Results tagged ‘ Dusty Baker ’

Cueto stays spectacular

 One has to wonder if Johnny Cueto would be treading into Cy Young Award territory had he not missed the first month of the season.

Cueto was masterful again in a 2-1 Reds win over Washington. He took a five-hit shutout into the ninth before a Ryan Zimmerman homer on a first pitch fastball ended his outing. Francisco Cordero survived a bases-loaded jam to get his 24th save.

The line for Cueto: 8 ip, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. He once again qualifies for the Majors ERA lead at 1.89. He scoreless innings streak of 15 ended with the homer.

Why Cueto won’t be beating out the likes of Roy Halladay and others in Cy Young consideration is his lack of numbers everywhere else. Cueto has only nine wins (9-5), 128 1/3 innings, 83 strikeouts and three complete games. He’s given up more than three runs only twice in 19 starts. He’s allowed just seven homers.

Roy Halladay has 15 wins, a 2.53 ERA, 184 2/3 innings 177 strikeouts and seven complete games.
Clayton Kershaw has 14 wins, 175 2/3 innings and 193 Ks with four CGs
Cliff Lee has 12 wins, 172 innings and 177 Ks with 5 CGs.

You get the idea.

Cueto likely missed about 6 starts when the season began because of irritation in his right biceps and triceps. His season didn’t begin until May 8.

Nevertheless, it’s been a fine season for Cueto and one that seems destined to continue on a positive note.

“He’s definitely one of the elite pitchers,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “At this point in time of the season, he’s not as worn or tired as a lot of the other pitchers when he missed that one month. That was one of the things we were counting on down the stretch – him and Homer both. They had an abbreviated season and they are still strong and still have good stuff. They work hard and missed a lot of time. It should equate to them being excellent down the stretch and everybody else a little more worn a tired.”

A lost series in Houston, really?

Dropping two of three to the team with the worst record in baseball? In the voice of Wallace Shawn’s character Vizzini in “The Princess Bride” …. inconceivable!

I remember walking to Minute Maid Park Monday seeing a crane remove a huge Hunter Pence banner outside the stadium. The Astros were reeling from losing two stars in deadline trades and having to start young players — some straight from Double-A. Not winning this series seemed like something that wouldn’t happen to the Reds, or even couldn’t.

Happen it did as the 5-4 loss on Wednesday meant the Reds dropped two of three in the series to fall 7 1/2 games out of first place.

“It’s another tough loss,” pitcher Dontrelle Willis said. “We’re going to continue to work hard and continue to battle but this one hurt tonight.”

Notes:

*It was Willis’ seventh inning homer that gave the Reds a 3-2 lead. It was Willis’ ninth career homer and his first since 8/29/07 vs. ATL while playing for the Marlins.

*Nick Masset was charged with his first blown save since April 13, and it was a doozy. Masset faced five batters and couldn’t notch an out. Starting his seventh inning with a four-pitch walk was a big problem. Two bad plays on bunts compounded it.

*Many wondered why Willis didn’t stick around after the sixth with only 77 pitches. In six innings, he allowed two runs and eight hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

“He really wasn’t sharp all night,” manager Dusty Baker said. “They were hitting some balls hard off of him. We felt fortunate to get as deep in the game as we did. I don’t know if you noticed, they were hitting some balls hard off of him tonight, which they didn’t do earlier against Dontrelle. That was far enough.”

*Willis is 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA in five starts for the Reds.

*Joey Votto was 3-for-4. His Minute Maid Park hitting streak is 18 games.

*Astros starter Jordan Lyles, the youngest player in the Majors at 20 years old, earned his first big league win after beginning his career 0-6.

Quotes:

“Honestly, I really felt like I didn’t have good command. Once again, our defense and the talent we have around me picked me up today. Ramon did a good job of calling the right pitches to get me out of those jams. It was a team effort to get me out of those jams and keep us in the ballgame. That’s what they’ve been doing the whole time since I’ve been up.” — Dontrelle Willis

“We had a couple of messed up bunt plays without an out. You just can’t give away that many outs. This game isn’t made for five outs. You have to take the outs when you get them.” — Dusty Baker

No shock, Bailey likes Texas

 Notes from the Reds’ 5-1 win over the Astros on Tuesday.

*Homer Bailey had a very strong performance. 8 ip, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 2 WP. 99 pitches/66 strikes and 20 of 30 first-pitch strikes. He owns 0.60 ERA in two starts at Minute Maid Park this season and a 0.86 in three starts against the Astros.

*Bailey drawing a one-out walk from Wandy Rodriguez in the fifth inning proved big. After a Drew Stubbs walk, Edgar Renteria hit a 1-0 pitch for a grand slam.

*It was Renteria’s ninth career grand slam and his first since 8/30/09 vs. COL. The last Reds grand slam came via Miguel Cairo against the Cubs on June 7, 2011.

*Aroldis Chapman worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth with two strikeouts. He has a 9 2/3 innings hitless streak and has retired 28 of his last 29 batters faced.

Quotes:

“I get to see my family and I don’t get to see them much. My grandmother was at the game, cousins, aunts, uncles and everybody else. It’s just the comforts of being back home.” — Homer Bailey on pitching in Houston, about 100 miles from his hometown of LaGrange, Texas. He left tickets for about 30 people.

“[Rodriguez] had us eating out of his hand until that five-run inning. One of the key at-bats in that inning was Homer. He worked him, fouled off some pitches and stayed off some other pitches that allowed us to get into that bases loaded situation with one out, which has been eluding us big time.” — Dusty Baker

“It’s a tough situation where we’ve got to throw a fastball right there. We fell behind, and he put a good swing on it.” — Astros catcher Carlos Corporan on Renteria’s grand slam.

Another heartbreaker

Beat the Braves, get swept by the Mets, sweep the Giants, lose to the Astros. It’s a wonder that not every Reds fans’ hair has turned gray in 2011.

A 4-3 loss in 10 innings came on a dropped ball at the plate on a fielder’s choice. But don’t pin this on catcher Ryan Hanigan. The whole team was 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 men. The Reds were facing an Astros team with a lot of newbies as well.

Notes:

*Save for a three-run second inning, very nice start for Bronson Arroyo. He tied a season high with eight innings pitched and allowed only the three runs with six hits, two walks and three strikeouts He retired 13 of his last 14 batters and 18 of 20. For the first time since June 13, he did not allow a home run.

*Brandon Phillips might have had the play of the night in baseball in 10th had the Reds recorded the out. With the bases loaded and the infield in, Phillips made a spectacular diving stop on Jose Altuve’s screamer up the middle. Hanigan could not hold on to the throw to the plate.

*Since his 11 appearance, 8 2/3 innings scoreless streak, Logan Ondrusek has given up 4 ER, 8 H and over his last five appearances.

*The Reds are a season-high 7 1/2 games out of first place after the Brewers beat the Cardinals.

*With a third-inning double, Joey Votto has produced at least one extra-base hit in each of his last 11 games at Minute Maid Park. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest such streak by a player at any park since Houston’s Jeff Bagwell produced an extra-base hit in 11 straight games from 1993-95 at SF’s Candlestick Park/3Com Park.

*The Reds are 7-5 in extra inning games and 16-24 in one-run games.

Quotes:

I’ve had my back against the wall a lot lately. I’m just trying to survive out there. I was happy to go deep in the ballgame and giving us a chance to win. It’s not any more satisfying really at this point in the season seeing how many games far back we are. We need every win we can get regardless of how well you throw.” — Bronson Arroyo

“We left runners out there all night. We couldn’t get the big hit.” — Dusty Baker

“We had some chances and didn’t come through. This team is hungry. You can’t take this team real lightly because you never know who will be out there. We really don’t know many guys out there. But I’ll tell you one thing, the way they played, they showed they were really hungry and we have to motivate ourselves to really go out there and push ourselves harder for us to get the win.” — Brandon Phillips on the Astros

“It’s a good lineup over there. Those guys definitely can hit the ball and they mashed a lot of singles. Luckily enough, no any real damage, a couple doubles here and there but like I said, keeping them at bay is all I can do, and once again, hats go off to the bullpen and the guys for finding a way to win.” — Astros RHP Bud Norris

Saturday

Reds lineup vs. Giants

Stubbs 8
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Cairo 5
Bruce 9
Heisey 7
Hanigan 2
Leake 1

In light of his bullpen being spent and coming off of Friday’s 13-inning win over the Giants, Reds manager Dusty Baker did not hide what he’s hoping for tonight out of Mike Leake.

“A complete game would be wonderful,” Baker said.

It’s unlikely that Aroldis Chapman or Jose Arredondo are available tonight.

“That was a gutsy performance from those guys,” Baker said. “I really don’t know if we have any of those guys tonight. Chapman, he wasn’t even supposed to pitch. Arredondo wasn’t supposed to pitch. But they were fresher than Ondrusek and Sam LeCure.”

Closer Francisco Cordero is available to pitch tonight if needed.

“I had Coco slated to go two innings yesterday, which I try not to do too often,” Baker said. “He said he feels pretty good today. He came out of it pretty good, considering (he threw) two innings. What 30 pitches? That’s one inning sometimes.”

‘Disheartening’ sweep at home

There wasn’t a lot of talking in quiet the Reds clubhouse after a 10-9 defeat to the Mets Thursday afternoon. But veteran Miguel Cairo wanted to make sure he was heard by all as he spoke with reporters. Cairo didn’t yell but he spoke clearly and made his points.

“We’ve got to start playing the way we know how to play. That’s the bottom line. We stink right now as a team,” Cairo said. “We don’t do the little things to win games. It’s not like everything is going wrong. You’ve got to make it happen. And you’ve got to go out there and make it happen. You’re not going on the field and ‘oh, everything is going to go wrong.’ That’s the not the mentality we got to have. The attitude has to be tomorrow is another day and we’re going to expect to win. Right now, I don’t think we have that attitude.”

Welcome to the lowest point of the Reds season. They are 50-55, five games under .500 (a new season high)

It was the Mets first-ever four-game sweep in the city of Cincinnati — whether it be Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium or Great American Ball Park. New York scored 30 runs in the series.

And this was a team that had traded one of its best player before Wednesday’s game.

The Reds hadn’t been swept four games at home by anybody since the Astros Aug. 7-10, 2008 by the Astros.

“It’s disheartening to have a four-game sweep in your house,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

More Notes:

*Logan Ondrusek’s ninth inning hurt badly as a single and two walks loaded the bases. His wild pitch to Willie Harris made it a 10-8 game and proved to be the difference in the game after Joey Votto homered in the bottom on the ninth.

*Speaking of Votto, he is 6-for-13 in three games since Monday’s break with a homer in each one.

*Miguel Cairo hit the second PH homer of his career, a three-run shot in the seventh. His last PH homer was 2001. It played a big role in a nice comeback attempt as the Reds scored four in the fourth and one in the seventh.

*Homer Bailey: 4+ ip, 12 H, 9 ER (career high), 2 BB, 2 K.

*The Reds eight doubles in the game were a season high and their most since…8/26/01 at Montreal.

*Aroldis Chapman’s eighth inning walk of Jose Reyes snapped his streak of 17 batters in a row retired.

*The last time the Reds were five games under .500 was the end of the 2009 season when they were six back.

Quotes:

“We’ve got to change the attitude. I don’t like to lose. No one likes to lose. We’ve got to go out there and expect to win. Right now, we’re not playing like it. We’ve got to change the attitude. Tomorrow, we’ve got San Francisco and they’re going to come over here and try to kick our butt. And we’ve got to react. We’ve got to do something about it. We’ve got to take our tail out of our butt. That’s the way we’ve got to do it. Everyone has to put more effort than what we’ve been doing.” — Miguel Cairo

“They were hot this series. They weren’t missing anything. You notice the averages on the board; they came in one thing and left 10, 12 points higher. That’s hard to do this time of year.” — Dusty Baker

“There was the bases loaded double, there were a couple walks in there and there were some more hits, so I don’t think we can sit back and look at a bunt single and say that was the difference. It was more of a matter of a pitcher not making pitches; that was me. Bottom line: we just didn’t get the job done. Offense came up with plenty of runs; we definitely should have won that game with as many runs as we put up. A starter doesn’t go out there and do his job, that’s what’s going to happen.” — Homer Bailey

Arroyo: ‘Yeah, it’s totally frustrating’

 The Reds have scored two runs or less in five of their seven losses since the All-Star break. Wednesday fit the desciption of lackluster in every manner during an 8-2 loss to the Mets.

A team that was first in runs during the first half, came into tonight 11th in runs in the second half. The Reds are 5-7 since the break and at 50-54, a season-high four games under .500.

 “Obviously the team hasn’t had a long winning streak in such a long time,” starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo said. “Yeah, it’s totally frustrating – not just for myself but for the whole ballclub. There’s nothing else to do but come in tomorrow and have a good attitude about playing the game. The further and further it goes in games like this and series like this, it definitely becomes a little harder to be optimistic about the mood of the team.”

Mets starter Mike Pelfrey, who came in with a 5-9 record and 4.73 ERA stuffed the Reds for a complete game. Cincinnati only had three runners in scoring position all night.

“Not a whole bunch to say. They beat us up pretty good,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Notes:

*Baker wonders if there is a health concern with Arroyo after another poor outing. Arroyo finished with five runs (four earned) and seven hits allowed over six innings with three walks and three strikeouts. He’s allowed at least four runs in each of his last six starts, including his most recent victory on June 25 at Baltimore. He is 7-9 with a 5.58 ERA.

“We have to discuss it and find out if indeed there is something wrong,” Baker said. “We don’t know at this point. Everybody is a little banged up. It just depends how banged up somebody is. Hopefully we’ll get a truthful answer from Bronson.”

Arroyo claimed that his health was currently fine. His 30 homers allowed eclipsed last season’s total of 29 and left him one shy of his career high.

“I felt pretty good. I’m just not getting it done,” Arroyo said. “I feel better now than I did two months ago. Pitching performances — not to say I’ve been throwing the ball well — you win a ballgame 5-4 and it looks OK. You lose the ballgame 5-0 and it looks terrible. The mediocre outings look even worse, especially tonight.”

*I didn’t address this from the pregame blog, but Baker certainly noticed the Cardinals big trade that sent Colby Rasmus to Toronto and brought in starter Edwin Jackson, right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel, left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and outfielder Corey Patterson.

“There’s some level of frustration in here because the the rich teams get richer at this time of year,” Baker said. “They usually do something this time of year. They usually did something when Walt [Jocketty] was there.”

*After getting the night out of the lineup Monday, Joey Votto is 4-for-8 with two home runs. He hit homer No. 15 to left field in the fourth inning against Pelfrey.

Quotes:

“I don’t know if it becomes more urgent because you can’t win two games in one day. All you can do is play each one out. You’re not capable of doing more than you can. You go out there, prepare and play the game hard…I don’t know if it’s urgent or any kind of panicking. It definitely becomes hard to be optimistic about the thing as a whole.” — Bronson Arroyo

“He threw the ball well tonight. He threw strikes, got ahead. We just couldn’t muster much other than Joey and a couple of other hits.” — Dusty Baker on Mike Pelfrey

Heisey to get most time in LF

Fans have been clamoring for Yonder Alonso to get promoted but the clamoring has been louder and for longer that Chris Heisey should play regularly.

My man Tyler Jett will have a notebook item on this on the main Reds site…it was Heisey who started in left field on Wednesday vs. the Mets. Heisey will likely get a majority of the starts going forward as manager Dusty Baker still has some question marks about Alonso defensively in left field.

“I’ve heard he’s OK. I’ve heard he needs some work, and we’ll see. Everybody can’t play left field. There was a point where everyone was hollering for Heisey in left. Now Yonder’s here and everybody wants Yonder to play, and what are we going to do with Heisey? Yonder is more of a first baseman than he is a left fielder; speed is the question, and range. We’ll see how it works out.

“We did need some left-handed help off the bench, and we know he can hit. But right now, probably most of the time it’s going to go to Heisey.”

Heisey came in batting .250 with 12 homers and 35 RBIs in 89 games. He’s fourth on the club in homers with only 196 at-bats. Here’s something interesting: he  batted .221 with a .299 OBP as a starter and .321 with a .344 OBP as a sub. Heisey has definitely earned the chance to show what he can do however and now is his time.

“Any time you get to start the majority of games, you have to feel bless, especially kind of taking the road I have. But I’m not expecting to be out there every day. We’ve got some other guys. Freddy [Lewis] is going to play. I’m sure Yonder is going to play some. It’s good to know they have the confidence in me to run me out there.”

“Up until the last couple of years, I had been an everyday player coming up. It is still something I’m used to. I’m not going to change my approach. I will go out there and give it my best every day whenever I’m in there and keep doing what I’ve been doing.”

**UPDATE — Something I should have articulated but didn’t is this: The Reds, namely GM Walt Jocketty, said Alonso’s bat was wanted here to boost the offense. If that’s the case, it would seem odd to make Alonso a role player…especially since he’s a prospect that needs to play. Even if his defense isn’t good…isn’t his bat the main reason he’s up here?

Votto rested

Reds lineup vs. Mets

Stubbs 8
Cairo 5
Bruce 9
Phillips 4
Lewis 7
Hernandez 2
Frazier 3
Janish 6
Leake 1

*Not at all surprising that Votto is out of the lineup today. Dusty Baker said a Votto rest would likely happen at some point in this series. No time like today with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey going tonight for the Mets. Votto has no HR since 7/8 at MIL and only 9 RBIs this month. In his last five games, he is 2-for-17 (.118)

*This is only the second time all season that someone other than Votto has batted third. It’s been Jay Bruce both times.

*The Reds will miss the injured Scott Rolen in this game especially since he’s 5-for-9 lifetime vs. Dickey — who has never faced the Reds in his career.

*Mets LF Jason Bay has more home runs (21), RBIs (73) and runs scored (66) against the Reds than any other team in his career. Bay also has hit a career-best .334 in 80 games vs. Cincinnati.

*From the Elias Sports Bureau: Drew Stubbs greeted Scott Linebrink with a first-pitch home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning and give the Reds a 4–3 win over the Braves.  Linebrink was third major-league pitcher to allow a home run on his only pitch of a game this season, and all three were walkoff shots.  The others were allowed by Darren Oliver (to Hideki Matsui on May 2) and Mike Adams (to Michael Morse on May 27).

Stubbs HR wins game, series

The quest for consecutive victories is over as Drew Stubbs delivered in the bottom of the ninth with leadoff, first-pitch, walkoff homer for a 4-3 Reds victory over the Braves.

Don’t look now, but the Reds are three games back from a three-way for first place in the NL Central.  St. Louis and Milwaukee both lost today and it was the Pirates that beat the Cardinals.

“We’re right where we need to be,” Stubbs said. “It’s going to be a dogfight to the end of this thing. I don’t think any team is going to run away with it.”

It’s been 31 games since the Reds won back-to-back games…June 13-15 was the last winning upon a sweep of the Dodgers.
 

Notes:

*I thought starter Dontrelle Willis pitched very well despite the no-decision. He worked into the seventh inning and had only 79 pitches after six. What killed him was the wild pitch to Julio Lugo that put a runner into scoring position before the game-tying single.

*Willis suffered a split fingernail on his index finger after striking out Martin Prado in the third. The bullpen stirred as he was looked over by the trainer and pitching coach Bryan Price but Willis was able to continue for his second quality start in three games with the Reds. He has a 3.71 ERA.

*Like Stubbs, who went to the opposite field to end the game, Brandon Phillips did likewise to get the Reds on the scoreboard in the first inning. It was Phillips’ 10th homer of the season and the first since his own walkoff shot on July 15 vs. STL.

*Stubbs now has two career walkoff homers….the last coming 8/29/09 vs. SF not long after he was first called up.

*Aroldis Chapman: 9 pitches, 8 strikes and 5 outs. His one-pitch double play on Jason Heyward saved the Reds to end the seventh. Chapman returned with a perfect eighth.

*To end the top of the second, 3B Miguel Cairo made a very nice pick on a hot grounder by Alex Gonzalez, and then turned a 5-4-3 double play. Cairo then came up in the bottom of the second and smashed a 421-foot homer to left field for a 3-0 win.

*Jonny Gomes struck out in the eighth as a pinch-hitter. He is 0-for-15 as a PH this season with 10 strikeouts.

*The Reds ended a seven-game Sunday Night Baseball losing streak, including 0-3 this season. The last Sunday night win was 8/13/00 vs. the Cubs.

Quotes:

“Stubbs is playing on both sides of the ball. It looks like he’s feeling it and getting better. He’s always been a second half player. Perhaps down the stretch here, he can play like we’ve seen.” — Dusty Baker

“I went up there just looking for a good fastball to hit over the plate. He gave it to me and I was able to put a good swing on it. The rest is history.” — Drew Stubbs

“Teddy Power is a guru. Bryan Price, this off-season, I worked a lot with him. I definitely owe a lot to a lot of people that gave me a chance in going out there, having fun and working hard. This is not for me. This is for the guys that still believe in me – not only friends and family but those guys who love the game and to teach the game. I will definitely continue to work my heart out for them.” — Dontrelle Willis

“All I can say is OMG. It feels good to finally get back-to-back wins. The way we did it, we’re used to doing that. I heard it was since June. That’s crazy. I’m just glad we got it over with and now we can just keep on going from there.” — Brandon Phillips

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 462 other followers

%d bloggers like this: