Results tagged ‘ Ryan Hanigan ’

I’m back, and Alonso is back in LF

Good to be with you from the ballpark again…

Reds lineup vs. Nationals

Stubbs 8
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Hernandez 2
Alonso 7
Frazier 5
Leake 1

*Interesting that Yonder Alonso is back in LF today. While I was out, it seemed from my reading as if the Reds had scrapped the idea that he could play there in the Majors. His last game there was Aug. 6 at Chicago.

*An MRI taken on LHP Dontrelle Willis’ left forearm came back normal. He is expected to make his start on Saturday at PIT as scheduled.

*If you were asleep late last night, here is my story on two last minute signings of top Draft pick Robert Stephenson and LHP/hoops prospect Amir Garrett.

*Homer Bailey, Logan Ondrusek and Dave Sappelt visited troops at the National Naval Medical Center.

*Today is Ryan Hanigan’s 31st birthday.

Another heartbreaker

Beat the Braves, get swept by the Mets, sweep the Giants, lose to the Astros. It’s a wonder that not every Reds fans’ hair has turned gray in 2011.

A 4-3 loss in 10 innings came on a dropped ball at the plate on a fielder’s choice. But don’t pin this on catcher Ryan Hanigan. The whole team was 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 men. The Reds were facing an Astros team with a lot of newbies as well.


*Save for a three-run second inning, very nice start for Bronson Arroyo. He tied a season high with eight innings pitched and allowed only the three runs with six hits, two walks and three strikeouts He retired 13 of his last 14 batters and 18 of 20. For the first time since June 13, he did not allow a home run.

*Brandon Phillips might have had the play of the night in baseball in 10th had the Reds recorded the out. With the bases loaded and the infield in, Phillips made a spectacular diving stop on Jose Altuve’s screamer up the middle. Hanigan could not hold on to the throw to the plate.

*Since his 11 appearance, 8 2/3 innings scoreless streak, Logan Ondrusek has given up 4 ER, 8 H and over his last five appearances.

*The Reds are a season-high 7 1/2 games out of first place after the Brewers beat the Cardinals.

*With a third-inning double, Joey Votto has produced at least one extra-base hit in each of his last 11 games at Minute Maid Park. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest such streak by a player at any park since Houston’s Jeff Bagwell produced an extra-base hit in 11 straight games from 1993-95 at SF’s Candlestick Park/3Com Park.

*The Reds are 7-5 in extra inning games and 16-24 in one-run games.


I’ve had my back against the wall a lot lately. I’m just trying to survive out there. I was happy to go deep in the ballgame and giving us a chance to win. It’s not any more satisfying really at this point in the season seeing how many games far back we are. We need every win we can get regardless of how well you throw.” — Bronson Arroyo

“We left runners out there all night. We couldn’t get the big hit.” — Dusty Baker

“We had some chances and didn’t come through. This team is hungry. You can’t take this team real lightly because you never know who will be out there. We really don’t know many guys out there. But I’ll tell you one thing, the way they played, they showed they were really hungry and we have to motivate ourselves to really go out there and push ourselves harder for us to get the win.” — Brandon Phillips on the Astros

“It’s a good lineup over there. Those guys definitely can hit the ball and they mashed a lot of singles. Luckily enough, no any real damage, a couple doubles here and there but like I said, keeping them at bay is all I can do, and once again, hats go off to the bullpen and the guys for finding a way to win.” — Astros RHP Bud Norris

Winning series, .500 road trip

There were some smiling faces and relaxed dudes in the Reds clubhouse and they earned it with a 4-3 victory over the Rays on Wednesday.

That meant a winning series, two of three.

That meant a .500 road trip at 3-3.

The trip featured two walk-off losses on home runs and a two-run defeat. Tampa Bay pitchers — Jeremy Hellickson, David Price and James Shields — gave the Reds all they could handle and combined for 31 strikeouts.

But the Reds tandem of Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez were as good or better.

Two-out hits were huge today — Ryan Hanigan’s three-run homer in the fourth and Fred Lewis’ RBI single in the seventh were the the game offensively.

 “Hopefully, we’re close here to making a run,” Hanigan said. “We’re starting to play better baseball. I think guys are healthy and I think if few things go right for us, we can make a little push here.”


*Nice afternoon for Volquez, who worked 6 1/3 innings and gave up three runs, four hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. He had no hits allowed through four innings and retired 11 of the first 13 he faced and 15 of 18.

*Two relievers that were  left frustrated last night — Logan Ondrusek and Bill Bray — bounced back very well today with a combined 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

*Hanigan’s home run was his third of the season and first since he hit his other two on April 3.

*Tough day for Jay Bruce, who got the “golden sombrero” with 0-for-4, four strikeouts game.

*The Reds were not pleased with the work of home plate umpire Angel Hernandez. Dusty Baker had a long and animated talk with Hernandez after Drew Stubbs had a check-swing strikeout in the second inning. Leading off the eighth, Joey Votto was called out on strikes on a pitch that sailed over the other batter’s box. Votto argued pretty intensely but was spared an ejection when Baker intervened. He knew the club could not afford to lose Votto from the game.

*The Rays are 1-8 all time against the Reds.

*Rays DH Johnny Damon received a standing ovation after his sixth-inning single. It was career hit 2,654 and tied him with Ted Williams for 71st all-time.


“Big series win. We played good baseball this series, all the way through. We had three tough guys we faced. I thought we did a good job against Price even though he pitched well. We got him late and fell behind and came back, which shows a lot of character for this team. Today with Shields, we got the lead and never gave it up.” —  Ryan Hanigan

“Me and Brook [Jacoby] have been working on keeping my hands in tight and getting to my strong point and driving the ball. Basically, I just worked the count and got a good pitch to hit. Volquez kept us in the game. Hanigan had a great day at the plate. We played good defense.” — Fred Lewis

“We played a very good series and they played a good series. I’ll tell you, they’ve got some good pitching over there too. Especially the last couple of days, we faced some of the best pitching we’re going to see. You see why they are where they are and you can see why we’re getting to where we’re trying to get to.” — Dusty Baker

“You can’t walk guys out there, especially two guys in a row with no outs and put runners on first and second. I did a good job with guys on first and third to strike the guy out there and I left the ball over the plate to Freddy Lewis and I think that if I get that ball where I wanted it, I end that inning with no runs.” — Rays starter James Shields, who struck out 10 over seven innings.

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.”


*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.


“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.

Sunday vs STL

Reds lineup vs Cardinals

Stubbs 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Rolen 5
Lewis 7
Hernandez 2
Wood 1

*Gomes is 0-for-13 lifetime vs Carpenter, and Lewis is hitting well and left handed. Therefore no surprise there that he is starting.

*Ryan Hanigan was supposed to be in the starting lineup today but is still bothered by a sore right hand. Hanigan was hit on the base of his hand by a Fernando Salas fastball in the eighth inning on Friday night. There was still some swelling where his hand and wrist met. X-rays were negative for a fracture.

“It’s got some fluid in there. It’s tender,” Hanigan said. “Nothing to be too concerned about, I can play. I’m trying to get one more day. Hopefully, it will be significantly better tomorrow. If something were to happen, I could play.”

Nice series turnaround

Just think, there was a moment on Wednesday when the Reds were three outs away from losing this series. They had only one hit through eight innings and all was bleak.

Fast forward to today’s 10-4 win. The Reds took the series with back-to-back wins, the first time they did that since April 11-12. And they did it behind a very fine season debut from Homer Bailey.

Bailey’s line: 6 ip, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. 95 pitches/62 strikes. His 1-2-3 first inning was a good barometer — 15 pitches/11 strikes. You can read more on him when my full game story is published on

“Pretty much, we were always in a good count,” Bailey said. “There were only a couple of batters where we fell behind. When you’re ahead in the count, good things are going to happen.”

The Reds could not have asked for a better outing for his first game back from the right-shoulder impingement. Another anticipation is brewing for Sunday when Johnny Cueto makes his 2011 debut.


*Joey Votto’s on-base streak is at 31 with his fourth-inning single. Now that Ryan Braun’s streak ended yesterday at 28, Votto is the only big league player to reach base in all of his team’s games.

*Ryan Hanigan’s three RBIs accounted for the first three runs of the game.

*Bailey’s 1-2-3 top of the first inning was only the fifth for the rotation in that troublesome inning this season. However, it was the second in a row after Travis Wood did it Wednesday.

*Fred Lewis had the first PH homer of his career and his first homer with the Reds in the sixth inning.

*Aroldis Chapman had a rough one today. Chapman entered with two on and two out in the seventh and did not retire any of his three batters. He walked two, including one with the bases loaded and gave up a two-run single.

*Nick Masset did a nice job with a 1-2-3 eighth inning. His two strikeouts both came on 96 mph pitches.

*Jay Bruce hit an eighth inning homer during the important four-run eighth that put the game away. Bruce is tied with Jonny Gomes for the team lead with six homers.

*The Reds have had four-straight games without an error.


“This guy is capable of a lot of victories for us. We were hoping this injury or the layoff for him and Cueto both – we’re in September and they’ll still be strong when everybody else has another month on them. Hopefully into October, he’ll be September with innings and wear and tear. This could work out great for us.” — Dusty Baker on Homer Bailey

“I had a lot of confidence that we were going to score some runs. I had Hanigan back there doing a great job. It was more about executing pitches.” — Homer Bailey

“He’s had spurts of dominance throughout his career. It’s just a matter of consistency. He’s such a competitor and he wants it bad. He works at it as hard as anybody. He’s got the stuff to do it when he’s on. We’re just going to try and take it game by game, have a good game plan, try and stick with it, make adjustments on the fly and hopefully he can have a good year.” — Ryan Hanigan on Bailey
“It feels good to shut the door a little bit, not having to come from behind. It’s always comforting, especially on get-away days.” — Jay Bruce

“He didn’t have it today; I’m sure he will next time. The rest of the guys picked him up.” Ryan Hanigan on Aroldis Chapman

West Coast trip finale

Reds lineup vs. Padres

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Gomes 7
Francisco 5
Heisey 9
Hernandez 2
Janish 6
Wood 1

*Bruce is not in the lineup after he drew two walks and hit a single. He scored two runs. But he’s struggled overall in the early going with a .220 average and .267 OBP. Those two walks gave him a total of three for the season. He has zero homers.

***UPDATE — Bruce tweaked his right groin running past second base and holding up in the fifth inning on that throwing error by the pitcher. Both Dusty Baker and Bruce said he’s available to play today.

*Ryan Hanigan is not catching today because he caught 11 innings last night. Baker plans on having Hanigan catch on Friday as usual for Bronson Arroyo.

*I got a few questions last night about LHP Aroldis Chapman’s lowered velocity — he topped out at 98 mph, and that was his last pitch. Baker was not concerned and there is no issue.

“He was throwing some fastballs but you don’t have the same fastball every day,” Baker said. “You don’t have the same nothing every day. You don’t have to same bat speed. You don’t have the same leg speed. You don’t write as fast, right? There’s nothing to be alarmed about.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to say about him. People want to see him every day. He had gone three out of four days. If he goes two innings last night, he’d be even worse the second inning. Then we wouldn’t have him today at all and there’s a good chance the one off day wouldn’t help that much…Some days you can throw. But some days you’re going to have to pitch. Everybody is concerned about his velocity. I even saw an umpire last night turn around and look at the scoreboard. That’s a first for me. I know he wasn’t looking at the out of town scores.”

Big win in extras

I won’t run it all down here but please read the game story on the web site for how all the great defensive plays saved the Reds collective bacon tonight — namely Brandon Phillips exceptional bare-handed snag and throw in the eighth.

*Unfortunately, starter Sam LeCure got the short end with a no-decision after a really nice night of pitching. In his second start of the season, eCure was sensational for six innings as he gave up one earned run on only one hit with two walks and eight strikeouts. LeCure retired the last 12 batters faced in a row.

*The Reds took LeCure out after 87 pitches.

“Young LeCure pitched great tonight,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He pitched outstanding. But his endurance level wasn’t quite where we want it to be to go deep in the ballgame. He gave us all he had.”

“We got into a good groove and there wasn’t a whole lot of shaking going on and we were able to get on the same page early,” said LeCure about himself and catcher Ryan Hanigan.


*All of the hits, and all six runs scored, in the top of the 11th came with two outs.

*Hanigan was 0-for-4 until his two-out double to left field in the 11th scored Jonny Gomes with the go-ahead run in a 2-2 game.

*Drew Stubbs homer was a first-pitch shot and absolutely tattooed. You don’t see many get of center field that quick.

*Aroldis Chapman had a quick 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh. Interestingly, Chapman only topped out at 98 mph when struck out Brad Hawpe looking with his final pitch.

*Nick Masset had another rough one — his third in a row. Two hard hits started the eighth and led to the game-tying run scoring on a groundout. It was Phillips’ play that kept San Diego from taking the lead.

*And in tonight’s notebook — I talked to Phillips and Bill Bray about their good starts to the season.

*Also a Homer Bailey update: 3 ip, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K and 37 pitches during his game at the team complex in Goodyear.


“We played good defense. Sam made a great start. There at the end, I got a pitch to hit. You never know with two outs. I was having a tough night at the plate to that point. I was just trying to battle. I got a pitch I could handle and put a good swing on it. — Ryan Hanigan
“Hani just let the game come to me. I thought it was really fitting that he got what turned into the game-winning RBI there. He did such a great job with everybody. He called a great game. How many balls did he block in big situations? I thought it was really fitting that he came up with that hit.” — Sam LeCure

“We’ve got to get Masset together. He’s struggling right now. He’s struggling with location. Great velocity, just poor location. The ball is right down the middle. He suffered with this last year. We have to do something to help him figure it out.” — Dusty Baker.

Catching situation and older guys

The line of Monday morning came in Dusty Baker’s office when a younger reporter the manager didn’t know walked in among the regular group of beat writers.

“Who are you with young man?” Baker said.

The guy said he was from Baseball Youth Magazine.

“I knew you weren’t with AARP,” Baker responded to laughter. “They send me stuff every day. As long as you’re there by 5 p.m., you can eat the early bird special.”

On to the business of the morning —

*I asked Baker if he was planning on splitting catching duties mostly even between Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan. Last season, Hernandez wound up with more at-bats with 313 to Hanigan’s 203 but Hanigan also missed 38 games with a fractured left thumb.

“It’ll probably be about the same,” Baker said. “They were both very productive. They’re both strong and caught well, threw well. That’s about as good of a tandem as there is in baseball. And they get along well, which helps.”

*Baker has had some meetings lately with some of his older players

“I pulled up the stats from last year of at-bats and innings to get an idea of how to program each guy and get them ready,” Baker said. “Everybody is different, especially guys like Scotty, Renteria and Cairo. Older guys seem to take a little longer to get ready. Last year, Cairo didn’t look good at all and got better as the season goes on That’s what usually happens to the older guy. It takes him longer to get ready and younger guys are usually ready sooner. It’s kind of hard to compare and older guy to a younger guy at Spring Training, especially early.”

*Today’s workout was pushed back to the afternoon to let the fields dry after all of the weekend rain.

“We need to get on the field, especially our infielders,” Baker said.

*Live batting practice, where Reds hitters face Reds pitchers begins Tuesday.

*An intrasquad game will be played on Saturday.

*No pitching assignments have been revealed yet for when games start on Sunday.

*Baker plans on using the DH in Cactus League games until the middle of March to give hitters more at-bats. With pitchers not working very long that early in spring, they wouldn’t get many at-bats any way.

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Jay Bruce at the podium

Before sending the transcript of Jay Bruce’s press conference, two notes:

*Dusty Baker said that Laynce Nix will start Game 2 in left field for Jonny Gomes. Against Roy Oswalt, Nix is 9-for-17 (.529) in his career against Oswalt with three doubles, one triple and two home runs with four RBIs. 

*Ryan Hanigan will be behind the plate catching Bronson Arroyo, which he has done most of the regular season.

And now….Jay Bruce.

Q.  For most of the time that you’ve been with the Reds all you got to hear is how many games in a row Roy Oswalt beat your team.  Now you’ve had success with him lately.  Was there something you had to do as a group to knock off that aura of invisibility?

 JAY BRUCE:  You know what, I don’t think so.  I think the bottom line is we’re a different team this year.  And the fact that we have an approach that we have figured out that works for us, and that we’re able to execute.
 You know, I think numbers have something to do with it too.  We faced him, he beat us 20 times.  I mean, it was almost, you know, time was on our side, I think, and the numbers were on our side a little bit.
 But I think the biggest thing is the execution factor and the fact that we have an approach that works and that works consistently.  It’s shown all year that we led the National League in hitting.  So I think that that speaks volumes as well.

 Q.  Your success actually dates back to the year before.  Does the same approach, the same reasoning, the same logic apply for ’09?

 JAY BRUCE:  Asking about Roy?  Yeah.  It’s sticking with the consistent approach.  Consistency in baseball is what makes you successful over a certain period of time, and I think that’s something that we’ve really, really tried to work on, and really tried to practice as a team and as individuals.  I think that’s definitely spoken about our success.

 Q.  Given how Game 1 went, do you like the off day between 1 and 2?  Would you have rather gotten right back out there to get back on the field for Game 2?  Do you have a preference?

 JAY BRUCE:  No preference for me.  That is the way that MLB wants to do it and it works out the best.  The Phillies obviously got to pick the extra day in between.  So that’s what they went with, it doesn’t matter to me at all, no.

 Q.  What was it like last night?  Did you guys relive it, rehash it?  What’s it been like today that you’ve been together sort of being on the other end of history?

 JAY BRUCE:  I can only speak for myself, but I just have to chalk it up.  I mean, he pitched one of the best games of his life and he did something really, really special.  But like I said last night, I’m not taking anything away from Roy, because he is probably the best pitcher in the game, has the best stuff.  But we have to look at it as a loss.
 We can come back out and tie the series tomorrow.  And in the scheme of things, that no hitter means nothing other than we got beat the first game.

 Q.  How are you going about, again, from the mindset in terms of maybe what you guys are saying to each other, what Dusty is saying to you in terms of being able to come back and rebound from that no hitter against a guy like Oswalt?

 JAY BRUCE:  In my opinion, there is really nothing to be said as far as the no hitter is concerned.  It happened, it’s history now, and we’ve been bouncing back all year.  You know, that is the bottom line is we have to bounce back or we’re not going to be here very long.  It’s not going to be a very long series.
 The Phillies are a tremendous team.  They do everything well.  They create runs.  The pitching is top of the line.  But we’re good too.  We led the league in hitting and that’s something that we’re proud of, and we’re a good team or else we wouldn’t be here and we have to bounce back.
 That is another characteristic of a good team, I believe, too.  We have to do that, and continue to focus on tomorrow’s game and forget about yesterday’s game.

 Q.  It’s Bronson on Friday.  He’s got more experience than some of the other pitchers.  How much do you lean on him and what is the team’s confidence in him after how Game 1 went?
 JAY BRUCE:  I think pitching is definitely going to determine the success of our teams, both teams.  If they don’t pitch well, they’re not going to be successful.  If we don’t pitch well, we’re not going to be successful.  But it’s a collective effort, and it’s a 25 man team, and we have the guys here to do it.
 You know, the pitcher’s job, in my opinion, is to keep the team in the game.  It’s not to throw a no hitter or shut a team out.  It’s to keep the team in the game, and that’s what we’re hoping he does.  He does a great job of that every year.  He’s been doing that since he got in the big leagues and we’re confident in him.

 Q.  Can you talk about Brook Jacoby and what effect he’s had on you since he’s been with the Reds?

 JAY BRUCE:  Tell you what, Brook has been great for me.  He’s done his job.  He works well with each individual.  He doesn’t try to do or put a blanket system on everyone.  And I think that’s huge.  At the end of the day in the Major Leagues you’re coaching and you’re interacting with people.  It’s not necessarily all the time teaching mechanics and doing this and doing that.  It’s having a relationship with people.  He does a great job of that.
 Also, he’s consistent in his approach.  He has something that he thinks works for everyone, and that’s something that’s shown true this year because we’ve had a successful year hitting.
 Like I said, he’s the same guy every day.  He’s very positive.  He keeps it loose, and he’s there for you.  He’s really there for the player, and that is something that is important, too.

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