About Me

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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Xavier Escapes With A Huge Comeback Win Over East Tennessee State






The Xavier Musketeers seemed to be headed south but completed its largest comeback in Cintas Center history to edge the East Tennessee Buccaneers 68-66.

Trevon Bluiett's field goal from the left of the key completed the resurgence.

Down by 22 points with a scant 14:25 mark of the second half after Bo Hodges connected on a 3-point shot after a turnover.  Xavier scored on their next two possessions but ETSU (6-4) still led by 20 with 12 minutes to play.

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Xavier went to a 1-3-1 zone which bothered the Buccanneers, as the Musketeers took off on a 24-9 run to close the gap to five points with 3:10 left in the game on a Kaiser Gates 3-pointer.

Xavier freshman Naji Marshall and Buccanneer leading scorer Desonta Bradford traded layups with 1:55 left.

Marshall was getting extra playing time as fellow frosh, Paul Scruggs served a penalty for "not living up to Xavier's standards," according to coach Chris Mack.

Quentin Gooden drove for a layup with 1:30 left but ETSU's Jalan McCloud missed a layup.   Karem Kanter tied the game with a 3-point shot to set up Bluietts game winner.

“We played our hearts out. We couldn’t finish.  We had opportunities to close it out but missed some shots.  We can’t leave Kanter open like that," ETSU coach Steve Forbes said.

The Buccanners led 39-27 at halftime and built on it during the second half.

Both teams were in exam week but Mack verbally kicked himself for giving too much study time to his team.

"I gave them too much time off.  We were off four of the seven days during exams," Mack said.  "I should have had them come in an hour which isn't much time out of the day to keep our routine.  I told their coach that the best team didn't win tonight."

East Tennessee had a chance on national television to make a name for itself.  Peter Jurkin, a 7' senior transfer for Indiana scored 11 points and blocked five shots.  The Buccanneers held the second best shooting team in the nation to a 38 percent shooting mark.

“I told our guys that Peter (Jurkin) was the best player on the court tonight,” Forbes said.

As well as they played the finish left ETSU with a sick feeling.
“We had a 22 point lead in the second half, Forbes said.  "We have to bring that one home.  Xavier is a great team well coached but I thought we were the better team tonight. Our guys are disappointed.  This one should hurt.  We have to execute down the stretch.”

Bluiett had 18 points for the victors but had to shake off a 7-for-22 shooting night.  Marshall had career-high 15 for Xavier.  The Musketeers second leading scorer on the season managed just one point and three rebouns in 21 minutes.  He was shaken up during the second half and logged just 21 minutes.

Bradford doubled his season average with a 20-point effort. Jalan McCloud scored 10 and Andre Edwards scored 10 points.

Prior to tonight Xavier's largest comeback at the Cintas Center was a 19-point erasure of Purdue's lead on December 3, 2011.  Xavier trailed 55-36 with under 10 minutes.

Xavier (10-1) will host the Thundering Herd of Marshall on Tuesday night at 6:30 to try for its 39th straight non-conference win at the Cintas Center.








East Tennessee Wagon Wheels From Johnson City To Challenge 10th Ranked Xavier


East Tennessee is rocking like a wagon wheel as it arrives at the Cintas Center to take on number 10 Xavier, with four straight wins under its saber clad belt.

The Bucaneers are 6-3.  They split a pair of games with Northern Kentucky University and fell to number 7 Kentucky, the opponents Xavier fans are most familiar with.

Xaver rose to 10th in the country on the strength of four straight wins, two of which were ranked opponents Cincinnati and Baylor.  The Musketeers are 9-1 with a loss in Las Vegas to #5 Arizona State.

Xavier is trying to improve on its plus 200 home record against non-conference opponents (235-35) and claim its 37th straight non-conference victim.

The Musketeers are led by Trevon Bluiett, who scores at a 21.7 points per game clip.

The Buccaneers leading scorer is senior guard Desonta Bradford, who scores 12.6 points per game.  Jalen McCloud scores 10.9 per game. 

East Tennessee starts five seniors.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Xavier Make Buffaloes Extinct In A Rout





The Xavier Musketeers scored 96 points for the second game in a row and exacted revenge on three of the teams that beat them last season in a 96-69 triumph over the Colorado Buffaloes.

The 9-1 Musketeers checked off Baylor, Cincinnati and Colorado who had their way with Xavier at their home courts.  Xavier is now a whopping 200 games above .500 against opponents at the Cintas Center (235-35)

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Trevon Bluiett reached the 20 point mark for the third straight game with 25.

Xavier built a first-half lead as much as 26 points in the first half and held the Buffaloes seven points below its season average.

Xavier shot 60 percent from the floor and"We had a slow start," said returning senior George King.."They started fast and got momentum.  We did a good job of fighting back. when we got it to 13 we needed to string some stops together."

"If we're gping to give up 48 points in the paint, we're not going to win many games.  They are a great shooting team.  They are going to make their outside shots but we have to run them off the line and make them drive.  We didn't do that."

King scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds last season.  This year King had 15 points and eight rebounds. Namon Wright led Colorado with 20 points.  McKinley Wright scored 16.

"George King would be a mismatch for us," Xavier coach Chris Mack.  "Kaiser Gates did a great job on him holding him to 5-for-15 from the floor.  I'm proud of the way this team played.  Colorado is starting young guys and theyve lost a lot from last year but they are a really good well coached team that showed a lot of fight. scored 48 points in the paint with ninw 3-point shots mixed in.

Meanwhile, Xavier held a Colorado team to 38 percent from the floor.  The Buffaloes came in shooting 48 percent and averaging 76.1 points per game.

J.P. Macura scored 17.  Tyrique Jones had 11 points and seven rebounds, matching Bluiett for the game high.  Quentin Goodin chipped in with 10 points along with the 10 Sean O'Mara scored.

'I don't know if its a good time for exams," Mack said.  "But exams are coming. I'm going to give them three of the four days off so they can take care of why they came to Xavier."

The Musketeers have two more home games before they travel to Northern Iowa.  East Tennessee State will visit the Cintas Center on December 16 at 2:00 pm.  Marshall will provide the opposition on December 19 at 6:30 pm

Notes:

Trevon Bluiett passed Jamie Gladden to take over eighth place on Xavier's all-time scoring list...J.P. Macura joined the top 30 in Xavier history....Xavier has scored 90 or more points in five of the seven home games this season...The 9-for-14 (.643%) from the 3-point line is a new season high for the Musketeers...In the last two games Xavier has held the lead for all but 14 seconds and never trailed.  They were tied with Colorado at 2-2 for 14 seconds.

Xavier Seeks Revenge Against Colorado



The Xavier Musketeers are looking to avenge the third of its 2016-17 losses against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Cintas Center.

The 8-1 Musketeers lost to Baylor, Cincinnati and Colorado last year but the 13th ranked squad, defeated the two former opponents this season.   Colorado is 7-1 but unranked with its only loss to cross state rival Colorado State on December 2.  They defeated New Mexico 75-57 on Wednesday to build momentum.  Xavier bested Kent State on Wednesday 96-70.

The Buffaloes are averaging 76.1 points per game and shooting 48 percent from the field.  They will pose a problem for the Musketeers defense which 69.9 points per game and a shooting percentage of 38.9 percent.

Xavier hopes to make Colorado its 37th straight non-conference victim at the Cintas Center where the Musketeers own a 234-35 record at the Cintas Center against all opponents.

The Buffaloes leading scorer in last year's victory, Derrick White has graduated.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Xavier Avoids Let Down And Rolls Kent State







The Xavier Musketeers avoided a let down after the hotly contested Crosstown Shootout and steamrolled the Kent State Golden Flashes 96-70 at the Cintas Center.

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Xavier 8-1 brought a 13 ranking in the Associated Press poll into the contest and showed why they are highly ranked.

"What they've done here with this program in the last 20 years is phenomenal.  This is an elite, elite program," said the admiring opponent coach Rob Senderoff.

Xavier scored the first 11 points of the game and led 14-4 when Kent State fought back to get within five.

Xavier coach Chris Mack called a time out and Xavier went on a 6-0 run to end the half. with a 48-32 halftime lead.

 "I got asked 4-5 times about a letdown," Mack said. "You can't shield your guys from hearing people ask about it. I didn't want that to happen to us. I thought from very beginning we were ready to go. Kent State is very talented. When they get their leading scorer back from injury, I expect them to have a great year."

Kent State (5-4) was never in the game after that as Xavier picked up where they left off in the second half.

Trevon Bluiett led all scorers with 26 points  Karem Kanter scored 20.  Sean O'Mara added 14 and Tyrique Jones scored 13.

Kent State's Jalen Avery, out of Covington, Kentucky and Shroder High School scored 13 points for the Golden Flashes, two points behind leading scorer Danny Pippen.  Kevin Zabo scored 12 and Desmond Ridenour 10 to join the "double figure" club.

"It was something I was looking forward to," Avery said. "It was a great experience playing in front of my family.  If we learn from this it will help us a lot when we get into the MAC.  We won't play a team like this in our conference."

Notes:

Xavier is 13-1 in its last 14 games against MAC opponents....Bluiett scored 20 or more points for the seventh time this season...Kanter's season high 20 points marked the second straight games, he has scored in double figures. ..O'Mara's 14 points are a season high...The Musketters shot 24-25 from the free throw line, hitting the first 13.  Freshman Paul Scruggs missed one of his two attempts.  "JP. (Macura) made sure Paul knew he was the only one who missed one," Mack said.

Xavier entertains Colorado at the Cintas Center at 5:00 pm on Satruday December 9.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hometown Fans Crave The Meeting Between Cincinnati And Xavier







According to an overly poetic Ken Broo, this is the game that Dr. Naismith dreamed of when he invented basketball, hanging a peach basket as the goal.  According to columnist Paul Daugherty, the rivalry between the two local colleges five miles apart has lost its luster because it is played at an inconvenient time for the press.

Tell the latter to the Xavier students who camped out at 5pn on Friday night to get a good seat.  Tell that to a majority of Cincinnati area residents who have a bachelor's degree at one of the combatant Universities and a masters from the other.

The truth is that this game is a chore for both coaches when it intercedes with conference play but and they downplay it.  But make no mistake both Mich Cronin and Chris Mack, who grew up about a mile from each other want to win this game badly.

Cincinnati (7-0) with its history of two consecutive national championships over 50 year ago has the series edge in this 85th meeting, 50-34.  Yet upstart Xavier (6-1) that has taken a program from the tny confines of Schmidt Fieldhouse to a modern facility, the Cintas Center has become prominent in modern college basketball and has won three of the last four meetings.

Cincinnati ranked 11th in the AMusketeer squad ranked 21st in the same poll, 86-78 by shutting down Xaver star Trevon Bluiett in the second half.

Xavier looks to put a complete game together this season at the Cintas Center where they have won 232 games and lost 35.  They have beaten the last 34 non-conference guests in this building.  Xaiver is 6-1 against Cincinnati at the Cintas Center.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Xavier Traps Bears On The Way To The Crosstown Shootout








The Musketeers got off to a fast start as they pushed the ball on fast breaks to build a  23-10 lead midway through the half.

The Xavier Musketeers bounced back from an embarrassing loss to Arizona State in Las Vegas with a xx-xx win over the previously undefeated Baylor Bears.

The Musketeers led by as many as 10 points against Arizona State but ended up with a 102-86 loss.  Against Baylor who was ranked 16th in the AP poll and just had tough wins over Wisconsin, their only common opponent, and Big East member Creighton.
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Kaiser Gates and J.P. Macura each contributed to the lightning start, both ending up with a game-high 19 points.  Gates made three 3-point shots and Macura made two plus he contributed with a fastbreak layup.

“The one thing you don’t want to do on the road is to fall behind and let the crowd get into the game,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said.  “That’s exactly what happened.  You don’t want to let them get up and down the floor in transition."

Baylor (5-1) wasn’t going to go away quietly and fought back in the game.  They closed the gap to within one at the 4:41 mark but Macura hit a big three at the halftime buzzer to send the Musketeers into the Quick Change halftime show with 39-34 lead.

“We tried to come back but it was a bad night,” said Baylor senior point guard Manu Lecomte, who with 11 points was one of four Bears in double figures.  Terry Maston led them with 15 points,  Mark Vital scored 11 and King McClure added 10.

“We played really tough,” Gates said.  “We played good defense.  I think we could have played better at times but I think we takeaway a lot of good things from this game.”

The Xavier defense came through in a second half spurt that let the Musketeers earn a 57-43 lead with 11:42 left.  Baylor came back and cut the lead to six but Xavier forced seven turnovers in the second half.

Trevon Bluiett scored 10 points to crack Xavier’s top 10 list by passing Brian Grant’s 1,719 points by four.  

Naji Marshall scored 10 and was 4-for-6 from the foul line.  

Sophomore Quentin Gooden scored just six points but distributed nine assists without a turnover in the game.

“I take pride in taking care of the ball,” Goodin said.  “My role is to get my teammates involved.

Xavier (6-1) will take some momentum into Saturday’s noon matchup with arch rival Cincinnati at the Cintas Center.  The Bearcats are 7-0 and ranked 11th.

Xavier coached auditioned for the Comedy Channel by making a bols prediction.

"The  game will start at noon," Chris Mack said.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Xavier Reaches Century Mark Against Rider





The Xavier Musketeers scored over 100 points for the second straight game in a 101-75 win over the Rider Broncs in the second game for both teams.

Xavier 2-0 defeated Morehead State  101-48 on Friday and kept their shooting eye over the weekend.

Rider came in with confidence beating Xavier's nest home opponent Hampton 90-75.  Xavier travels to Wisconsin, who ended Xavier's NCAA run two years ago.

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Rider suffered some jitters and fell behind 10-2 early.   Xavier built a 17-point lead with 8:25 left in the first half.   Rider found itself and trimmed the lead to 10 by halftime.

"We came out a little jittery," Rider coach Kevin Baggett said.  "We found ourselves and cut it to 10 at the half. Then five in the second half."

The Broncs scored the first five points in the second half until Xavier's 15-2 run put the Musketeers in control.

"We had some good and some bad things," Xavier coach Chris Mack said.  "We had too many turnovers in the first half (8).  It had more to do with my coaching than the players decisions, although they could always make better ones."

Xavier's 57-point second half propelled the Musketeers to the rare 100-point mark.

Trevon Bluiett, who thought about going to NBA, led all scorers with 26 points and a game-high nine rebounds.  Tyrique Jones scored 19 to set a new career-high.  J.P. Macura had 14 points and six assists. Freshman Paul Scruggs had 13 points while Kaiser Gates scored 12.

"We started rushing shots," Baggett said.  "There are no moral victories but I liked the way our team competed."

The Broncs were led by Jordan Allen and Stevie Jordan.  Both scored 14.  Jordan had six rebounds and nine assists to lead Rider, who host Hartford on Wednesday.

Noteworthy:

This was the first meeting between the two teams....It was Xavier's 32nd consecutive home win against non-conference opponents....The last time the Musketeers won scored over 100 points in two straight games since they defeated Kansas State and Virginia in the 2007-08 season. Those are the only set in the last 22 years.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Marshall Wins First Road Game In Two Years Against Bearcats






Chase Litton and Ryan Yurachek have been together for three seasons and through rough times  Marshall won just three games last year and hadn't won on the road since October 31, 2015 at Charlotte but these two road roommates led their younger teammates.

Litton threw four touchdown passes, including three to Yurachek, to lead Marshall to a 38-21 win over Cincinnati on Saturday night.

"Let's just
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say we talked about this game and our prediction came true," Litton said.  While Cincinnati was concerned with receiver Tyre Brady, a transfer from Miami of Florida, Litton found his tight end in key situations.  "It shows the IQ of our guys. It isn't the new personnel. It is guys coming in trying to get better and execute.  That guy, Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickel was a defensive guru at Ohio State.  He throws so much at you..  We had to study film and execute."

Litton was 21-of-34 passing for 233 yards, Yurachek had six receptions for 77 yards and Keion Davis had 20 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown for Marshall (3-1).

The Thundering Herd scored touchdowns nine seconds apart to take control late in the first half. Litton found Willie Johnson for a 27-yard touchdown to cap a 10-play, 68-yard drive with 1:38 remaining in the second quarter. Artis Johnson forced a Thomas Geddis fumble on the ensuing kickoff return and Nazeeh Johnson recovered at the Cincinnati 15. Litton hit Yurachek on the next play to make it 24-0.

"Our special teams' play was tremendous," Marshall coach Doc Holliday said.  "After you make big play, you've got to take a shot."

A 2-yard touchdown run by Cincinnati’s Gerrid Doaks capped a 15-play, 75-yard drive to open the second half.

Cincinnati (2-3) fumbled a punt and, on the next play, Litton connected with Yurachek for a 31-yard score to give Marshall a 31-7 lead with 1:06 remaining in the third quarter.

Moore was 22-of-45 passing for 211 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown pass to Javon Hawes, but 13 of his completions came in the fourth quarter when Marshall played prevent defense

"We have to find a way to feed off some positive energy," Cincinnati first year head coach Luke Fickel said.  "Not a lot went right for us tonight. We can't be one of those teams that wait for things to go right. We have to generate some things and make things go right."

TAKEAWAYS

Marshall

Senior Ryan Yurachek brought down six passes, three for touchdowns. Yurachek has caught at least one pass in 33 straight games dating back to his freshman season. It is the fourth longest in the nation...Chase Litton has thrown a touchdown pass in 25 straight games the second longest in the country. Litton broke a tie with John Gregory for fifth place in Marshall history with 55 touchdown passes.

Cincinnati
Freshman Michael Warren ran 27 yards for his first career touchdown.  The true freshman from Toledo 16 carries coming into the game, including nine late in the game at Michigan...Javon Hawes caught his first career touchdown pass for 18 yards. The true freshman from Atlanta caught three passes for 37 yards...He caught one for 15 yards in the first three games...Hayden Moore had 13 of his 22 completions in the fourth quarter when Marshall played younger players in its secondary. Moore was held to 93 yards passing until the last 15 minutes of the game.

UP NEXT

Marshall will travel to Charlotte for its first Conference USA game for both teams on October 7 at 6:00 pm.

CINCINNATI

The Bearcats will try to earn its first Amercan Athletc Conference win in two tries when they host Central Florida on October 7 at 7:00 pm.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Marshall Visits UC Bearcats



Marshall travels from its the West Virginia home to Cincinnati to take on the University of Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium.

Marshall’s Thundering Herd with a 2-1 record, including its last game on September 16 against Kent State, 21-0.  Both wins are against its former Mid-American Conference rivals.  They defeated Miami 31-26.  They suffered a 37-20 loss to North Carolina State.

Cincinnati suffered a 42-32 loss to Navy last week.  They beat the only common opponent with Marshall by besting Miami of Ohio, 21-17.  The Bearcats beat Austin Peay and lost to Michigan in its other two outings.

UC hopes to get running back Mike Boone back.  Boone missed two games with an ankle injury.  Red shirt freshman, Gerrid Doaks, filled in.  Hayden Moore threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns against Navy.   Marshall’s very good at stopping the run but is vulnerable to the pass.

Marshall is led by three-year starter, Chase Litton, a 6-6, 232lb. junior.  Litton has completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 781 yards, an average of 260 per game.  His favorite target is Tyre Brady a transfer from Miami of Florida.  Brady has 19 catches for 373 yards, an average of 19.3.  Brady caught two touchdown passes.

UC leads the series 8-3-1.  The last meeting resulted in\a 33-10 win for Cincinnati.




Sunday, September 24, 2017

Reds Sox Rally To Sweep Reds.. Reds Skunked On Final Homestand





The Reds wanted to go out on a positive note on the last home game of the season.  They wanted to test their young pitchers against a team in the pennant race.

The Boston Red Sox provided that opposition and proved why they are close to clinching the American League East title with a four-run eighth inning rally in a 5-4 win.  It completed the sweep and left Cincinnati winless in its last six-game homestand.

'"Let Boston and the Brewers get caught up in the pennant race," Bryan Price said.  'We are in the finish strong mode.  It is two different things.  They have five guys over there who either started for someone else or stated for them.  We have rookies>"

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Jackson Stephens, one of nine rookie pitchers to start a game for the Reds, made his third start of the season.

Stephens held Boston to a pair of hits through six innings, one of those hit was Red Sox rookie Rafael Dever’s 10th home run of the season.  It was his second home run of the series.

The Reds broke the ice against Doug Fister in the first inning.  Zack Cozart, in perhaps his last home game as a Red, singled.  Scooter Gennett’s two out double sent Cozart home.  Gennett was caught in between second and third by Mookie Betts’ throw, ending the inning.

After Dever’s fifth inning home run tied the game the Reds forcefully took the lead. Adam Duvall rolled and infield single down the thirdbase line.  Stephens blooped his second Major League hit to center.  Centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. air mailed a throw to third into the camera well behind third, allowing Duvall to score.  Stephens trotted home on Billy Hamilton’s triple into the rightfield corner. 

Stephens left with the 3-1 lead after six innings of two-hit, one-run baseball.  He walked two and struck out two. Stephens depended on another rookie, Wandy Peralta, to preserve his third win with no losses.

"Stephens was really good.  He was really aggressive in the zone," Price said.

Peralta and Michael Lorenzen navigated a scoreless seventh.

Hamilton stole the Reds’ fourth run in the bottom of the inning.  Hamilton walked with run out, ready to steal his 59th base of the season.  Boston reliever Brandon Workman threw to Mitch Moreland at first.  Hamilton stopped halfway.  Moreland started to run him toward second.  Hamilton waited until Moreland lobbed a throw to secondbaseman Dustin Pedroia.  Hamilton passed Moreland and headed to first where both Workman and catcher Christian Vazquez was covering.  Pedroia was unsure who to throw to and missed both. The ball bounced off the screen protecting the dugout.  Hamilton sped past second and went to third.  As he rounded third he saw home plate was unprotected and out ran three Red Sox players to the plate, scoring with a head first, diving slide.  He was not credited with a stolen base.

Hamilton had a cut above his right eye when his helmet flew off with such force.

"I was trying to get to second base.  When I run, I run with my head up so I can see what happens," Hamilton said.  "It was a race between me and Devers. I'll take my chances.  My whole career it was one of my best runs.  I was mad because I got picked off.  It wasn't how I drew it up but I'll take it."

Lorenzen pitched the Reds into trouble in the eighth.  Vazquez and Xander Bogaerts singled. Raisell Iglesias relieved Lorenzen.  Pedroia bounced to the mound.  Fielded cleanly it could have been a double play but Iglesias knocked it down and got the out at first as the runners advanced. Iglesias walked Andrew Benintendi to load the bases.  Mookie Betts cleared the bases with a ball just over Phillip Ervin’s head in left.  With two outs, Devers hit a slow roller to Eugenio Suarez at third and beat the throw to Joey Votto at first.  Betts hustled all the way and beat Votto’s throw from his stretched out posture with a diving slide.

Iglesias suffered his second blown save of the season after converting 15 consecutive times since the Dodgers got to him on June 11.

 "This loss sucks. It sucks because we had the lead. It sucks because we walked to guys who ended up scoring.  It sucks because it was against a really good team.  It sucks because we played really good with the exception of a half inning. You want these guys rewarded because of their effort and we haven't been rewarded enough.  It sucks.  Losing sucks. Plain and simple, you guys watched it.  We had the lead late  Because we're 2o-plus games under doesn't make it suck less.  It sucks worse. The truth be told."

Craig Kimbrel struck out rookie Jesse Winker to earn his 35th save.
 






Reds Sign Tucker Barnhart To Avoid Arbitration






The Reds’ avoided arbitration with Homer Bailey, signing him to a six-year deal in 2014. They avoided arbitration with Devin Mesoraco and signed him to a four-year deal the next spring.

Both signings were star crossed.  Bailey had a series of elbow surgeries.  Mesoraco had hips and shoulders fixed through operations.

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Tempting fate again the Reds signed Tucker Barnhart to a four-year, $16 million contact as he emerged as a true everyday catcher in the void left by Mesoraco’s medical problems.

Barnhart is leading Major League catchers in fielding percentage, caught stealings and assists.  He has one error all year and that was 52 games ago.

With seven games left, he is hitting .273 which would be his best career average.  Barnhart is one short of his career highs for doubles (22) and home runs (6).

The Reds made an easy decision by signing the 26-year old, who was drafted out of Brownsburg, Indiana High School in 2009.

“He’s the right guy at the right time,” president of baseball operations and general manager Dick Williams said at a press conference on Friday attended by president and chief executive officer Bob Castellini, manager Bryan Price, Barnhart’s wife Sierra and newborn son Tatum and parents Kevin and Pam. “We’re pleased that ownership was behind the deal and gave us the resources to get it done.”

The ever humble Barnhart was not used to the attention.

“Obviously, I’m extremely humbled and grateful for all the kind words,” said Barnhart, 26, who would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season. “It means a lot. Now I’m ready to go out and win some ballgames.”

 Barnhart grew up a Reds’ fan but was going to go to Georgia Tech partly because they had a famous collegiate catching coach.  He wasn’t thinking about professional baseball after high school, although that was his long range goal.

When the Reds picked him he changed his plans.

“I just want the opportunity to play,” he said. “I want to produce for the team. I’ll admit that there have been times this year when I’ve thought about what’s going to happen moving forward. Wiping that out and just worrying about winning is all I want to do.

Barnhart and his high school girlfriend Sierra had their first child Tatum on September 30.

 “My wife and I were joking that we’re getting all of the marriage stuff out of the way. We got married a couple of years ago, bought a house, had a son, and now the contract. It’s been like a whirlwind. It’s surreal. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. It probably won’t until the off-season, but it’s something that I wanted to happen.”












Saturday, September 23, 2017

Eduardo Rodriguez Blanks Reds - Red Sox Near Clinch





Mitch Moreland broke open a 1-0 game with a three-run home run in the sixth inning to edge the Boston Red Sox closer to a division title with a 5-0 win.

It was the fifth straight loss for the Reds, 0-5 on the last homestand of the season.

Bob Stephenson got his next to last start of the season against the AL East leading Red Sox.

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His mound opponent was Eduardo Rodriguez, who shut the Reds out through 7 2/3  innings.  Carson Smith relieved him with a runner on and two outs in the eighth

The two dueled in the sun for five innings. 

For the second straight games Xander Bogaerts led off the game with a hit, this time a double.  He went to third on a rare passed ball by Tucker Barnhart and scored the unearned run on a sacrifice fly by Brock Holt.

Rodriguez held the Reds hitless in three innings.  Joey Votto reached base for the 305th time this season with a single to left.  Cincinnati native Andrew Benintendi threw to second and Votto’s slide was short.

The Reds didn’t get their second hit until Scooter Gennett opened the fifth with a single.

Stephenson cracked in the sixth.  He muffed Holt’s comebacker to the mound for an error.  He walked Benintendi, then gave up Moreland’s 20th home run of the season.  He ended with six innings, two earned runs (4 total) in six innings on four hits and two walks, one intentional

"I wasn't disappointed in his outing," Bryan Price said.  "He's heading in the right direction.

The error may have caused his lapse in focus.

"I was upset with myself," Stephenson said.  "i lost concentration for a little bit. I walked the next batter and hung a split for the home run. Until then its was the most efficient games I pitched all year."

"One of the challenges in this game is once you make a mistake, getting past it," Price said.

Benintendi got his first hit of the series to plate a run in the seventh.  Amir Garrett in relief of Stephenson got the first two outs quickly, then walked Bogaerts and Holt.  Benintendi singled to left.  Bogaerts crossed the plate, just before.Adam Duvall’s throw to third nailed Holt.

Luke Farrell came in to pitch the Boston ninth inning while his father Red Sox’ manager John Farrell watched from the dugout.  Farrell walked two and struck out one in a scoreless frame.

'It was a cool moment," Farrell said.  "I took a couple glances over there while I was warming up.  Once the inning started, I was focused on getting outs.  It is new for me to come out of the bullpen.  It is key for me to get the first pitch strike and the first batter out."

Farrell has plans for dinner with his father this evening.

"Hopefully, he'll buy," Farrell said.




Bronson Arroyo Sings Farewell To Reds And Red Sox






Bronson Arroyo spent 12 of his 16  Major League seasons with either the Cincinnati Reds or the Boston Red Sox.

He was with the Red Sox for three seasons, from 2003 thru 2005.  It was with Boston in 2004 that he emerged as a bonafide big league starter, winning 10 games in Boston’s first World Championship season since 1918.   He followed that up with a 14-win 2005 season, the first of eight seasons in which he pitched 200 or more innings.  He also had a season with 199 innings.

The Red Sox traded Arroyo to the Reds for Wily Mo Pena during spring training in 2006.  He is one of the most successful pitchers in Cincinnati’s long history.

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This is Arroyo’s last season.  He has been on the disabled list since June 19 after 14 starts which followed nearly three year of injury.  Arroyo’s 40-year old body can no longer stand up to the rigors of a Major League season.

While it lasted, Arroyo had an exceptional career.

Arroyo will finish sixth on the Reds’ all-time list with 279 starts, sixth with 1,157 strikeouts, 12th with 108 wins and 12th with 1,761 2/3 innings pitched.

From 2006 - 2013 Arroyo won 105 games.  Only six pitchers won more during that period.  He was one of three pitchers to make at least 30 starts in nine different seasons during that span.

After the game, Arroyo will turn to his favorite pastime, playing guitar and singing.

“It is going to be a mini concert,” Arroyo said.  “A real concert is three hours long.  Bronson Arroyo ain’t got three hours in him.  That’s Bruce Springsteen.  That’s Pear Jam.  That’s a real show.  I’m going to give them the appetizer.  I’m going to give them the shrimp cocktail and then they can watch the fireworks.”

Arroyo learned to play while he was in the minor leagues.  He recorded a CD singing cover songs.  He played for Reds’ fan at winter Redsfest.

“It’s going to be fun. I can’t contribute on the field right now, at least I can contribute in some other ways. People come to the ballpark.  In a lot of ways we are entertaining out here.  Internally, we’re thinking about wins and losses all the time, and that drives the machine. At the end of the day, the amenities here, the food, the overall experience still matters a lot to the fans. It is what keeps them coming back.  I’m trying to do my part. I’ve been doing some little things. They’ve given me the opportunity to play around the ballpark.  With the Red Sox coming in, it will be a nice cap to my career, moving on to the things that I’ll be doing.  I’ll be doing a lot more than throwing a baseball in the future.”