Sunday, June 18, 2006

Reds Lose, Many Times

You may want to get yourself a snack or a drink or something. I have a feeling this is going to get pretty long.

So, in the last week or so, the Reds have played the Cubs, Brewers and White Sox. Of the 10 games made up by those three series, the Reds won a grand total of 2, one win against the Cubs, one against the Brewers.


The Cubbies were in town last Thursday through Sunday. The first game was a solid, uplifting defeat of the Cubbies. 7-1 was the score. Arroyo was pitching, and aside from giving up a first inning home run to none other than Tony Womack, his was a good day, with just 5 hits and that 1 run. The bullpen, in the form of Mercker and Esteban Yan, continued with the goodness and all was wonderful. Freel, Phillips and Ross all hit home runs to account for 4 of the 7 runs. The remaining 3 RBI belong to Freel, Ross and Aurilia.

After Thursday everything went to hell. Ramirez pitched Friday, did rather well, but the defense failed to back him up. Valentin in particular. I felt bad for him, two errors in one inning, one right after the other. Ramirez gave up 3 runs, Hammond gave up 3 runs, the Reds scored a total of 5 runs. Reds lose 6-5.

Saturday was Claussen's day to pitch, and what a day it was for him. I'm not saying lights out or anything, but for Claussen it was great. He went into the 7th having given up 0 runs, earned or otherwise. He got through 2/3 of the 7th, loaded the bases, and was taken out in favor of Esteban Yan, with whom I had no issue before this day. Then his second pitch of the game became a grand slam home run. The Reds only mustered 2 runs in response and lost, 4-2.

Milton pitched Sunday. Again, decent outing by the starter, mucked up by the bullpen and an offense that has lately seemed incapable of showing up for more than a few days at a time. The final score on Sunday was 9-3.


The Reds and Brewers rumbled Monday through Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday were both losses. Close losses, at that. Continuing a theme, we got pretty good pitching from starters and crap from the bullpen. Harang started Monday against newbie Zach Jackson. Despite 4 home runs, 5 runs scored and Harang's 4 earned runs, the Reds were vanquished 6-5 because Mercker had to give up 2 more runs. Coffey also had a pretty rough time in his 1/3 of an inning. He got out of it without damaging his ERA, but it was very much not pretty.

Tuesday's game pitted Arroyo against Davis. Again there were several home runs for the Reds, again the starting pitching didn't dig a hole too deep to escape (as 4 earned runs isn't all that great by Arroyo's standards), and again it still wasn't enough. The Brewers just had to have 6 runs again. And the Reds only wanted 4. They should be more greedy sometimes.

Wednesday the Lizard Man was fantastic. Super fantastic. So-good-I-wish-I-could-have-seen-it fantastic. While I was in Toledo, Ramirez was striking out 10 Sausage Boys and giving runs to none of them. At the same time, Brewers pitchers Villenueva, Shouse and Capellan were doing the same thing, with fewer K's. After 9 innings home plate had yet to see a single runner's foot. The 10th went by in pretty much the same manner. The top of the 11th was yet more of the same. Finally, in the bottom of the 11th, Griffey and Aurilia singled and Dunn followed with his well-timed only hit of the game, a 3-run home run, giving the Reds just their 2nd win since sweeping the Astros and Cardinals.

White Sox

Being swept by the White Sox in and of itself is not a total disappointment. After all, they did win the World Series and all that jazz. But the way it happened was practically unbearable. Apparently Claussen's shoulder was bothering him pre-game time Friday, but he played anyway. He played all of 2 innings. The first inning contained a grand slam, for the White Sox. Aurilia got the Reds back in the game with a 3-run homer in the 1st. Chicago and Claussen responded with 2 more runs. After giving up three hits and a run to the first three batters in the 3rd, Claussen was out and Joe Mays was in. Mays allowed 3 more runs to score, but made it through the rest of his 4 innings relatively uneventfully. The White Sox added 1 more run in the 6th on Aurilia's error. Kearns gave the Reds their last run of the game with a solo shot in the 7th. And just for kicks the White Sox put up run number 12 in the 8th. So that would be White Sox 12, Reds 4.

Saturday the game was very possibly stolen from us by mean old umpires. After much struggle and spending much of the game in the lead. After Milton's 6 innings the Reds were up 5-3. Weathers and Hammond both gave the bothersome Sox a run, leaving the score tied at 5 going into the 9th. Coffey has been having some trouble since becoming Mr. Official Closer, and proved it again, giving up 3 runs (2 earned) in the top of the 9th. However, the Reds refused to give up. Ross scored on Lopez's ground-out. Valentin and Freel were still on base and Griffey, Master of Drama, was up to bat. On a 2-2 pitch, Griffey attempted to check his swing when the ball went in the dirt. It sure looked to me like he checked it. However, the umpire did not see it that way, called it a strike out and ran away, as the entire Reds dugout was probably about to pounce on him. I know Narron was on his way. It's possible Griffey would have struck out on the very next pitch, but losing like that is rotten.

Today would have been a great day for vindication. Instead it was a great day for an 8-1 loss. No scoring occurred until the 6th inning. After that there was much scoring for the White Sox and very little for the Reds. The only run for the good guys came in the 9th on Dunn's RBI grounder. Harang gave up 3 runs through 6 and 2/3 innings, Mercker threw 1/3 without allowing any runs, Yan gave up 2 runs in the 8th and Mike Burns gave up 3 in the 9th.

Your Questions Answered

What came of Claussen's bothersome shoulder? And what is Mike Burns doing back in Cincinnati? Claussen has been placed on the 15-day DL with rotator cuff tendinitis in his left shoulder. Joe Mays gets his spot in the rotation and Mike Burns was recalled from Louisville (again) to take his spot on the roster.

What about that Rick White fellow? He was DFA'd today. Jason Standridge shall be coming to Cincinnati for him. I guess his stats look pretty good right now, but I believe they looked pretty good when they brought him up last year, too, and we all might remember what they looked like at the end of that. Here's hoping this year will be different.

Who is this Juan Castro person? Juan Castro played for the Reds before (2000-2004). Last year he played for the Twins. I guess he must really like Cincinnati, as the story on the official site says he was "ecstatic" when he heard he was coming back. The Reds picked him up on June 15 and optioned poor Olmedo back to Louisville. I really can't say I know anything about Mr. Castro. I have read, however, that he's got mad defensive skillz but not so mad get-on-base skillz. What I saw of him the last couple of days backs up the not so mad on base part. But he does love the 'Nati, and I'll like him for now for that.

How is Tiny Casey? Tiny Casey is doing very well. He was returned from the kidnapping in fairly good condition. He happens to be missing a finger, though. He and Tiny Dunn get along splendidly, as should be expected with the Mini Mayor.

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