Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Not Like Last Year

So far the rest of the road trip hasn't gone so hot, huh? It seems these guys have an affinity for consistency, though. If you're going to lose, at least you can lose by the same score two days in a row. It confuses everyone who didn't actually see the game. After the first 4-1 loss to the Giants I just figured that the 4-1 I saw the next day was still the same game and they accidentally put it up twice. I had hope for a brief moment that they might have won.

The same thing happened today. Lost to the Dodgers 6-5 on Monday, and when I watched Sports Center or something this morning, I saw 6-5 again, and had another brief moment of optimism.

Anyway, if one wants to find a bright spot, there is always the fact that though the Reds have lost 5 games in a row, they didn't lose the Wild Card lead until last night, and they're only a half game back. At least everybody else has been sorta crappy, too. That's not really bright, but it's all I've got.

Harang gets to try to stop the skid tonight. Well, actually, the whole team gets to try that. Harang starts tonight while the whole team tries to stop the skid. That sounds more appropriate. 10:10 again, because we're still in California.

Friday, August 25, 2006

1 Down, 9 to Go

The Reds are tied for first place again! Yay! I tried to watch the game. I got through the first 3 or 4 innings and then fell asleep. Unfortunately I missed the good part. I saw Eric Milton giving up home runs all over the place despite the pitcher-friendly nature of AT&T Park. I saw Brad Hennessey mowing down our lineup like it was his job (haha. I'm funny). I saw a 3 next to SF and a 0 next to CIN on the TV screen.

I did not see Encarnacion's RBI single that started off the Reds' scoring. I did not see the Reds' bullpen mow down the Giants like it was their job. I did not see Ross's solo home run in the 8th that broke the 3-3 tie. I did not see the 2 insurance runs they put up in the 9th. But all of these things happened, and Cincinnati won 6-3.

Dave Williams helped the Mets demolish the Cardinals, and in so doing helped the Reds into the first place tie. Way to still be a team player, Dave!

Aaron Harang looks to keep the good times rolling tonight. It's another 10:15 game.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Coffey Gets to Eat his Jell-O Early

I had been kind of upset earlier that I didn't get to see what got Coffey thrown out of the game this afternoon. Happily, there is a replay of it on the Reds' site. I don't think it warranted getting tossed. That was a bad time to toss the guy, too. I can't imagine what kind of pressure Franklin must have been feeling, having to come in to a 3-1 count with the bases loaded. And a tied score, no less.

I didn't think Coffey was the kind of guy that would react in a way that would get him ejected. I don't think he did, either. All he said was "Right down the middle" or something to that effect. Can't be positive because I'm basing it on lip reading. On the other hand, his gesture, while probably meant to show the ump where the ball was, kinda looked a little more like where the ump should shove it. However, I maintain that Mr. Bell was just pissy. I did not see these pitches, so I cannot comment on the accuracy of the calls, but I really don't think ejecting Coffey was necessary. Ross was in his face, but he got to stay in the game (not that I'm complaining).

Anyway, though the Reds jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st inning (off Roy Oswalt, no less), a whole lot of bullpen mess later in the game resulted in a 7-3 loss for the good team. I can't say that Coffey remaining in the game would have changed the result, but I'd like to believe that he would have had a better shot at striking out Ensberg than Franklin had at that point.

Chris Michalak started and had a pretty good game, allowing only 1 run in 6 1/3 innings. Coffey came out for the rest of the 7th, walked some people to load the bases, and we know how that one ended. Franklin succeeded in walking Ensberg, and was then taken out in favor of Rheal Cormier, who allowed some runs, but at least finished out the 7th inning. Bray and Belisle allowed 1 hit and no runs between them in the 8th and 9th innings. Cincinnati's 3 RBI were courtesy of Griffey, Hatteberg and Hollandsworth.

So, not the exciting finish I had been hoping for in Houston, but the Reds still won the series. And we can look back fondly on the thrashing they gave the Astros yesterday.

Up next is a little trip out West, starting with San Francisco and their Giants (who just swept the Diamondbacks, which is kind of scary). I'm not a big fan of staying up until 1 in the morning anymore, so I probably won't be seeing the ends of many of these games. But who knows? Tomorrow is my last day of college for the rest of forever (or at least until I finally accept the fact that I'm going to need a Masters degree to get any kind of liveable salary). Maybe I'll celebrate by staying up super late every night until I get a real-life job. Because that's smart.

Eric Milton against Brad Hennessey at 10:15 tomorrow night. Go Reds!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hot Doggie!

The Reds asserted their dominance over the Astros in the most thrilling way possible tonight. Kyle Lohse finally got his much deserved win, holding the Astros to just 4 hits and no runs through 8 innings. Matt Belisle closed it out with a hitless 9th. Meanwhile, the offense was lighting up Jason Hirsh, who allowed 10 runs in his 2 2/3 innings for Houston. Dave Borkowski had a slightly less unpleasant evening, giving up another 4 runs through 4 1/3 innings. The remaining inning was handled by Brad Lidge, who had a much better night than the other two, though it didn't matter at that point, as the score was already 14-0.

Brandon Phillips, Scott Hatteberg, Adam Dunn and David Ross all hit home runs for the good guys. The homers accounted for 8 of the Reds' 14 runs. Ken Griffey Jr. and Rich Aurilia were both pulled from the game after the 4th, because it's nice to let some of the other guys play when you're up by 13 runs. Norris Hopper and Juan Castro took their places in the lineup. Dunn was pulled in the 7th and replaced by Todd Hollandsworth. Even Jason LaRue came in to catch for the 9th. Just about every position player got in the game (except Javy and McClayton (I don't know who first started calling him that, but I can't not call him McClayton anymore (also, I move that double negatives be acceptable when you actually mean it to come out that way))). Every starter contributed to the hit parade, save Griffey, who was walked in every at-bat he had. Every starter scored a run and 6 of them contributed RBI. What a night for the offense and the pitching. It's great when everything comes together like that.

Here's the box for your viewing pleasure.

Tomorrow it's Chris Michalak against Roy Oswalt. The game's at 12:35, so of course it won't be on TV. There's always Gameday and the radio, though. Give Marty and Steve some love.

Tuskegee Airman

This is kind of neat. I listened to Col. Warren's interview with Marty on the radio on Sunday. I think it was Marty, anyway. He's a funny guy. Real sharp. Since Steve's not going to be back, I think they should hire him.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Three in a Row

Three posts in one day AND three wins in a row for the Reds! Amazing!

I suppose if I don't like how a game is going I should just write about it on here. I did not like seeing guys strike out with the bases loaded with 2 outs. I wrote about it, and TADA! Rich Aurilia hits a 3-run homer in the 8th to tie the game. Brandon Phillips and Todd Hollandsworth followed with singles and Royce Clayton, of all people, hit the game-winning RBI single. Unfortunately for Bronson, he had already left the game behind 2-0, and so he starts a new chase for another win. Scott Schoeneweis looked awfully good playing closer tonight. He gets the save and Ryan Franklin gets the win. Arroyo actually had a pretty decent outing, going 6 innings and only giving up 2 runs. The offense was just a little slow in backing him up.

Cincinnati's record now stands at 65-60, 2 games behind the Cardinals, who did not play today. Still leading the Wild Card by 2 1/2 games. Tomorrow Kyle Lohse goes against Jason Hirsh. Unless the Astros do something crazy and use Roy Oswalt instead. He's slated for Wednesday, but who knows what's going to happen?


I haven't been able to watch the game continuously, but every time I get a chance to check in they've got the bases loaded with 2 outs and somebody strikes out. That's getting old real quick.

Cardinals and Pirates

Check it out! Another week without posting! I'm slacking.

Anyway, down to business. I'm not exactly sure where I left off in the games, so I will just point out that the Reds only managed to win one of the three games against the Cardinals. No matter, though, we are still winning in the games won category, 9-6. The two don't play each other again during the regular season, so, if nothing else, the Reds have succeeded in beating the Cardinals more than the other way around. The most interesting news to come out of the series could perhaps be that Bronson finally has win number 10 under his belt.

Harang did not look so awesome on Tuesday as the Reds were shut out 5-0. Wednesday was way cool, with Griffey, Dunn and Aurilia all hitting a home run a piece, not to mention EdE's two. Combined with Arroyo's 7 innings of 1 run baseball, Cincinnati pulled off the win by a score of 7-2. Kyle Lohse looked grand again on Thursday, also pitching 7 innings and giving up only 1 run (on a home run to Rolen). Unfortunately, Jeff Weaver also only allowed 1 run (a home run to Griffey). Then, to make things interesting, Ryan Franklin allowed a run to the Cardinals in the 9th, forgetting that they were in St. Louis and the offense did not get a chance to make up for it. Or at least, that's what I'm pretending happened. The Cardinals would go on to beat up on the Cubbies like they haven't all year, so maybe we can take solace in the fact that they may not have lost the series to the slumping Stupid Birds, but to the recovering Stupid Birds.

Bring in the Pirates. Game one on Friday, Chris Michalak did not live up to my hopes born of reckless optimism and instead looked about like everyone else thought he would. But he still had that one great game. He'll always get to remember that. Michalak gave up 6 earned runs in his 4+ innings. The offense never really got much going, and despite a credible attempt at a 9th inning rally (which included another late-game home run from the only Javier Valentin), the Reds went down 7-3. Saturday was much more exciting. After the Reds went up 6-0 in the 1st inning, the Pirates came back in a frightening fashion and by the 7th inning the score was tied at 7's. Our heroes, however, would have none of that, and put up 7 more runs in the bottom of the 7th. What a day for the number 7. Freel also attempted to take out Ronnie Paulino while running to home plate, which was rather humorous, given that Paulino is fairly large and Freel is not at all. Cincinnati won 14-7. The game ended on a bit of a sour note, though, as Eddie Guardado left the game with what turns out to be a pretty nasty case of tendinitis and has been placed on the 15-day DL. The Reds are now without a designated closer once again. Matt Belisle has been recalled to take his place on the roster. It's about time. The Reds scored first on Sunday despite the Pirates best efforts to take the lead early (including a few attempts at bunting with Freddie "I Lead the League in Hitting" Sanchez). The Reds scored first in a big way, thanks to 2 2-run homers from Hatteberg and Dunn in the 3rd. Harang had an awesome day and got himself his 13th win, allowing just one run in his 7 innings. Schoeneweis (turns out I can pronounce his name, just can't spell it) and Weathers both kept the Pirates hitless and Cincinnati won 5-1. Hooray!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'm Never Going to be Able to Pronounce his Name

The Reds picked up a new pitcher today, Scott Schoeneweis. He comes via the mythical land of Canada. Scott's got a record of 2-2 and a not so pretty ERA of 6.51, but he's a lefty, and we like those. He is also apparently a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to pitching. Jerry Narron described him thus (courtesy of the article linked above):

"He has started, he has done things out of the 'pen, he's been long, he's been short, he's been a specialist," manager Jerry Narron said. "He has some very good numbers against left-handed hitters in the past. He is a ground-ball guy. He has a lot of experience."

Also, Kent Mercker's career seems to be officially over. He blew the crap out of his elbow. Poor Kent. Best of luck to you in whatever endeavors you embark upon now.

And since we're talking about sad things, it appears that both of Ken Griffey Jr.'s parents are battling cancer. I'm quite impressed with his decision to play this week, knowing that. Many sympathies to the Griffey family.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Another Player of the Week for the Reds

Edwin Encarnacion was named National League Player of the Week for the week of August 7 through 13. Go EdE! A great boost for the Free Edwin Encarnacion campaign. You might recall that one Brandon Phillips was also awarded Player of the Week honors earlier this year.

Among other things, our beloved third-baseman had 4 home runs and 8 RBI last week. He is also in the midst of a fantabulous 10-game hitting streak. Congrats to Edwin!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Reds Finally Defeat Phillies

After some really boring games the last time the two teams met up, the Reds and Phillies actually provided some edge-of-your-seat entertainment in this series. 14 innings for Friday, which were exciting until the Phillies had to go and win the game. Using every available pitcher in the bullpen plus a few starters was also entertaining, though ultimately problematic for Elizardo Ramirez. Saturday, after a very disappointing inning and a third for the Lizard Man, Chris Michalak (I feel compelled to inform you that the "c" in his name is a mirage, because everyone else mentioned it, too) put on one heck of a show. It seems most people don't think he'll repeat the performance. I'm going to err on the side of reckless optimism and assume he'll do it a few more times. Sunday was another extra-innings nail biter, punctuated by battles between my uncle and I over whether or not the Reds suck. The Reds won the battle for me in the 11th inning, also winning the game and thus the series. Wahoo!

Now you get recaps of some sort because I get some kind of extra joy out of beating the Phillies compared to beating any other team (save the Cardinals and the Yankees).

Friday Kyle Lohse, who also spells his name differently than he pronounces it (as if I have room to talk about funny name spellings), gave up just one run over 6 1/3 innings and struck out 8. Good job Kyle! Bill Bray, unfortunately, got knocked around a bit, giving up 3 runs in his 2/3 of an inning. Not so good a job Bill! Eddie Guardado and Elizardo Ramirez gave up a run each, Ramirez got stuck with the eventual loss, as his one run was the Phillies' winning run in the 14th inning. Encarnacion had 2 home runs and Valentin had another (something he's been very good at lately). All of the Reds runs were scored on these home runs. Unfortunately, the Phillies had one more run up their sleeves than the Reds. They held onto it until the 14th inning, when Aaron Rowand hit one to center off Ramirez and David Dellucci scored.

Ramirez came back on Saturday to start, which turned out to be a bad idea. Brave and commendable in theory on his part to even try, but very bad in practice. After 1 1/3 innings and 5 runs, poor Mr. Lizard was pulled from the game and shortly returned to Louisville. Chris Michalak came to the rescue, and rescue the Reds he did. The Phillies managed just one run off of him in 6 2/3 innings. Quite a Reds debut for him. The offense was alive once again, scoring 6 runs in the first 4 innings. With the exceptions of Dunn and Griffey, everybody had a hit. Freel, Hatteberg, Valentin and Phillips all had multiple hits. One of Phillips's was a home run in the 4th. The Reds entered the bottom of the 8th up 6-5, where Michalak gave up his one run, a home run to reigning Home Run Derby King Ryan Howard. Tied at 6 going into the 9th, the Reds decided they wanted to win this one within 9 innings. Luckily the Phillies used Rick White to pitch and the Reds put up 3 runs on singles from Encarnacion, Valentin and Phillips. Eddie Guardado gave up a run in the bottom of the 9th, and then with 2 on and Ryan Howard batting, it appeared that all might be lost, but Howard failed to work his home run magic and instead struck out, giving Cincinnati their first win against the Phillies this year, a 9-7 victory.

Today Eric Milton took on Brett Myers. It seems that I was playing the part of bad luck charm today, as every bit of the game I saw was something good happening for the Phillies, and thus bad for the Reds. So, I watched a bit of everything else that was on television (including NASCAR) to avoid feeling responsible for a loss I really had no control over. It worked, as the Reds won 7-5 in 11 innings. Encarnacion, Dunn and Aurilia hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the 6th (which is something ESPNews failed to mention in their little story, I might add). The Reds were up 5-3 in the 9th, when Eddie Guardado allowed 2 runs, and the Phillies tied the game, and it went to extra innings for the second time in the series. This time Cincinnati came out the winners, scoring 2 runs on a double from pinch hitting Juan Castro. Interesting choice for pinch hitter if you ask me, but it worked, so no complaints. It seems Milton had a not too awful start again, though he only made it through 5 1/3 innings, so maybe it was kind of awful. I didn't really see him. Coffey, Cormier, Weathers and Bray all worked hitless innings or parts thereof. I seem to recall hearing that Brett Myers is a bit of a Reds killer in the pitching department, so it's nice to see that he didn't do that today.

Now, thanks to the Pirates' sweep of the Cardinals (HAHAHA!), the Reds are a mere game and a half back of 1st place going into another series with St. Louis. The ESPN types seem to think Cincinnati has a pretty good shot at overtaking the Cardinals in the division (glad to see they're finally on board, bandwagon bunch of jerks (I've got a thing against national media, just so you all know)). Hopefully they are entirely demoralized and falling apart because of the sweep, and not about to become a holy terror born of vengeance. We find out on Tuesday, when Harang and Carpenter face off in St. Louis.

Oh yes! Along with Elizardo going back to Louisville, Mr. Kent Mercker has been put on the DL yet again (the reason Michalak is with the Reds), and this time it might be the end of the road for his career. That's too bad.

Friday, August 11, 2006


This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but Blogger sucks, as usual. Anyway, on with the show.

It figures that that Cardinals would be in town when I have to be working my butt off every night/morning for the fake campaign in my poli-sci class. Instead of watching dramatic walk-off home runs, I am watching our Lone Shark ad over and over. Granted, it's hilarious, but there comes a point when you've seen it too many times. I'd much rather watch David Ross own the world. I did get to see Ryan Freel's AHHHmazing catch Tuesday before heading out for a rare night of drunken debauchery. Though I was not drunk, nor was there much debauchery, just painting. And, even though I didn't get to see much of it, it's good knowing that we made up a few games on the Cardinals. Monday is a day I'm going to try to forget. I do not recall ever losing to the Cardinals 13-1. Tuesday, however, thanks in very large part to Ryan Freel, the Reds took the Cards down, 10-3. Apparently they also punched the stupid birds in the gut with a dramatic 8-7 last minute win last night. I wish I'd seen it. I liked the picture in the paper today, though. Ryan Freel looks crazy. Bronson Arroyo failed to get his 10th win yet again today. I wonder if he's thinking too much about getting that 10th win. Maybe he needs to forget about the win all together and just play baseball. I would think that at this level he would know that, but I bet it's hard to do, after trying and failing so many times. He's up to what, ten attempts now? All together that adds up to a series split, but for the season as a whole, the Reds are up on the Cards 8-4. Take that Birds!

I think there are many new people in the Reds dugout/bullpen now that I haven't mentioned yet. One Mr. Rheal Cormier (pitcher type), has a spectacular name, but I'm not too sure on his skillz yet, as I haven't seen him very much. He came from Philly. Justin Germano went to Philly for him. That's kind of sad, as I rather liked Germano. Kyle Lohse (also a pitcher type) used to play for Minnesota, but now he plays for Cincinnati. Zach Ward (minor league pitcher type) went to Minnesota in his place. Ryan Franklin (another pitcher type) also came to Cincy via Philly. They get a PTBNL. And last but not least, Wednesday Todd Hollandsworth was snatched away from Cleveland and is now in Cincy, too. He's not a pitcher type, he's an outfield type. The Indians get a PTBNL too!

Oh, apparently Ryan Freel has a little dude in his head (mad props to RHM for the link).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Boo Cardinals

I guess we knew the Cardinals had to come out of their hideous slump sometime, but did it have to be last night? And like that? Couldn't they have waited just 4 more games? Poor Lizard Man. It was just not a good night for him, though it was a short one. Thanks to paper writing I missed the last three runs the Stupid Birds scored, but it didn't really matter. The game was over in the 1st, if you can call that a game. 13-1 is pretty darn bad. Especially against Jeff Weaver, who is supposed to suck.

At least Javy did something with his rare start. He was responsible for the Reds' lone run, a solo home run in the second. At that point, the game didn't seem lost, but it didn't take long to get there. Freel, Griffey, Encarnacion, Hatteberg, Valentin and Clayton all had hits, but it didn't produce much. Just a bunch of runners left on base.

It's okay, though. The Cardinals spent all of their energy yesterday. And remember that time when the Brewers won 11-0 and the Reds won 11-0 the very next day? Maybe they'll do that again and we can take joy in knowing that we got the last laugh. Even though there are two more games after tonight.

Oh! Also, since I have failed to mention it yet, the Reds took two of three from the Braves over the weekend. Gary Majewski is pretty much the reason for the loss on Sunday, and he's on the DL with inflammation in his right shoulder now, so at least we have a reason. Also, it looks like Brandon Claussen won't be returning this year. Mercker has finally escaped from the DL and pitched a scoreless inning last night to celebrate his return. I think Matt Belisle is also off the DL, but hasn't been reinstated for some reason. That's what I read in graphics on TV, anyway. The Reds also picked up Ryan Franklin from Philadelphia, who pitched quite a few innings last night due to Ramirez's early leave. He did alright. It's probably not best to judge his performance based on last night, though. That was a bad night all around.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Blame Game

I don't really know who should be pinned with the blame for the tragedy playing out in Cincinnati right now. The Lizard would be a seemingly obvious choice, as he is the one that gave up the Cardinals' first 7 runs before the end of the 2nd. However, somebody on TV pointed out that perhaps Javy is to blame, for he is the one calling fastball after fastball that the Stupid Birds are apparently pretty good at hitting tonight. I'd also like to blame the Cardinals, because who doesn't? And while we're at it, I also blame George Steinbrenner, because he's evil, and I'm sure he had a hand in this somehow.

Not to say that I've entirely given up hope on this game, but I have chosen to write a paper comparing Kay Bailey Hutchison to John Cornyn rather than watch this game right now. Partly because I have to have the paper done by tomorrow, and also partly because I just don't think I can bear to witness this right now.

Poo-Holes smells funny.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Still Miss Kearnsy

I've missed the last week posting wise, but as it was all pretty much a bunch of the same old, same old, I don't think I'll waste your time with endless recaps. The Reds are currently riding a 4-game losing streak. Luckily the Cardinals are on a 6-game losing streak, so it's not as bad as it could be. In fact, the only teams in the NL Central who have played above .500 in their last 10 games are the Cubs and Pirates. Isn't that sad? Somehow, though, the Reds maintain the lead in the Wild Card, though they are currently tied with the Diamondbacks and Padres.

It helps to know that the Dodgers are at least kind of on fire at the moment. While Cincinnati is on their losing streak, Los Angelos is having a lovely 5-game winning streak, and only 2 of those have been against the Reds, so we're not the only one's getting their asses beat. If only the offense hadn't been broken. Dunn went on a tear for a bit, but he can't do it by himself. Now it looks like Griffey's starting to pick it up, but no one else is doing that with him, so it's still a one man show.

Our shiny new bullpen hasn't been looking so new lately. I've been seeing a lot of the old faces trotting (or sprinting) to the mound, which makes me even happier that we don't have Kearns and Lopez. It's nice that the guys have been doing a mostly decent job, but I want losing two good, every day players to be worth it. This blog started out with a Bring Back Kearns Campaign. Maybe we should bring it back. I've been trying to avoid complaining about him being gone too much, as there's very little to be done for it, but I miss him (and Lopez, too). He was my favorite. We'd have to make the campaign a bit fancier. There wasn't much to it last time (although it did succeed). It's a fruitless endeavor, though. I don't think we'll be getting him back. He's not in Louisville this time.