Results tagged ‘ Lance Berkman ’

Postgame extra: Blanked

Well, we’ve seen what happens when Mike Leake doesn’t have his good stuff. Six scoreless innings. He got the no-decision in a 2-0 Reds loss to Houston, in 10 innings.

Leake said the humidity bothered him — not quite as dry as his Arizona State days.

“Now that I know what it’s like a little bit, I think I will be a little better,” Leake said. “This is not my type of weather, especially growing up on the West coast. In Arizona, it’s a dry heat.”

Leake is 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA through 10 starts.

The good —

*Leake got double plays in his first three innings, including with runners on first and second and no outs in both the first and second.

*The first double play was a 4-6-3 started by Brandon Phillips, who made a slick backhanded stop on a Berkman grounder.

*Double play No. 2 was courtesy of Laynce Nix in center field, who caught Tommy Manzella’s flyball and then threw out Hunter Pence trying to tag up and take third base.

“We have such a great defense – you don’t want to expect it but you kind of know they’re going to do something for you,” Leake said. “It helps us because we’re not afraid  to throw certain pitches. We’ll get a groundball in a situation where we want a groundball because we know they’ll make it behind us.”

*Leake allowed seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts. He was done after 97 pitches.

“Very impressive,” Dusty Baker said. “When he struggles with his control, it’s not like he’s way wild. He’s barely wild. He had a bunch of near misses off the plate. The guy just keeps pitching.”

*Francisco Cordero had a nice 1-2-3 ninth inning, used only nine pitches.

The not-so-good —
*After 27 runs over the last two games, nada over 10 innings Sunday.

*The team that’s best in the league hitting with runners in scoring position was 0-for-9 and stranded 11 men

*The Reds’ 18-game streak with a home run is over.

*The last shutout loss in extras was Aug. 8, 2003, at San Diego,

News —

Arthur Rhodes pitched another scoreless inning over the seventh and eighth but left with a cramp in his thigh.

A quote —

“He just has a good feel for moving the ball in and out, he keeps it down. He’s got a little more movement probably than you give him credit for. Some guys feel like, for example, if you’re facing a Brandon Webb where his sinker drops two feet, well Leake’s doesn’t look like it’s moving that much but I think it is. If you go back and look, it moves late, and it moves more than you give him credit for. So I think that’s how he’s able to induce as many ground balls.” — Astros 1B Lance Berkman on Leake.

See you Monday from St. Louis.

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Deep in the Heart of Texas

For those who have clamored to see Brandon Phillips bat second, you will be placated for one night, at least.

Reds lineup

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

*For some reason, Astros 1B Lance Berkman is known as “The Puma.” For good reason, he sharpens his claws when playing the Reds. Check out these lifetime stats vs. Cincinnati.

327 AVG, 48 HRs and 133 RBIs .444 OBP .699 SLG.

*I know you many of you have been pining to see Phillips bat second. But does this concern you about the top of the order tonight?

Drew Stubbs: team leading 21 strikeouts, .273 OBP
Brandon Phillips: 13 strikeouts, .296 OBP

*Orlando Cabrera, the usual No. 2 hitter, is the team leader with 13 RBIs but is batting .239 with a .267 OBP.

“He asked me how I felt hitting sixth,” Cabrera said of Baker. “I said ‘whatever you decide to do, I don’t care.’ It’s only for one reason – to see if it works, to do something different.”

This was Baker’s take on the lineup change:

“I’m just trying to figure out a way to get Brandon started and maybe hitting in front of Joey will help. Rolen has been good. They’ve been pitching around Joey lately, throwing him tough pitches. Cabrera has been real good in the clutch driving in runs.”

“I called them in and spoke to both of them about it. It’s all good.”

*The last time Phillips batted second for the Reds was April 21, 2008, vs. the Dodgers. He also did it April 20, 2008, vs. the Brewers but not at all in 2009.

*This season, right-handed hitters are batting .303 vs. Astros starter Bud Norris and lefties are hitting .167.

*The University of Michigan baseball team will retire Barry Larkin’s No. 16 jersey before a May 1 game vs. Ohio State. Larkin played at Michigan from 1983-85 and was a two-time All-American. He will be the sixth player to have his number retired by Michigan baseball.

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