’s just one game. We’re in Philadelphia. We just faced arguably the best pitcher in baseball. We didn’t go in with the mindset we were going to lose but we knew we’d be in for a real challenge. We’re down 1-0 in the series and that’s the most important part. We cleared the dugout with the mindset, not necessarily that we were no-hit, but that we lost a game in a best-of-five series.”

*Many also were right-on with their attitude that it was just one loss — one really rough loss to go down 1-0 in the best of five series.

“A loss is a loss. If we had lost 10-9 and gotten 15 hits, it’s the same result,” Drew Stubbs said. “We’ll come back Friday with a re-energized effort and hopefully have success.”

*Shortstop Orlando Cabrera was not thrilled however with the strike zone of plate umpire John Hirschbeck and let it be known.

“He was basically getting every pitch. We had no chance,” Cabrera said.

*Jonny Gomes disagreed and had no complaints about Hirschbeck’s calls.

“I don’t know if it was a big zone,” Gomes said. “I think Doc actually took the umpire out of the game by just throwing strikes. I really didn’t have any questionable strikes on me. I’m not really worried about the umpire too much. I’m worried about the guy on the mound. He did a great job. All four corners down and in, up and in, down and out. He threw all four pitches in all four corners.”

Some other trivia:

*The last time the Reds were no-hit was by the Phillies and Rick Wise in a 4-0 loss on June 23, 1971. That one was at Riverfront Stadium.

*The only other pitcher to have a no-hitter in the postseason was Don Larsen. It was a perfect game vs. the Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

More quotes —

“It still counts as a loss, but that was a very dramatic loss.  That is the best pitched game I’ve seen since I’ve been going to the playoffs and the World Series.  You have no choice but to bounce back.  You’ve got to put that one behind us.  Figure we got beat by a great performance tonight.” — Dusty Baker

“It was a lot of fun.  It’s just one of those special things I think you’ll always remember.  But the best part about it is the playoffs take priority, and that’s pretty neat for me to be able to go out and win a game like that and know there’s more to come for us and more to accomplish.  So that makes it a lot of fun.” — Roy Halladay

“He just pitched so well. When you’re trying to thread a needle up at the plate, it’s just miserable. It’s not fun being up there trying to hit nothing. Tonight was a nothing night. Sometimes you just don’t get pitches to hit. I took the one pitch I saw all night to hit because I wanted to see a strike. He just acted like Roy for the rest of the bat. I hate to use hyperbole, he’s an ace among aces.” — Joey Votto

“Congratulations to him. It was unbelievable what he did tonight. I’ve never seen it before. He pitched a truly great game.” — Edinson Volquez

“In the three at-bats I had, I might have had one pitch I to really do something with, and I fouled it back. He was working both sides of the plate. He was in total command of the strike zone, pounding both sides of the plate. We weren’t able to get anything going.” — Drew Stubbs

“He’s the best pitcher in baseball. I obviously didn’t expect that. I don’t think anybody did. But it’s just part of the game. At the end of the day, it’s a loss. We’ve got to come back.” — Jay Bruce

MLB. com story links:

Cabrera takes issue with strike zone  

Phillies game story from colleague Todd Zolecki

Reds tip caps to Halladay

Notebook: Edmonds, Bailey

No-no highlights feast or famine offense

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Clinch today?

It’s pretty simple. If the Cardinals lose and the Reds win today, the NL Central is clinched.

Sunday lineup vs. SD

Stubbs 8
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Phillips 4
Heisey 9
Hanigan 2
Bailey 1

*Jay Bruce is getting the break today because of his right side being sore again. It’s more of a precaution than anything however.

“We just want to make sure he doesn’t hurt it again,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Plus, we want to win this thing and get guys some work in to keep everybody sharp for when we go to the playoffs.I told you he probably wouldn’t heal 100 percent until the winter time. It was just a little tight esterday. I didn’t want to take a chance of him re-injuring it with this lefty and we got a day off tomorrow. That gives him two days off. I told him not to hit today.”

“It’s sore here and there, but it’s all about management of it,” Bruce said.  “It’s not getting any worse, and Dusty and I have a pretty good line of communication and he talked to me about it.  I’ll have today off – not starting, so maybe I’ll have to go in there at some point.  [Sunday] and [Monday] off, and we’ll get back at them on Tuesday.”

*Yesterday I asked Baker about the decision to bunt Cabrera in the ninth inning before Votto was intentionally walked. The answer he gave was good but he followed up this morning. He knew that the bunt would take the bat out of Votto’s hands and defended it.

“That’s playoff stuff. That’s what you’re going to have to do,” Baker said. “We’re a team. You can’t just depend on one guy. You depend on one guy, you’re going to lose. There’s fundamental baseball. There are times when you do certain things. That was fundamental baseball.”

“I’d rather take my two chances with a runner in scoring position than a possible run at first base.”

“Now you understand why I took Bronson out. That’s playoff baseball. When you get the chance to get some runs, you go get some runs.”

Baker also pointed out that Heath Bell is quick to home plate, which reduced the chances for Drew Stubbs to steal from first base.

“He’s one of the best,” Baker said. “I don’t have these notes for nothing. He’s 1.23 to the plate. That’s pretty quick. There aren’t many closers around that quick. Coco is 1.7 -something.”

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Lineup, Stubbs note

 


petco park 092410.JPGFri. lineup vs SD

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Bruce 9
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Hernandez 3
Stubbs 8
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1

From STATS Inc.

After Drew Stubbs went 2-for-2 as an in-game replacement on Opening Day, Reds manager Dusty Baker moved him into the leadoff spot. Stubbs was hitting .174/.267/.283 in 26 games when the experiment ended on May 5. Since then, he’s batting .266/.331/.463 in 115 games, with 18 home runs and 64 RBIs.

Among Reds players over this span, only Joey Votto (30) has more home runs, and Stubbs ranks fourth in RBIs. Stubbs, who leads Reds regulars with 25 steals and an 80.6 steal percentage, has been showing more patience and pop. In his last 40 games, he has batted .298/.373/.525 with nine doubles, seven homers and 23 RBIs.

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Votto scratched from lineup

A new Reds lineup:

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Bruce 9
Rolen 5
Edmonds 3
Gomes 7
Hernandez 2
Heisey 8
Volquez 1

*Joey Votto was scratched because of a sinus infection.

“He has a very serious sinus infection, which is tough,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “All that hitting, base running and all that, there’s got to be some fatigue. You don’t get fatigue physically making outs. You get fatigue hitting and running the bases.”

*Drew Stubbs was pleased that he got his 20th homer last night. With 25 steals, he’s a 20/20 player this year. He’s also one of six Major League center fielders to reach 20 homers.

“Coming into the season, I try not to set any statistical goals but one thing I kind of had in mind was to try and reach 20 home runs,” Stubbs said. “I thought it’d be an attainable goal but also a challenge. Getting that last night was pretty specials.”

*Reds catchers lead the NL in hitting at .291.

*The Reds’ next win will give Baker 1,400 for his managerial career.

And since I have it, here is the Milwaukee lineup, which includes former Reds OF Chris Dickerson.

Weeks 4
Hart 9
Braun 7
Fielder 3
McGehee 5
Dickerson 8
Lucroy 2
Counsell 6
Bush 1

Edmonds starts, Stubbs rests

Tues lineup vs MIL

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Edmonds 8
Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Hernandez 2
Volquez 1

*As Dusty Baker said, it’s an off day for Drew Stubbs.

*Jim Edmonds has quite a track record vs. Brewers starter Dave Bush — .462 (6-for-13), three homers and 11 RBIs.

*More later from Miller Park.

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Momentum in Milwaukee?

Give the Reds and manager Dusty Baker some credit for being humble about the postseason stuff. They, especially Baker, don’t talk much about it and won’t until there is an official clinch.

The Reds aren’t playing lately like a team about to clinch. It’s a crew that really needs some momentum after being 7-11 so far this month. They are 1-3-1 through four series this month.

Much of this can be attributed to having some key players banged up (ie: Scott Rolen, Brandon Phillips) and a stretch of 20-straight games without a day off (one is coming Thursday).

Although Baker will try to rest guys selectively, you can expect the Reds to want to keep their collective feet on the gas to the end of the regular season.

Getting some sort of home field advantage via a No. 1 or 2 seed will be paramount. Right now if the season ended today, the Reds would take on the Wild Card leading Braves. Correction — the Reds would face the Phillies. They are tied for the NL’s second-best record with the Giants, which holds the tiebreaker. Here is a breakdown of the current postseason scenarios. 

 

If the Reds faced the best record holding Phillies, they’d get H2O trifecta of Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt.

Some notes –

*Reds starting pitchers have a 2.92 ERA over the last 11 games. No one has allowed more than three earned runs in a start during that stretch.

*The Brewers pitching staff is one of the Majors’ worst at 27th out of 30 teams. It is 14th in the NL.

*Joey Votto is batting .371 (13-for-35) during his nine-game hitting streak. His season high streak is 10 games.

*Jonny Gomes has 12 RBIs in 17 games this month.

*Drew Stubbs is hitting .370 with four homers in his last 13 games.

Monday lineup vs. MIL

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Stubbs 8
Heisey 9
Hanigan 2
Bailey 1

*This would be a good chance for Phillips to escape his funk. He is 7-for-17 (.412) lifetime vs. Brewers starter Chris Capuano.

*It rained just before I drove to Miller Park and temperatures aren’t all that appealing. I’m betting that the roof will be closed tonight. It’s current shut as the field is being prepped for BP.

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Leadoff batter switcheroo

Weds lineup vs. COL

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Heisey 9
Hanigan 2
Janish 6
Arroyo 1

*This is the 100th different lineup Dusty Baker has written out this season. There was a reason he put Drew Stubbs ahead of Brandon Phillips.

“Stubbs is swinging a little better than Brandon right now,” Baker said. “Hopefully Brandon in front of Joey will get some quality pitches to hit too. I’m going with the hot hand to try and ignite our engine. You got to have a key to every engine. These guys the last couple days – with Fowler and Young – you what speed at the top can do for you.”

*In the latest Jay Bruce update, he said he was feeling good. He was slated to take batting practice today with the team.

*Orlando Cabrera is out tonight because of some soreness. He is getting treatment.

*No decision has been made yet on who will start Saturday’s game vs. Pittsburgh.

*It doesn’t sound like Laynce Nix (sprained left ankle) will be ready to come off the disabled list when he’s eligible on Friday. Nix did not travel with the club.

“I heard today he’s not much better, they said,” Baker said. “It was disheartening because he’s a big part of our club – off the bench and spot playing against certain pitchers and defensively late in the game. He’s an important part of this team.”

*The Reds announced today that fans should be in their seats at GABP by 6:30pm on Saturday to watch honors for Pete Rose and the 25th anniversary of his record-breaking 4192nd hit. Gates open at 5:20 p.m. ET

*Well before batting practice started, Rockies coaches and former players Vinny Castilla and Glenallen Hill were raking in the cage with some home run balls. I asked Baker if he and Brook Jacoby ever get tempted to step into the cage.

“Hank [Aaron] told me not to do that when I first took this job,” Baker said. “He said sometimes you could deflate your players, if you haven’t played in a while, and all of sudden you’re hitting equal or better than they’re hitting. I remember one day we talked Frank Robinson into it. He got in the cage. He was hitting some missiles. Nobody wanted to go in after him.”

      
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Postgame: Reds in good shape

The postgame blog entry is coming to you from Lambert Airport because I had to make a fast getaway from the yard. I have a flight to Denver to catch.

*The bad news is the Reds lost two out of three. Considering the Cardinals starting pitching they faced, that’s not a bad outcome. Getting swept, thumped or both would have been the true debacle.

*The Reds have a seven-game lead in the NL Central over the Cardinals with 26 games left. St. Louis, in the midst of a stretch of 31-straight games to end the year, has the tougher schedule down the stretch and have played terrible lately. Is the division locked up? Not quite, but the Reds are in about as good of position as they could want. Give the Reds credit for not acting like they already playoff-bound.

*Fortunately for Cincinnati, Albert Pujols did not come to life during the series. He’s in a 1-for-23 skid, and was 1-for-10 in the series. He still figured prominently in the decisive moment.

*Homer Bailey intentionally walked Pujols to face Matt Holliday. I have no problem with that move and Baker’s rationale was spot on.

“It’s kind of a situation where you pick your poison,” Baker said. “The longer Albert goes without a hit, the more likely he’s about to get a hit.”

Later after the game, Baker also said this:

“Is he going to remain cold or is he due? And that’s the question. I chose the fact that he was due. We had the same situation here the last time. We chose to pitch to Albert with first base open and got burned.”

Bailey had a shot at Holliday since he had him in a 1-2 count. But Holliday got two foul tips. Then Bailey shook off Ryan Hanigan — twice. Holliday received a 96 mph fastball that tailed back over the plate.

Ballgame. Three-run homer for Holliday. 4-2 win for the Cardinals.

“It’s part of the learning process. You have to trust your catcher to direct you through the ballgame,” Baker said.

*Until the sixth, Bailey was enjoying one of the finest outings I’ve ever seen him have. Very efficient, he had 37 pitches through four innings. He threw a seven-pitch first inning, a six-pitch third and a nine-pitch fourth. He had two hits allowed through his first five innings.

More quotes —

“I wanted it black or off and didn’t get it black or off. I just kind of missed my spot there…
It wasn’t for a strike. It was to get off the plate but it didn’t get off the plate.” — Homer Bailey on the fateful pitch to Holliday.

“We came in and took one and that’s huge for us. You like where we stand. The way we’ve played as of late, even though we came in and lost two of three, I think we’re in a good position. Everybody is feeling good about themselves. It should be an interesting run down the stretch.” — Drew Stubbs

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