Results tagged ‘ Francisco Cordero ’

Tuesday notes

Tues lineup vs OAK

Cabrera 6
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes DH
Bruce 9
Stubbs 8
Heisey 7
Miller 2

Arroyo RHP

*Francisco Cordero’s availability seemed unlikely after he threw 33 pitches last night in the blown save where he allowed three runs.. Dusty Baker hoped it would be an issue he’d have to deal with.

“I’m not sure,” Baker said. “That’s the first time since we’ve had him that he went more than one inning – that I can remember. We’re trying to limit him to just one inning. Hopefully we don’t need him tonight.”

Cordero last had more than three outs for the Reds on May 12, 2008 vs. Florida. It was a four-out save.

*Yesterday, Dusty Baker said this about Mike Leake and how he will be protected from throwing too many innings:

“We have to find a way to keep him strong. This is uncharted territory he’s about to enter in right now,” Baker said. “We’re going to skip him a few times and help him stay strong.”

Asked today for more specifics on when Leake might be curtailed, Baker declined to say.

“We have our rotation penciled out until the All-Star break, two of them actually,” Baker said Tuesday. “There are off days in there. We can skip almost everybody maybe. It depends on who’s the strongest, who’s throwing well and we’ll try not to skip a turn – but give them extra days.”

Edinson Volquez, scheduled to make a rehab assignment start Wednesday, is likely to be back before the All-Star break. Could he take some innings off of Leake’s hands?

“I don’t know yet,” Baker said. “He’s pitching pretty well and Volquez is throwing pretty good too. We have some decisions to make but those are pretty good decisions.”

*Outfielder Chris Dickerson (right hand/wrist surgeries) was to begin his rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville today. But it was halted after he was sore from batting practice.

*Scott Rolen will likely get the day off Wednesday.

*Louisville 1B/OF Yonder Alonso and LHP Philippe Valiquette were named to the World squad for the All-Star Futures game on July 11 in Anaheim.

*The Reds signed their 10th and 11th round picks today –Kevin Arico and Andrew Heyes. Both are right-handed pitchers. 

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Postgame extra: Homer happier

I am writing this entry from a BART train headed back to San Francisco. If I didn’t leave when I did, I might have had to spend the night in the ballpark…no thanks.

That was one wild (late) night of baseball — a 6-4 Reds win in 10 innings.

The good —

*The bats finally came alive, albeit late. The three homers in the 10th by Ramon Hernandez, Joey Votto and Scott Rolen were the first long balls in a 39-inning span since Thursday. The Reds had also scored only three runs in the 39 innings entering the 10th.

*Jay Bruce had a PH single after sat most of the game. Bruce was in a 4-for-25 skid.

*Nick Masset had shutdown stuff tonight and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

*Jordan Smith picked up his first save in the Majors when he got the final two outs of the Oakland 10th.

*The Reds tied a franchise record with their eighth-straigtht extra-innings win on the road, dating back to last season.

*Dusty Baker won his 1,352nd career game, which ties him with Chuck Tanner for 26th all-time.

The not-so-good –

*The three homers and Smith’s save wouldn’t have been needed if closer Francisco Cordero did the job in the bottom of the ninth. Cordero’s first-pitch homer to leadoff batter Kevin Kouzmanoff gave him five blown saves in 22 chances. He had four blown saves in 43 chances last season.

*The game nearly got away again in the 10th after Cordero walked his first two batters.

Some quotes —

“It seems like when your bats are sick, everybody’s bats are sick. When your bats get well, it seems like everybody’s bats get well at the same time.” — manager Dusty Baker

“We lead the league in all of those offensive categories for a reason. We know we can hit. We’ve had some bad luck and bad draws with the opposing pitching. But we have to beat good pitchers to be the team we want to be. We hit a lull the last couple of days but we’re fine.” — Jay Bruce.

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Postgame extra: another comeback

Mike Leake finally had a bad one but it was still all good in the end for the Reds, which took a 7-6 win over the Giants to earn a four-game series split. The Reds opened a 1 1/2 game lead on the Cardinals, which are idle Thursday.

The good —

*It was the Reds NL-leading 13th one-run victory and their 12th in the final at-bat. Also, the 21st come-from-behind win.

*Temporary leadoff hitter Brandon Phillips was 4-for-5. His two-run triple in the eighth tied the game at 6-6 and Phillps scored the winning run on Joey Votto’s roller up the middle through a drawn-in infield.

*Arthur Rhodes, again. His 1.2 IP were his highest since May 1, 2008. He earned the victory and extended his scoreless streak to 25 innings and 27 appearances.

*Defense. Paul Janish got a rare start at shortstop and made a splendid diving stop of Juan Uribe’s hot grounder to start a 643 double play with the bases loaded to end the fourth. Janish saved at least two runs, maybe three. Brandon Phillips started a 463 double play to end the fifth with a very fine play.

“Those are what saved the game for us,” manager Dusty Baker said. “You know how I am about defense. You play defense, especially up the middle defense, you save a lot of runs.”

*Francisco Cordero pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 17th save. It was the only perfect inning a Reds pitcher had all day.

The not so good —

*In his worst start for the Reds, the rookie right-hander pitched a season-low 4 1/3 innings and allowed a season-high 11 hits while tying a season high with five earned runs. He also allowed two home runs. Three-straight inning-ending double plays with the bases loaded — including the two mentioned above, helped save his bacon.

*Scott Rolen made an uncharacteristic E5 on a ball between his legs in the fifth with Del Rosario on the mound that scored what was the Giants go-ahead run charged to Leake.

*Nick Masset entered in the sixth and got two quick outs to end the inning. But he labored in the seventh, allowing a run and two hits.

*The game was a slog that felt longer than three hours, 28 minutes. The Giants left 13 on base while the Reds stranded nine.

*There was a weird scene in the eighth after Joey Votto singled. While on first base, Votto appeared to think that pitcher Guillermo Mota was saying something to him and the two exchanged words. Baker said that Mota was actually talking to his first baseman, Buster Posey.

“It’s the heat of the summer,” Baker said. “Tempers are usually shortest about this time.”

More quotes —

“I think what was different about this game is their coaching staff had a pretty good plan for me. They punched me right off the bat and I couldn’t react fast enough. Sometimes games are going to be like that. They didn’t square every ball up. I did make more mistakes than I wanted to.” — Mike Leake

“He wasn’t struggling. They were flaring him to death. They found every hole. They had a bunch of one-hand hits, bloopers. We had a couple too but they had more than we had, especially early. That’s why we kept running him out there. We didn’t want to go to our bullpen in the third or fourth. You could tell by the way things were going, you had a feeling it was going to be a high-offensive day.” — Dusty Baker on Leake.

“You can’t count these guys out here, man. We go out and play hard for nine innings. We play hard until the game is over.” — Arthur Rhodes.

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Postgame extra: Blanked

Well, we’ve seen what happens when Mike Leake doesn’t have his good stuff. Six scoreless innings. He got the no-decision in a 2-0 Reds loss to Houston, in 10 innings.

Leake said the humidity bothered him — not quite as dry as his Arizona State days.

“Now that I know what it’s like a little bit, I think I will be a little better,” Leake said. “This is not my type of weather, especially growing up on the West coast. In Arizona, it’s a dry heat.”

Leake is 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA through 10 starts.

The good —

*Leake got double plays in his first three innings, including with runners on first and second and no outs in both the first and second.

*The first double play was a 4-6-3 started by Brandon Phillips, who made a slick backhanded stop on a Berkman grounder.

*Double play No. 2 was courtesy of Laynce Nix in center field, who caught Tommy Manzella’s flyball and then threw out Hunter Pence trying to tag up and take third base.

“We have such a great defense – you don’t want to expect it but you kind of know they’re going to do something for you,” Leake said. “It helps us because we’re not afraid  to throw certain pitches. We’ll get a groundball in a situation where we want a groundball because we know they’ll make it behind us.”

*Leake allowed seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts. He was done after 97 pitches.

“Very impressive,” Dusty Baker said. “When he struggles with his control, it’s not like he’s way wild. He’s barely wild. He had a bunch of near misses off the plate. The guy just keeps pitching.”

*Francisco Cordero had a nice 1-2-3 ninth inning, used only nine pitches.

The not-so-good –
 
*After 27 runs over the last two games, nada over 10 innings Sunday.

*The team that’s best in the league hitting with runners in scoring position was 0-for-9 and stranded 11 men

*The Reds’ 18-game streak with a home run is over.

*The last shutout loss in extras was Aug. 8, 2003, at San Diego,

News —

Arthur Rhodes pitched another scoreless inning over the seventh and eighth but left with a cramp in his thigh.

A quote –

“He just has a good feel for moving the ball in and out, he keeps it down. He’s got a little more movement probably than you give him credit for. Some guys feel like, for example, if you’re facing a Brandon Webb where his sinker drops two feet, well Leake’s doesn’t look like it’s moving that much but I think it is. If you go back and look, it moves late, and it moves more than you give him credit for. So I think that’s how he’s able to induce as many ground balls.” — Astros 1B Lance Berkman on Leake.

See you Monday from St. Louis.

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Postgame extra, Leake

It got a little hairy at the end but the Reds have a series win with a 6-4 victory over the Astros.

What was good: Mike Leake, of course. He’s 2-0 with a 3.25 ERA in four starts. He has three-straight outings of seven innings and three quality starts. He pitched seven innings, gave up one earned run and five hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Through the first four innings, the rookie allowed one single and faced the minimum batters. He left with a 6-1 lead.

Hard to believe Leake was pitching for Arizona State this time last year?

“I don’t think about that,” manager Dusty Baker said. “I think about him trying to get better here. He’s a quick learner, very confident but not cocky with his confidence.”

What happened in the ninth? Coming off Tuesday’s flawless appearance for Nick Masset, Baker wanted to keep him rolling and called on him to finish the game. But Masset walked first batter Carlos Lee and then gave up Reds killer Lance Berkman’s two run homer. Masset has a 12.54 ERA in 11 games. 

“That ball was supposed to be on the outside,” Baker said of Masset’s 2-1 pitch to Berkman. “It had good velocity except it was on the heart of the plate. I’m just glad we had the runs we had. We’ll try not to make it so tight tomorrow.”

Francisco Cordero had to finish but also had trouble. A leadoff single off Joey Votto’s glove, a walk and a lined RBI single made it a two-run game.

Check the rulebook: Many assumed, including myself, that Cordero was awarded the save since the lead was three runs. Not true. Rule 10.19 says that with the three-run lead Cordero needed to work at least one inning. He only pitched two-thirds of an inning.

Game changer: In the four-run fourth with the bases loaded, Brandon Phillips hit what seemed to be a routine fly to right-center field. Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence both lost it in the twilight and the ball skipped out of Pence’s glove. It was ruled E9 although Baker thought it should have been a hit.

“That’s a play that has to be made,” Pence said. “Here when the twilight hours are going on, the balls disappear. You just have to keep going with it and try to find it and I lost it and found it late and wasn’t able to recover as good as I needed to. I’ve got to make that play.

Quotes: “I just had that one inning where I threw too many pitches and tried to do too much. The infield was great today and the outfield as well. Ramon caught a great game tonight and the offense did their job as well. A good all-around game.” — Mike Leake.

“I’m not going to take nothing away from him. He made some good pitches on me tonight and I give credit where credit it due. We’ll see him again, and we’ll be back and ready to face him again.” — Michael Bourn, who was 0-for-5, with four strikeouts. Three Ks came vs. Leake. 

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Miles released, Balentien outrighted

A couple of Reds transactions —

Infielder Aaron Miles cleared waivers and has been released. Outfielder Wladimir Balentien cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Class AAA Louisville.

Both players were designated for assignment on Opening Day but were told they wouldn’t make the team on April 2.
 
Having Balentien clear and remain in the organization is a plus and I know it was hoping he wouldn’t get claimed. He had a good spring and seemed to make improvements with his hitting.

Reds lineup:

Dickerson 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Hernandez 2
Bailey 1

Some notes:

*Will Homer Bailey be the first Reds starting pitcher to get a ‘W’ next to his name this season? With the bullpen a little spent, Dusty Baker was hoping for a lengthy outing. Baker wasn’t sure if Francisco Cordero would be available after he’s worked six out of seven days. Logan Ondrusek has had three days in a row. Micah Owings had two innings last night.

“I might have to go with Homer a little longer,” Baker said. “Or maybe he’ll be super sharp tonight. A complete game would be great.”

*Cordero also had to warm up three different times during Tuesday’s game.

*Nick Masset said he is ready again after a break on Tuesday.

*Chris Dickerson is starting in CF because Drew Stubbs has a sore back.

“It’s nothing major but I think he’s giving me a day or two to get cleared up,” Stubbs said. “It’s something I could definitely try to play through. [Baker] said, this early in the season, there was no point in pushing anything.”

*The Reds haven’t won their first three road games of a season since 1996.

*At 5-3, the club is two games over .500 for the first time since June 19, 2009, when it was 34-32

*For Jackie Robinson Day on Thursday, all Reds players/coaches will wear No. 42. In an added twist, they will do likewise on Friday at Pittsburgh because the Pirates have an off day Thursday.

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Reds-Cubs postgame extra

Pretty nutty game for the Reds in a 5-4 win over the Cubs.

*Carlos Silva, who was 5-18 with a 6.81 ERA in his last two seasons, had the Reds completely shut down for six innings.

*Homer Bailey was laboring with a high pitch count (64 thru 3, 106 thru 5)

*Unsung hero of the night was Micah Owings, who pitched three scoreless innings of relief.

*Obvious hero of the night was Drew Stubbs, who hit the grand slam in the bottom of the eighth.

*A nailbiter in the ninth when Francisco Cordero gave up a Derrek Lee homer, followed by a single and two errors that loaded the bases. Cordero escaped and got his first save.

Some postgame quotes:

Dusty Baker —

on Bailey?

“The key is Homer kept us in the game. He struggled, big time. He threw a lot of pitches but kept it 3-1.”

on Owings?

“That’s perfect. He gave us innings. He gave us some zeroes. He gave us a chance to come back. We were down 3-1 but it seemed like we were down a lot more because every time I looked up, they had the top of the lineup or middle of the lineup up again. You start counting during the game. We hadn’t batted around once yet, and they batted around twice. They were almost two innings ahead of us. Anytime you have to face their big hitters four or almost five times a game that early in the game, somebody is going to get you.”

Homer Bailey –

“I absolutely didn’t have good stuff today. No matter what was going on, there were times I felt like I couldn’t buy an out. I just tried to keep pushing forward and limit the damage the best I could. My pitch count skyrocketed by my own doing.”

Francisco Cordero on Phillips’ marvelous barehanded play in the ninth on Tyler Colvin’s grounder. It was close call at first base.

“We should give the save to Brandon Phillips on that play right there. He had a great play.”

“I think he was out. Obviously, I was pitching and wanted him to be called out. I wouldn’t have been mad if he was called safe. It was a tight play. we got the call, we got the W and I got the save.”

Micah Owings —

“When I got the ball, I did the best I could each pitch. That will be my approach from here on out.”

****

The Reds have a 2-2 record but have only led for three innings, total, if my math is correct. They had the 1-0 lead after Arroyo’s bottom of the fifth two-out single vs. STL on Thursday until the 7th on Holliday’s leadoff homer. They didn’t take the lead tonight until Stubbs’ slam in the eighth.

I’m off for the next two games. Catch you on Monday from South Florida.

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No walks make manager happy

At least in the Reds-Cubs portion of split-squad games Sunday, the 1-1 tie provided one of Cincinnati’s best pitched games all season.

Justin Lehr finally got a start and a chance to stretch out and didn’t disappoint. Lehr’s line was one earned run on five hits with no walks and one strikeouts over four innings.

“Lehr was only so supposed to go three but his pitch count was so low, that’s why we had him go another inning,” manager Dusty Baker said.

*Arthur Rhodes continued his stellar spring with one scoreless inning, one hit and three strikeouts. Rhodes has four scoreless innings in four games and just two hits and one walk.

*Francisco Cordero followed with two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out three. He’s worked seven scoreless innings this spring.

*Kip Wells also turned in his best outing of spring with three scoreless innings, one hit and three strikeouts.

The common thread here — no walks were allowed by any Reds pitchers vs. the Cubs today.

“That’s what Bryan [Price] has been trying to stress to these guys about trying to get strike one and make them earn it,” Baker said. “No free passes.”

*Not much offense to speak of but Laynce Nix tattooed an opposite field home run to left field on a 1-1 count with two outs in the second inning. There was no doubt it was going out off of the bat.

“That’s one of the best balls I’ve seen him hit to the opposite field,” Baker said. “He’s been working on driving the ball. We knew he could drive it this way [to right field] but it was the first time I’ve seen really drive it. He hits a lot of doubles over there. That opposite field home run, he busted that ball.”

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Out of options

In case you were wondering, the following Reds players head into 2010 Spring Training out of options:

RHP Bronson Arroyo, RHP Homer Bailey, IF/OF Wladimir Balentien, RHP Francisco
Cordero, RHP Mike Lincoln and RHP Nick Masset.

This should only really affect Balentien, and possibly Lincoln. But remember, Lincoln is owed $2 million this season and pitched well for most of 2008 before his neck injury limited him to 19 games in 2009.

As a short explainer, players that are out of minor league options and sent down get 10 days to clear waivers. By the end of that period, they must either be traded, sent down outright or released. Most players get three minor league options that begin once they are on the 40-man roster. One option is good for one whole season’s worth of multiple call-ups and demotions.

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Nix's neck not good

Outfielder Laynce Nix has been conspicuous in his absence the last few days. An MRI taken on Friday revealed he has a bulging disc pushing against his spine.

“I’ll be fine in a couple of days. I hope to play by Monday or Tuesday,” Nix said. “I had collision three years ago, which is what it stemmed from. I never had an MRI on it until yesterday. It revealed some minor damage but nothing we can’t take care of.”

Reds lineup:

Stubbs 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Balentien 7
Gomes 9
Tatum 2
Maloney 1

To make room for LHP Matt Maloney’s recall to start today’s game, 1B Kevin Barker was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Barker batted .364 (4-for-11) in nine games since his Aug. 14 promotion.

“He did a good job for us pinch-hitting,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “There are a couple of other guys here with more versatility. I talked to [general manager] Walt [Jocketty] and we’ll get him back after the [Triple-A] playoffs unless someone gets hurt or doesn’t respond.”

2B Brandon Phillips is hitting .207 (12-for-58) in his last 15 games entering Saturday. He has been bothered by a sore wrist that was hit by a pitch on Aug. 20, but Baker wasn’t offering any excuses.

“It’s almost September,” he said. “Everybody is bothered by something in September. If you’re not bothered by something this time of year, you haven’t been playing very much.”

Closer Francisco Cordero was considered unavailable on Saturday. Cordero had pitched the last four days in a row and in the last five games over six days. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Cordero pitched four-straight days for the first time since July 3-6, 2008. He has pitched in five consecutive games for the first time since he pitched in a career-high six straight games from May 4-9, 2007.

To handle the ninth, Arthur Rhodes, Nick Masset and Jared Burton were considered available on a situational basis.

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