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.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Josh Tomlin Explains Cleveland Indians World Series Mindset

Team attitude in March foreshadows the Cleveland Indians mindset that propelled them into the 2016 World Series.


Tomlin was asked his preference for starting or working out of the bullpen on March 28.  The attitude explains why the team is playing in its first World Series since 1997.

Indians: The team will decide on Wednesday whether Tomlin will work out of the bullpen in favor of Cody Anderson or start.

''I'm hoping for the best 25 guys,'' Tomlin said. ''We need to put personal preferences aside. You do whatever you can to help your team win games. The goal should be to try to win the World Series, not I'd rather start, I'd rather be in the bullpen. Just get the ball whenever you get the ball and try to compete and win.''

Middletown's Kyle Schwarber Is Cubs Designated Hitter

Against all odds, Kyle Schwarber is going to be in the lineup in the Chicago Cubs' first World Series game since 1945.

Schwarber will bat fifth in the batting order, six months after tearing the ACL and LCL in April on a play in the outfield.  Schwarber, who is called Hulk by his teammates, made his debut against the Cleveland Indians on June 16, 2015 when he struck out on three pitches by Marc Rzepczynski.

The 6' 3"
235 lb. left-handed hitter got his first Major League hit, a triple, off Shaun Marcum as Schwaber went 4-for-5 in the Cubs 17-0 win at Wrigley Field on June 17.  Schwarber hit his first home run of his career off Danny Salazar the next night as the Indians won two of the three games.

Schwarber had just four at bats in two games this season with a walk before the injury on April 7.  The prognosis was for the 23-year old to be ready for spring training but the former All-State linebacker for the Middletown Middies, healed so quickly that the Cubs sent him to the Arizona Fall League to get some at bats against live pitching.

Three weeks ago Cubs' manager Joe Maddon said, "Kyle won't play this season but he's killing his rehab. I talk to him every day and I'm sure he's disappointed but he is with us cheering us on."

Saturday, October 22, 2016

IU, Middletown's Kyle Schwarber May Get To World Series After All

Kyle Schwarber thought his season was over in April when he tore both the ACL and LCL in his left knee in the Cubs third game of the season.

His manager Joe Maddon was asked about Schwarber by a Cincinnati writer the last weekend of the season as the Cubs closed in on its 103rd win of the season.

"Of course he's not going to play, but he's been killing his rehab," Maddon said. "I talk to him every day. He's always around cheering his teammates. He is disappointed he hasn't been able to participate."

That may change.  The Cubs sent the Middletown native to Arizona with the idea of getting some at bats.  There is a possibility that he can be added to the Cubs roster in time for the World Series, should they defeat the Dodgers one more time at Wrigley Field this weekend.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Reds Finish Season Four Games Better, Lose To Cubs

Raisel Iglesias was close to earning his second save when he retired the first two batters in the ninth but the Cubs rallied for four big runs to win 7-3 and build steam for the playoffs with its 103rd win.

The Cubs starters were long gone when Iglesias walked Albert Almora Jr.  Munernori Kawasaki singled sharply to center.  Matt Szczur took a close 2-2 pitch that minor league umpire Chad Whitson called a ball.  Szczur hit a hard grounder past Joey Votto to score both runners. Miguel Montero homered before Iglesias could get out of the inning.

"It's the lesson of the position that you're going to be challenged," Bryan Price said. "It won't be the last time it happens.  We don't have a game tomorrow to bounce back on."

The Cubs were where the Reds are five years ago.  The Reds are edging closer to where they want to be.

The Reds drew 1,894,085 patrons to the ball this season to watch the Reds improve to 68-94 over a 64-98 2015.

"I'm proud of the players," Price said. "The win/loss is nothing to brag about but I wanted the players to know that we appreciate how they battled  under these conditions."

A piece of the Reds' future stated for the Reds in Robert Stephenson.  He navigated dangerous waters in his sixth start  Stephenson walked two and allowed a single in the first but got a double play groundball out of Addison Russell.

"It has been painful with the growing pains we had to build on," Price said. "I tip my hat to the veteran players, Brandon (Phillips), Joey (Votto), Zach (Cozart) and Jay (Bruce). We knew what the season might look like but they did a wonderful job.  We lost 94 games but every win meant something."

The Reds put three on the board against Kyle Hendricks, who is likely to be one of the Cubs three playoff starters next week.

Ivan De Jesus Jr. singled with one out. Adam Duvall singled and Scott Schebler was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Eugenio Suarez earned his70th RBI with a walk.  Tucker Barnhart singled home two runs.

The Cubs scored in the third when Dexter Fowler walked and advanced to third on Kris Bryant's single. Anthony Rizzo grounded out as Fowler scored.  Two walks and a single got the Cubs a fourth inning run.

The Reds got a run back in the fourth. Suarez doubled but was thrown out at third on Barnhart's grounder to first. Tony Renda's double scored Barnhart.

Jumbo Diaz, Wandy Peralta and Ross Ohlendorf held the Cubs until Wilson Contreras hit his 12th home run off Blake Wood.

Joey Votto Feels He Is Short Of His Goal

Joey Votto has a number in mind when he talks about goals for the season.

Votto is one home run and three RBI of reaching the 30 and 100 plateau.  He leads the National League with a .988 OPS (on-base + slugging percentage).

The 33-year old was hitting .203 on May 23rd.  Votto managed to build the average to .252 by the All-Star break.by hitting .297 in the last 42 games before the All-Star Break.

The most important number to Votto is 162. He will play his 158th against the Cubs on the last day of the season.

"Making a point to be out there every single day is important to me," Votto said. "I missed a couple games with the flu and there were a couple random days for a rest but if I could have eliminated those, I'd rather play in 162."

Votto played in 162 in 2015.  He played in all 162 in 2013 after coming off an injury and 161 in 2011.

The Reds firstbaseman stood by his cubicle with a gash on his chin.  He got it on a bad slide into secondbase in St. Louis on Thursday.  Votto sent a text to manager Bryan Price at 3:00 am Friday morning, telling his manager that he wanted to play Friday.

"It is a point of pride for me," Votto said. 'I feel and obligation to the fans, the front office and my teammates and myself but most of all I feel the obligation to the fans. The more stories I hear, the more people write notes to me or on twitter, the notes to me, the feedback  is I got to go to a game. I got to watch my favorite player play, not just me necessarily. Just being out there everyday, knowing that someone gets done at work and come to the ballpark to see me play. I feel I have to be there to justify my ticket. It means a lot to me to give that back to them."

 Votto is hitting .411 since the All'Star game with an OPS of 1.168, 15 home runs and 55 RBI.  He has drawn 108 walks coming into the last day of the season and his been on base in .494 percent of his plate appearances.  That is nearly once every two times he steps in the batter's box.

"I wish I would have started out better," Votto said. "I didn't doubt that I could come back from the start but I was frustrated and in disbelief. I have faith in my ability. I felt good.  The only way I could do that was play everyday.  That's the important stat to me."

"If I only played 140 games, I never would have been able to do that," Votto said.

Votto is pleased with his offense but feels he is lacking in a couple errors, base running and defense.

"I went a couple months with inconsistent defense," Votto said. "Until Trout came into the league I felt that I was in the conversation for the best player in the league.  He fucked that up for everybody, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams included.  You can't be in that conversation unless you do every aspect of the game. I love competing against the best. It is something I take a lot of pride in. Offensively I felt I could compete with anybody in baseball.  Defensively, I feel I have a ways to go.  It is exciting to have another challenge to overcome.  I'm grateful for that."

South Florida Runs Over Cincinnati With Five Rushing Touchdowns In 45-20 Win

Cincinnati was looking forward to this game since taking a 65-27 beating in Tampa last November but South Florida got put its running game to work.

Quentin Flowers and Marlon Mack ran for two touchdowns apiece and Mack became South Florida's career rushing leader as the Bulls scored the final 28 points to beat Cincinnati 45-20 on Saturday night.

Last season the Bearcats trailed the Bulls 51-3 at halftime this time they trailed 24-20 but Bearcats' freshman Ross Trail threw three interceptions before being replaced by Gunner Kiel after Johnny Ward's pick-six as the Bulls ran away with this game too.

Trail threw for one touchdown and ran for another.

We had been preparing for this ballgame since last year,”  Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said. “Playing at home, we played with a lot of grit in that first half.”

Mack finished 118 yards on 20 carries, including a 49-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that moved him past Andre Hall into first on South Florida's career rushing list. Mack, a junior, has 2,755 yards rushing in 28 career games.

"That was a big hole,” Mack said. “I had to make a move on the linebacker and I did it.. I just had to make him miss. "The record feels great. I thank my O-Line for the last three years. It is a good feeling. It is very nice to get our first conference win on the road."

The Bulls’ offense rushed for five touchdowns and 226 yards.

'Mack's run was pretty impressive,” Bulls’ coach Willie Taggart said. “He pushed the L1 button like on the video game to make the move on that linebacker. He deserves everything he gets. Quentin was sharp. Once his baby girl was born, he returned to practice and was very sharp.”

There were six lead changes in the first half and South Florida led 24-20

"We did a a good job of taking what we learned at halftime and took it to the field,” USF coach Willie Taggart said.

Flowers completed 16 of 26 passes for 196 yards and added 74 yards rushing.

"We just take what the defense gives us,” said Flowers, who had his first child, daughter Amayah, on Monday.  “We can run the ball. We have guys that can turn a six yard run into 60 like Marlon Mack did."
 Mack's first touchdown, a 4-yard run, gave USF (4-1, 1-0 American Athletic Conference) a 24-20 lead with 1:40 left in the first half.

Flowers scored on a 19-yard run with 4:29 to play in the third quarter and, fewer than 3 minutes later, Ward returned an interception 11 yards for a touchdown to make it 38-20.

Tion Greene had 98 yards rushing and a touchdown on 12 carries for Cincinnati (3-2, 0-1).

“Both sides, I thought we played the ballgame pretty much how we wanted to play it,” Tuberville said. “We knew we were gonna have a tough time with No. 9  (Flowers) running the ball, scrambling around and running quarterback draws. We pretty much contained it for the first half, more than most people have done. Second half, It was totally different defense.”

South Florida - The Bulls came into the game ranked 24th in the FBS with eight takeaways. They had four more against the Bearcats: three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Cincinnati - Kiel, who threw 40 combined touchdown passes in 2014 and 2015, completed his first three passes before finishing 3-of-11 passing for 47 yards. Sophomore Hayden Moore started the first three games of the season, throwing for 785 yards with seven TDs and three interceptions, before injuring his ankle in a 40-16 loss to Houston on Sept. 15.

South Florida - The Bulls host East Carolina in its second conference game October 8 at noon. USF edged East Carolina 22-17 in 2015.

Cincinnati - The Bearcats travel to Connecticut on October 8 for an 11:30 am game. Cincinnati was a 37-13 winner in their last meeting.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Cubs Drub Reds Win 102nd Game

The Chicago Cubs won its 102nd game over the last place Reds with a decisive 7-3 victory.

Ben Zobrist hit two home runs and a double to lead the Cubs.

The Cubs' secondbaseman struck again in a four-run eighth that put the game away.  He hit his second homer of the game off Abel De Los Santos, his 17th, to cap the inning.  The home runs gave the Cubs 39 home runs against the Reds this season.  That is the most home runs any opponent has ever hit against the Reds in a single season.

The 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the 1954 Brooklyn Dodgers hit 38 home runs off Reds pitching when teams played each other 22 times in a season.  Friday was the 17th meeting between the two teams this season and the Cubs have won 14 of them.  They have homered in 10 straight games at GABP/

Reds' spot starter Josh Smith retired the first 12 batters he faced until Zobrist unloaded his 16th home run of the season, leading off the fifth.

 "It was good. I challenged hitters early and got a lot of early contact to pitch pretty deep in the game," Smith said. "The ball to Zobrist, I missed my sport."

Smith started seven games for the Reds last season, losing four decisions with a 6.89 ERA.  The Reds put him on waivers which he cleared and took him off the 40-man roster.  He was in the minor league camp during spring training.

"Josh kept us in the game," Price said.."That four-run inning gave them the separation they needed."

 The Reds brought him back and he pitched mainly in relief but made two starts against the Cubs, including a three-inning emergency start on September 20 in which he allowed one run in three innings.

"Smith's innings this year are invaluable," Bryan Price said.."He's pitched in a multitude of roles, starter, long relief, middle relief.  He's getting acclimated to pitching in the big leagues in high leverage situations.'

The Cubs added a run in the sixth against Smith. The got one run off Tony Cingrani in the seventh.

The Reds got on the board off Trevor Cahill after Jake Buchanan pitched fire scoreless innings to earn his first win since June 27, 2014 when he defeated the Detroit Tigers as a member of the Houston Astros.

Jose Perazza doubled to open the sixth inning. He went to third on a wild pitch.  Hernan Iribarren's ground out drove in Perazza.  The Reds' rookie has reached base in 10 straight games.

Joey Votto hit a two-run home run in the ninth.  It was his 29th home run and 94th RBI.

The Cubs last won 100 games in 1935.  The 102 wins is the most since the Cubs won 104 games in back-to-back years 1909 and 1910.  


Bryan Price Will Manage The Reds In 2017

Bryan Price will be back as the Cincinnati Reds' manager in 2017 and the team has the option to pick up his contract for 2018.

Price was hired to replace Dusty Baker after Baker led the Reds to three playoff appearances in his last four seasons.  Price was his pitching coach for the last four seasons of Baker's tenure.

Before Friday's game Price had a 207-278 record with the rebuilding Reds.  The Reds offered all coaches their current jobs for next season.

 "We've been talking about it (a new contract) since the last homestand. It just took some time just working out the terms of the contract," Price said. "There is a mutual desire to stay connected. For me it's been an unbelievable opportunity. It is a storied franchise. I have really enjoyed my coaches and my team."

"We reviewed the system, The coaches before we came to terms with the contractural agreement. I couldn't be happier with the coaching staff and the way the players hung in there during challenging season. The fruits of that showed up certainly in the second half with a lot better win/loss record and a lot better statistical representation of our team."

"When you talk about evaluating the manager and coaching staff, you're looking for improvements. If you have the same team intact you want to see improvement from the beginning to the back side of the season. I think we saw that improvement. That really needs to be a tribute to the players. You have to love to play baseball when you're in the situation that you're in the bottom of the division."

"I know the manager of the team is a polarizing one. I think that people want to see. The second half was the first stage of that improvement."

"The terms of the option. I just don't want to get to the end of the season with question marks. I want to make sure the option is picked up or not picked up by a certain date so we're not getting into September 30 to know if I'm coming back again. I don't think there was instability from the team not knowing. I don't it is something that goes through the players mind on a daily basis. I do think seeing us intact and the probability of us being here two more years is a good thing."

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bearcats Best Redhawks For 11th Straight Series Win

Tion Green's two-yard touchdown run put the Cincinnati Bearcats ahead with 5:09 left in the game determined the final score in the 27-20 win over the rival from Oxford.

The Miami Redhawks (Redskins) and the University of Cincinnati Bearcats met for the 12st time with Miami leading the series 59-54 with seven ties/

It had been 10 years coveted Victory Bell, the symbol of the rivalry, has been in the hands of the Redhawks.  The Redhawks last defeated Cincinnati on September 28, 2005 in a 44-16 triumph.

The game was tied at halftime but Cincinnati pulled away on a 12-play 54-yard drive.

Miami held a 20-17 lead at the end of three quaters on a 58-yard strike from Miami quarterback Billy Bahl to Jared Murphy.
Mike Boone countered with a two-yard run that knotted the game at 17.  The play capped a 66-yard, 12 play drive for the Bearcats.

Miami's Nick Dowd put his team up 20-10 but Josh Pasley tied it after Miami stopped the Bearcats after a first and goal from their own seven.

The Redhawks had one more chance but lost two yards after getting the ball on their own 39 with 5:02 left.

The Redhawks defense needed a stop on a third and 12 from the Cincinnati 45 but Ross Trail, playing for the injured Hayden Moore, threaded the needle to a tightly covered Kahill Lewis who made the key catch.

(Trail) “I though he did well for his first start," Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville said. "We kept it pretty light. Ross made some mistakes. Hayden has a lower ankle sprain – he played on it in the second half last week. Hopefully he’ll get some practice time this week.”

The Bearcats ran the clock down to nine seconds from the Miami 19.

“It went exactly as we thought," Tuberville said. "We knew it was going to come down to the end, as they all have. We turned the ball over a couple of times. I knew that was going to happen with a new quarterback.”

Miami won the turnover battle 3-2 with two interceptions and a recovered fumble.  Cincinnati intercepted Bahl once and recovered his fumble after a sack.

"For us to win we have to win the turnover battle," Miami coach Chuck Martin said. "With us being a 17-point underdog being even wasn[t good enough. Billy had some turnovers, fumbling in the pocket. I know he's a big strong guy and wants to make a play but we have to learn to cut our losses."

Cincinati outgained Miami 461 to 313. It was the most yards the Miami defense has allowed this season.

Cincinnati 3-1 will play the University of South Florida in a conference game at 7:00 pm October 1 at Nippert Stadium.

Miami (0-4) will open its Mid American Conference schedule at home against the Ohio University Bobcats at 2:30 pm.

Miami Cincinati Rival Game Even

The University of Cincinnati Bearcats and the arch-rival Miami Universtity Redhawks (Redskins) played to a 10-10 first half tie.

Cincinnati trying to win its 11th straight game in this series, scored first on a 28-yard field goal by Josh Pasley with 4:54 left in the first quarter.

Maurice Thomas took the kickoff for Miamit and returned it 94 yards to the Cincinnati six yard line.
Billy Bahl completed an eight-yard pass to James Gardner to put Miami in the lead.

Ross Trail, playing quarterback for the injured Hayden Moore, ran 11-yards on a fourth and one to put the Bearcats back on top.

Nick Dowd's 26-yard field goal with 5:42 left tied the game for Miami.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dan Straily And The Reds Get Last Laugh On Pittsburgh

The Reds lost the season series to the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-10 but had the thrill of victory last with a sweep avoiding 7-4 win.

Dan Straily the Reds' winningest pitcher 13-8 took the mound to stop a Pittsburgh sweep, opposing Ivan Nova.  Tucker Barnhart drove in four runs with a double and two sacrifice flies.

'If it tell myself to get the ball to the outfield the worse that can happen is a sacrifice fly. I try telling myself the pressure is on the pitcher," Barnhart said.

"Tucker is establishing himself as not just a catch and throw guy," Bryan Price said. "He stays in the middle of the field with his approach. He doesn't try to pull the ball all the time."

The Pirates hung two runs on the Reds' 2016 ace in the second inning.

Jung Ho Kang singled with one out.  Francisco Cervelli followed with a single of his own.  Pedro Florimon sent Reds' centerfielder, Jose Perazza, to the warning track with a line drive over his head.  Perazza couldn't make the catch and Florimon had a two-run triple.

The Reds countered with two of their own against Nava.

Scott Schebler singled sharply.  Ivan De Jesus Jr. bunted and firstbaseman Josh Bell let the ball roll through for an error.  Tucker Barnhart doubled to the gap in rightcenter and both runners scored.

Joey Votto nearly cleared the fence with a double, his second hit of the day to lead off the third.   Adam Duvall grounded out but Brandon Phillips put the Reds ahead with a ground rule double.  Schebler's second hit scored Phillips.  Ivan De Jesus singled and Schebler advanced to third when Adam Frazier bobbled the ball in left.  Barnhart drove in his third run with a sacrifice fly to center.

Straily, who had 45 at bats this season and 48 lifetime, singled for his first Major League hit in the inning.  Perazza struck out.

 "It finally happened after being so brutal. It's the most exciting thing, I'll ever do on a baseball field. They can't take that away from me," Straily said.."I saw Polanco try to throw to first so I ran to make sure I got there. Bell was pretty far away but I wasn't taking any chances."

 "We were about to burst," Price said. "Making contact is the first step. All kidding aside after a rough start he's been very good at getting a bunt down."

 "I'm really happy for him," Barnhart said. "We joke with him about his hitting but he takes it seriously. I'm glad he got the hit."

Straily, who set a franchise record with 11 games with three or fewer hits, gave up Sean Rodriguez third home run of the season in the sixth.  It was the 17th for Rodriguez.  With the home run the Reds' pitching staff tied the National League record for home runs allowed with 239.  The 2001 Colorado Rockies also allowed 239.

"I can't say enough about Dan," Barnhart said.. "He is mister reliable. You know what you're going to get."

Michael Lorenzen relieved Straily after six innings and pitched two scoreless innings.  Raisel Iglesias finished up with a scoreless frame.

Straily allowed five hits and four walks while striking out five all three runs were earned.

 "It wasn't Dan's best day from a command perspective. He got us to Lorenzen and Iglesias," Price said.

Straily was willing to go back out to the mound for the seventh.

'I would have gone back out for the seventh understanding what the guys in the bullpen went through yesterday," Straily said. "I didn't have my best command and guys that have hurt me in the past, hurt me today."

Schebler's third hit of the game off Drew Hutchinson set up Barnhart's second sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Votto's fourth hit of the game was his 25th home run and came off Hutchinson in the eighth..

John Jaso doubled home Florimon against Iglesias in the ninth.

Reds Want To Finish Season With Integrity

The Reds were mathematically eliminated on Saturday but there are still 14 games left on the season.

Some of the Reds will be limping toward the finish line and manager Bryan Price wants them to finish as strong as possible.  The key word is finish.

Zack Cozart is still having a problem with his knee. Billy Hamilton is on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. Cody Reed has back problems.  Homer Bailey has soreness in his biceps.

Cozart is taking treatment daily. He hasn't played since September 10 in Pittsburgh.

"Zack's knee hasn't responded to treatment. I wouldn't put him out there unless there's no pain," Price said.

Billy Hamilton has been sidelined since September 5.

"Billy is tenuous," Price said. "He's shown improvement but he's had zero baseball activity. I'm not going to say it's impossible for him to come back but it's improbable."

Cody Reed tweaked his back after he was returned to Louisville after an awful first tour of the Big Leagues.

Bailey returned from two major surgeries and pitched six games before developing soreness.

 "Homer is throwing a bullpen at 11:00," Price said at the 10:30 press meeting. "We gave him a couple days off. He has normal soreness that seems to be muscular. You can work through that."

The question was raised since the Reds have no playoffs to compete for, why not shut these players down for the last 14 games?

 "We have to finish the season with integrity," Price said. "The easiest thing to do is shut guys down but that's not the culture we want. We want guys to fight to get back on the field. You open yourself up if somebody gets hurt worse but there is something important about finishing a season.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pirates Sweep Reds Walk Away With Two Games

The second game of the double header was as bad as the first game's 10-4 loss to Pittsburgh.

Brandon Finnegan, like Anthony DeSclafani in the first game, put the the Reds in a four-run hole and Pittsburgh held on to a 7-3 win.  The Reds have been mathematically eliminated from the post season.y

Finnegan gave up three singles that loaded the bases with one out in the second inning. Eric Fryer hit a sacrifice fly to get the scoring started.  Finnegan then walked opposing pitcher Trevor in his first Major League plate appearance.  Jody Mercer's fly to right was dropped by Scott Schebler and a run scored.  With two outs,

It got worse for Finnegan, who lasted 2 1/3 innings.  Josh Bell, Adam Frazier and Fryer singled to load the bases with one out.  Finnegan walked Williams again to force home a run and give Williams his first Major League RBI.

Brayan Price had seen enough and turned to Josh Smith to get out of the inning.

"We've given up a lot of runs in this series," Price said.  "In large part it's because we're not throwing the ball over the plate. Walks started and extended rallies."

Smith served up Sean Rodriguez' 16th home run or the season and second of the day.

Williams retired the first nine Reds' batters but hot hitting Jose Perazza singled to right to break the spell.  Williams ended up facing the minimum through four when Tony Renda hit into a double play and Joey Votto grounded out.

Schebler atoned for his error with his eighth home run leading off the fifth.  Ramon Cabrera hit his third home run as the next batter, the sixth set of back-to-back home runs for the Reds this season. Cabrera homered in his last at bat on Friday night.

"The Pirates kept adding on," Price said. "The three-run inning was big but didn't get us back in the game."

Steve Selsky and Tyler Holt knocked Williams out of the box with back-to-back singles and there were still no outs when Juan Nicasio took over for Williams. NIcasio got Ivan De Jesus Jr. to hit into a double play as Selsky scored.

The Reds had the bases loaded in the seventh inning but Felipe Riverio struck out De Jesus Jr. and Eugenio Suarez.

Matt Magill pitched an inning to become the Reds' 32nd pitcher used this season.  The Reds walked a record 19 batters in the double header.

Deja Vu The Reds Revert To Early Season Form

The Pittsburgh Pirates made Anthony DeSclafani walk the plank and his teammates soon followed  Pittsburgh embarrassed the error prone Reds 10-4 in a makeup game that was originally scheduled for May 10.

The Reds reverted to the awful team they were in the first two months of the season.

Matt Joyce walked to start the game. Josh Bell doubled. Andrew McCutchen singled to start the scoring with two runs.  Jung Ho Kang walked and Francisco Cervelli drove in a run with a single. Sean Rodriguez collected the third walk of the inning to load the bases.  Alen Hanson hit a ground ball to Brandon Phililips and it looked like a double play ball but Phillips booted it as Kang scored.  Hanson was credited with his first career RBI.

Jose Perazza singled off Pitsburgh rookie starter Jameson Taillon,  Perazza stole second and Joey Votto walked both runners were stranded. Perazza, who had three hits, drove in a sixth inning run with a ground out.

The game was marred by six errors, three by each team.

Tucker Barnhart reached on an error by the shortstop Rodriguez with two outs.  Barnhart tried to score on DeSclafani's double but was thrown out easily at the plate.

Rodriguez hit his 15th home run of the season after another Phillips error to give the Pirates a 6-0 lead.

Adam Duvall cut the lead in half with his 31st home run after singles by Perazza and Hernan Iribarren singled.

DeSclafani left after four innings.  Keyvius Sampson relieved DeSclafani.  He walked two batters and Taillon singled to center to drive in his first career run.

"I felt like crap today," DeSclafani said. "I didn't get any momentum going. I put us in a hole early. I take full responsibility.  I didn't feel sharp. I should feel strong. I hurt myself with walks and wasn't able to minimize the damage."

The Pirates added an unearned run in the sixth when Duvall dropped a fly ball to allow a run to score.  They added two more against Abel De Los Santos, who walked Hanson and John Jaso, then allowed a double to Bell and a sacrifice fly by McCutchen.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Pirates Take First Of Four In Extra Innings

The Pittsburgh Pirates scored three runs in the 10th inning to defeat the Reds 9-7..

Tony Cingrani walked Jung Ho Kang to start the 10th.  Infield hits by Sean Rodriguez and Francisco Cervelli loaded the bases.  Cervelli beat out a bunt in a sacrifice situation.  The call stood up under review.  Jodry Mercer singled to score pinch runner Pedro Florimon.

"You can't walk the leadoff man. It's basically a nothing-nothing game. You have to come in throwing strikes. Tony has had a terrific year but that's been his nemesis lately," .Bryan Price said.

Pinch hitter Jason Rogers hit a ground ball to short.  Jose Perazza got the force at home and Ramon Cabrera's throw appeared to beat Rogers for a double play.  The second review of the inning went against the Reds.  Reds' manager Bryan Price argued that Rodriguez' slide interfered with Cabrera's throw.  He was ejected when umpires ruled the interference did not occur.  David Freese singled to center to score two more runs.

 "We had video evidence that not only did he change direction with a clear path to the plate, he stuck out his leg and interfered with the throw," Price said.

'I double clutched," Cabrera said. "He hit my foot and I didn't want to throw it away. It wasn't muck but I had to make sure the throw was there

The Reds and Pirates traded two-run home runs int he first three innings.

Pittsburgh scored three times on Reds' starter Robert Stephenson in the first inning.  A run scoring double by Andrew McCutchen scored rookie Josh Bell.  Gregory Polanco's 22nd home run accounted for the other two runs.

Joey Votto singled with two outs against Pirates' veteran starter Ryan Vogelsong.  Adam Duvall doubled and Brandon Phillips singled to get one run back.  Cabrera lined his sixth home run into the rightfield seats following a walk to Eugenio Suarez.

Stephenson didn't give up another hit until the fifth inning.  John Jaso doubled with one out.  Bell singled hard to right as Jaso went to third.  McCutchen walked to load the bases.  Polanco popped to Perazza at shortstop. Stephenson was in position to get out of the inning but he hit Jung Ho Kang with a pitch to force in Jaso. It was the 20th time this season a Reds' pitcher hit a Pirate batter and the second time Kang was hit in the game. Sean Rodriguez struck out to end the threat.

"Stephenson needs to improve his command if he is going to be the pitcher we think he can be,. Price said."

The Reds tied it in the bottom of the fifth. Perazza singled. Steve Selsky getting a start in rightfield sacrificed Perazza to second.  Votto's second hit scored Perazza. Brandon Phillips reached on an error when Vogelsong drooped the underhand feed from Jaso on a ground ball to first.

Lefthander Zach Phillips relieved Vogelsong.  Schebler hit a line drive to center that somehow got past McCutchen for a triple.  McCutchen took a strange route to the ball as if he lost it in the lights.

Jumbo Diaz took over for Stephenson to start the sixth inning.  Wandy Peralta entered after a two-out double by Alen Hansen but Peralta got out of the inning.

Blake Wood gave up a two-run home run to tie the game at 6-6 in the seventh.  It was the 236th home run allowed by Reds' pitchers which tied the 2004 team record.  It was the 93rd allowed by the bullpen that exceeded the old Major League record that was 1964 Kansas City Athletics set.

 "You have to do special things to get special numbers," Price said. "Unfortunately it is one we're not proud of. It's not the ballpark either. We're not using that excuse. We had a lot of players here early that weren't ready to pitch at this level because of injuries. We have to get better or find guys who can pitch at this level."

Selsky hit his first Major League home run off Tony Watson, leading off the bottom of the10th.

"I hit it good enough. I guess a lot of people dream of their first Major League home run. I got the ball . My wife and her parents just made it here to see it.," Selsky said.

Greg Ward Jr. Led Number 6 Houston Over Upset Minded Cincinnati

Greg Ward Jr. rallied the Houston Cougars with two fourth quarter touchdowns in a 40-16 win over the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Houston has not allowed 100 yards rushing in five games.

Cincinnati had 12 yards rushing in the first half and started its first second half possesion on its own 11.  Two plays later that total was down to one when Hayden Moore was sacked for 10 yards and Tion Green was stopped for a safety by Tyus Bowser to give the Houston Cougars a 12-10 lead.

Houston drove to the first and goal on the Cincinnati four and took the ball to the one with 1:48 left but a delay of game penalty backed them up to the six.  Alex Thomas intercepted Ward's pass in the end zone and returned it to the 20.

"I told my team that it was nothing they were doing," Ward said.  "We were shooting ourselves in the foot."

Hayden Moore found Josiah Deguara for a 28-yard gain.  After a Green run for six yards. Moore completed a flea flicker after two hand offs to Mike Boone for 35 yards to the Houston nine. Moore passed complete to Khalil Lewis to the four as the third quarter ended.

On the first play of the fourth quater Moore found Nate Cole for a go ahead touchdown.  The Bearcats went for two points but Moore's pass found his receiver past the end line.  Cincinnati led 16-12.

"It was an ugly game for a long time," Houston coach Tom Herman said.  "Nobody hung their heads.  I'm proud of the way we battled back."

Ward led the Cougars on a 71-yard drive in nine plays, finishing it himself with 12-yard run.  The extra point with 11;45 left in the game gave Houston a 19-16 lead.

"Then it exploded. They rushed for nearly 200 yards and we rushed for (30)," Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said. "You can’t beat any good team if you can’t run the football. They put all the pressure on our quarterback and receivers and they dictated the game to us. Ward played well on third down and he took a lot of licks.

Ward, who missed the game last week with a sore shoulder, was up to the task.

"We put in a defense just for him, some guys that were faster. We did a good job in pass coverage and he’d just pull it down and run. That’s hard to defend. And we got a little tired at the end. The defense was on the field forever," Tuberville said.

Howard Wilson intercepted Moore's pass at the Houston 40 with 10:26 to play.  It was Houston's first takeaway after turning the ball over three times.

Ward completed the 60-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run.  The extra point made it 26-16.

Interception returns for touchdowns by Steven Taylor and Howard Wilson in the last 3:47 made the game look more lopsided than it was.

Moore threw Taylor's pick six for 74 yards and Wilson returned backup quarterback Ross Trail's pass 28 yards.

Houston held Cincinnati to 30 yards rushing on 25 plays.

"We embrace challenges as a defense. I learned a lot about out defense tonight," Houston linebacker Steven Taylor said.  "Our number one goal is to stop the run, hands down."

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cincinnati and Number 6 Houston Tied At The Half

Andrew /Gantz 37-yard field goal with four seconds left in the first half sent the teams into the locker room tied at 10.

Houston scored first on a 39-yard pass from Greg Ward Jr. to Allen Chance.

Cincinati responded five plays later when Hayden Moore connected with Devin Gray on a 61-yard pass with 6:12 left in the first quarter.  It was Gray's first career touchdown.

Houston put on a 12-play, 76-yard drive to take the lead 10-7 on a 32-yard field goal by Ty Cummings

With Houston driving late in the second quarter.  Ward completed a pass to Duke Catalon that lost two yards.  Catalon lateralled to Isaiah Johnson, who ran it 18 yards but fumbled it at the Cincinnati 17.  Grant Coleman, who earlier had his first career interception, recovered at the Cincinnati 13 and returned it to the Houston 34.  A facemask penalty took the ball to the Houston 19.

After two failed passes, the Bearcats elected to kick the tying field goal.

Cincinnati had 159 yards of offense with just 12 on the ground.

Houston had 263 yards with 80 rushing and 183 in the air.

Houston will recieve the second half kick off.

Cincinnati Houston Competing For More Than A Game

The Universtiy of Cincinnati and the University of Houston are not only competing on the field Thursday night but they are also competing to escape the American Athletic Conference and join the Big 12 Conference.

Hoiston #6 defeated Big 12 big shot Oklahoma 35-23 in the season opener and demolished Lamar 42-0 last week.  Cincinnati struggled against UT- Martin in a 28-7 come-from-behind win, then shocked Purdue on the road, 38-20.

The Big !2 has 10 teams, four from the state of Texas, Baylor, Texas, Texas Christian and Texas Tech.

Houston would make the fifth and Cincinnati would open up an untapped TV market for the Conference.

The leaders of the Conference are planning to meet early next month to decide whether to expand or to add two teams or four teams.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Junior Guerra Shuts Down Reds Brewers Hold Fouth Place

The Milwaukee Brewers used the wildness of Reds starter Tim Adleman and the "power' of diminutive Scooter Gennett to salvage the third game of the series, 7-0.

Junior Guerra made them stand up, allowing the Brewers to maintain a 2 1/2 game hold on fourth place in the National League Central division.

Adleman walked Chris Carter and Gennett to open the second inning.  Both were on a 3-2 count immediately after Adleman struck out Ryan Braun looking on a full count pitch to end the first.

 "We walked six guys and five scored," Bryan Price said. "I think we hit more balls on the screws than they did but they took advantage of walks. You look at his body of work. He only has 51 innings so it's hard to tell but take the second inning. He had to walks then soft contact, soft contact and they had two runs."

"After the home run by Gennett we were never able to get back in the game," Price continued.

Domingo Santana singled to load the bases with no outs.  Adleman nearly escaped.  He retired Orlando Arcia on a foul pop to Joey Votto at firstbase.  Manny Pina singled to score Carter and Gennett.
Carter walked again with two outs in the third.  This time the 5'10" Gennett lifted a fly to right that cleared the fence for his 12th home run of the season.

Jose Perazza tripled with one out in the third but was stranded.  The Reds wasted a one-out double by Eugenio Suarez in the fourth inning.

Adleman allowed just three hits in five innings but the walks and the home run ball produced all four runs.

 "I buried myself tonight," Adleman said.. "I was a bit too erratic and that was a result of me being way too fine. They are good professional hitters. I don't want to take anything away from them but I gave them too much credit. I should have attacked them instead trying to make too good of pitches. It is frustrating when I think I kind of beat myself out there.

Abel De Los Santos made his Reds' debut in the sixth.

Guerra in his third start off the disabled list,  pitched six shutout innings allowing three hits and two walks.  He also hit Suarez with a pitch.

Santana unloaded the bases with a three-run home run in the eighth off Ross Ohlendorf, who walked Ryan Braun and Carter.  It was Sanatana's eighth home run of the year.

It was the 92nd home run allowed by the Reds' bullpen this year, tying the Major League record.   The 1964 Kansas City Athletics bullpen also allowed 92 home runs.