Results tagged ‘ Miguel Cairo ’
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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The Reds turned around the week rather well. After getting swept by St. Louis, they did it to Florida by getting a 2-0 win Sunday. And after all the angst of the lost series, the Reds end the home stand in first place all alone again. The Cardinals lost by a 9-7 score to the Cubs and dropped two of three to fall a game back in the NL Central.
The good —
*Homer Bailey got it done in a big way with six scoreless innings, three hits, no walks and four strikeouts. His pitch count was high early (44 thru 2 inn, 63 thru 3) but some quick innings kept him in the game and buried the Marlins. After allowing back-to-back two-out singles, he retired 16 of 17 and his last 10 in a row to finish with 102 pitches.
*Miguel Cairo came up huge again with his two-run homer in the sixth — the difference in the game. I keep remembering fans wanting him outta here after less than a month in April.
*Jim Edmonds got his first hit with the Reds after 0-for-12 start with a double off of the LF wall. Edmonds was robbed of a homer in the fourth inning by splendid leaping catch at the wall by Marlins center fielder Emilio Bonifacio.
*The Reds bullpen got into some jams but got it done with three solid innings with Ondrusek, Masset and Cordero. The ninth was fraught with danger after Cordero gave up a leadoff double on a 0-2 pitch. After getting a groundout and a called strikeout, Cordero walked Cody Ross but got Donnie Murphy with a called K to end it.
*Jay Bruce’s 1-for-4 day has him hitting .389 (7-for-18) over his last six games with one homer and six RBIs.
*Orlando Cabrera served a batboy for four innings in a pretty comical scene. Be sure to see my story on that on MLB.com
The not-so-good —
*Joey Votto got run in the bottom of the first for disputing a 1-1 strike call by home plate umpire D.J. Rayburn. Votto didn’t so much dispute in a visible sense, but obviously said something that got him tossed. That’s two first inning ejections this season.
The Marlins were 0-for-9 RISP for the day, 0-for-27 for the series. No matter which team it is, that’s brutal.
“That’s a reverse sweep. That’s what we talked about before this series started. That’s a quality team over there. They’ve got some dynamite hitters, some good pitching and they’re going to be good for a long time. We held their offense down today pretty much, which is a hard thing to do. Coming out of Washington, they had some hot bats.” — Dusty Baker
“He’s been great. He stays ready all the time. I told him yesterday he’d be playing today. He works hard. He trains hard. He loves to play and he knows what it takes to win. I’d hate to think where we’d be without him.” — Baker on Cairo
“I enjoy every single day of my baseball career and my life. I’ve been blessed to wear this uniform and all the uniforms I’ve worn. I enjoy what I do. This is what I know how to do. It’s been nice to be here and be in the big leagues.” — Miguel Cairo
“The biggest thing was pounding the zone. I thought my balls-to-strikes ratio was pretty good. That’s what I went into the game thinking.” — Homer Bailey
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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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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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A 3-0 win over the A’s meant a 3-3 road trip. For Reds fans having chest pains over the first three games in Seattle, this might relax things a little bit. Remember, they came in 15-35 in West Coast games over the past five seasons. Winning the first two games of the series had to happen but taking the sweep is a nice added morale boost.
The Reds are still seven games over .500 at 40-33. Not a bad place to be considering how the six-game West Coast trip started.
“Big time, that’s like a reverse sweep,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We got swept and then we sweep. It’s not the way you plan it. But that’s the way it worked out. We’re actually going home the same we left – seven over [.500]. Hopefully, we can get back to double-digits pretty soon.”
The good —
*Johnny Cueto took a shutout into the eighth inning. Worked seven-plus innings and allowed seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
*The play of the game was a non-routine 4-2-5 double play that came with the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth. Gabe Gross hit a soft liner to second base, where Brandon Phillips alertly let the ball short-hop and threw home to Ramon Hernandez for the force. Hernandez threw to Miguel Cairo at third base and got the double play. Had Cairo not tagged the runner and just touched the bag, he likely could have turned the triple play.
“That was a really smart play by Brandon, the play of the game,” Hernandez said. “Bases loaded, no outs and then you get two outs with no runs. That’s big.”
*Nick Masset and Cairo came up big for Cueto in the eighth after he allowed two hits before being lifted. Kurt Suzuki was robbed when his hot grounder to third base was stopped by a diving Cairo, who touched the bag and threw to first for a double play. Masset struck out Kevin Kouzmanoff to end the threat.
*In his last three outings, Masset has 3 2/3 innings of perfect pitching. Need a bigger sample size but it’s starting to look like he’s finding his mojo again.
*The Reds rotation posted a 2.33 ERA over the six-game trip.
*Jay Bruce was 3-for-3 with a walk and 7-for-10 in the series. He came in a 4-for-25 skid before the series. Down in a 0-2 count in the first, Bruce had a big two-run single to put the Reds up early. Bruce was batting .194 RISP w/two outs coming in.
The not-so-good –
*Reds were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10. They were 3-for-23 RISP in the last two games and left 21 on base.
*Orlando Cabrera went 0-for-5 today and is batting .133 (8-for-60) over his last 15 games.
“I was looking at our starters the last two games the way they were pitching to those guys. I was paying attention to the way I was pitching to throw in the same pattern.” — Johnny Cueto
“We’re going to have a nice day off [on Thursday] and go back home and regroup and get ready for the weekend series. We’re trying to play good baseball and have fun, and keep doing what we’re doing.” — Ramon Hernandez
“We played good baseball. They didn’t get the breaks they needed. We capitalized on things when we needed to. That’s kind of how the series went.” — Jay Bruce
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*Seattle is starting LHP Cliff Lee. Miguel Cairo is 5-for-9 (.556) lifetime vs. Lee. Scott Rolen is 7-for-13 (.538) with one homer. Brandon Phillips is 4-for-11 (.364) in his career vs. Lee.
I am enjoying being in one of my favorite cities and at my absolute favorite ballpark in baseball. It should be a near-full house tonight because they have a dual-bobblehead giveaway of Ken Griffey Jr. and Ichiro.
The weather is fantastic here…probably the mid-60s and sunny. I’m guessing the roof will be open. In the photo below is a view of downtown from my hotel room. Off the distance is the Space Needle. Much further away are some mountains — I’m digging the snow at the tops.
Fri lineup vs. HOU
*Joey Votto is missing from the lineup for the third-straight day (stiff neck).
Asked about whether the disabled list was possible for Votto, manager Dusty Baker couldn’t really say.
“I don’t know. I ain’t no doctor. I hope not,” Baker said. “I hope it’s just a stiff neck. It was better yesterday than the day before. We’ll wait as long as we can.”
*Miguel Cairo is 5-for-9 with a homer over the previous two games in Votto’s place, which has been a solid picking up of the slack.
“You want to contribute and do the little things that help the team win games,” Cairo said. “You don’t play every day so when one of the big boys, the regulars, gets a day or something happens to them, you’ve got to be ready to go out there and help the team.”
Cairo will be making his fourth start this season at first base, a position he hasn’t previously played since 2008 with the Mariners. Of his 727 career games in 14 seasons, 131 have been at first base.
*Arthur Rhodes, who has had been bothered by a sore foot the last couple of days, said he was ready to pitch tonight.
*To make room for Sam LeCure on the roster, Enerio Del Rosario was optioned to Triple-A Louisville.
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In an 8-2 win over the Pirates, the 28-20 Reds are eight games above .500 for the first time June 30, 2006. They took three of four in a series they were supposed to win. Not downplaying the outcome here but the Reds of the past didn’t always beat the teams they were supposed to beat. They remain in first place, one game up on St. Louis, which beat the Padres.
Again, check out Matt Brown’s story on the site. I’ll be writing the game story again on Friday, in addition to everything else.
The highlights –
*Johnny Cueto had another nice night — six scoreless innings, three hits, two walks, a season-high nine strikeouts. He came out after 101 pitches, in part, because of the blister on his right index finger.
“We got him out of there as a precaution for that blister,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He had a big lead and it came out fine tonight. He also had a lot of pitches (24) that sixth inning.”
*Like this time last year, Cueto has put together a stunning set of starts the past month. He is 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA over his last six starts, including victories in the last four-straight starts. In five starts from late April to mid-May of last season, he had a 4-0, 1.25 stretch. He was 8-4 with a 2.69 ERA in the first half. Everything fell apart just before the All-Star break as his arm wore down. Cueto didn’t pitch winter ball this past off-season and his conditioning has been strong. He’s eliminated the one really bad inning. It could all equate to being a very good omen for the Reds as the season goes on.
“I’m doing more running outside, better conditioning,” Cueto said with the translation of bullpen coach Juan Lopez. “That’s the reason I’m way better than last year.”
*The Reds and Cueto did not expect the blister to prevent him from making his next start.
*This game was seemingly put to bed within two innings, when the Reds got a 7-0 lead. They sent nine to the plate in both innings.
“That’s huge. You get 3-0 and we batted around before they even got to their fourth or fifth hitter,” Baker said. “You’re assured most of the time that the top of your lineup is going to get five at-bats.”
*Scott Rolen hit a three-run home run to left field in the first, giving him 11 for the season. That equaled his totals for each of the past two seasons.
*Jay Bruce followed Rolen with a homer to right field, his first long ball since April 29. It’s the second time the Reds have had back-to-back homers this season.
“It’s fine. I wasn’t out there saying ‘yes, I hit my first homer of May today,’” Bruce said “It’s not the idea going in. it’s always nice to hit homers, whenever you hit them.”
*With Joey Votto out the last two games, Miguel Cairo has stepped up. Cairo was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and is 7-for-13 over his last three starts since last Thursday.
*Brandon Phillips left after the seventh inning with a cramp in his right hamstring. Phillips was replaced by Drew Sutton, who went 0-for-1 with a strikeout.
*Aroldis Chapman returned to the mound for Triple-A Louisville on Thursday. Against Gwinnett, Chapman threw five scoreless innings with three hits and one walk allowed with seven K’s and two wild pitches while throwing 90 pitches. He left with a 4-0 lead,
More quotes –
“Two years ago today, I got called up. Last year, I hit two homers on May 27 and this year I hit one. May 27 is a pretty good day. Johnny was pitching too.” — Jay Bruce, who has 48 homers in 257 games since his MLB debut.
“It was kind of painful. The last inning, it kind of burned a little bit. It’s hurting right now.” — Johnny Cueto on his blister.
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We have a new associate reporter on board starting this week, named Matt Brown. Matt handled the game story tonight on MLB.com/Reds.com for the Reds 4-0 win over Pittsburgh. Please give it a look.
The good –
*Bronson Arroyo. 7 2/3 scoreless innings with five hits and two walks (one intentional) allowed and five strikeouts. After a leadoff walk to Aki Iwamura in the first, Arroyo retired 11 in a row and faced the minimum through the first four hitless innings. He did a real nice job turned a 1-6-3 double play in the first to erase that walk.
“It was a good game,” Arroyo said. “The first inning I was missing a lot, all my pitches. I felt really strong but my command was just all over the place. It happens sometimes you come out of the pen feeling funky but to get that double play the stab up the middle probably turned the entire game around for me. If I have 2 guys on and I’m having to face the meat of the order with nobody out, it would have been a different ball game. But I got out of that one and my command came back and I felt good throwing the fastball down and away to some of these guys and kind of got on a roll. When you have a lead its a lot easier to pitch.”
*Arroyo has won four-straight starts and five of his last six. In those six starts, he is 4-0 with a 2.66 ERA. Also big is that his last two wins have followed difficult one-run losses, including that heartbreaker in Atlanta on Thursday. He’s been a good guy to have when you need to keep a loss from festering.
*Daniel Ray Herrera faced one batter but it was a huge situation. Given bases loaded, two outs in the eighth and a 3-0 lead, lefty-hitter Garrett Jones represented the go-ahead run. Arthur Rhodes was not available. Herrera stepped up and fanned Jones with a 66 mph screwball.
“I gave him some good pitches away and a breaking ball he didn’t fish for,” Herrera said. “Luckily, he swung over that screwball.”
*Filling in at 1B for Joey Votto (stiff neck), Miguel Cairo was 2-for-4 and was hit by a pitch. Cairo hit a home run in the fifth inning. He’s only batting .216 but is 4-for-8 in last two starts.
*On Lastings Milledge high line drive in the seventh, Brandon Phillips made a spectacular leap and catch. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Phillips get that vertical.
“That was a two-handed slam right there,” Baker said.
*Chris Heisey’s homer in the bottom of the eighth was good insurance. It was Heisey’s second pinch-hit homer of the season and third overall.
The not so good —
*More trouble for Nick Masset. After Arroyo came out with a runner on first and two outs in the seventh, Masset faced two batters. He allowed Neil Walker’s single, a wild pitch and Andrew McCutchen’s walk that loaded the bases. Herrera cleaned up the situation.
*In his last six appearances, totaling two innings, Masset has allowed four hits, four runs and three walks while going 0-2. There were some boos when he came out of the bullpen to replace Arroyo. He’s much better than he’s pitched during this up-and-down year. Baker is counting on that fact and there really is no better right-handed option in-house that can do Masset’s role. He has to get it together.
*The Reds left 11 men on base for the night, including four in the first two innings.
More quotes —
“You’re sailing along smoothly, and all of a sudden, one hit and you say ‘no problem.’ Then one walk and you’re in trouble. Daniel came on in that situation. There’s only one lefty out there. I know Walker doesn’t hit lefties as good as righties but if he doesn’t get Walker, now you have to face McCutchen whose hitting .430 against left-handed pitching. After that, they’re all left-handed until you get down to Milledge. They had us in a crossfire right there. I thought that 2-2 pitch [to McCutchen] was pretty close. That would have really boosted Masset’s confidence. Right now he’s struggling some. We have to help him figure out how to get back to Masset.” — Dusty Baker on the eighth inning situation with Masset and Herrera.
“No, but it’s part of the job. Bronson threw a hell of a game. Masset, I wanted to pick him up too. It’s part of the game to leave them there. Don’t let those runs come in for my guys.” — Daniel Ray Herrera when asked about the uneviable situation of entering a game with the bases loaded.
“I try to be honest with him. The first batter of that inning Cedeno and then the last batter, they just wore me out. I was already running low on a fuel a little bit being so hot out there, so humid. I felt like somebody in the pen had a better opportunity to get a lefty out then I did so I gave him the signal and I feel like I should do that just for the fact that I want him to trust me when I say that Ive got enough left in the tank to go ahead and finish somebody off late in the game.” — Bronson Arroyo on signaling to Baker that he was done following Iwamura’s fly out in the eighth.
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It is some kind of frigid in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Friday night storms moved through a significant change in climate. I’d have to guess first-pitch temperature will be in the low 40s.
I asked Miguel Cairo how many layers he’ll be wearing.
“Plenty. This is not Venezuela,” he said.
Reds Saturday lineup
*Drew Stubbs, who is 2-for-21 with 12 Ks in his last five games, is getting a break. It only has a little to do with the sore back he’s been nursing.
“We’re giving him a day to observe,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He’ll be back in there tomorrow. You can get yourself straight by watching others sometimes.”
*Scott Rolen is still dealing with a sore back.
“He’s really stiff right now. He’s better,” Baker said.
*Laynce Nix, who has been sick the last few days, is available to pinch-hit tonight.
*From writer Jeff Wallner, who MLB.com has covering Aroldis Chapman in Louisville: “Chapman allowed one earned run and one hit in five innings. He walked four and had one strikeout in an 87-pitch outing. According to the radar gun at Louisville Slugger Field, Chapman had two pitches reach 99 mph and twice hit 100. Consecutive pitches to Brian Buscher in the fourth reached 101 and 102.”
*Chapman also needed 28 pitches in the first inning and was behind in the count a lot, according to reports out of Louisville.
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