Results tagged ‘ Jonny Gomes ’
This late in the season, what almost happened Wednesday could have qualified as the most painful loss the Reds have endured in 2010 — and they’ve had a few like that already. But instead that 12-11 win in 12 innings might turn out to be their most hard-fought, and their most satisfying of the season.
Yes, the Reds gave up a 10-1 lead and were knocked around with a six-run eighth to fall behind by a run. But they also came back right away to tie it with Paul Janish’s clutch RBI single in the top of the ninth. And in the end, only the win matters.
Joey Votto, already with two homers in the game, had another MVP moment with his RBI single in the top of the 12th against Barry Zito that scored Miguel Cairo.
“We’ve had several games this year where teams have come back and taken the lead from us and we didn’t come back and overcome that little swing,” Votto said. “For us to do it here in San Francisco against such a competitive team means a lot. This deep in the season, I think it means more.”
Other items of note —
*The Reds completed a 6-3 West Coast trip. Even if it didn’t feel like it at the end, that’s big.
*Francisco Cordero had to bat for himself for only the third time in his career. The Reds had one bench player left in Ramon Hernandez but Cordero was also the club’s only viable reliever left.
*Edinson Volquez was warming up in the bullpen behind Cordero but Reds manager Dusty Baker tried to avoid using him if at all possible.
*Brandon Phillips was hit on the right hand by a 95 mph fastball in the fifth and came out in the sixth. Phillips had X-rays and was initially diagnosed with a right hand contusion. More X-rays will be needed because he was still swollen.
*Laynce Nix could barely run on his sprained left ankle as a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth. That could be a future roster move.
*Jonny Gomes collected career homer No. 100 and his first since July 19 in the top of the first.
*Votto was 4-for-7 with four RBIs. He became the first Reds’ first baseman to have at least 30 homers in a season since Lee May in 1971.
*The Reds were outscored 38-19 during the series.
More quotes —
“It was difficult to have had such a comfortable lead the entire game and then late in the game, that can be pretty difficult to overcome. Momentum does play a role in games. We played really well at the beginning and they all of a sudden carried that momentum late in the game and got ahead. I’ll tell you what, we showed that type of resilience and the ability to come back. Paul Janish comes up with a big hit. Cordero threw great. For us to have played as well as we did and come back and win this game and finish off a good road trip, really means a lot to all of us I think.” — Joey Votto
“It’s a long plane ride today. We’re going to go home happy, 6-3. It’s all that matters. This is all behind us now.” — Francisco Cordero
“It was tough. It was ugly, beautiful or whatever. It was a win. You have to see it the positive way. We were 6-3 on the road trip. That was a good road trip.” — Miguel Cairo
“That’s what MVP’s do. That’s what All-Stars do. They come through when you need them.” — Dusty Baker on Votto.
One more note —
I’m starting a vacation so I won’t be on any games again until the next big one — the series at St. Louis starting on Sept. 3. See you then. Feel free to exchange comments (keep it civil, please) while I’m away.
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Reds manager Dusty Baker spent last night’s game and will spend tonight’s game in general manager Walt Jocketty’s suite while serving his two-game suspension.
What was that perspective like?
“It’s a lot easier up there,” Baker said. “Every war movie or cowboy movie I remember, they always went to high ground to have a better view of things.”
Someone asked Baker if he’d ever like to move into the GM’s chair sometime. It took little time, if any, for him to respond with a no.
“Al Rosen, who recruited me to the Giants, had asked me what position I’d like,” Baker said. “At the time I told him I’d like to be his assistant general manager or possibly general manager some day. He told me I’d be better suited to manage on the field. He’d seen me across the field from Houston and the Giants when I was with the Dodgers. Since I’ve been in this position, I’d rather be in the action. As a manager, you’re kind of like the shop foreman. Most times, the shop is in the basement. You’re down there with the guys, the players. You’re not an officer from being in the military. You’re more of a warrant officer, which is a former enlisted man that they thought merited commission as an officer. You’re an enlisted man in charge of other enlisted men.
“Plus general manager – that’s a lot of hard work. That’s a lot of work when everybody else is off work – namely me. Those three or four months off, you need it to recharge from the long season. That general manager, they work hardest in the off-season. Most of them live where they work. Most of them go to the office every day or almost every day. They’re in meetings all the time. I like what I’m doing.”
Other quick notes —
*Johnny Cueto, suspended for seven games, threw 41 pitches against hitters Juan Francisco and Ryan Hanigan. He is slated to start on Aug. 21 at Los Angeles, his first day after the suspension ends.
*Orlando Cabrera (oblique) said he’s feeling better. Cabrera took some swings Friday, but not at full speed. The trainers wanted him to try hitting today if he felt up to it. Cabrera hopes to be ready by the time he’s eligible to return on Wednesday at Arizona.
*Jonny Gomes will be presented withe MLB Players Alumni Association’s Heart and Hustle Award. One player for each club receives the nod locally and an overall winner is announced in November.
“From my coming up through the minors and before that with some of the adversity in my life, you never know when it’s going to be your last game,” Gomes said. “I kind of play the game in regards to that’s how I want to be remembered when my time is up. I worked too hard to put this uniform on. It will take a lot to take it off. That’s one of the aspects I want to bring every day. Every manager I’ve played for I’ve told them ‘I’d love to promise some numbers for you at the end of the year, but I can’t. what I can promise is hustle and respecting the game every day.'”
*Aaron Harang will leave Sunday morning and meet Triple-A Louisville for his rehab assignment start at Columbus. First pitch is at 5 p.m.
*Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman broke his leg at the beach on Friday in San Diego while vacationing with his family. Marty Brennaman reported that Thom was trying out wakeboarding for the first time.
Here are some quotes from inside the Reds clubhouse:
“It’s been a quick six or seven hours to go from kind of the bottom of the standings to the top in a hurry. And show up here playing the Cardinals, it’s going to be a little nuts. I’m looking forward to the challenge. The respect I have for the guys on this team after playing against them for so many years, it seems like a good group of guys that are very talented. It’s nice to be on this side for once.” — Jim Edmonds
“We thought Edmonds would add a veteran, playoff experienced guy who’s had a pretty good year with Milwaukee. He’s actually a guy I thought about signing over the winter and we didn’t. I kind of regretted the fact that we didn’t. I think he’s going to help us a number of different ways.” — Reds GM Walt Jocketty
“Anytime you add Jim Edmonds to the mix, he’s been helping teams for what, 15 years? It’s obvious he’s still able to help us. I’m excited to have him here for what he’s done and how he goes about his business. He’s an unbelievable outfielder. In his prime, he was one of the best outfielders in the game. I think he will help us tremendously. He’s a veteran guy that knows what’s going on. He’s been in this situation before. He knows how to handle it. You can always use more of that.” — Jay Bruce
“I think it will be good for Stubby and his career and Heisey and his career. The guy can still play like we just saw in Milwaukee.” — Jonny Gomes
“Any time you can add a guy that’s been in a World Series or the playoffs and has 15 years in the big leagues with such a great career like Edmonds, of course it will be a help.” — Orlando Cabrera
And from the St. Louis side:
“We had heard about it. I think Jim told a couple of our guys that it was going to happen. He’ll help them. When [Rolen] is healthy, he’s proven what kind of player he is. Jim is in a different part of his career. But like I said, I think he’ll help them.” — Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa
*Another nugget about Edmonds. He is a .274 hitter in 118 career games against Cincinnati with 32 homers and 85 RBIs.
*One NL scout expressed surprise that the Cardinals did not try to block the Reds by putting a waiver claim on Edmonds.
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It’s quite a long drive back to Cincinnati so I will leave you with a bevy of post-game quotes from the Reds 11-4 win over the Cubs for a three-game sweep and 5-1 road trip. They are 16-games over .500 at 64-48 and have a two-game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central. St. Louis was rained out today.
“I felt good today. I came out and my pitches were working good. I could throw them all for strikes. The fact they came out swinging, I was able to get some early outs.” — Travis Wood, who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
“Let it be known, I’m not looking for that type of day very often. I’m trying to put together professional at-bats, which is simple – swing at strikes and take balls. When you get two strikes, put the good pitch in play and if you have to foul off the nasty one, do that.” — Jonny Gomes, who drew a career-high four walks and also scored a career-best four runs.
“They have a very good team, they’re hungry to win.” — Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano
“He challenges you and changes speeds. He doesn’t throw many breaking balls — he pitches basically with a fastball changeup, but he pitches to the outside par tof the plate. we hit quite a few balls decent to right field. He pitches to the strength of their defense.” — Cubs manager Lou Piniella on Wood.
“Now it’s here and now we deal with it. It’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be fun and it’s the next to last series where we know we can take care of our own business. It will be tough. This is what championship baseball is all about.” — Dusty Baker on facing St. Louis starting Monday.
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A 3-0 win over the Cubs put the 62-48 Reds a season-high 14 games over .500. They are 4-1 on the road trip, have won five of six and seven of nine. This was a nicely played game in all facets for the Reds, who got enough key hits, good pitching and terrific defense.
The good —
*It was another sterling performance by Bronson Arroyo, as he pitched seven scoreless innings with five hits, one walk and seven strikeouts for his 12th victory.
*Arroyo had a huge escape in the fifth inning. After having runners on second and third with no outs, he struck out pitcher Tom Gorzelanny, got Tyler Colvin to pop out and fanned Starlin Castro.
“Sneaking out of that fifth inning was huge,” Arroyo said. “It kind of deflates a team a little bit to get nothing out of that situation. It gave me an opportunity to pitch to the seventh with relative ease.”
*Arroyo said Gorzelanny’s quick innings and having to hit twice and run the bases took a lot out of him on a muggy afternoon.
“I didn’t get a lot of rest,” Arroyo said. “I got a pinch tired and started missing spots with my fastball. I was getting into some jams.”
*Defense was big today. Scott Rolen robbed Castro with a diving stop on a grounder in the fourth and threw him out from his knees. Jonny Gomes made a diving catch in left field to take a hit away from Geovany Soto in the seventh.
*One final defensive gem came on the last play of the game. With the tying run at the plate, Blake Dewitt hit a chopper back to the mound. Francisco Cordero made a nifty barehanded grab over his head and threw Dewitt out at first base, barely, to get his 30th save.
“That was a shortstop, Brandon Phillips type play,” manager Dusty Baker said. “I didn’t think he had a chance to get him at first base.”
*Not much offense but just enough. Ryan Hanigan hit his third homer with a two-run shot in the second inning. Brandon Phillips provided a big insurance run with his two-out RBI single in the seventh.
*For a guy who hates day games, Arroyo has thrown 13 scoreless innings vs. the Cubs in two winning starts at Wrigley Field this season.
*Rolen was 2-for-4 and is batting .483 (14-for-29) over his last eight games.
Roster move —
*During the game, the Reds revealed that IF/OF Drew Sutton was claimed off of waivers by the Indians. That leaves the 40-man roster at 39 players and opens a spot up for Chris Dickerson’s return from the 60-day DL. No word on what will happen to make room on the 25-man roster, if the Reds are ready to activate him.
*Baker said he and Walt Jocketty and the staff would likely talk about that potential move and the one possibly involving Russ Springer back at the team hotel later tonight.
More quotes —
“You look at the boxscore and you never see it show up. That kind of stuff right there, especially the first play on Castro from his knees, that changes the whole inning. I’m going through the meat of the order with Castro on first base, who is pretty fast, if he doesn’t make that play. I wound up being in a jam anyway.” — Bronson Arroyo on Scott Rolen’s defensive gems.
“We got a couple of runs today. The pitching was great and we played good defense. We were able to pull out a tight one.” — Ryan Hanigan
“We wanted some more [runs] but that was all we needed today. That was a big win for the first game of a series in Chicago.” — Dusty Baker
There was no shortage of highlights worth mentioning from Wednesday’s 10-2 Reds win over the Brewers. For starters, it completed a 4-2 road trip with two series wins.
The good —
*There always seems to be hand wringing about the offensive shortcomings but the NL’s best hitting and scoring team cranked out 22 runs and 32 hits over the last two games to win this series. As Larry David might say “pretty, pretty good.”
*Travis Wood finally got his first big league win. His outing was shortened by the long sixth inning and his turn coming up in the midst of a big rally. Wood pitched five innings and allowed two runs and five hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
“It feels good,” Wood said. “Coming out today, every game, I’m trying to get that first one. Today I was able to throw well and keep the team close. We ended up getting a lot of big runs late. We battled and got it done.”
*The most impressive moment of the five-run Reds’ sixth was the sound execution of Ryan Hanigan’s perfect suicide squeeze. Miguel Cairo was sprinting home from third base as Hanigan dropped his bunt back to the mound. Milwaukee was definitely caught by surprise there.
*Defense was nice today as Jay Bruce robbed Carlos Gomez with a diving catch in the fourth inning to save a run after Milwaukee had just taken a 2-0 lead. Trying for a triple in the seventh, Gomez was also nailed with a very nice one-hopped throw by left fielder Jonny Gomes.
*Brandon Phillips slugged a 450-foot grand slam off of Bernie Brewer’s yellow slide in the eighth. Other than Sammy Sosa in the Home Run Derby in 2002, no one had ever hit the slide. I even asked Bernie and his handler. Bernie replied by nodding his enlarged head “no.”
*Four more scoreless innings by the Reds bullpen gave them 15 scoreless for the six-game road trip.
*Jonny Gomes’ RBI double in the sixth gave him 300 RBIs for his career. He is still sitting on 99 career home runs.
*Joey Votto hit his 26th home run of the season in the eighth. That established a new career-high and extended his NL lead.
What happened there? —
*Wood had oops moment when he walked off the mound and to the dugout after striking out Joe Inglett in the third inning. There were only two outs. Wood wasn’t alone since Hanigan also went that way.
“He was strutting pretty good,” Dusty Baker said. “Guys were all on him for strutting like the inning was over. The second one wasn’t as good as his first one.”
Why Leake? —
Some folks on Twitter wondered why Mike Leake was sent to pinch-hit in the eighth inning for Arthur Rhodes. It wasn’t just because Leake was a .366 hitter.
“We were kind of short of people today,” Baker explained. “We tried to stay away from Scotty after his big day yesterday. He was sore. We didn’t want to use Ramon because he caught about 150 pitches yesterday. He was a little sore. I had to save Janish because Cabrera injured his shoulder a little bit on that slide into third. I took a chance of bringing Nix in early. I couldn’t afford to use anybody else and I didn’t think they’d walk him.”
Give Leake credit for working a full-count walk to load the bases just before Phillips’ grand slam.
More quotes —
“It was kind of strange to get a five-inning win, especially after all the great games he’s pitched. We needed that one badly. It was a big getaway day win for us.” — Dusty Baker on Travis Wood
“My pitches were working pretty well. I had some trouble getting the curveball at first and then finally found it. I was able to make some good pitches at some good times and get some guys out.” — Travis Wood
“You go into some ballparks and some lineups, and they’re all home run threats. You keep them in the ballpark and you’ll be alright. But I think we’re deeper than that. We’ve got some situational hitters. You saw the squeeze. The top of our lineup is going to get on and we’re going to run. We’ll go from first to third and steal bags as well. I don’t think we’re just home run threats.” — Jonny Gomes
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Following a 4-0 loss to the Astros, there could be a change in tactics in how the Reds manage Leake’s pitch count going forward. Today, he was at 84 pitches through six innings and then had trouble getting through the next 10 pitches.
It was 1-0 when Leake gave up three-straight hits in the seventh with one out — including Chris Johnson’s home run, a Jason Castro single and pinch-hitter Jason Michaels’ double. Both runners scored on Michael Bourn’s double off Arthur Rhodes.
The Leake line: 6.1 ip, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR….94 pitches/53 strikes.
“Maybe we’ll have to start watching him around that 90-pitch count,” manager Dusty Baker said. “It was 100 but maybe we’ll bring it down to 90. They flared that one in there, no problem. He’s got that sinker. He’s the best double play almost that we’ve got. That’s why we let him face Michaels. A sinker on Michaels came back over the plate and a sinker on Johnson came back over the plate.”
Leake also ran into trouble in the seven-run ninth inning at Philly when he was at 83 pitches coming in and started giving up hits.
*With a little better luck, you have think Leake would have double-digit wins by now and more consideration for NL Rookie of the Year votes. He was hosed from a win against the Astros on May 30 when he pitched seven scoreless and didn’t get a win because the Reds were blanked 2-0 in 10 innings. The Reds are 11-8 when he pitches. There were three losses by one run, two by two runs and six in the opponent’s final at-bat. There of course were the two heartbreakers in Atlanta and Philadelphia.
“It happens I guess. It’s frustrating. Then again, they’re not trying to do it,” Leake said. “You just have to battle, make your pitches and try to keep it low on your part.”
The good —
*The defense had some sparkling moments. In the fourth, left fielder Jonny Gomes made a fantastic diving catch towards the line to rob Jason Castro and save a run. In the seventh, Orlando Cabrera took a hit away from leadoff batter Jeff Keppinger with a pick and leaping throw from the hole.
The not so good —
*Today’s loss was the Reds’ MLB leading 12th shutout this season. They’ve been blanked six times on Sundays, including the last three in a row.
*The Reds have also been shutout five times in the last 16 games.
“That is strange. I guess when we’re good, we’re very good. When we don’t score, we don’t score at all,” Baker said.
*Wandy Rodriguez, who had a 5.11 ERA coming in, gave Houston one-hit ball over seven innings.
More quotes —
“I think those zeroes up there weren’t telling the whole story. I wasn’t locating well the whole game. I felt like I couldn’t really throw it where I wanted to today. I don’t know why.” — Mike Leake
“Wandy has been throwing the ball good, according to our reports. He’s thrown his fastball up and out of the zone away a lot and bouncing his breaking ball. And that’s what he was doing today.” — Dusty Baker on Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez
“I wish I could but I’m glad I can’t. It means it doesn’t happen very often. This game is interesting. I think we’ve done pretty good against Wandy the last couple of outings.” — Jonny Gomes on the inability to explain all the shutouts.
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Here are some quotes on what the Reds thought about Stephen Strasburg, following an 8-5 loss to the Nationals Wednesday.
“Yeah the guy he throws a very easy 98. Usually the guys who throw 98 have a lot of effort involved but he had very little effort and very good delivery, good breaking ball. And yeah you can tell this guy is going to be very good.” — Dusty Baker
“I saw a lot of good things out of him. One of the things you want to see out of a young guy is his composure. He got himself into some jams and went right to his best stuff and got out of it. When you got a guy who throws 100 mph, the majority of time his off-speed is to get you off his fastball. He’ll elevate it or bury it. He was throwing his curveball and changeup for strikes.” — Jonny Gomes.
Strasburg was far from flawless as he allowed three runs and seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out seven. The Reds had only one extra-base hit but weren’t overpowered by the 22-year-old flamethrower.
“I watched a lot of tape on Strasburg,” Gomes said. “I thought our guys did a real good job off of him. He had some opportunities to get guys chasing and get ourselves out. I didn’t see a whole lot of that. I saw a whole lot of good at-bats.”
Here’s what Strasburg said of performing in front of the crowd of 37,868 fans at GABP:
“It’s awesome. It’s great atmosphere. I’ve been doing it over a year, especially coming out of college. It’s almost expected everytime. It’s a real blessing to be able to go out there and pitch in front of a lot of fans
A quick breakdown from the Reds’ 7-2 win over the Nationals —
*Jonny Gomes had a 3-for-4 night and scored three runs. Gomes went deep with HR No. 13 to start the Reds’ sixth and started a four-run rally in the third with a single and later scored. His third hit was beating out an infield single to SS with one out in the eighth. In the top of the seventh, he made a nifty sliding catch at the left field foul line.
Gomes praised the all-around team effort.
“The situational hitting was awesome today. The defense was awesome too,” Gomes said.
*Miguel Cairo, filling in for the injured Scott Rolen, was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Not long after Gomes went deep, Cairo went deeper as he smacked a 438-foot homer to the upper left field bleachers in the sixth.
*Johnny Cueto turned in a dependable six innings, despite being interupted by a 42-minute rain delay. His line: 6 ip, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K. 91 pitches/58 strikes.
*Cueto struck out the side in the fourth with a rolling single through the left side after play resumed.
*In the four-run bottom of the third, Cueto picked up his first two RBIs of the season with a sharp single that went through a shallow-playing 2B Cristian Guzman.
*Logan Ondrusek took over for Cueto in the seventh and put up another zero. He hasn’t allowed a run in 13-straight appearances. He has a 0.96 ERA in 20 appearances since his June 1 recall from Triple-A Louisville.
*The Reds bullpen pitched three scoreless innings without allowing a hit, although Nick Masset walked two in the eighth and Francisco Cordero walked one in the ninth.
*Brandon Phillips made a beauty of a leaping catch in the sixth to take a hit away from Cristian Guzman.
*In their last four games, Reds pitchers have allowed 17 hits. (four in each of last three games). In the last six games, starting pitchers have allowed seven runs over 40 innings.
More quotes —
“I don’t think it’s been a big deal on this team. This is team is doing a great job with adversity. You saw us with a four-game losing streak into the break. We came right back and got some games with Colorado. This team is real good at bouncing back. I think that’s a real big characteristic in a team that has to go late into the season.” — Jonny Gomes on coming back from Sunday’s 1-0 loss to the Rockies.
“He’s been a godsend to this team. He’s a baseball player. He knows how to play, he’s fundamentally sound and he does most things correct most of the time.” — Dusty Baker on Miguel Cairo
“He comes to play every day. That play he made out in left field that was an outstanding play and Jonny’s a very excitable man and he excites everybody else around him, the fans, me, you, guys on the team and everybody. It’s great to have Jonny.” — Baker on Gomes.
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Thurs lineup vs. PHI
*This is Ramon Hernandez’s fourth game in a row out with a sore left knee. Whether he can be back by Friday is unknown.
“Maybe, but we possibly have to make a decision here soon too,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “The All-Star break is coming up. He hasn’t caught in a few days. If he’s not better, we can still backdate stuff. It’s tough duty with one catcher and Janish as the backup. We’ll make a decision probably tonight after the game.”
*Ryan Hanigan was 2-for-3 last night for Triple-A Louisville on his rehab assignment. He is likely ready to be activated from the disabled list if the club had to DL Hernandez.
*It was an off day for Jonny Gomes, for a couple of reasons:
“It’s been hot out there and Jonny has been struggling a little bit. Kendrick gets right-handers out a lot better than left-handers, especially in this ballpark,” Baker said. “It’s a perfect time and Jonny will play the next three days.”
*Baker views these next four games and the ones right after the All Star break as prime opportunity to make a move in the division.
“You can’t start thinking about vacation before vacation gets here. This is a time you hope everybody else is thinking vacation and you’re thinking through the break vs. to the break…The teams I’ve been on or had, it’s something I’ve stressed to them. Most jobs, those last couple of days before you go on vacation are non-productive days. Then when you come back, you’re still in vacation mode and you have a couple of more non-productive days.”
*Several players were having a good time watching the Rockies-Cardinals game this afternoon in the clubhouse. Many on the bus were watching last night’s Colorado walkoff win on their iPads while bussing from New York to Philadelphia.
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