Results tagged ‘ Travis Wood ’

Jocketty: No shake up

So after all the speculation earlier this afternoon, the Reds roster is no different. General manager Walt Jocketty said that Dontrelle Willis is slated to pitch in relief tonight behind Travis Wood.

“It’s Wood day to start and I wanted to keep Wood on [his turn].  We didn’t want to deviate,” Jocketty said.

The mixed messages over Wood and Willis were good reasons to wonder if the Reds might make a change in their rotation, especially with the struggling Edinson Volquez scheduled to start Sunday.

When asked if the Reds still planning to go with Volquez, Jocketty said “yeah.”

The Reds haven’t played well heading towards the end of the first half, but the usually patient Jocketty isn’t seeking a move to shake things up.

“I don’t normally react that way,” Jocketty said. “If I make a move to do something, it’s not to shake things up. It’s to make the club better.

“I’m not going to sit here and predict what’s going to happen. I can’t. We only have a few days left before the break.”

The organization has a collection of young players at Triple-A Louisville doing well — whether it’s Zack Cozart, Devin Mesoraco or Yonder Alonso. Asked if they could make this club better, Jocketty declined to discuss.

“I’m not going to answer a question like that so stop asking,” Jocketty said.

Wood optioned, LeCure activated

Before Wednesday’s first game of the doubleheader, the Reds optioned starting pitcher Travis Wood to Triple-A Louisville and activated reliever Sam LeCure from the 15-day disabled list.

In 16 starts this season, Wood was 5-5 with a 5.11 ERA and he had 34 walks with 65 strikeouts over 93 1/3 innings. He last pitched on Monday vs. the Yankees and took a 5-3 loss after allowing four first-inning runs with eight hits overall, one walk and six strikeouts. He retired his final 11 batters in a row.

LeCure had been on the DL since May 29 because of a strained right forearm.

The move all but assures that Homer Bailey will be activated to take Wood’s next turn to start, which was Sunday vs. the Orioles.

Cold bats, first-inning woes

When the Reds are hitting like gangbusters, the first-inning bugaboo that plagues the rotation isn’t as big of a deal. When Travis Wood goes down 4-0 in the first and his slumping lineup is facing a very effective Ivan Nova, it proved big trouble.

Hence, a 5-3 Reds loss to the Yankees.

Wood gave up five first-inning hits…all of them line drives. No cheapies.

“I think he was a little bit pumped up because he was trying to go low and away a number of times and the ball was about thigh to waist high,” manager Dusty Baker said.

Wood threw 34 pitches in the inning but largely settled down. Besides the four runs, he gave up eight hits over seven innings with one walk and six strikeouts. He wound up retiring the last 11 batters he faced.

Notes:

*Since returning from that great 5-2 West Coast trip and three-game sweep of the Dodgers, the Reds have dropped three of four. The lineup has been dragging with seven runs in four games and a .220 average.

*The Reds had two singles against Nova to start the bottom of the first, but got only one run on Joey Votto’s 463 GIDP.

*The Reds are 21-24 when the opponent scores first. This season, the pitching staff has allowed 59 first-inning runs — by far the most over any other inning they’ve had this season.

*The crowd of 41,173 was a sellout. Lots of Yankees fans were included, which made for a high-energy atmosphere as fans of both teams tried to drown each other out.

Quotes:

“We’re having a hard time getting a leadoff batter on base to get the pitcher in the stretch right away. Every inning, we’re operating with one or two outs. We have to find a way to get that leadoff hitter on, then we can do something.” — Dusty Baker

“We’re just not getting the hits when we need them; we’re not getting timely hits. That’s about it. We’re going to be fine. It’s early still, and there’s a lot of season left. But we’re just not getting timely hits right now.” — Jay Bruce

“I had my normal rest and I’m always ready to take the ball. I wouldn’t say it affected me.” — Travis Wood, on stepping in for Monday’s original starter, Johnny Cueto.

“I feel like we’re the comeback kids, man. When I got that base hit, I was like, ‘Oh man, here we go. We’re going to start scoring some runs,’ and we started doing that. We just came up short today. But there’s something about us in the ninth inning. It’s like our second wind of the game. We get that second wind and we end up just coming and coming, and we come back. I wish it would have happened earlier in the game, but it just didn’t go our way. They’re a great team. I respect their organization dearly. They have a great lineup. They have a lot of names over there. Honestly, I’m glad we’re playing them, just seeing where we stand against all the other Major League teams out there, and that’s one of the best teams in the League.” — Brandon Phillips

“It’s impressive. We’ve seen this kid take some steps forward and do some really good things for us. We’ll continue to work with him and try to teach him. I think he’s learning on the way. That’s what you do when you’re a young starter. You take whjat you did the last start and you try to learn from it. I think he’s doing that. He’s making adjustments as he needs to. He didn’t get caught up in the ballpark.” — Yankees manager Joe Girardi on Ivan Nova

 

“A lot of crafty lefties have had a lot of success against us. Part of the reason is we expand a little bit and try to do a little bit too much. I thought for us, that’s a prototypical first inning, an ideal first inning that we’ll take every time.” — Alex Rodriguez

Cueto out, Wood in

There is an interesting development — Johnny Cueto, tonight’s originally scheduled starter, is not in the lineup posted by the club. It’s Travis Wood, who was supposed to go on Tuesday. The clubhouses aren’t open yet, so stand by for the reason.

Reds lineup vs. Yankees:

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

****update**** Cueto now scheduled to pitch on Tuesday. Reason not known yet. Stay tuned.

**UPDATE #2**** Cueto has a stiff neck.

 “My neck is sore,” Cueto said. “I’m probably pitching tomorrow, depends on how I feel when I throw today.

“When I throw, there’s a little pain.”

 “His neck has been bothering him the last few days, probably since the plane trip coming back,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Versus us waiting until the last minute and telling Woody to strap it on and let’s go, we decided to make the change and give both of them the opportunity. We actually made the change last night so we informed Woody. It’s his normal day today.”

*Before the game tonight, Jay Bruce will receive his NL Player of the Week and Player of the Month Award from May.

*1961-era Reds pitcher Jim O’Toole is the Reds’ honorary captain tonight. O’Toole’s club faced the Yankees in the ’61 World Series, won by New York.

For once, the Reds love L.A.

Big road trip. Huge road trip.

Most teams, including the Reds, come to the West Coast just hoping not to tailspin. Many are hopeful to come out of it .500 or could even accept being one under .500 for the trip. Wednesday’s 7-2 win over the Dodgers gave the Reds a 5-2 West Coast trip. They haven’t had a winning western journey since they went 7-4 in 2004. That was also the year of the last Reds sweep at Dodger Stadium (May 14-16).

“A real nice birthday present,” said manager Dusty Baker, who turned 62 today. “It’s first time I can remember in 10 years winning a game on my birthday. That’s the one thing I wanted today. That was the perfect ending to this West Coast trip.”

Every time the Dodgers win a game here, they play the familiar Randy Newman song “I Love LA.” I got pretty used to hearing since the Reds lost 12 times in a row at Dodger Stadium from 2006-09.

And not much of a celebrity wrap for this series. Last year, we had Harrison Ford among others. This year, it was only Larry King and Mary Hart — both on Tuesday night.
 

Notes:

*Jonny Gomes was all over the field defensively today with some nice plays. One particularly marvelous

one came when he robbed James Loney with two outs in the third with runners on first and second. On Loney’s tailing fly to the left field foul line to end the inning, Gomes was fully laid out when he made the diving catch. Travis Wood thanked Gomes with a point. Gomes also made two other catches that were worthy of circles in the scorebook.
*Wood was so-so, despite the quality start. Only one run and five hits but the five walks (one intentional) made for some tense moments. Wood gave up an Ethier two-out double and two walks — one with the bases loaded — to force in a run.

*Scott Rolen was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI doubles and a RBI single. Five of Rolen’s seven hits on this trip were doubles. He hasn’t felt great since fouling a ball off his left foot Sunday and missing Monday’s game.

*By not playing today, Drew Stubbs became the last Reds player to miss a game this season. He had played in all 69 previous games, with 64 starts.

*The Reds are 17-18 on the road this season.

Quotes:

“Some great defense and early runs. Everybody was spent from a short night here so we wanted to score early, which we did. We didn’t score more but it was enough.” — Dusty Baker

“Gomes played an outstanding outfield today. If the ball was going up, I wanted it hit to him the way he was playing today. We also had some good clutch double plays and that helped a lot.” — Travis Wood

“It really hurts. It kind of puts a little sting into us because if we get two runs we’re right back in that game. That was obviously a nice play.” — Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Gomes’ third-inning catch

“We need to win series. I’ve been boring you guys to death saying the same thing for two years now. But we split in San Francisco, which you take. Maybe we could have got one more. They’re a good team too. We played well there and came here and obviously played real well. A 5-2 trip, I think we’d take that 10 out of 10 times before we left.” — Scott Rolen

Bruce’s big month

Who’s your NL Player of the Month?

Jay Bruce’s May: .346 avg, 12 HRs, 32 RBIs, 23 runs scored. He entered the night with a 1.103 OPS.

Mets SS Jose Reyes: .364/.421/.555 with nine doubles, six triples, 11 steals, 40 hits and 18 runs scored. He has been placed on bereavement leave.

Save for the ninth-inning, three-run double in Philly last week, Bruce’s hot stretch has not been taken advantange of enough by the Reds. On Monday vs. the Brewers, it was. He went 3-for-4 with a triple, three-run homer and single in the Reds’ 7-3 win.

“I’m just getting presented with opportunities, and I’ve been successful,” Bruce said. . It’s been a good month. I’ve been making better decisions. That’s one of the big things. And with better decisions comes most of the time a lot of success.”

Notes:

*Bruce’s 12 HRs in the month are two shy of the club record. Greg Vaughn last set that mark in Sept. 1999 when he tied Frank Robinson’s record of 14.

*The Reds are 15-8 when they score first.

*Jonny Gomes, coming off his 4-for-5 game on Sunday, was 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored and sac fly.

Quotes:

“He’s not trying to do too much. Sometimes, you try to do too much, it makes it worse. Just be natural, be yourself. He’s been on a tear. He’s seeing the ball. No. 1 thing is he’s not fouling off pitches or missing pitches that he should put in play and hit…you’re not going to hit them all out of the ballpark. When you get your pitch to hit, you have to hit it.” — Dusty Baker on Jay Bruce

“They hit some pretty good pitches, I thought. I asked Hanigan — one was a changeup that Gomes hit — and I asked him if it was down, and he said, ‘Yeah, he went down and got it.’ The other was a cutter. I asked if it was in. He said, ‘Yeah,’ so they just put some good swings on some good pitches and it worked out for them.” — Reds LHP Travis Wood on his three-run fifth, including back-to-back homers.

“When you get a chance to control your own destiny against a team that’s ahead of you, it’s nice, and we did a good job of it tonight.” — Jay Bruce on beating the Brewers to pull 1 1/2 games out of second place. The Cardinals lost also, dropping their lead over CIN to four games.

Reds wake up in ninth

There are many ways to take a game for the win, and the best that can be said was that was one of them.

The Reds went rope-a-dope style I guess. They had nothing offensively to offer — just one hit — for eight innings, but jumped all over a struggling Astros closer in Brandon Lyon. All five batters in the bottom of the ninth reached and scored all three runs for a 3-2 victory.

Notes:

*Was Brandon Phillips really serious about bunting with runners on first and second and no outs in the ninth? He showed bunt twice but ultimately swung at a 2-1 pitch for the game-tying RBI single. The answer proved to be yes.

“To tell you the truth, I really did,” Phillips said. “We’ve been struggling with scoring runs and I was going to give myself up so we can have a man on second and third and Brucie can do what he does. Dusty didn’t really want me to do it…I didn’t want to hit into a double play. I was going to try and do something for the team just to get a spark. What changed my mind is I looked at Bear [third base coach Mark Berry] and then Bear gave me that little fist pump and was like ‘hit the ball.’ OK, I’ll swing the bat.”

*Joey Votto’s streak of reaching base seemed about to end, but Votto also came through ahead of Phillips with a RBI single that scored Drew Stubbs. It extended Votto’s on-base streak to 30 games.

*Travis Wood wasn’t sensational today with four walks but his start was a welcomed breath of fresh air for the struggling rotation. Wood threw 104 pitches over 6 ip, 5 H, 2 ER, 7 K. Of his 24 batters, 17 saw first-pitch strikes.

*Fred Lewis made his season debut as a PH in the eighth inning and struck out.

*The first pitch temperature was 44 degrees today. I can’t believe it’s the first week of May. When the season opened on March 31, it was 41 degrees.

*
Quotes:

“It’s better to get up and try to keep a lead than try to come back, but fortunately not for us today. We were able to get a couple hits late. And, yeah, it’s still hard to believe. We got one hit all day and all of a sudden we scored three runs without an out. It happens that quick, but it would be nice to get on the board a little earlier.” — Chris Heisey, who singled in the final inning rally.

“It’s like we were sleeping, and then woke up.” — Jay Bruce, who hit the game-ending RBI double.

“I fell behind some hitters. I left two balls up that they hit and they got the two runs off of. Other than that, I was able to keep the team close and give us a chance to win. We eventually did.” — Travis Wood

“I was sitting over there not very happy for eight innings. When you’re not scoring, it’s a bad feeling. When you’re not scoring, it looks like you’re not awake, not into it, even though you are and they’re getting you out.” — Dusty Baker

“I think we felt pretty comfortable against Brandon Lyon and we got some pretty good pitches to hit. All credit due to their pitchers early in the game. Those guys threw fantastic and located well. They were aggressive. They consistently beat us. I think we were a little more comfortable against Brandon and that’s no comment on him. He’s got a fantastic track record. It’s just today wasn’t his day.” — Joey Votto

“Hopefully that woke us up a little bit because I just feel like we’re too good of a team to really do what we’re doing right now. I’m just glad that really happened. I’m just hoping that we can start hitting 1-8, instead of worrying about the ninth inning.” — Brandon Phillips

Rough night/series at the yard

 Reds starting pitching has suddenly not looked so hot. The only pitcher to reach six innings in the lost series vs. the Pirates was Mike Leake (six on Saturday). We all know he has some other issues going on that could affect his next outing. Bronson Arroyo lasted only four innings and allowed five runs on Friday. Edinson Volquez gave up six runs in 5 2/3 innings on Sunday.

And on Monday, Travis Wood lasted a rotation season-low 3 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs and eight hits during a 9-3 loss. The rotation has a 5.23 ERA through 16 games this season.

“The bottom line is we’ve got to get our starting pitching straight,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “They jumped us four runs yesterday, jumped us three today and our pitch count gets extremely high for our starters early.”

Some notes:
*Aroldis Chapman made his return to the mound after a four-day break. Chapman reached top speeds of 102 mph, according to MLB.com Gameday’s Pitch F/X. Sorry to be a killjoy, but he did not reach 106 mph against Andrew McCutchen, as the scoreboard read. It was 102. The bottom line to me, is that Chapman has more life on his fastball again.

*The Pirates hitters challenged Reds pitching all night. The staff threw 196 pitches tonight.

*Travis Wood threw 42 of those pitches in the top of the first inning.

*Pittsburgh series win is their first at Great American Ball Park since a 2-1 visit here from 9/2-9/4, 2008, snapping an 0-4-1 streak.

*Dusty Baker said that Brandon Phillips will return Tuesday. His production was certainly missed in the series.

*Joey Votto has reached safely in all 16 games this season. Votto drew a third inning walk tonight.

*Reds batters notched a season-low four hits vs. Kevin Correia. From the fourth-thru-seventh innings, Correia needed only 28 pitches.

Quotes:

“I don’t know what I’m doing. The guy is throwing 103 and I’m just trying to – I don’t know what I’m trying to do but I was able to foul off a couple of pitches and that’s good by me.” — Kevin Correia on facing Aroldis Chapman

“I feel good. I don’t think my speed went away. It was just like a normal day, like any other pitcher. My arm wasn’t feeling as well as it is and that’s it. My arm never felt bad.” — Aroldis Chapman

“Can you afford to give him three or four days off so he can throw as hard as he did tonight? Or will he get conditioned to going a couple of days in a row? Remember, everybody wanted him to be the closer. You can’t be the closer right now going a couple of days a week. A closer has to go three, four, five days in a row sometimes. Then, you might not use your closer for a week. That’s how things go.” — Dusty Baker on Chapman

“They battled and fouled off some pitches, fouled off some good pitches and hit some good pitches. The times that maybe I made a mistake, they hit it as well. They played well tonight.” — Travis Wood.

Wood off, Reds routed

This was a good old fashioned rout that the Reds absorbed during a 13-2 loss to the Diamondbacks.

*Travis Wood was not his usual self. His location was off and the Arizona hitters were on. His line was 5+ innings, with six earned runs and seven hits. He walked two and struck out four.

*While the Reds hitters did little, you have to credit D-Backs starter Ian Kennedy. The dude was dealing pretty good and guys were not hitting his fastball and breaking stuff.

*As for lefty reliever Matt Maloney, it was a night he’ll be paying for a long while. For giving up seven earned runs and six hits over 1 2/3 innings (including three homers), his ERA jumped to 23.63. As a reliever, that will take a couple of months to whittle it down to respectability.

Quotes:

“He had his fastball and was locating that. His breaking ball and slider were good. He didn’t make any mistakes with his breaking ball. He was throwing them down. He was throwing them in the dirt. He had a pretty good game plan and executed it by having good location. They have a new pitching coach over there, Charles Nagy, that was a pretty good pitcher himself. We’re trying to get a feeling on him and his philosophy and how he’s teaching those guys. We’ll be better and figure it out.” — Dusty Baker on Kennedy.

“After the first, I kind of settled down a little bit. I was still missing but I was able to get it a little bit better. It eventually caught up to me. They hit my mistakes well tonight.” — Travis Wood.
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Another crazy day at the yard

It’s been an amazing clip of high-scoring affairs involving the Reds. Thursday’s 15-13 loss featured a combined 34 hits.

In the last seven games, the Reds have been outscored by a 72-71 margin.It’s hard to make heads or tails of what we see out here. Looking at the spring stats coming into the day, 10 of the top 11 in team runs scored were from the Cactus League. (Reds scored 152 runs entering day). In team ERA, nine of the bottom 10 teams were also from the Cactus League (Reds were at 5.49 and ranked 27th).

The air is thin at the higher altitudes and many pitchers often have trouble with dry baseballs and gripping the ball. Mistakes that still can be outs in Florida or in regular season parks become blights on the line score.

I’m certainly not making excuses for the pitchers or taking anything away from the hitters, but I think a little context is needed.

“Another long one but if you hang something here, it’s going to fly,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said postgame. “There are some guys that played well today. We made some mistakes. It’s getting a little stagnant. You know you have some more work to do but guys are ready to go. We’re scoring a lot of runs. When you’re playing someone like the Texas Rangers, you know you’re going to give up some runs and you better score some runs. That’s what happened today.”

Now for some of the day’s highlights….

The good:

*Travis Wood’s line isn’t pretty, but he did pitch pretty good. Wood allowed seven runs (five earned) over 5 1/3 innings with no walks and five strikeouts. A two-error third inning led to Nelson Cruz’s grand slam.

“I felt good,” Wood said. “I just got in trouble that third inning there.  I ended up giving up a grand slam.  That hurts but we were able to  battle back as a team.  … I feel like I’m ready for the season.  I got stretched out pretty good.  My pitches seem to be working pretty good.  So, I’ll pitch every fifth day and get ready the other four.  I’ll go out and give it everything I’ve got.”

“We threw the ball around that one inning. You need some help from your friends,” Baker said. “That one inning he didn’t get much. He got his work in. His pitch count is where we wanted to get it.”

*Wood also hit a RBI double in the fifth inning.

*Dave Sappelt continues to push to take an outfield spot. While going 2-for-3 Sappelt smoked a two-run homer off of the center field batters’ eye. He’s batting .553 (21-for-38) this spring.

*Jonny Gomes has a four-game hitting streak (5-for-13, .385) after he hit a three-run homer to left field. It was his second homer in three games. His average is still only .171.

*Paul Janish was 2-for-3 with three RBIs

*With two outs in the sixth, Chris Heisey’s two-run triple to left field re-tied the score at 10-10.

*Francisco Cordero enjoyed another 1-2-3 inning today for his seventh-straight scoreless outing. Five of his last six have been perfect.

Not-so-good

*Scott Rolen was plunked on his left elbow by a Tommy Hunter fastball in the first inning. He was lifted for PH Juan Francisco when he couldn’t grip his bat. There was no word on his condition.

“He had stitch marks on his elbow,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I didn’t hear anything so no news is good news.”

*Bullpen candidate Jose Arredondo had another rough day. In the five-run eighth inning, Arredondo allowed five earned runs, four hits with one walk, one wild pitch and one strikeout. His spring ERA is 16.20. Because he’s still trying to find his way back from Tommy John surgery, it’s possible he could begin the year on the DL, which would help the Reds since he’s out of options.

“Arredondo is still inconsistent,” Baker said. “He’ll throw a heck of a breaking ball and hang one. He’ll throw a fastball low and away and then get one out over the plate. It shows me he’s not quite there yet.”

Other news:

*Bronson Arroyo, who has been battling the flu for over two weeks, pitched in a Minor League game on Thursday vs. a Dodgers Class A team.  Arroyo threw 87 pitches over 5 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs and six hits with one walk and six strikeouts.

*Pitching against the Indians’ Class A team, Dontrelle Willis pitched one scoreless inning with one walk and two strikeouts.

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