Results tagged ‘ Homer Bailey ’

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

Game ppd, Bailey on Thursday

As you likely know by now, the Reds series opener vs. the Astros on Monday was postponed because of rain. It was re-scheduled for 12:35 p.m. ET on Thursday.

It has a created a chance to alter the rotation and get Homer Bailey back from the disabled list. Bailey started the season on the DL because of a right shoulder impingement.

“What did they say, rain is a good thing? Is there a song about that?” Bailey said. “I’m definitely glad I can be back in at this level of competition. More than anything, I feel prepared. I went down and felt I threw well in all my rehab starts. Everything progressed pretty well. I’m kind of ready to step back in and get this thing started.”

Bailey pitched 6 1/3 innings for Louisville on Saturday while throwing 91 pitches. He allowed one run, five hits and two walks with six strikeouts. In three starts for Louisville, he was 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA, four walks and 11 strikeouts.

The Reds had planned to give Bailey one more rehab start at Class A Dayton, only because the team was originally scheduled off. His return means that Sam LeCure is moving to the bullpen. LeCure was supposed to start Tuesday. Mike Leake will move back a day and pitch. Travis Wood is still on for Wednesday.

“Had we had a game here without revamping the whole rotation then [Bailey] probably would have been throwing that day,” manager Dusty Baker said. “But, as it is, it worked out. He didn’t really feel, necessarily want another rehab assignment. It just would have been better for our rotation.”

Other notes:

*Baker did change his mind about Edgar Renteria at 3B had the game been played tonight.

“I changed my mind because he’s not really comfortable there yet,” Baker said.
 
*Johnny Cueto [rt. biceps/triceps irritation) appears to be getting one more rehab assignment start at Class A Dayton on Friday. He will have a side bullpen session with Bryan Price so he can see his progress. Cueto threw 99 pitches over 4 2/3 innings on Sunday at Louisville and gave up two runs (one earned) with five hits, two walks and six strikeouts.

“He had good velocity,” Baker said. “His pitch count got high early, and he was kind of spinning off away from the target, which Bryan feels is easily repaired.”

*After Tuesday, the Reds will play five day games in a row…two here and three at Chicago.

Rainout history at GABP:

This is only the fourth PPD in the nine seasons since the yard opened.

*The game on 6/15/03 vs Phi was postponed after a 1-hour, 25-minute delay in the top of the second inning.

*The game on 5/15/08 vs Fla was postponed before the gates opened.

*The game on 4/10/09 vs Pit was postponed after a 20-minute delay at the start of the game.

*The game on 5/2/11 vs Hou was postponed before the gates opened.

*Three other games were shortened by rain but completed (4-3 win vs Atl in 4.2 innings on 4/22/04, a 2-2 tie vs Hou in 7 innings on 6/30/05, 4-2 win vs Cubs in 5 innings on 9/22/06).

Renewing the rivalry

Reds lineup vs. Cardinals

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Renteria 6
Cairo 5
Hernandez 2
Volquez 1

*Scott Rolen is out of the lineup today because his surgically repaired left shoulder has been bothering him, and has also led to neck and back soreness. Rolen saw medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek Thursday morning had his shoulder X-rayed. He was given two injections to try and relieve the pain. An MRI on his neck showed no issues.

“I got to the point when I played Wednesday, I’m trying to figure out how to catch up to 87, 88 [mph]. I’m thinking ‘I’m trying to finish the game,’” Rolen said. “This is what I’m thinking. This is going the wrong way.”

Since his eight-game hitting streak ended on April 11, Rolen is batting .138 (4-for-29).

Rolen said it usually takes a couple of days to stop feeling sore from injections. It might put him out for this three-game series. But he didn’t rule out playing either.

“I think anything is feasible. I’m not sure where we are,” Rolen said.

Rolen missed most of 2005 with a torn left labrum in his shoulder. It took two surgeries to repair it but he’s continually had to monitor the shoulder and adjust his hitting style to play through it.

*Jared Burton is having arthroscopic surgery today to debride his right shoulder. Prognosis will come after the operation is done. It’s another bad break for someone who’s had health problems galore the past few seasons.

*Johnny Cueto’s second rehab start for Triple-A Louisville didn’t sound promising. He gave up eight runs, five earned runs on 9 hits over 1 2/3 innings with 2 walks, zero strikeouts and one home run. Louisville lost the game at Columbus, 19-3

*Homer Bailey is now slated to pitch for Louisville on Sunday vs. Toledo. His second rehab start was originally supposed to be today.

*The weather is iffy for tonight. Already had hail and thunderstorms earlier today after getting into town. Hearing a bunch of more storms could blow through later today. Guess we’ll see what happens.

Through the storm?

Reds lineup vs. Diamondbacks

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

 *Homer Bailey’s second rehab assignment start for Triple-A Louisville vs. Columbus has been pushed back from Friday. It could be either Saturday or Sunday now. Bailey, who has been on the DL with right shoulder impingment since late in Spring Training, was scheduled to throw his side bullpen session today but pushed that back as well.

“I was just a little tired, a little tight,” Bailey said. “Instead of throwing a bullpen like that, it’s better off waiting a day or so.”

That means it’s unlikely Bailey would be ready for that April 27 start at Milwaukee, which was a loose target date. During his first start for Louisville on Sunday vs. Indianapolis, Bailey threw five scoreless innings with two hits and one walk while striking out two. He threw 62 pitches, up from the 37 he had throw the previous outing at extended spring in Goodyear.

“I was doubling the pitch count. Just the one or two extra days [rest] will go a long way,” Bailey said.

The club had no concerns about Bailey in the big picture.

“To not have any setbacks and give him a couple of days is worth it,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We know we need Homer. We know we need Cueto. We need them both. But you can’t rush them and have something happening to them and you don’t have them for an extended period of time. We have to fight our way through where we are now and let their normal course of healing take its course.”

*Johnny Cueto is still on target to make his second rehab start for Louisville on Thursday.

*One of the reasons Jonny Gomes is not in the lineup is his 0-for-5 with three strikeouts career mark vs. Arizona starter Ian Kennedy.

 *Temperatures are about 30 degrees cooler from last night after some seriously nasty storms moved through. I hope everyone came out of that OK.

*Of course, the Reds are trying to work their way out of a different type of storm these days. So far, it’s a 1-4 homestand and 8 losses in the last 12 games.

Sunday at Chase Field

Reds lineup vs. Diamondbacks

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Renteria 6
Bruce 9
Hernandez 2
Leake 1

*This is Mike Leake’s first game vs. the D-Backs. Leake spent his college career a few minutres away at Arizona State.

*Johnny Cueto will start a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville on April 16, assuming his two innings in Goodyear on Monday go without incident.

*Homer Bailey, slated to throw Tuesday in Goodyear, will have a tentative start on April 17 for Louisville assuming all goes well for him as well. More on both guys later on Reds.com.

*Scott Rolen, with a seven-game hitting streak, is playing the day game after a night game. Dusty Baker tries to pick his spots with the days off for Rolen.

“It just depends on how many consecutive days if we have off days in between, the time of the game is important,” Baker said. “Last night’s 5:10 game made it easier for me to play him today.”

Rolen’s next expected day off is Wednesday. Thursday is a scheduled off day for the team.

Heisey in RF for Bruce

Reds lineup vs. Astros

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

*No word on why Jay Bruce isn’t in there yet. But just guessing it’s a matchup thing. It’s a small sample but Bruce is 0-for-3 with 2 Ks lifetime vs. Astros lefty starter J.A. Happ. Also, over his career, lefty hitter bat .202 vs. Happ compared to .252 for right-handed hitters.

***UPDATE via Dusty Baker: “I’m trying to figure out a way to keep Heisey swinging too because had such a good spring,” Baker said. “Happ’s been tough against left-handers even though Jay has been getting against left-handed pitchers. It’s that Happ is one of the tougher ones. I don’t want Heisey to sit too long and lose the stroke that he had going. We’re going to need him.”

*Johnny Cueto (shoulder) threw 35 pitches in the bullpen today.

“It was good today. I threw hard. No pain, no nothing,” Cueto said.

*Cueto will throw in a two-inning game against extended spring players at the Goodyear complex on Sunday while the Reds are out there  to play the D-Backs this weekend.

*Homer Bailey also long tossed today and is making progress. Bailey is slated to have bullpen sessions on April 9th and then the 11th or 12th. If all goes well, he will see his first game action on the 14th, most likely at the Goodyear complex also. I will have more on Cueto/Bailey from Bryan Price on Reds.com/MLB.com

*Former Reds 1B Sean Casey is making his debut tonight as an analyst for FS Ohio. Casey is also throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.

More soon…

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Consequences of Cueto injury?

***UPDATE: Johnny Cueto left today’s game after only one inning with stiffness in his right biceps. He will fly to Cincinnati Sunday and be examined by Kremchek on Monday. Cueto was supposed to throw 50-60 pitches over 3-4 innings.

However, the club voiced optimism that the injury might not be serious. Pitching coach Bryan Price noted that Cueto’s pre-game warm-up went without a hitch and that he only felt discomfort on a couple of pitches.

“It’s that time of year where you have to be ultra-cautious,” Price said. “You don’t want this guy battling something the whole first half of the year. Nip it in the bud right now and we’re in good shape. Hopefully it’s not a major issue. I don’t think it is but I’m not a doctor. It’s better than the last time that he threw but it’s not 100 percent. We just didn’t want to take the chance of making it worse.

“If it was the playoffs, I don’t think he would’ve said anything about it at all.”

You may recall that Cueto exited his March 11 vs. TEX after two innings because of stiffness in his forearm and biceps. After a couple of days off and having his next start pushed back, he had been long tossing.

Even if the Reds downplay the injury and even if it isn’t serious, this is still a development that could create some havoc with the rotation.

The Reds are close enough to the regular season that you’ve got to think Cueto won’t get enough work to be ready. This could mean that Homer Bailey, Travis Wood and Mike Leake can all make the rotation. Wood, coincidentally, is starting the other split squad game @ARZ. He could slide into the No. 3 spot of the rotation.

Of course with all the days off early on, the Reds may not even need five starters right away. (***Upon further review, they would need a 5th starter as soon as April 9.)

Cueto signed a four-year, $27 million contract over the winter. Obviously, he underwent a full physical before the contract was inked and passed with flying colors.

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Hold on to your wigs and keys

This wasn’t a good day out here if you wear a toupee or had to catch a fly ball.

Winds at the yard today were at 29 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph. A few infielders and outfielders took some unique routes in trying to catch some of the flies. It certainly wasn’t an easy task.

“I was chewing a lot of gum to keep my mouth wet, that’s for sure,” Reds pitcher Homer Bailey said.

Fortunately, this did not affect your fearless Reds beat writer in the cozy confines of the press box. But wow ,it was sure windy all around the desert today. There lots of double-digit run totals in Cactus League games on Monday. For example, it was a 16-16 final between the White Sox and Indians in Glendale.

Over in Goodyear, there was only side with double-digits and that was the Brewers. They handed the Reds a 15-2 thumping. The 25 hits allowed by Cincinnati was the club’s most in a spring game since at least 1997.

*Before Monday’s loss, Reds pitchers had a 1.03 ERA over the previous four games, totaling 35 innings. The staff hadn’t allowed a homer in the previous seven-straight games. The Brewers had three today.

“Man, this game is hard to figure,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “One day everything goes right and the next day everything goes wrong. I guess that’s why it’s called spring.”

Some pitching lines:

*Bailey wound up being charged with four earned runs and six hits over 2 2/3 innings with no walks and three strikeouts. Bailey was trailing 1-0 with two outs in the third and just couldn’t finish the inning. He allowed four-straight hits.

*Mike Leake was roughed up for six hits in the fourth inning and nine total over three innings. He also allowed four runs. Many of the balls were well connected.

*Bill Bray gave up seven runs and six hits over 2/3 of an inning.

*Nick Masset fared the best with one scoreless inning and one strikeout.

*Aroldis Chapman threw two wild pitches in the seventh and gave up one hit during a scoreless seventh.

“Chappy had a little problem with command but ended up getting a key double play and got out of the inning. He didn’t appear very happy,” Baker said.

Some hitting, but not much:

*The Reds had seven hits, most of them late. Dave Sappelt’s second homer of spring provided their first run in the seventh.

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Long balls and walks

There was a lot to like and not like out of Wednesday’s 7-6 Reds win.

The positive:

Homer Bailey — looked very sharp in two scoreless innings. A leadoff bunt single by Juan Pierre in the first inning was the only blemish. Bailey was very pleased with his outing.

“I got to work my slidestep in the first inning and the second inning I worked out of the stretch,” Bailey said.

Daniel Ray Herrera — one scoreless inning, one walk. He also broke Alexi Ramirez’s bat on a groundout to first base.

Jared Burton — he looked good over his two-inning, one-hit relief outing with four strikeouts.

Offense — A five-run fifth inning started after a two-out error that made all the runs unearned. Jeremy Hermida smoked a long homer that sailed over the right field party patio.

Leading off the eighth inning, Devin Mesoraco topped Hermida with a homer to left field — it sailed well over the fence, over the grassy knoll and landed on the sidewalk concourse. It was absolutely tattooed and it was the game winner that snapped a 6-6 tie.

“Mesoraco hit one a mile and a half and Hermida hit one a mile,” manager Dusty Baker said.

The negative:

Carlos Fisher –  1 ip, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 BB in the sixth. Walks have been an issue in the past for Fisher. He started off the sixth with back-to-back free passes and both of them scored.

Jose Arredondo — 2/3 ip, 1 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. His first three batters of the seventh were as followed: BB, BB, HBP. After two strikeouts came a bases-loaded two-run single and another walk.

Daryl Thompson — walked in one of Arredondo’s runs to tie the game at 6-6 when he entered in the seventh. Thompson pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed three hits after that.

“Some of the guys are trying too hard,” Baker said. “A little bit of overthrowing. We just have to calm them down, relax them and get them to be themselves. Fish was probably overthrowing more. Thompson a little bit. Arredondo was kind of expected. He hasn’t pitched in more than a year. He’s going to have some ups and downs. We’ll keep running him out there. He’s a little high right now. But when a guy has been out that long, you have to expect some ups and downs.”

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