Results tagged ‘ Wandy Rodriguez ’

Trying again to clinch

Tues lineup vs. HOU

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

 

*The Reds clinch with a victory tonight. If they lose, they’ll have to wait out the end of the Cardinals-Pirates game (8:15 pm ET first pitch).

*Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez is a tough left-hander but is 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA in three starts vs. the Reds this season.  However on July 25 in Houston, he pitched seven scoreless innings with one hit for a 4-0 win. On Sept. 17, he gave up three runs, three hits and six walks with 10 strikeouts for a no-decision in a 5-3 Astros win.

*Jonny Gomes is 7-for-18 (.389) with two homers and nine RBIs vs. Rodriguez

*Jay Bruce is 1-for-17 (.059) with 10 strikeouts, so that’s a little surprising. Bruce was also bothered by a sore right side again Sunday but its OK. 

“I feel good, I feel ready to go,” Bruce said. “I haven’t faced Wandy much lately just because we’ve played the matchup a little bit but I feel that I have improved off of lefthanders and proven myself a little more to where he can put me in there. But it was Dusty’s decision and I appreciate the fact that he has the confidence in me to let me get in.”

*Dusty Baker said Sunday he was going to put Brandon Phillips back to leadoff but appeared to change his mind.

*Not surprisingly, there is a larger media gathering at GABP than usual. I’d guess that it rivals what we normally have on Opening Day. There is a definite vibe on anticipation in the area. Baker acknowledged it’s a different day.

“It’s a day where you strive to get to this point for so very long,” Baker said. “You run this race and you’re one step from the finish line. You’re full of anticipation and desire to finish it tonight. It’s great we’re in a position to do this at home. I’ve done it both ways. It’s a lot more fun and a lot more exhilarating when you can do it in front of your fans, friends and family. It’s a great feeling.”

Scott Rolen is a veteran of some clinches and was looking forward as well, but wasn’t looking ahead too much.

“We still have to play baseball. I don’t mean to be Debbie Downer,” Rolen said. “We’ll go out and play and hopefully get us a win tonight instead of waiting to see what [the Cardinals] do. We’ll get in here, put some tarps up, put on some terrible music on and get some champagne going.”

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Postgame: New Leake pitch count?

Following a 4-0 loss to the Astros, there could be a change in tactics in how the Reds manage Leake’s pitch count going forward. Today, he was at 84 pitches through six innings and then had trouble getting through the next 10 pitches.

It was 1-0 when Leake gave up three-straight hits in the seventh with one out — including Chris Johnson’s home run, a Jason Castro single and pinch-hitter Jason Michaels’ double. Both runners scored on Michael Bourn’s double off Arthur Rhodes.

The Leake line: 6.1 ip, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR….94 pitches/53 strikes.

“Maybe we’ll have to start watching him around that 90-pitch count,” manager Dusty Baker said. “It was 100 but maybe we’ll bring it down to 90. They flared that one in there, no problem. He’s got that sinker. He’s the best double play almost that we’ve got. That’s why we let him face Michaels. A sinker on Michaels came back over the plate and a sinker on Johnson came back over the plate.”

Leake also ran into trouble in the seven-run ninth inning at Philly when he was at 83 pitches coming in and started giving up hits.

*With a little better luck, you have think Leake would have double-digit wins by now and more consideration for NL Rookie of the Year votes. He was hosed from a win against the Astros on May 30 when he pitched seven scoreless and didn’t get a win because the Reds were blanked 2-0 in 10 innings. The Reds are 11-8 when he pitches. There were three losses by one run, two by two runs and six in the opponent’s final at-bat. There of course were the two heartbreakers in Atlanta and Philadelphia.

“It happens I guess. It’s frustrating. Then again, they’re not trying to do it,” Leake said. “You just have to battle, make your pitches and try to keep it low on your part.”

The good —

*The defense had some sparkling moments. In the fourth, left fielder Jonny Gomes made a fantastic diving catch towards the line to rob Jason Castro and save a run. In the seventh, Orlando Cabrera took a hit away from leadoff batter Jeff Keppinger with a pick and leaping throw from the hole.

The not so good –

*Today’s loss was the Reds’ MLB leading 12th shutout this season. They’ve been blanked six times on Sundays, including the last three in a row.

*The Reds have also been shutout five times in the last 16 games.

“That is strange. I guess when we’re good, we’re very good. When we don’t score, we don’t score at all,” Baker said.

*Wandy Rodriguez, who had a 5.11 ERA coming in, gave Houston one-hit ball over seven innings.

More quotes —

“I think those zeroes up there weren’t telling the whole story. I wasn’t locating well the whole game. I felt like I couldn’t really throw it where I wanted to today. I don’t know why.” — Mike Leake

“Wandy has been throwing the ball good, according to our reports. He’s thrown his fastball up and out of the zone away a lot and bouncing his breaking ball. And that’s what he was doing today.” — Dusty Baker on Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez

“I wish I could but I’m glad I can’t. It means it doesn’t happen very often. This game is interesting. I think we’ve done pretty good against Wandy the last couple of outings.” — Jonny Gomes on the inability to explain all the shutouts.

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Bruce back, Francisco up

OF Jay Bruce’s rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville was ended and he was activated from the disabled list on Monday.

In 10 games for the Bats, Bruce was 7-for-33 (.212) with five walks and six strikeouts. He was out briefly with a mild-strain of the groin, which he dismissed.

“It’s nothing,” said Bruce, who went 0-for-3 as the DH on Sunday. “I just didn’t want to take the chance of pulling my groin on a rehab assignment. It wasn’t that important. We took a precaution and it’s fine now.”

Louisville was eliminated from post-season play on Sunday during a 5-3 loss to Durham.

Bruce still wasn’t in manager Dusty Baker’s lineup — in part because he is 1-for-15 lifetime vs. Astros lefty starter Wandy Rodriguez.

“I just have to see him run and all that stuff,” Baker said. “That’s the main thing. He said his wrist feels fine. I just want to make sure his legs are right.”

You may remember that Bruce fractured his right wrist on July 11 at New York while attempting a sliding catch. In a sign he wasn’t afraid of re-injuring it, his right forearm had the scab from a raspberry while attempting a diving catch on the warning track at Durham.

Before going on the DL, Bruce was batting .207 with 18 home runs and 41 RBIs. He was also in a 0-for-14 skid. There were no thoughts of bagging the season even with just 19 games left and nothing to play for as a team.

“Hopefully I can finish up strong. That’s the plan,” Bruce said. “I want to help these guys win some games.”

The other notable transaction of the day — 3B prospect Juan Francisco was called up for the first time from Louisville.

In 131 games combined with Double-A Carolina and Louisville, Francisco batted .295 with 31 homers and 93 RBIs. He showed no signs of adjustment issues in AAA — he batted .359 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 22 games.

Obviously, the Reds have a third baseman for this year and next in Scott Rolen. Francisco is a potential left fielder down the road. He will spend time at instructional league this fall to learn the position he said he played just twice this season at Louisville.

“I can do it. I’m ready,” said Francisco, who speaks very little English.

Don’t expect him to see Francisco this season in left field, according to Baker.

“Like a lot of September call-ups, I’ll use him to pinch-hit and maybe play third base on days that Rolen doesn’t play,” Baker said. “That’s it for now. We’re working him out in the outfield. But you just don’t come up in the big leagues and just play outfield for the first time. [Billy Hatcher] will work him out every day and hope we see some improvement.”

Personally, I’d like to see Francisco get more than marginal amounts of play because I’d like to see how big league ready his swing is. But you also don’t want to embarrass a guy by sticking him the outfield when he doesn’t know the position well. Just being in the Majors for the first time has to be pressure enough.

Bruce had this assessment of Francisco after watching him the last couple of weeks at Louisville.

“He’s got some special pop, I’ll tell you that,” Bruce said. “He’s got a chance to be a really, really good player. It’s all about learning and making adjustments so we’ll see.”

Reds lineup:

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

Injury report: Besides Bruce, Laynce Nix (neck), Ramon Hernandez (knee) and Willy Taveras (quadriceps) all took early BP on the field today.

“Nix is probably ahead of the other guys. He said his neck feels a lot better,” Baker said. “Taveras is still feeling something in his leg. Ramon could be in better shape or semi-ready by the weekend. He’s not in game shape. He says he feels a lot better than before he went down. At the same time, the guy hasn’t had at-bats either. We’re trying to win games too.”

Nix is eligible to come off of the DL on Tuesday.

Unlike Bruce — there is no more rehab assignments possible for the other guys because all of the organization’s Minor League seasons are over.

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Harang vents again…a little.

The Reds find themselves staring at a potential 1-5 home stand and a three-game sweep to the Astros. Tuesday’s 8-3 loss wasn’t pretty in any sense and another source of anger and frustration for Aaron Harang.

“I don’t know what to say, really,” said Harang, who lasted only five innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts. “They came out swinging and I just couldn’t get it done.”

You may remember that Wandy Rodriguez and the Astros left Harang burning with a 7-0 loss on April 18 in Houston. In that game, he tossed a cooler along with a bat and glove. After a four-run Astros fifth tonight, Harang slammed his glove on the bench.

“I’m expecting to go out there and go seven or eight innings,” Harang said. “I made some good pitches. We brought the infield in [for Matsui] and I got exactly what I wanted to. Of course it goes right through the infield. It’s not their fault. It went right through the hole. There was nothing you could do about it. It’s kind of tough when you go out and are trying to get as deep in the games and you can’t get it done.”

The big glaring number that was the defense’s fault were three errors. Joey Votto made two errors on one play in the first inning and it let a run come home.

“We didn’t help him out very much. That hurt,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

For those who wanted to see Adam Rosales, no dice. Rosales made the on-deck circle twice but never entered. He was standing there when Alex Gonzalez flew out to end the game.

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Reds vs. Astros 4/28/09

The tarp is on the field at GABP and it’s been raining most of the day in the area. Showers and thunderstorms are in the evening forecast. If there is a window in the forecast to play, I’m sure the Reds decision makers will wait for it.

After getting clocked in the head last night during the Tejada collision, Chris Dickerson isn’t starting today. But that likely has as much to do with Astros using a lefty starting pitcher in Wandy Rodriguez. Dickerson was scheduled for more tests today after feeling woozy last night. Struggling Edwin Encarnacion was dropped from sixth to seventh. Encarnacion is on a 0-for-12 skid and is 1-for-his-last-28.

More details later when I have it.

After the 7-3 road trip, the Reds really need these last two games vs. the Astros so they can finish 3-3 on the homestand.

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF
Hairston  LF
Votto 1B
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF
Hernandez C
Encarnacion 3B
Gonzalez SS
Harang P

Minor League news from the Reds’ Jamie Ramsey:

IF Adam Rosales (Louisville) last night vs. Indianapolis collected 3 more hits to lift his batting average to .426…he’s currently riding a 10-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in all 16 of his games…since 8/3/08, he’s reached base safely in 27 straight games he’s played for Louisville…he ranks among IL leaders in most all offensive categories.

Daryl Thompson (5.2ip, 4h, 3r, 1bb, 1hr) earned his first victory, at any level, since 7/13/08…Robert Manuel with 2.0 perfect innings of relief … Yonder Alonso hit a grand slam yesterday for Class A Sarasota.

Don’t forget that you can also get Reds updates on Twitter.

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Bruce day-to-day

X-Rays taken on Jay Bruce’s sore right hand were negative. Bruce was diagnosed with a moderate bruise and is listed as day-to-day. When asked if Bruce could play on Sunday, manager Dusty Baker said “probably not.”

Some quotes after the 7-0 loss to Houston:

Dusty Baker on Wandy Rodriguez, who threw seven scoreless and struck out 10:

“That’s as good of a curveball as I’ve seen him throw. He could throw it any count at any time. He didn’t hang any. He had a very good miles-per-hour differential between his fastball and his curveball. It was a 15-20 mph difference. Early in the year like that, guys like him give you the blues because you’re not really ready for that adjustment of speed. Not taking anything away from him, he threw a great game.”

Aaron Harang, who vented some frustration in the dugout — knocking over a cooler among other things:

“It’s frustrating when you pitch your heart out all night and don’t get any luck. It’s been a tough year and a half. It’s going to grind on you eventually. Tonight, I got over that boiling point and needed to get some frustration out.”

 

 

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