Results tagged ‘ Lou Piniella ’

Postgame quote patrol

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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Postgame: Reds hang on

Some quick notes from Saturday:

*Reds are a season-high 15 games over .500 with the 4-3 win.

*Dusty Baker gets credit for the quote of the day:

“How old do I look now, about 75?” Baker joked after Francisco Cordero struggled with three walks and a hit batter, causing two Cubs runs in the bottom of the ninth.

*Cordero has walked 32 batters in 50 1/3 innings this season.

*Chicago sent eight men to the plate in that final rally and never had to put a ball into play. Stunning, really.

*Nick Masset barely had time to warm up but big credit to him for putting out that fire in a tough spot. He did walk in a run but he also struck out Derrek Lee and Marlon Byrd with some nice curveballs. That was Masset’s second save of the season.

*The Reds are now 11-1-1 over their past 13 series, including 6-0-1 since the All-Star break.

*Drew Stubbs was 3-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs and two runs scored.

*Laynce Nix made two key plays today. His awesome diving catch saved two runs in the bottom of the second inning. And a hustling Nix reached second base when Blake DeWitt dropped a routine pop up in the ninth. Nix was able to score on Stubbs’ RBI single.

*Edinson Volquez walked four, but pitched a solid 6 2/3 innings. He induced 12 groundball outs and also had a seven-pitch 1-2-3 fifth inning. It looked like it might be a tough day when he walked his first batter of the game, Fukudome, on four pitches.

*Brandon Phillips exited the game before the bottom of the ninth with a sore foot. He fouled a ball off of his foot in the eighth. It sounded like Phillips might not play Sunday.

Quotes —

“I just used the past few days to take a step back from everything, and clean the slate up top. I had a lot of things going on in my head. I stepped back and got to where I was earlier. I tweaked a few things working with Brook Jacoby the last few days, making sure my timing was good at the plate again. I made some good swings on some balls today.” — Drew Stubbs

“We’ve been in situations like that quite a bit. It’s a little different when the game is on the line and it’s the bottom of the ninth. You try not to think about that and just attack the hitters and try to get them out.” — Nick Masset

“I’m happy with it. This is my longest start this year. I’m getting better. I was working with Bryan [Price]. I finally got everything together now. I was feeling in a better rhythm with my mechanics. I moved nice and easy. I was more consistent today.” — Edinson Volquez

“They hit the ball well with men in scoring position. I think they’re right at the top of
the league or close to it in that department. It showed again today. We had two outs a
couple times and they got two big hits in the third base hole and we didn’t.” — Cubs manager Lou Piniella

“We have a few guys kind of hobbling right now that we want to get 100 percent before the Cardinals series. So you might see a much different lineup out there.” — Dusty Baker

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Postgame quote parade

It was another game from the bizarro world as the Reds lost 3-1 to the Cubs. Why was it a little weird, you ask?

*The Cubs tied a franchise record by stranding 17 men on base. They were 3-for-16 RISP and still won.

*Johnny Cueto walked five and allowed seven hits but had five scoreless innings while throwing 101 pitches. His ERA in his last four starts is 0.70.

*Randy Wells no-hit the Reds for six innings until Chris Heisey’s leadoff single in the seventh. Of course, he was mired in a scoreless tie until the top of the sixth.

Quotes —

“He had trouble getting strike one. That was the problem. He threw a lot of near-strikes. Ramon said he was not missing by much, especially on the inside.  But they were balls. They weren’t going for him. Usually he can spot that inside fastball with a lot of efficiency.” — Dusty Baker on Johnny Cueto.

“It’s one of those days I didn’t have it. I made a few pitches over the heart of the plate. They got a few key hits that blooped in. I hit a batter and walked one. It just wasn’t my day.” — Reliever Jordan Smith, who gave up three runs in the sixth after Cueto departed.

“Thank God, I put the ball in play and nobody caught it.” — Cubs LF Alfonso Soriano, who broke the scoreless tie in the sixth with a blooped single that dropped in front of diving center fielder Chris Heisey.

“We had people on. We got three of them in and won a baseball game. Let’s be happy with that.” — Cubs manager Lou Piniella.

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Cheering in the press box

I’m guilty for violating the golden rule of media (no cheering in the press box)…couldn’t help it. My colleague and friend Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News was saluted on the field before he heads off into retirement at the end of the season. Quite frankly, anybody that works 46 years in one place — including 37 years on the Reds beat — deserves a standing O.

If a man’s wealth is measured by the number of friends he has, Hal would be a billionaire. During a reception at the ballpark, Hal’s colleagues at the Dayton Daily News, current and former Reds and sports writers all turned out. His family, including his wife Nadine, was on hand of course. 

0916_hal_nadine.jpgAnd there was former Reds star Aaron Boone. Now with the Astros, Boone caught Hal’s ceremonial first pitch (it was a one-hopper but a strong effort.) Hal credited Boone with saving him from quitting in 2003. That spring, Hal lost his vision and became legally blind overnight. Boone talked him out of giving up. He’s kept working the last six years and hasn’t let it stop him.

During the game between innings, there were video tributes from players Hal covered — such as Sean Casey, Lou Piniella, Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn.

I’ve been fortunate to have known Hal the last four years I’ve covered the Reds. He’s always been good to me and even though I’ve competed for stories and scoops with him, I’ll never stop appreciating everything he’s done for me and I count myself lucky to be considered his friend. 

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Gomes' rebound season

Among the myriad of off-season decisions that need to be made will involve outfielder Jonny Gomes.

Gomes has resurrected his career in Cincinnati — he came into Sunday batting .276 with 19 home runs and 48 RBIs. Not too shabby considering he’s done that with 243 at-bats after starting the season in Triple-A Louisville. He’s played well vs. right-handers (.255/14/31) and lefties (.317/5/17). He’s one of the best clutch guys on the club with a .323 average w/RISP. He’s also been a great addition, personality-wise, to the clubhouse.

“I wanted to get on track and back on the map,” Gomes said on Sunday. “I did have a couple of 20 homer seasons in the big leagues under my belt without a lot of at-bats. The other one where I didn’t hit 20, I hit 17. Last year I didn’t have many at-bats.”

Gomes is making $600,000 at the big league level this season. The Reds could offer him arbitration, which is something he said he would accept. If they don’t and he becomes a free agent, it becomes less of a guarantee.  

Getting a chance to play, without the help of roster attrition, would be a factor.

“I think I’ve earned that opportunity,” Gomes said.

“It depends on needs, what’s out there, which kids might be ready coming up behind these guys,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

OK like yesterday with center field — you’re the GM. Do you bring Gomes back for 2010 and if so, does he start in left field?

Reds lineup:

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

News of the day:

OF Willy Taveras and C Ramon Hernandez have started running the bases back in Cincinnati. There is a good chance that both players could be activated this week while the Reds are home.

LHP Matt Maloney threw on the side on Saturday but still has some soreness with the blister on his middle finger. It’s not known when Maloney might get another start yet.

With Louisville one game away from elimination in the playoffs, Baker wasn’t expecting a lot of call-ups since much of the 40-man roster is already up or on the DL. When asked if Yonder Alonso might come up, Baker responded “probably not.” Alonso might need a break to get ready for the Arizona Fall League.

And in the classy move of the day, the Cubs and their writers held an informal ceremony on the field for Hal McCoy on his last time working at Wrigley Field. Among the gifts was a No. 37 from the scoreboard — the number of years that Hal covered the Reds. Lou Piniella, Cubs GM Jim Hendry and former Red Ryan Dempster were among those sent Hal off the right way.

Hal McCoy night at GABP is Wednesday.

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