Results tagged ‘ Ramon Hernandez ’

Hernandez staying put?

There will be a more detailed story coming … but Reds GM Walt Jocketty is not changing his Trade Deadline strategy in light of the rough week his club has had (swept four straight by the Mets to go 50-55).

“We are not selling,” Jocketty said.

One of the players prominent in rumors of a sell has been catcher Ramon Hernandez, especially with top catching prospect Devin Mesoraco on the cusp at Triple-A Louisville. However, Jocketty said he has not listened to offers for Hernandez.

“I haven’t no, and I don’t know if I would,” Jocketty said. “I still think he’s a guy that can help us with this year. I think his value is greater to us now than if we were to move him. You’re not going to get the value in return for him that he gives our club. That’s why we would hold on to him.”

On to Cleveland, tough road trip

That wasn’t really the way the Reds would have liked to go into the longest, and potentially most difficult, road trip of the season.

It was a 5-3 loss to the Pirates to get swept in the two-game series. It was a 5-1 game after 7 1/2 innings when the Reds added one in the eighth and one in the ninth, but it never felt like one of those dazzling comebacks was in the air.

The Reds went 11-5 in a 16-game stretch against all NL Central clubs. If there is any good news for you the fan, the Pirates don’t return to Cincinnati again this season. The Reds don’t see them again in Pittsburgh until July 18-20.

Up next are 10 games in a row vs. two first place teams and a contender. If the Reds can get through Cleveland, Philadelphia and Atlanta and have a .500 trip, they should fly home happy when it’s over.

“It will be our toughest one all year, but I think we’ll be fine,” right fielder Jay Bruce said. “We’re playing well, so we just play our game and not worry about anything else, just take care of business.

Notes:

*Johnny Cueto looked brilliant over his first two starts but certainly had some difficulties at times today, especially in the second inning. During a 31-pitch inning, he reached a three-ball count to four of the six hitters faced and walked two.

*Still bothered by a head cold, Jay Bruce was hacking and coughing by his locker after the game. But the day off Wednesday did him some good. Bruce was the only Reds hitter to have a robust afternoon at the plate. He was 3-for-4 with a leadoff homer to right field in the second inning and a leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth.

*Ramon Hernandez’s 11-game hitting streak is over after a 0-for-4 game.

*Brandon Phillips has a season-high hitting streak of 10 games after his two-hit day.

*The Reds are 1-5 vs. the Pirates this season, but 19-7 vs. the rest of the NL Central.

*The Reds haven’t dropped consecutive games since May 1-3 vs. Florida and Houston.

Quotes:
“The day off helped me, I think, kind of get some energy back. But obviously we should have won. The Pirates have given us a tough time so far.” — Jay Bruce

“Aggressiveness is fine but at the same time, there are no outs and it’s 4-1. You’ve got to make that almost standing up. He’s trying to make something that just wasn’t the appropriate time trying to make it happen in that situation. Invariably, it seems like every time you get thrown out, the next guy gets a hit.” — Dusty Baker on Brandon Phillips getting thrown out at second base leading off the seventh trying to stretch for a double.

“[Cueto] had those three-ball counts and the ball was missing off the plate, kind of cutting on him. It was a tough ball for Brandon and the 3-2 count on Walker – this guy has been a thorn in our side big time. I don’t know what he’s hitting against us but it’s a ton. We have to figure a way to get him out. He’s the guy doing most of the damage.” — Baker on Cueto’s second inning.

“We just kind of waited him out today. He has tremendous stuff. He’s got a lot of pitches that have a lot of movement and we just kind of waited for our pitch. We know that he has a tendency to throw balls and go into long counts, so that was our gameplan – wait him out, wait for pitch we could handle, don’t swing at his pitches. It worked out.” — Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit on Cueto.

“Very big for us. We know every time we come in here and every time we play the Reds in general, it’s going to be a battle from first to ninth inning. It’s important for us not to let off the throttle when we get up and let games go that our in our grasp. ” — Pirates 2B Neil Walker, who was 2-for-4 with two doubles. Walker had a two-out, two-run double off Cueto in the fifth.

A wet and wild Reds win

What a nutty game. What a messy game, too.

The rain and some inclement conditions made for a wild and wacky night, but the Reds still splashed and dashed their way to a 7-5 victory over the Cubs for a two-game series sweep and five-game winning streak.

There were five errors committed in this one, with four of them charged to the Cubs. That resulted in all seven of the Reds runs being unearned. After seeing the Cubs, Brewers, Cardinals and Astros play already, I can definitely state with some authority that there is a lot of bad defense being performed in the NL Central.

“We capitalized on mistakes tonight,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I sound like a broken record talking about defense. That’s the one difference between our club and a lot of clubs is that we generally don’t beat ourselves. It was tough conditions tonight, real tough conditions.”

Notes:

*Once again, I was getting panicked tweets from fans looking for any way possible to move Edinson Volquez out of the rotation. Sure he gave up three first inning runs. There was one single, a stolen base and two-out hit-by-pitch that barely touched Aramis Ramirez. Volquez missed on a first-pitch fastball for a homer by 2011 Reds killer Carlos Pena.

*What did Volquez do after that? Allow only one more hit over the next five scoreless innings. After the first, he retired a stretch of eight in a row and 10 of 11. His line: 6 ip, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HB, 1 HR looks like a quality start to me. Like I’ve said before, Volquez isn’t where he should be, but his stuff is far too good to be pushing the button on a trap door out of the rotation.

*Baker had no intention of pinch-hitting for Volquez with the bases loaded in the fourth inning down by a 3-0 score. Good thing. Volquez hit a first pitch from Matt Garza off 1B Carlos Pena’s glove for an error. Garza retrieved the ball and threw an error ball into the visitor’s dugout, which let three runs score and put Volquez on third base.

“We’re in this streak of 20 in a row, and that comes in to play, too,” Baker said explaining a reason he stuck with Volquez. “That comes into our minds because we have 15 more to go. You certainly don’t want to get upside down that early in the ball game. … During the streak our pitching has been outstanding, taking us deep into ball games.”

*Ryan Hanigan’s sac bunt was quite the adventure in the eighth inning. RHP Kerry Wood’s throw to third base wound up all the way down the left field line as two runs scored. Assist to the ball for getting the chair out of the way as the ball rolled his way.

*I can imagine Cubs fans cringed in the eighth when Kosuke Fukudome missed the cutoff man and the relay guy with his horrible throw from right field on Joey Votto’s double. It allowed Paul Janish to score from first base.

*And in another weird moment in the sixth and two outs, Miguel Cairo struck out and headed to the dugout thinking it was the third out. Players were heading off the field. Turned out, it was a wild pitch from Garza and Cairo ran back out and reached first base while Ramon Hernandez went to second base. Umpires missed rule 609-b, which essentially says that Cairo should have been out once he leaves dirt circle around home plate. It didn’t amount to a rally since next batter Drew Stubbs struck out.

*Ramon Hernandez has an 11-game hitting streak and is batting .425 (17-for-40) during it. He had a single in the sixth inning.

*Paul Janish’s eighth-inning single snapped a 0-for-17 skid.

*The Reds have 13 come-from-behind wins this season.

Quotes:

“Y’all should be used to it. People that leave the stadium early, I feel sorry for you guys. You’re missing a great game. It just feels good for our team to stay within ourselves, stay positive and good things will happen. We really believe in ourselves. When everybody is picking everybody up, things like this really happen.” — Brandon Phillips on the frequent Reds comeback wins.

“I had it played out before it happened in my head. Make a good pitch here, the guy bunts it back, go to third. The balls going to be wet, so just be sure to make a good throw and I threw it to the wall. If I get the ball to Ramy, I think we have a chance to get the double play.” — Cubs RHP Kerry Wood, on his error in the eighth.

“That was unbelievable. You stay around here long enough, you’re going to see a lot of things. Boy, this feels like we’re in August, but we’re only in May. We’ve played some exciting, drag-out, knock-down baseball where every day it’s a challenge. These guys will rise to it, and the more they do it the more they believe they can do it.” — Dusty Baker said.

Just the quotes…

All quotes today for this postgame blog. Get complete stories about the game, sweep, Chapman and postgame incident on MLB.com/Reds.com.

“Nobody can just keep beating you all the time even though he had a heck of a run. They helped us out with a couple of defensive plays. He looked like the same Carpenter to me. It might have been our turn. That was a big sweep right there. They came in 1 ½ up and left 1 ½ out. Had it been adverse results, we could have been 4 ½ out. That was a big, big series for us.” — Dusty Baker on beating Chris Carpenter for the first time since 8/15/06.

“The word is getting around the league now because they were just up there taking. They got advance scouts like we do. It’s a matter of him focusing and remaining confident. Everybody’s confidence is so fragile sometimes. Hopefully he can have a good outing. That’s what we were hoping for today so he could get back on track again.” — Baker on Chapman, who walked four batters in the ninth.

“I think it was because I hit Pujols 0-2. Gerald Laird was all loud in the dugout. He was yelling at me and pointing at me and saying a whole bunch of stuff. I will say it again. Out of all those guys they have there, those great hitters and great players, Gerald Laird did not even play and he’s the one yelling at me because I hit Pujols 0-2…0-2. I wasn’t trying to hit him. I’ve got to face Holliday next. They can take the lead with one swing. Lance Berkman is one of the great hitters in the National League. All I know is [Laird] was loud and saying something to me. I said something back to him.” — Francisco Cordero on the postgame shouting to the Cardinals dugout.

“I looked in the dugout and Pujols was sitting down. He was quiet because he knows I wasn’t trying to hit him. This stuff happens. Obviously we swept them and are up a game and a half in the division. Whatever happened last year was last year. It’s a new year. We’re just trying to play baseball. It’s not wrestling. It’s a baseball game. That’s all we’re trying to do here.” — Cordero

“We don’t like it when somebody like Albert gets hit, especially in that type of situation. A lot of guys took offense to it, didn’t like it. That’s baseball. You pitch inside, but you better have a clue when you come inside. They took offense to it, we took offense to it, and the soap opera continues between these guys. There’s always something when you come in here.” – Cardinals acting manager Joe Pettini

“When you’re up by two, do you really want to put the tying run on first base with one out and Holliday and Berkman – one of the hottest hitters of the season so far? On his part, it wasn’t professional.  Coco got off because it was the whole inning. It was really loud and everybody heard what he’s saying, stuff you’re not supposed to say to nobody. We’re just trying to play the game, to get an out. We’re not trying to hit anybody. We’re just trying to get the victory. A guy that didn’t play in this series coming out and trying to be all – I guess stepping up for everybody to be the toughest. He really got the wrong point and the wrong time to be a toughest when you don’t have to don’t have to be. If you know the game a little bit, you have to be smarter and see what’s going on the baseball field.” — Ramon Hernandez on Laird

“Everybody has their day. Carpenter is one of the best pitchers in this game and we just hit his mistakes and took advantage of the situations. That’s what good teams do. I just love the way we’re playing right now. Regardless of who’s pitching, I feel like we can go out there and beat everybody.”
— Brandon Phillips.

“I don’t want to sound trite, but there’s no significance. We lost three games. We have five and a half months to play. Heck, we may not even be in it in September. They might not, we might not. It’s just so early.” — Cardinals RF Lance Berkman

Volquez, Heisey, Hernandez all big

Uncle Jonathan’s corn cob pipe, does Edinson Volquez like to flirt with disaster.

Like his last two outings, Volquez put the Reds in hole — this time by a 2-0 score. But the Reds had his back as he righted himself and took a 3-2 win.

In the first inning through three starts, Volquez has a 27.00 ERA (nine earned runs). It’s a 1.29 ERA (two earned runs, 14 innings) after the first. He allowed two runs and three hits over six innings tonight with three walks and five strikeouts.

Volquez cruised through innings two-through five. He retired a stretch of 11-in a row.

Although at 88 pitches thru six, he was lifted. It wasn’t by design but Volquez twisted his big right toe in a hole on the mound. (Knights of Columbus, that hurt.)

“I’ll be fine,” Volquez said.

Notes:

*An unsung hero for the night was Ramon Hernandez. The Reds catcher caught two guys stealing and threw a runner out on a sacrifice attempt in the eighth. It was some curious managing by Padres skipper Bud Black to have pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia bunt with a runner on second and no outs. Hernandez fielded Denorfia’s bunt and fired a strike to third base to get the out. Replays showed he might have been safe.

Hernandez also nailed Denorfia trying to steal second on a strike-em-out, throw-em out double play to end the eighth.

“The main thing is not only did he throw the ball but our pitchers gave him a chance to throw the guys out,” manager Dusty Baker said of Hernandez. “Everybody thinks they steal off the catcher. Most of the time, they steal off the pitcher. If a pitcher gives him a chance to throw him out, our guys will throw them out.”

*Before that double play in the eighth, Bill Bray engaged Jorge Cantu in a tense 11-pitch at-bat. Cantu fouled off five-straight 2-2 pitches and got ball three. Bray then got the big strikeout.

*Chris Heisey made a spectacular diving catch to help Volquez in the first inning, resulting in Hawpe’s sac fly. Heisey of course also had the game-winning homer.

*Dusty Baker notched win No. 250 for the Reds tonight. He’s only the 11th MLB manager to reach 250 wins for three different teams. Look for a feature on that later. Some of his current and former players had some things to say in support of him.

*Brandon Phillips was 2-for-3 and has hit safely in 8 of 10 games. He’s batting .410 (16-for-39) on the season.

*Joey Votto was 1-for-3 and has hit safely in 10 of 11 games. He’s batting .444 (16-for-35). He’s a .387 hitter at Petco Park.

Quotes:

“He did start off rough. At least he didn’t say, here we go again. But he settled down and started throwing the ball great. He especially started getting strike one and was throwing 96-97 mph. He started dealing.” — Baker on Volquez

“His velocity was dropping in the fifth and sixth inning. The first couple of innings, he was 96 and it had some really good life on it. I don’t know if he got tired or what exactly. His velocity was down and I got a fastball up and in and was able to get the barrel of the bat on it.” — Chris Heisey on his homer off Padres pitcher Mat Latos, who made his 2011 debut.

“I was talking with Bryan [Price] about making good pitches and getting a lot of groundballs. In situation like that, I need to make a good pitch and get a double play. That happened tonight.” — Edinson Volquez

Stunning win on Opening Day

That Reds penchant for the drama didn’t disappear after an off-season. Ramon Hernandez brought it all back, and then, some with a stunning three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. It gave the Reds a 7-6 win.

Cincinnati came into the ninth down 6-3 against Brewers closer John Axford. A fun conclusion for the Reds and their 42,398 fans at GABP…but not a well-played game overall.

Highlights:

*The Reds were 1-for-10 RISP with 10 LOB. They were 0-for-9 before Hernandez came through.

*Edinson Volquez was rocked for three homers, including two in a row to start the game. Carlos Gomez hit the second one and it sailed 429 feet into the upper deck of right field. Not a cheapie by any stretch.

*Jonny Gomes made an error fielding Ryan Braun’s two-out single. It put Braun on 2B and a Jordan Smith balk later put runners on second and third. A possibly tough insurance run scored on Casey McGehee single.

*The Reds were resilent, give them credit. They did not pack it in on a freezing cold day.

*Brandon Phillips’ nifty slide step to avoid McGehee’s tag saved a rally. McGehee should have just thrown to first base and that game likely doesn’t end like it did. Scott Rolen hustled hard to beat the throw to first base, as well. Asked to describe his speed, Rolen dryly replied “Electric.”

*Credit the Reds bullpen, especially Sam LeCure and winning pitcher Logan Ondrusek for keeping Milwaukee in check.

*Gomes nearly won the game himself with a long screamer of a fly to center field. It went for a sac fly but put Hernandez in position to win the game.

*Check out this photo gallery from the game.

Notes:

*The last Reds walk-off home run on Opening Day came from the bat of Joe Randa on 4/7/2005 vs. the Mets in a 7-6 win.

*Hernandez is the fifth Reds player to collect four hits on Opening Day.

*The Reds are now 4-9-1 in their last 14 openers. The tie, incidentally came vs. MIL in 2000, after an official game was called because of rain.

*The last time a team hit two home runs to begin a season was the Reds on April 7, 1969 vs. the Dodgers. Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan each went deep against Don Drysdale at Riverfront Stadium. Crosley Field.

*Cincinnati hadn’t won an Opening Day game since 2007, so it was the first in the tenure of Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty.

Quotes:

“We don’t want to win it like that. We got lucky enough we got the win today. To me, it’s amazing. This is one of the best opening days I’ve ever had in my career. I’m so happy that I helped my team and my team won a ballgame.” — Ramon Hernandez

“They were getting some hits with runners in scoring position and we weren’t. If you keep putting them out there, sooner or later something good is going to happen. The key is opporutunies. If you don’t have opportunities, you don’t have much of a chance.” — Dusty Baker

“We ended the season on a walk-off last year to clinch the division and start it that way this year. We kind of struggled to put together productive innings today. We got some base runners and weren’t able to capitalize and get them across. I think it’s a huge shot in the arm for us to start the year. It’s always great to win the first one and in that fashion, it’s even more special.” — Drew Stubbs, who hit a homer in the fourth inning.

“I think I was a little bit excited in the first inning. After that, I calmed down and threw my pitches.” — Edinson Volquez

“Obviously, my opinion doesn’t really matter. But if my first inclination was that he was not out of the baseline, I would have made sure I kept going towards him a little bit more than I did instead of also trying to make a throw. In hindsight, I wish I had just come through and made a thtow to first and not even worried about him.” — Brewers 3B Casey McGehee on the non-tag of Phillips in the ninth.

“I got away with one in the at-bat before with Gomes. This time I paid for it.” — John Axford, who gave up the game-ending homer to Hernandez.

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Heisey keeps hitting

 The Reds took a 9-6 win over the Diamondbacks and moved to 15-14-1 for spring with two games to go. It was the second-day in a row the opponent was held to single-digit runs scored.

The highlights:

*OF Chris Heisey extended his team lead with a fifth homer this spring in the seventh inning during his only at-bat. Other than Dave Sappelt, Heisey has been the Reds best hitter in camp. Heisey is batting .354 (17-for-48) and also leads the club with 13 RBIs. He came in with a .702 slugging percentage in the previous 22 games.

“Heisey is going to come up big before it’s over with,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He’s going to play. Everybody plays on my team. We’ll get him in there. There aren’t many people like Heisey that can play all three outfield positions, play them well and hit and run.”

*Brandon Phillips went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Phillips notched his first homer of the spring and it was no cheapie as it bounced hard off of the center field batters’ eye. It was a two-run shot on the first-pitch he saw from Aaron Heilman. Phillips has an eight-game hitting streak.

*The Reds leadoff hitter today, Drew Stubbs went 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Stubbs led off the first inning with a single to right field and doubled to center field in the second inning. Since going 1-for-5 with 3 Ks on Tuesday, Stubbs is 5-for-8 with four RBIs and is up to a .269 average for spring.

*Scott Rolen returned from a sore elbow that kept him out since Thursday. Rolen was 1-for-3 with a sharply hit RBI double in the second inning. From my untrained eye, he didn’t look to be favoring anything.

*Ramon Hernandez (right elbow) played for the first time since last Sunday and went 0-for-1 with a sac fly.

“They’re fine,” Baker said of Rolen and Rodriguez. “We have to watch Ramon a little closer than Scotty but he threw the ball great to second base. He was throwing balls super before.”

*Jared Burton pitched a perfect sixth inning.

*The next updates on this blog will be coming from Cincinnati. Keep checking back.

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Sunday

Sorry for the lack of blog activity on Saturday. Just as I’m trying to get the hang of the new system, there was no working wireless at the ballpark in Scottsdale yesterday. I was fortunate just to be able to send my stories once I got connected at a restaurant later when I had dinner.

This is my last day in Goodyear and I will be heading home tonight. I hope you’ve gotten the information you’ve been seeking all spring and thank you for reading and your support. Tom Singer, one of our national writers, will be on site Monday and Tuesday.

Reds vs. Diamondbacks, 4:05 p.m. ET, WLW/MLB.com audio

Stubbs 8
Renteria 6
Phillips 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Francisco 3
Hernandez 2
Carroll 1

*Obviously, the biggest items out of this lineup are the return of Scott Rolen and Ramon Hernandez. If both are healthy, that could seem to affect the final outcome of the 25-man roster.

Hopefully, more to come later today…

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Blog adjustments soon

Welcome to what could likely be the  final blog entry — under the current format. Changes are coming to both the look of the blog, and the application for which I do the blogging. I am sure there will be some things to get used to, especially for me learning the new system, so please be patient and keep stopping by.

Friday’s Reds vs.Padres lineup, 4:05 p.m. ET WLW/MLB.com audio

Phillips 4
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5 Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Bruce 9 Stubbs 8
Stubbs 8 Mesoraco 2
Hernandez 2 Valaika 5
Volquez 1

*As you can see, the lineup has been tweaked since the original post. Scott Rolen is still smarting from being hit on the left elbow Thursday. Rolen is day-to-day but isn’t expected to play on Saturday.

“He can’t extend,” manager Dusty Baker said.

*Since Juan Francisco is getting a look in RF during a Minor League game, Chris Valaika will play 3B today. Valaika is trying to earn one of the last spots on the roster.

*Ramon Hernandez is still dealing with the sore right elbow but we didn’t hear about any setbacks or anything.

*Bronson Arroyo feels better and is back online after throwing 87 pitches yesterday in a Minor League game. Arroyo also went for a chest X-ray and bloodwork yesterday to see it’s more than the flu that’s bothered him. The doctors wanted to rule out valley fever. Test results aren’t back yet.

“As long as that stuff comes back negative – even if it doesn’t – I will be good to go for the season,” Arroyo said. “If it is positive, we’ll get the right medicines so it’s not out of control.”

*And if one other note involving a former Red, OF Chris Dickerson was traded from the Brewers to the Yankees for RHP Sergio Mitre.

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Bruce leading off

Reds vs. Rangers, 4:05 p.m. ET, FS Ohio/WLW/MLB.com

Bruce 9
Valaika 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Stubbs 8
Hanigan 2
Janish 6
Wood 1

This is the second time this spring that Bruce has led off, I believe.

*Baker could be taking a look at contingencies for a Plan B leadoff hitter since Stubbs has struggled all camp.

“There’s a chance,” Baker said. “”I keep hoping Stubby will come around.If it’s not working, you have to go with something else. In a perfect scenario, you’d hope that it would be better than it is. Especially if you’re making contact, you have a chance with his speed. If you don’t make contact, nobody has a chance. We’re just trying to find it.”

Stubbs got seven at-bats in a minor league game Wednesday and got 4 or 5 hits, he said.

**Update from medical staff***

*Ramon Hernandez (sore right elbow) is swinging and throwing comfortably. He will be back in a couple of days.  Baker indicated Hernandez could play a minor league game tomorrow.

*Johnny Cueto (shoulder inflammation) has seen his symptoms subside. They are working on a strengthen program now.

 

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