Results tagged ‘ Homer Bailey ’

Everywhere around the world…

Wednesday’s lineup vs. White Sox

Stubbs DH
Heisey 8
Lewis 7
Francisco 5
Hermida 9
Hernandez 2
Cozart 6
Frazier 3
Valaika 4

Bailey 1

*Ramon Hernandez is back in camp after being away for two days. Hernandez went to Ft. Lauderdale to take his U.S. citizenship exam. He said he passed without issue. All that stands between him and being an American is the swearing-in ceremony. Hernandez is a native of Venezuela.

“I already live here,” Hernandez said Wednesday. “My wife is a citizen. My kids are citizens. I’m the only one left.”

*Dusty Baker remains firmly in the corner of pitcher Homer Bailey, who will start later today. Here is a small sample of Baker’s feelings on Bailey:

“There were some great pitchers I’ve seen that started out a whole lot worse than Homer,” Baker said. “He’s got a chance to be an ace, I think.”

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The waiting really begins

Homer Bailey had a huge outing today — both for the team and personally. After allowing two solo homers in the second inning to Adrian Gonzalez and Yorvit Torrealba, he got uber stingy. He finished with seven innings and five hits, two runs and one walk allowed and six strikeouts.

Dusty Baker made sure Bailey knew it was a big game and the right-hander delivered.

“We talked earlier, remember, about building an ace,” Baker said. “That’s what potential aces do. They stop the bleeding and stop a losing streak.” 

“It’s times like that you have to lock down,” Bailey said. “I knew with our offense that two wasn’t going to beat me. I just had to make adjustments on the fly.”

“When you have that day of rest sometimes, sometimes you feel too loose and too strong. You have to kind of back down a little bit and stay balanced a little bit more.”

So now, the magic number to clinch is one. It could get a little weird since the Cardinals host the Pirates Monday. A STL loss clinches the division for the Reds on their off day. As it looks right now, there seems to be no plans to gather at GABP to watch the game.

“Nothing,” Baker said about any plans. “Tomorrow is a rest day, an unpack day. I’ll probably watch TV. I’ll probably watch the Cardinals, watch baseball games like I always do and do some scouting. I’ll just try to relax and then watch Monday Night Football.

“Guys have stuff to do. They have family stuff. They’ve seen these guys 156 games already, probably 180 days almost with off days. You need some personal time, some family time and probably some guys will have to prepare to move out of their places because some have leases only until Oct. 1. There’s a lot to do. It’s a perfect off day tomorrow.”

Postgame: Give Bruce the save

Francisco Cordero was more than willing to give Jay Bruce his save after a thrilling end to a 7-5 Reds victory. Bruce stopped a potential game-tying two run homer by Adam LaRoche with a great catch at the fence. Here is a link to the video of the play:

Since Bruce couldn’t have the save, Cordero gave Bruce a hug instead and possibly the quote of the night.

“I didn’t give him a kiss because that would’ve been a little bit weird,” Cordero said. “I gave him a big hug. He saved my night tonight. I really give it up to Bruce. He saved that game tonight. He got the save.”

*Both Dusty Baker and Bruce backed Cordero, who has been shaky lately. He had two blown saves in the previous series vs. the Pirates and nearly had one more tonight.

“How many guys in the league have that many saves? Yeah, some have gotten away,” Bruce said. “That’s just the name of the game. It’s baseball. It’s not easy. It’s a really tough position to pitch in. He’s our closer and I trust him 100 percent.”

*There was some concern about Homer Bailey, who departed after only three innings because of dizziness. Bailey’s velocity was way down and he was bouncing some balls in the dirt.

“I had a real big headache and stuff,” said Bailey, who threw 83 pitches in that short span. “I thought maybe my hat was a little too tight or something. I went out there and was kind of dizzy and a little off balance and stuff. How many walks was it, 20? That hasn’t been my game here of late. I was having trouble just staying balanced and stuff.”

*Big 3-for-4 night for Orlando Cabrera, who had three doubles and three runs scored.

*The Cardinals were swept by the Cubs to give the Reds an eight-game lead in the NL Central and a magic number of 10 to clinch. The Reds can finish 8-8 while the Cardinals would have to go 17-1 to catch them.

*A cluster of a few thousand bugs took in the game at GABP. Although it didn’t really reach Joba Chamberlain levels like in Cleveland a couple of years ago, it was enough to be a little annoying to the players.

More quotes —

“I didn’t think that ball had a chance to stay in the ballpark. I thought our only shot there was for the ball to go foul. It looked like it was staying straight. I don’t think anyone was looking at Jay Bruce. We couldn’t see him in the corner. The fans went crazy so I figured something good must have happened.” — Dusty Baker on Jay Bruce’s catch

“First I thought it was going to be foul and then I was like ‘that might have a chance.'” — D-Backs 1B Adam LaRoche

“I was jumping kind of more lateral than back. On balls like that, I try to get to the wall first as much as I can when I run so I can have a view of where it is. I thought it was going to be one of those foul in the seats. I didn’t think it was going to go as far as it did. He puts a lot of backspin on the ball most of the time.” — Jay Bruce

“I should have caught it. In the grand scheme of things there’s no excuses. It’s a ball that I tracked down and just didn’t finish it off.” – Arizona CF Chris Young, who made an error on Miguel Cairo’s fly that scored Jonny Gomes in the four-run Reds’ first inning.

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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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The swept did some sweeping

The Reds turned around the week rather well. After getting swept by St. Louis, they did it to Florida by getting a 2-0 win Sunday. And after all the angst of the lost series, the Reds end the home stand in first place all alone again. The Cardinals lost by a 9-7 score to the Cubs and dropped two of three to fall a game back in the NL Central.

The good —

*Homer Bailey got it done in a big way with six scoreless innings, three hits, no walks and four strikeouts. His pitch count was high early (44 thru 2 inn, 63 thru 3) but some quick innings kept him in the game and buried the Marlins. After allowing back-to-back two-out singles, he retired 16 of 17 and his last 10 in a row to finish with 102 pitches.

*Miguel Cairo came up huge again with his two-run homer in the sixth — the difference in the game. I keep remembering fans wanting him outta here after less than a month in April.

*Jim Edmonds got his first hit with the Reds after 0-for-12 start with a double off of the LF wall. Edmonds was robbed of a homer in the fourth inning by splendid leaping catch at the wall by Marlins center fielder Emilio Bonifacio.

*The Reds bullpen got into some jams but got it done with three solid innings with Ondrusek, Masset and Cordero. The ninth was fraught with danger after Cordero gave up a leadoff double on a 0-2 pitch. After getting a groundout and a called strikeout, Cordero walked Cody Ross but got Donnie Murphy with a called K to end it.

*Jay Bruce’s 1-for-4 day has him hitting .389 (7-for-18) over his last six games with one homer and six RBIs.

*Orlando Cabrera served a batboy for four innings in a pretty comical scene. Be sure to see my story on that on

The not-so-good —

*Joey Votto got run in the bottom of the first for disputing a 1-1 strike call by home plate umpire D.J. Rayburn. Votto didn’t so much dispute in a visible sense, but obviously said something that got him tossed. That’s two first inning ejections this season.

The Marlins were 0-for-9 RISP for the day, 0-for-27 for the series. No matter which team it is, that’s brutal.

Quotes —

“That’s a reverse sweep. That’s what we talked about before this series started. That’s a quality team over there. They’ve got some dynamite hitters, some good pitching and they’re going to be good for a long time. We held their offense down today pretty much, which is a hard thing to do. Coming out of Washington, they had some hot bats.” — Dusty Baker

“He’s been great. He stays ready all the time. I told him yesterday he’d be playing today. He works hard. He trains hard. He loves to play and he knows what it takes to win. I’d hate to think where we’d be without him.” — Baker on Cairo

“I enjoy every single day of my baseball career and my life. I’ve been blessed to wear this uniform and all the uniforms I’ve worn. I enjoy what I do. This is what I know how to do. It’s been nice to be here and be in the big leagues.” — Miguel Cairo

“The biggest thing was pounding the zone. I thought my balls-to-strikes ratio was pretty good. That’s what I went into the game thinking.” — Homer Bailey


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Who is that guy at 2B?

Sunday lineup vs. FLA

Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Votto 3
Gomes 7
Edmonds 8
Cairo 5
Hanigan 2
Janish 6
Bailey 1

*To make room for Homer Bailey’s activation on the 25-man roster, the Reds optioned 3B Juan Francisco to Triple-A Louisville. That, of course, left the Reds with one spare infielder. To get some protection, they’ve had outfielder Chris Heisey working out in the infield lately, especially at second base.

“I haven’t taken groundballs in about a week but I’m going to go out there in a little bit and take some grounders,” Heisey said Sunday morning. “It’s in case of emergency. I’ve played shortstop my whole life and then in college, the second half of my junior year was spent at shortstop. I’m would not say I’m comfortable in the infield, but I don’t feel like a stranger. I trust my hand-eye coordination and reflexes enough to at least knock the ball down and throw it across the infield.”

*As I type this, Heisey is taking grounders from Chris Speier and practicing flips to second base.

“Anybody else – I can move Brandon to shortstop, Cairo to here to there. Scotty can play third base or first base if something happened to Joey,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “You start thinking of different scenarios. If something happened seriously, we’d have to get somebody in here. Whatever it is, it’d be a stopgap situation until we got somebody in here.”

*Back in 2008 when they were shorthanded, the Reds had to use catcher Javy Valentin for an entire game and part of one other at third base. The funny thing is, Valentin never had one ball hit to him. So much for the ball finding him.

*LHP Travis Wood had a two-inning start for Louisville at Columbus last night. Why two innings? It wasn’t an injury but a tune-up to get him ready for his next start in Cincinnati. The Reds still list Thursday’s starter at Arizona as TBA. Wood is eligible to return by then. Incidentally, Wood worked scoreless last night with three hits and a walk. He struck out two during the Bats’ 1-0 loss to Columbus.

*Baker has been playing the Van Morrison album “Too Long in Exile”  the last couple of days while he’s been suspended.

“I broke it out,” Baker said. “That’s how I felt.”

*And here is a compliment from one of the Marlins about the Red the last two games.

“I give the Reds credit,” ourfielder Cody Ross said. “They’re not running slop out there. They pitch well, play great defense. Brandon Phillips is everywhere. I hit to the right, he’s there. I hit the ball up the middle he’s there. They must have the perfect scouting report on us.”

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Cueto not appealing

The Reds and Johnny Cueto have decided that he will not appeal the seven-game suspension he recieved for his actions during Tuesday’s scuffle against the Cardinals. Cueto will begin serving his suspension immediately and miss Sunday’s start vs. Florida. Homer Bailey will be activated from the DL and start Sunday.

A roster move will be needed to get Bailey back on the roster. Cueto can not be replaced on the 25-man roster and the Reds will be shorthanded, in effect.

“With our pitching situation, the way things line up, it will be better if he misses one start and he’ll have one extra day from ordinarily he would start,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “So maybe this will make him even better and stronger. He can train, train and more train.”

Cueto will be eligible to return for the Aug. 20 vs. the Dodgers at Los Angeles.

Bailey was 2-1 with a 1.44 ERA in four rehab appearances, includng three starts. He last pitched a scoreless inning in relief on Tuesday.

“Healthy, that’s all I know,” Bailey said whens asked how’s he’s been feeling. “Whatever they want me to do, I’m doing it. As long as I’m feeling good, that’s the most important thing.”

*Dusty Baker will be watching tonight’s game from GM Walt Jocketty’s booth near the press box.

“The choices were to either go watch it in the stands, which is impossible, go to Walt’s box, go home, which is impossible or help Marty,” Baker said, with the last part being a joke.

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Greetings from Chicago

I’m back in business and in Chicago tonight after a few days off while the Reds were in Pittsburgh. I decided to drive the trip since it was only three days and it’s been a long time since I’ve done that. Coolest sight — what seemed like hundreds of windmills in Indiana along I-65.

For today’s off day story, I wrote about Aroldis Chapman. It will be interesting to when he gets the call. Both GM Walt Jocketty and Minor League director Terry Reynolds feel he is ready. Now it’s a matter of a spot opening up.

Although I missed the last series, I read the report on Russ Springer’s hip injury. That could be one opening if it’s serious. If not, we’ll have to wait and see.

*Tonight at Triple-A Louisville in his second rehab start, Homer Bailey had a very strong line of seven scoreless innings with six hits, no walks and nine strikeouts while pitching against Norfolk. Bailey threw 102 pitches, 66 strikes.

*I did a radio interview today where I was asked about how the Reds will clear a 40-man roster spot for Chris Dickerson when he is ready to come up. I was hesitant to answer, in part, because I was driving and didn’t have a roster in front of me (Now wouldn’t that be distracted driving?). For now, Dickerson is in California after a death in his family. 

*After thinking it over a while, two possible short term solutions to get Dickerson back the 40-man would be to move either Bailey or Aaron Harang to the 60-day disabled list. Even if Bailey moved there, he’d already be eligible to come off when he’s ready. Harang last pitched on June 30 and could come back by Sept. 1. Since he hasn’t started a rehab assignment yet, I’d imagine that wouldn’t cost him any more time than he’s already missing. Of course, that would mean another move was ahead but one at a time.

*A few weeks ago, I wondered if Dickerson might get optioned to Louisville when his rehab is done. Now I have plenty of doubts about that, especially when he’s hitting .442 (19-for-43) with three homers, seven RBIs, nine walks and six steals in 13 games during his rehab assignment. And that is happening while Drew Stubbs is in a 1-for-37 skid with the Reds.

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Another leadoff flip flop

Tuesday lineup vs. MIL

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

*As you can see, Orlando Cabrera’s second reign as the Reds’ leadoff hitter was brief.

*The Nos. 1 and 2 spots of the order, Cabrera and Brandon Phillips, are a combined 0-for-15 in their last two games. 

*Against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo, Scott Rolen is 4-for-6 (.667) with one home runs and Phillips is 4-for-14 (.286) with one homer and three RBIs.

*Drew Stubbs is in a 0-for-23 skid, including 0-for-13 on the road trip. Reds manager Dusty Baker had Stubbs in his office on Tuesday afternoon, partially to talk about his very up and down first full big league season.

“We have to find out why. We’re trying to get him mechanically sound and not have the peaks and valleys,” Baker said. “Remember what I said earlier that when you have young players, you battle with inconsistency. The older veteran players know how to get out [of slumps] and a lot of times, not to get in a funk. The young players sometimes don’t know how he got in it and even worse, how to get out of it.”

*Homer Bailey will make his next rehab start on Saturday for Triple-A Louisville. Bailey started on Monday for Class A Dayton and threw 60 pitches over four innings. He allowed three runs in the  fourth.

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In Milwaukee

And Scott Rolen is back in the Reds lineup “in Milwaukee” as he predicted Sunday.

“You guys can stop asking me now,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said Monday.

Monday lineup vs. MIL

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

*No Reds hitter has a more extensive history vs. Brewers LHP Randy Wolf than Orlando Cabrera, who is 13-for-41 (.317) with four doubles, one homer and six RBIs.

*Cabrera has also been one of the hotter Reds hitters in general. He has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games (17-for-45, .378).

*Phillips has been in a slump for much of July. He’s batting .180 (16-for-89) in July and is 3-for-his-last 25. (.120). Hence the reason for Cabrera going back to leading off, a move that ignited the offense once when he was there May 7-June 23. Phillips’ last 26 starts have been from the leadoff spot.

“Brandon has been struggling some and Cabrera has been hot,” Baker said. “I flip-flopped them the first time because of that reason. Now I’m re-flipping them a second time for that reason.”

*Rolen was glad to be back in the lineup, naturally. Had he gone on the DL, he’d still be out.

“I’m cutting five days off if we had done the DL,” Rolen said. “So I’m glad it worked out and went the direction that it went. Dusty and Walt and everybody were patient as well. There was no timeframe and I wasn’t under the gun to make a decision. I probably would have made the wrong one last Thursday.”

*Homer Bailey is scheduled to make a rehab start tonight with Class A Dayton.

*Through seven games of his rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville, Dickerson is 8-for-20 (.400). The prediction here is that Dickerson will be given the full 20-game rehab assignment. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s optioned to Louisville after that. As evidenced by the Gary Matthews Jr. situation, there is no apparent desire to shake up the current outfield situation, especially the bench with Laynce Nix and Chris Heisey.


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