Results tagged ‘ Joey Votto ’

Rotation on a roll

 The Reds aren’t breaking off on a huge winning streak yet, but they are getting some very good starting pitching. And that could eventually reap benefits for sustained winning.

Bronson Arroyo worked into the eighth inning for the Reds 6-4 win over the Dodgers. He allowed 4 ER, 6 H,  0 BB, 1 K, 1 HB. He threw 98 pitches/68 strikes.

The Reds rotation is 5-1 with a 2.17 ERA over the last eight games and has three wins during the 3-2 road trip to this point.

“It’s going to be the key for us,” Arroyo said. “If we don’t have that, we’re not going be able to win ballgames. As good as our offense has been numbers-wise throughout the whole year compared with the rest of the league, it’s not enough to overcome four and five-run deficits early in the ballgame. For us to get deep in the ballgame like we are, try to peel back the innings for the guys in the bullpen a little bit, especially going into the hotter months of the season, will be key for us.”

Notes:

 

 

*Arroyo is 4-0 with a 2.60 ERA in his last four starts vs. the Dodgers.

*Francisco Cordero notched career save No. 303 by striking out the side in the ninth after a leadoff walk. Cordero is tied with Doug Jones for 20th on the all-time saves list.

*Homers by Chris Heisey (two outs, sixth) and Joey Votto (three-run shot, seventh) snapped a five-game streak without a home run for the Reds.

*Arroyo helped himself with a bloop RBI single to right field in the seventh that provided the go-ahead run.

*After the Reds couldn’t win a game at Chavez Ravine from 2006-2009 (0-12), they have won three of the last four here.

Quotes:

“They’ve thrown well. They threw well in San Francisco. Obviously Bronson threw well tonight. You hope for that every time. Our offense is necessary but the team’s priority is always pitching and defense.” — Joey Votto

“That was a big home run by Heisey because Kuroda was really dealing at the time.” — Dusty Baker

5-4 homestand, not 6-3

 Even though the Reds dropped two of three to the Dodgers last weekend, they had a chance to sweep the Cubs three-game and complete a very nice 6-3 home stand.

It didn’t happen.

The Reds were awfully quiet during a 4-1 loss to the Cubs. After coming up empty during a bases-loaded, one out rally in the first inning, there was only Jay Bruce’s RBI single in the third inning off Ryan Dempster. After that, Cubs pitching retired the final 19 of 20.

“We had a chance for a sweep,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “That three in a row is eluding us big time. We’ll get it. We’re like real close. Perhaps we’ll turn it around on this road trip. The last road trip, we had a bad one so we’re due for an excellent one.”

The Reds leave for a 7-day trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles. It stays tough after that with the Blue Jays and Yankees at home.

Notes:

*Dempster had a great game but was nearly a scratch because of hip pain. Chicago had Rodrigo Lopez also warming up pre-game just in case.

*The game essentially turned on back-to-back Cubs homers for three runs in the fourth by Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez. For Arroyo, they were homers No. 15 and 16 allowed for the season, tying him with Brett Myers for the NL lead.

*A fourth run charged to Arroyo scored on a Jose Arredondo balk in the seventh. With runners on the corners and two outs, Arredondo had a 3-2 count on Ramirez when he made a pickoff move to first base. He had keep the ball upon realizing Joey Votto wasn’t holding the runner.

*Bruce’s RBI single gave him a 10-game hitting streak.

*Jonny Gomes struck out as a pinch-hitter with Paul Janish on third with a two-out triple. Gomes is 0-for-10 as a pinch-hitter this season with seven strikeouts.

*Joey Votto has an eight-game hitting streak and has reached 60 of his 62 games played.

Quotes:

“It’s definitely disappointing. The way we’ve been playing lately, we can’t really afford to have a lot of close games get away from us. It’s been tough for us to come back from games that we’ve been behind once we’ve given up the lead. It’s hard to overcome that. Right now, we’re just fighting to get every win we can and we just can’t seem to be able to catch a nice streak where they seem to come easy. Everything has been difficult. It’s not going to get any easier in the next couple of weeks.” — Bronson Arroyo

“Somebody has got to tell him he’s playing behind him in that situation. I’ve seen Aramis hit that hole over there too many times. That’s one of his favorite RBI holes over there. We were trying to cover that hole but just didn’t communicate and tell him we were playing off the bag at 3-2. We have to tighten up our game in all departments. If we do that, we’ll be great.” — Dusty Baker on the Arredondo balk.

“All the games here on out are big games for us. We’re playing catch-up in the division and we have to win every one that we can.” — Drew Stubbs

*You won’t have me in San Francisco these next four games. We’ll pick it up from Los Angeles on Monday.

Volquez has short hair, long outing

Edinson Volquez sure looked different on the mound without the dreadlocks, but the Reds saw he returned from exile with the stuff that made him successful in the past.

In an 8-2 Reds win over the Cubs, Volquez had this line: 7 ip, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. 105 pitches/61 strikes. And he survived a 30-pitch second inning where he left the bases loaded. He also induced two double plays from the Cubs.

“He was locating his fastball a lot better. That’s the Volquez we knew from before,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Volquez had no ill will about being sent down to Triple-A Louisville on May 23.

“I knew I needed it. I was cool,” Volquez said. “I wasn’t mad with anybody because I was struggling in the big leagues. I had to do something. I went back to Triple-A and made the adjustments and came back to the big leagues like I did tonight.”

For the Reds to have a real shot at catching the Cardinals, they need Volquez to keep doing more of the same.
 

Notes:

*With two walks and one hit tonight, Joey Votto has now reached safely in 59 of his 61 games this season and 14 in a row.

*Jay Bruce has a nine-game hitting streak. He’s batting .412 (14-for-34) with three homers and 7 RBIs since May 29.

*Miguel Cairo hit the second grand slam of his career in the seventh inning to turn a 4-1 game into an 8-1 game.

*In the fifth, Drew Stubbs made a tremendous diving catch in right-center field to rob Kosuke Fukudome of extra bases. Stubbs didn’t have a smooth landing on the grass but the catch was solid nonetheless.

*The Cubs defense? Not so stellar. A rally started in the fifth on a Volquez grounder through the left side. Aramis Ramirez and Starlin Castro each had alligator arms and let the ball squeak through. It was the beginning of a two-run inning.

*For a complete rundown of Day 2 (rounds 2-30) of the Reds Draft, Tyler Jett has the story.

*Among the day 2 notables, 3B Sean Buckley was taken by the Reds with a 6th-round pick. Buckley, who is listed rather large at 6-4 and 220 pounds, is the son of Reds amateur scouting director Chris Buckley. In the 22nd round, the club took LHP Amir Garrett from basketball powerhouse Findlay College Prep in Nevada. Garrett is already committed to play college basketball for St. John’s and is the No. 68 ranked hoops prospect, according to Rivals.com.

*Finally, there is a heat emergency for Wednesday’s day games and temps expected in the mid 90s.

Quotes:

“I didn’t see him until right before game time. He looked pretty good, real good actually. Brandon has been on him the whole spring about cutting that mess off his head. He looked handsome.” — Reds manager Dusty Baker on Volquez’s new short hair

“I got my haircut last night. It was too hot, the weather. I was tired too, three years of long hair. I decided to cut it out. … I love my hair. I’m keeping it at my house. I’m going to bring it tomorrow.” — Edinson Volquez

“We got a pretty good pitching staff. We need to start getting going. It’s already June. The heat is here. We have to take advantage of those other pitchers getting tired. Hopefully our pitchers, they get hot and start pitching good.” — Miguel Cairo

A break for Phillips

Reds lineup vs. the Dodgers

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

*A rare non-start for Brandon Phillips, who was 0-for-11 in the Brewers series and 7-for-39 (.179) in his last nine games since moving back to the No. 2 spot of the lineup. (updated…Also, he was hit on the right wrist in the 8th inning of Wednesday’s game, so I’ll have to as about that.)

**UPDATE — it’s just a day off and not really health related for Phillips

 

“I could tell his legs were getting a little tired and how he was swinging,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I wanted to give him two days off. Usually he kind of fights me on it. I called him yesterday and said ‘have a good time, do what you want to do tonight because you’re off tomorrow too.’ He didn’t fight me on it.”

“I’m feeling good,” Phillips said. “I just haven’t had the results. I’m hitting the ball hard. I hit a ball hard the last game and Nyjer Morgan made a nice play. I hit one right at Prince Fielder. I’m not really caught in a slump at all. If I was striking out and stuff like that or hitting weak pop ups and weak groundballs, then I’d say I’m slumping. I’m just having bad luck.”

 

*Edinson Volquez pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed 1 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 2K and threw 112 pitches/69 strikes for a 5-1 Triple-A Louisville win over Syracuse. Curious to see if that’s viewed as good enough to warrant a return to the big leagues.

*The Sporting News named 1B Joey Votto the fourth-best player in baseball behind Albert Pujols, Troy Tulowitzki and Felix Hernandez.

Huge win before welcomed day off

Even if Joey Votto doesn’t agree, the Reds needed that game in a bad way. A 4-3 win over the Brewers came in the Reds’ last two at-bats on a two-run homer by Jay Bruce in the seventh and Joey Votto’s game-winner with a two-run shot in the eighth. Cincinnati was trailing 3-0 after four innings.

Votto hasn’t gotten as many pitches to hit, and especially drive, this season. But he got one very favorable matchup against Milwaukee reliever Kameron Loe, coming in 3-for-6 with two homers. Not only did Votto crush the 2-1 pitch, it was still carrying upwards as it smacked the center field batters’ eye. Estimated distance: 439 feet.

“Every single game is equally important,” Votto said. “This one was important because we’ve been losing quite a bit lately.”

Manager Dusty Baker had a different point of view about the meaning of the game, which was the Reds’ 20th in 20 days.

“Best one in a long time. That was huge that we found a way to win the game,” Baker said.

Notes:

*Francisco Cordero recorded his 300th career save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Cordero is only the 22nd player to reach that plateau and it tied him with HOFer Bruce Sutter on the all-time list.

*Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks has started three games against the Reds this season with a home run. Oddly enough, his team is 0-3 in those games.

*In his last 17 games, Jay Bruce is hitting .403 with nine homers and 25 RBIs. His long ball tonight was his NL leading 17th.

*The Reds have 15 come-from-behind wins this season.

*Before tonight, the Reds had lost their last five one-run games.

Quotes:

“It was so great tonight. We’re down by a run in the bottom of the eighth, two outs, and Joey Votto came big and hit a homer and I get the save. Now we have a great day off tomorrow and enjoy the day off and come back ready to play against the Dodgers and keep doing what we’re doing — just keep winning games, just keeping saving any time I get the chance. Who knows? Maybe next time we’re talking about 400. You never know.” — Francisco Cordero

“Shaun Marcum obviously had a lot to do with it. We ended up getting some big hits at the end of the game, myself and Jay. Jay has obviously been a go-to guy over the past month.” — Joey Votto on the Reds’ first six scoreless innings and the turnaround.

“Both of them are great hitters. Votto is always hot. Bruce has been unbelievable for the last month. When you make a mistake to them, neither one is going to miss it.” — Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.

“We finally won a series, won a rubber match game that has been eluding us for so long. Hopefully now we’ll take this day off and enjoy it. It’s been a tough run these last 20 days. Up and down and a lot of emotional swings, mostly down.” — Reds manager Dusty Baker

“Any time you’re in the central division and win, it’s always good. But going into a day off and winning, it’s a little better feeling than going in with a loss. We’ve got a tough stand coming here with L.A., we’ll have to battle.” — Reds starter Mike Leake, who allowed three runs over six innings.

Bruce batting 4th

Reds lineup vs. Brewers

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

*Some fans had been asking since last night and you get your wish. Jay Bruce is batting cleanup behind Joey Votto. In the short term, it should help both hitters get better pitches, and perhaps help the Reds score more runs. In the long term, it could help teams with lefty situational relievers get to face both batters without a manager making the extra pitching change.

*Against Brewers RHP Zach Greinke, Votto is 2-for-4 with two home runs. Jonny Gomes is 3-for-9 with two homers. Edgar Renteria is 6-for-19 (.316). Bruce is 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

*UPDATE — And this just came down from MLB, Bruce was named NL Player of the Week. A portion of the press release is below:

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce has been named the National League Player of the Week for the period of May 23-29, 2011. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network. The Reds slugger led the Majors with 13 RBI and 25 total bases, and was tied for first with four home runs last week while hitting .353 (12-for-34) in seven games. His 12 hits ranked second among National Leaguers while his .735 slugging percentage was fifth and his six runs scored were sixth-best. The 24-year-old Texan had four multi-hit games on the week, including two three-hit performances.

**To make room for the call-up of starting RHP Chad Reineke, the Reds designated LHP Tom Cochran for assignment.

Did Volquez really say that?

 Edinson Volquez had a rough day and has been having an inconsistent season. That made his postgame comments after a 12-4 loss all the more curious.

“I think everybody has to step up and start getting some runs,” Volquez said. “The last five games, we’ve scored how many runs? Thirteen in five games? (Actually 12). It’s not the way we were playing last year. We’re better than that.”

Keep in mind that Volquez allowed seven runs (six earned) with seven hits, four walks, one hit batter and three strikeouts. He is 3-3 with a 6.35 ERA this season. His first inning ERA is 18.00

Stay tuned, because I can’t see that comment going over well.

Reds manager Dusty Baker indicated changes could be afoot and that he might not keeping rolling Volquez out there.

“We’re mulling that around now,” Baker said. “Last time, he was a lot better. This outing, he didn’t start off well again. We’ve got discuss what to do.”

You can read much more about this day and what lurks ahead in Philadelphia in my game story. The full version should be up shortly if it’s not already.

Notes:

*In today’s notebook, hopefully you saw that Aroldis Chapman is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville on Monday. Chapman will meet the team and pitch an inning in Norfolk.

*Joey Votto’s first inning home run was his first since April 27, a span of 21 games.

*Since returning from the DL, Scott Rolen has hits in 7 of 9 games and is batting .343 (12-for-35)

*Jay Bruce was 2-for-4 with a homer, his 11th of the season. He’s 8-for-14 (.571) over a four-game hitting streak.

*Overall, the offense is having trouble. In the five game losing streak, they are batting .207.

Quotes:

“I know people around here – it was kind of like that for us last year – it’s going to take a little while for them to come around and believe the Indians are for real. I think they’ve got a good team. I thought their pitching was good and obviously their offense really broke out today. I wouldn’t say I was surprised, because they’ve been playing well all year.” — Chris Heisey on the Indians

“He had a bunch of pitches that inning. It’s tough to keep going to your bullpen that early and you keep hoping he’ll give us some innings so it didn’t tear up everybody out there. We have 10 days in a row before we get an off day.” — Dusty Baker on Volquez in the first inning.

“They’re playing good baseball and they beat us. They got us pretty good. It doesn’t get any easier in Philadelphia, obviously, when we face those guys. We can’t make up a series. We’ve got our hands full in Philadelphia and Atlanta both. We will try to play a little better baseball and hopefully try to win a series there.” — Scott Rolen

Not much for Morton

Charlie Morton.

And that’s about it, good night everybody….

OK…and we’re back. Morton certainly made it look easy with a five-hitter and 5-0 shutout over the Reds. The guy was 0-2 with a 6.91 ERA against the Reds last season now has two complete games against them this year.

“We’ve got to figure him out because he’s given us the blues the last couple of times out,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Notes:

*Joey Votto wasn’t trucking too fast as he was running from first to third inning on a Brandon Phillips double and it wasn’t from lack of effort. Even if he was, it was doubtful he could score.

“He’s hobbling a little bit. We don’t want everybody to know it,” Baker said of Votto. He did not elaborate on the nature of the issue, however.

*The game lasted only two hours, 17 minutes — fastest for the Reds this season.

*Morton recorded 14 groundball outs.

*Bronson Arroyo gave up five runs in seven innings — all coming via two homers by Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen. He was the first Reds starter to lose since May 3 — a stretch of 13 games.

*That previous mentioned double extended extended Phillips hitting streak to nine games with a double in the first inning.

*The Reds five-game winning streak and seven-game home winning streak is over.

Quotes:

“I look forward to pitching against this team. I respect everyone in this lineup – every single hitter. To pitch well here, it’s not an easy part to pitch in. To pitch well against them, is it slightly more rewarding? Yeah, it is.” — Pirates RHP Charlie Morton

“He was more of a power pitcher last year, throwing four-seamers and most of the stuff was hard. I heard last year they didn’t really allow him to throw his two-seamer. This year, they have a different pitching coach and now he’s throwing that two-seamer, which is a sinker. When your sinker is working and the groundballs aren’t going through, it’s tough to really center the ball. When you do, it’s on the ground.” — Dusty Baker

Chapman to DL

The Reds announced Monday that Aroldis Chapman went on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation. Jordan Smith was recalled from Triple-A Louisville.

Obviously, Chapman has been wild with nine earned runs and 12 walks over his last four appearances — including his four walks over five batters in the ninth during  the 9-7 win over STL Sunday. The 23-year-old has 20 walks and 15 strikeouts over 13 innings and has a 6.92 ERA over 16 games.

Reds lineup vs. Cubs

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

More notes

 *The Reds are 23-17 entering tonight’s game. You know what their record was at this point in 2010? It was 23-17.

*In the last 11 games, the Reds rotation is 7-0 with a 2.00 ERA.

*Over his last 5 games on rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville, 3B Juan Francisco (strained left calf) is 8-for-26 (.308) with one home run and seven RBIs.

*The Reds are the only team in the Majors that have 11 players with at least 10 RBIs this season.

*Members of the Class A Dayton Dragons roster and coaching staff will be at the game today as guests of the Reds.

*Interesting news out of Los Angeles. Former Reds COO John Allen was named by MLB today to assist Tom Schieffer, recently appointed monitor of the Dodgers, in the oversight of the business, finances and day-to-day operations of the Dodgers. Allen was COO of the Reds from 1999-2007.

*For those who have been wondering and asking, Joey Votto’s “This is SportsCenter” commerical for ESPN will debut next Monday, May 23. The Reds next appear on Sunday Night Baseball for that network on May 29.

Votto gets the big hit (again)

Joey Votto is a master craftsman when it comes to hitting and that was highlighted a couple of times on Friday vs. the Cardinals. Of course, none was bigger than the final one that ended the game. Votto’s lined RBI single into right field scored Chris Heisey for a 6-5 victory in 10 innings.

With Cardinals reliever Jason Motte throwing gas, Votto looked at his first three pitches and fell into a 1-2 count. Next came a 97 mph fastball that Votto fouled back. Another 97 mph fastball was taken for ball two. And yet another 97 mph fastball was paydirt.

Motte was working up the ladder on each pitch and Votto saw that.

“I got a pretty good pitch to hit later in the at-bat,” Votto said. “He’s always a tough guy to face because he throws so hard and elevates the ball. He’s a guy a lot of guys strike out on. I got two strikes against me. I really felt like I had to fight.

“The previous two pitches were higher and I fouled them both back. So I had it in the back of my mind and I was reacting to them. If he had gone a little higher, maybe I would have got on top and put the ball in play or would’ve fouled it off again hopefully.”

In his previous plate appearance in the seventh inning against St. Louis LOOGY Trever Miller, Votto worked a 10-pitch sequence into a walk. He had a tough time in the Chicago portion of the previous road trip but has seemed to come out of that. In his last three games, Votto is 7-for-14 with four RBIs.

Notes:

*The Reds had a ton of chances throughout the night and kept missing out on the big inning. They were 4-for-18 RISP and stranded 13 for the game.

*The 10th featured other nice at-bats leading to Votto. Ramon Hernandez fouled a pair of two-strike pitches back before working a walk. Edgar Renteria worked a 1-2 count into a walk, but not before fouling a couple of pitches off. Had Renteria not reached, there’s a good chance the Cardinals intentionally walk Votto.

*Scott Rolen had a nice return from the DL, going 3-for-5 with a RBI double in the sixth inning.

*The Reds are 4-0 in extra inning games.

*Tonight was the longest extra-inning game for the Reds, lasting 3:54.

Quotes:

“They weren’t bouncing our way at all, but you keep that pressure and something’s bound to happen, sooner or later. You just got to keep that pressure and pressure and always keep believing that you can get it done. The right man at the right spot was up there at the end of the game.” — Dusty Baker

“They’re one of those teams that really seems to minimize the big innings. I wouldn’t necessarily say that was a product of us coming up short. I think it’s just them doing a very good job executing, making sure instead of giving up the big three run inning, it’s one maybe two. They’re very good at that.” — Joey Votto

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