Results tagged ‘ Jonny Gomes ’

Gomes, Jocketty on the trade

As if it wasn’t obvious enough from the corresponding roster move that came with the trade of Jonny Gomes to the Nationals, Reds GM Walt Jocketty confirmed that the move was made specifically to get the bat of Yonder Alonso to the big leagues.

 “We actually had a couple of clubs that inquired about Jonny’s services but Washington was probably the most persistent,” Jocketty said. “For us, it’s a tough move to make in some ways. Jonny was a big part of our club last year and he’s obviously a guy we all think highly of as a person and as a player. It gives us an opportunity now to bring up a player like Alonso and start looking at some of our younger guys that we feel we need to give an opportunity to.”

The plan appears to use Chris Heisey, Fred Lewis and Alonso in left field. Alonso has played 62 games in the outfield this season and the organization believed he’s shown a lot of improvement since the switch from first base.

“He’s improved a lot,” Jocketty said. “He’ll be able to spell Joey [Votto] from time-to-time at first base and he’ll play some left field. He’ll be a left-handed hitter off the bench. The one thing we do know about Yonder is he can hit. He can flat out hit. That’s what we want to see. That’s what we need.”

Jocketty said this deal wasn’t a chance in trading strategy leading up to the Trade Deadline on Sunday.

“We’re still buying,” he said.

Gomes was sad about leaving but very grateful for the chance to play for the Reds.

“What a great opportunity to play for such a baseball-rich city, a baseball-rich organization. I definitely don’t take any of it for granted. In 2008 at the end of that season, individually, I was kind of left in the weeds. Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker gave me the opportunity. 

“I gave it a great run. I’m bitter about leaving because I really love these guys. I love where this team is at. I love where they’re about to go. As we see right now, it’s a business. On the other token, a team reached out and wanted my services. I take that as a compliment as well.”

Gomes acknowledged his offensive results, namely the .211 batting average, played a part in his being moved. But he was still surprised.

“This is a results driven industry, if you will,” Gomes said. “When the results aren’t there, it might be time to move. Just the average, it really killed me. If you look at everything else, everything is there. The name of the game is on-base, if you can get it 100 points higher than your average, it’s great. I had that. I had 11 homers in 220 at-bats, I think that’s good. 30 RBIs is pretty good. Runs scored were there. The first thing there is average and that’s what everyone looks at. It would have been nice to have an opportunity to turn it around.”

Smooth 5-0 blanking of Rays

As far as games go, the Reds could not have asked for one to go much better or smoother. They were more than pleased to leave Monday with a 5-0 win.

“First day into a new city, pretty much for a lot of guys, [the Rays] had just come off a great series in Houston, swinging the bat well and pitching well,” Jonny Gomes said. “It all starts with Mike Leake. Pitching and defense win you a lot of games.”

Leake provided 6 ip, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K….99 pitches/57 strikes.  He is 4-2 with a 2.49 ERA in seven games since returning from Triple-A Louisville.
 

Notes:

*Another strong night for Brandon Phillips — 4-for-5, 2 RBIs. Phillips has multiple-hit days in six of his last seven games. His average is up to .299.

*Pregame, I was curious about the Tropicana Field catwalks. Gomes appeared to be the right guy to take care of that. He went deep to left field for a homer off of the catwalk over left field leading off in the fifth inning. It was Gomes’ ninth career homer off the catwalks. He was tied for the Rays team record with eight catwalk shots.

*I saw something you don’t see often…a runner called out for passing a teammate on the bases. It happened in sixth when Evan Longoria passed Ben Zobrist at second base on Matt Joyce’s fly ball to Fred Lewis. It was huge break for Leake, who started the inning with runners on first and second with no outs. Zobrist, who tagged up on the play, was left stranded at third base. If you’re scoring at home, it’s a flyout 7 on Joyce and 6 unassisted for the Longoria out.

*Nice middle relief from Sam LeCure, who allowed one hit over a scoreless seventh and eighth innings.

*Like many managers, Dusty Baker didn’t see everything through rose-colored glasses. He pointed out some missed chances as the Reds went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight runners.

“We still could have tacked on a few more runs, which is something we’re still in the process of learning,” Baker said. “To throw the knockout punch when you get them.”

*The Rays winless lifetime vs Reds (0-7).

*I learned who DJ Kitty was for the first time.

Quotes:

“It was a good opportunity to show the Reds the guidelines on the catwalk.” — Jonny Gomes on his home run.

“The results are showing up, and I’m happy it’s finally showing. I’m trying to stay positive and keep grinding. I talked to my Dad, looked at some old video and decided to go back to my old ways go up there and drive the ball instead of just guide it. It’s paying off. I’m just going to stick with that.” — Brandon Phillips

“I didn’t put any balls over the middle, maybe just one or two. Luckily they didn’t do anything with them.  I was just nibbling a little too much and a little more side-to-side with my mechanics than normal.” — Mike Leake

“He’s an absolute pitcher. He knows what he’s doing out there. He knows how to change speeds and he can throw a strike when he wants to. … I can understand why he has been successful.” — Rays manager Joe Maddon on Leake

“That was a double play that we’ll take. It’s probably something you’ll never see Longoria do again. That ball did look like it was in the game. Freddy closed the gap pretty quickly and made a fine running play.” — Dusty Baker on the Longoria base running gaffe.

Bruce in, Gomes returns to TB

It might be hot and muggy outside….and I really mean muggy…but we are indoors at Tropicana Field. This might be 11th season on a team beat, but this is my first ever visit inside this particular venue.

I’m curious to see how often the infamous catwalks come into play here. I’m just thankful that it will be comfortable and there is a guarantee of no rain delays.

Reds lineup vs. Rays

Lewis 7
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes DH
Hernandez 2
Stubbs 8
Janish 6

Leake 1

*Catcher Ryan Hanigan is out for the second-straight game, one that he might have caught with Leake on the mound. He’s been bothered by a back strain for about a week.

“We’re doing what we can to let it calm down,” Hanigan said. “It’s spasming. I could play if I had to. We’re letting it cool down because it hasn’t been getting better.”

*Jay Bruce is back in the lineup after being sick yesterday. Bruce was given some antibiotics but there was no real explanation of the illness he had. Whatever it was, it seems to have passed.

“I’m a little tired but I feel good today,” Bruce said.

*Jonny Gomes was in the Rays organization from 2003-08. In 2005, he set the club’s rookie home run record with 21. It’s since been surpassed by Evan Longoria. Gomes is meeting the local media here this afternoon. I’m sure he will be well received by the fans tonight.
 
Jonny Gomes speaks with Tampa Bay area media.
 

Rolen 4th, Bruce 5th

This will be the Reds first visit this weekend at Camden Yards, but it won’t be mine. I’ve been here a few times while covering the Twins. When the weather is pleasant, it’s rather nice city and ballpark to be in and walk around.

But I’ve also been here in August and I will go on record that I have never been so hot nor have sweated so much in my life than when I was here at that time of year. That was the only time I ever left the press box postgame and returned to the air conditioned hotel room to write my game stories. (I know, real problems, right?)

Baltimore is muggier than St. Louis or Cincinnati combined. If you want to see yourself sweat, visit here in the summer. (Good chamber of commerce message, isn’t it?)

Without further adieu…

Reds lineup vs. Orioles

Heisey 7
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes DH
Stubbs 8
Hernandez 2
Janish 6
Volquez RHP

*Jim Kelch can back me up on this since we discussed it at lunch today…but I was wondering if Dusty Baker would move Bruce out of the cleanup spot with the way he’s been slumping and the way Rolen has come on. Bruce is batting .235 since moving to the fourth spot. He’s a .317 hitter in the fifth spot.

*Meanwhile, Rolen has seven RBIs over his last nine games, seven extra base hits in his last 11 games and batting .355 (11-for-31) over his last eight games.

*After a three homer game on Wednesday night, was there any other place for Heisey to be than starting and leading off?

*Reds DHs are batting .083 (1-for-12) this season. Jonny Gomes accounts for 0-for-8 when he was in the depths of his slump in Cleveland last month. He’s been hitting a lot better lately, so having his bat and Heisey’s should be a boost. We’ll see.

*The Reds have listed Homer Bailey as their starter for Sunday. That was expected, but not formally mentioned until today.

For once, the Reds love L.A.

Big road trip. Huge road trip.

Most teams, including the Reds, come to the West Coast just hoping not to tailspin. Many are hopeful to come out of it .500 or could even accept being one under .500 for the trip. Wednesday’s 7-2 win over the Dodgers gave the Reds a 5-2 West Coast trip. They haven’t had a winning western journey since they went 7-4 in 2004. That was also the year of the last Reds sweep at Dodger Stadium (May 14-16).

“A real nice birthday present,” said manager Dusty Baker, who turned 62 today. “It’s first time I can remember in 10 years winning a game on my birthday. That’s the one thing I wanted today. That was the perfect ending to this West Coast trip.”

Every time the Dodgers win a game here, they play the familiar Randy Newman song “I Love LA.” I got pretty used to hearing since the Reds lost 12 times in a row at Dodger Stadium from 2006-09.

And not much of a celebrity wrap for this series. Last year, we had Harrison Ford among others. This year, it was only Larry King and Mary Hart — both on Tuesday night.
 

Notes:

*Jonny Gomes was all over the field defensively today with some nice plays. One particularly marvelous

one came when he robbed James Loney with two outs in the third with runners on first and second. On Loney’s tailing fly to the left field foul line to end the inning, Gomes was fully laid out when he made the diving catch. Travis Wood thanked Gomes with a point. Gomes also made two other catches that were worthy of circles in the scorebook.
*Wood was so-so, despite the quality start. Only one run and five hits but the five walks (one intentional) made for some tense moments. Wood gave up an Ethier two-out double and two walks — one with the bases loaded — to force in a run.

*Scott Rolen was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI doubles and a RBI single. Five of Rolen’s seven hits on this trip were doubles. He hasn’t felt great since fouling a ball off his left foot Sunday and missing Monday’s game.

*By not playing today, Drew Stubbs became the last Reds player to miss a game this season. He had played in all 69 previous games, with 64 starts.

*The Reds are 17-18 on the road this season.

Quotes:

“Some great defense and early runs. Everybody was spent from a short night here so we wanted to score early, which we did. We didn’t score more but it was enough.” — Dusty Baker

“Gomes played an outstanding outfield today. If the ball was going up, I wanted it hit to him the way he was playing today. We also had some good clutch double plays and that helped a lot.” — Travis Wood

“It really hurts. It kind of puts a little sting into us because if we get two runs we’re right back in that game. That was obviously a nice play.” — Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Gomes’ third-inning catch

“We need to win series. I’ve been boring you guys to death saying the same thing for two years now. But we split in San Francisco, which you take. Maybe we could have got one more. They’re a good team too. We played well there and came here and obviously played real well. A 5-2 trip, I think we’d take that 10 out of 10 times before we left.” — Scott Rolen

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.

Bruce’s big month

Who’s your NL Player of the Month?

Jay Bruce’s May: .346 avg, 12 HRs, 32 RBIs, 23 runs scored. He entered the night with a 1.103 OPS.

Mets SS Jose Reyes: .364/.421/.555 with nine doubles, six triples, 11 steals, 40 hits and 18 runs scored. He has been placed on bereavement leave.

Save for the ninth-inning, three-run double in Philly last week, Bruce’s hot stretch has not been taken advantange of enough by the Reds. On Monday vs. the Brewers, it was. He went 3-for-4 with a triple, three-run homer and single in the Reds’ 7-3 win.

“I’m just getting presented with opportunities, and I’ve been successful,” Bruce said. . It’s been a good month. I’ve been making better decisions. That’s one of the big things. And with better decisions comes most of the time a lot of success.”

Notes:

*Bruce’s 12 HRs in the month are two shy of the club record. Greg Vaughn last set that mark in Sept. 1999 when he tied Frank Robinson’s record of 14.

*The Reds are 15-8 when they score first.

*Jonny Gomes, coming off his 4-for-5 game on Sunday, was 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored and sac fly.

Quotes:

“He’s not trying to do too much. Sometimes, you try to do too much, it makes it worse. Just be natural, be yourself. He’s been on a tear. He’s seeing the ball. No. 1 thing is he’s not fouling off pitches or missing pitches that he should put in play and hit…you’re not going to hit them all out of the ballpark. When you get your pitch to hit, you have to hit it.” — Dusty Baker on Jay Bruce

“They hit some pretty good pitches, I thought. I asked Hanigan — one was a changeup that Gomes hit — and I asked him if it was down, and he said, ‘Yeah, he went down and got it.’ The other was a cutter. I asked if it was in. He said, ‘Yeah,’ so they just put some good swings on some good pitches and it worked out for them.” — Reds LHP Travis Wood on his three-run fifth, including back-to-back homers.

“When you get a chance to control your own destiny against a team that’s ahead of you, it’s nice, and we did a good job of it tonight.” — Jay Bruce on beating the Brewers to pull 1 1/2 games out of second place. The Cardinals lost also, dropping their lead over CIN to four games.

Gomes batting 2nd

Not surprisingly, I’ve gotten some feedback, rather immediately, about the lineup and Jonny Gomes batting second as the DH.

Gomes doesn’t have much of a track record batting second, but it’s not a good one. He’s batting .172 (5-for-29) in 11 games there, including five starts, over his career.

“That’s the best lineup I could come up with. Hopefully it will get him going the way it got Jay Bruce going,” manager Dusty Baker said.

Bruce batted second from April 25-May 1. Since May 2, he has batted .291 (16-for-55) with five homers and 13 RBIs. The Reds would certainly take those numbers with a smile for Gomes, who entered the day batting .188.

Will Gomes get better pitches, especially after Drew Stubbs reaches base and with Joey Votto on deck?

“Maybe,” Baker said. “You still have to swing at strikes. I remember in the past I put Glenallen Hill in front of Barry [Bonds] and they were still throwing him balls and he was still swinging at balls.”

Does Gomes think it will help him?

“Maybe hitting in front of Joey will but not hitting in the two-hole,” Gomes said. “You only hit in the two-hole the top of the first inning and then that’s it. I’ve never hit in front of him. I’ve hit behind him a number of times. So, we’ll see.”

Ohio Cup time…

Reds lineup vs. Indians

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

Wood 1

*Jonny Gomes enters today batting .182. His lifetime numbers in 256 games as a DH are .222/.327/.417 with 37 home runs and 119 RBIs. I have a feeling this could be a pivotal weekend for him. If he doesn’t catch a spark, his playing time could reduce more. Dusty Baker has been talking about his patience in waiting for Gomes but you can tell from his recent quotes this week that his patience is waning some.

*Paul Janish is in a 1-for-20 skid in five games since returning from a sprained ankle.

*Shin-Soon Choo of the Indians is probably disappointed that Bronson Arroyo isn’t pitching for the Reds in this series. Choo is 6-for-12 (.500) with four homers lifetime against him. There is always July, I guess.

*This is a break for the Reds…the Indians just placed DH Travis Hafner on the disabled list.

*I am not a fan of pro wrestling at all — but when I was a kid, I did have two favorites. They were Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Randy “Macho Man” Savage. (Maybe it was the way they both jumped off the top rope/turnbuckle) Well, today we lost the Macho Man, who died at the age of 58 this morning after a car accident. If you’re wondering about the baseball connection, Savage (born Randy Poffo in Columbus, OH) was a former Minor League Baseball player from 1971-74. His final year was with Class A Tampa in the Reds organization.

Ambush!

 Sometimes it seems, the Reds do their best work from behind. They laid low — very low in fact — for the first half of Monday’s game against Carlos Zambrano. But a 4-0 deficit after 5 1/2 innings quickly became a 7-4 win over the Cubs. It came on seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Jonny Gomes had the big offensive moment with his two-run homer that capped the scoring. The Reds sent 12 to the plate in the sixth and had nine-straight batters reach safely with one out

“This team’s got a lot of fight,” Gomes said. “One hit through five and some change. You saw that again tonight. It’s a magical team with a bunch of hot hitters and a bunch of real good hitters and they’ll shine at any time.”

Notes:

*It’s the second time since Friday that the Reds have bounced back from a 4-0 deficit. It also happened on Friday vs. St. Louis. It was also the Reds’ 12th come-from-behind victory this season

*Gomes homer in the sixth was his first since April 17 and it gave him first RBIs since April 30. Oddly enough, he did not see the ball clear the fence on the fly and thought he had a ground rule double and stopped at second base. The umpire told him it was a homer before Gomes headed home.

*Bailey did a nice job in the first to work out of his own mess. He walked the bases loaded with one-out but also struck out the side. It was a 32-pitch inning but he went on to retired 10 of the next 11, which included a double play.

*Superb one-hop throw to the plate from CF Drew Stubbs in the eighth to nail Alfonso Soriano, who tried to score on a Marlon Byrd single. The throw beat Soriano by a step as he slid into the plate.

*Reliever Sam LeCure has not given up a run of his own in his last 5 appearances since moving to the bullpen.

*Francisco Cordero had a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 8th save while working his fourth straight game. That was career save No. 298 for Cordero.

*Reds starting pitchers are 8-0 with 2.20 ERA over the last 12 games.

*The Reds have won four-straight and eight of nine. Thirteen games into this stretch of 20 in a row, they’re 10-3.

Quotes:

“It’s interesting. If you’re on a last-place team, no one’s paying attention to your struggles, but if you’re playing on a first-place team and everyone’s banging it kind of gets exposed a little bit. I might get some days off with the struggles, but I’ll never get some days off with a lack of effort and not hustling. At the end of the day, that’s going to shine.” — Jonny Gomes, who entered the night batting .186

“I knew something was off, mechanically, after that second batter. I threw one pitch after the bases loaded, figured out what it was and was able to correct it on the fly. I wish it wouldn’t have taken three hitters to do that, but nonetheless we were able to get out of it without any damage.” — Homer Bailey on escaping his bases loaded jam in the first by striking out the side.

“That was kind of like a thunderstorm that came in and all of sudden, we had seven runs and a chance to get some more.” — Dusty Baker

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