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.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Colerain Left-Hander Scott Sebald Signs With Miami Marlins

Scott Sebald celebrated his 24th birthday by signing a contract with the Miami Marlins.

The 6'5', 230lb left-handed former ace of the Colerain Cardinals and Lindsey Wilson College, will report to Jupiter Florida to join the Hammerheads in the Florida State League.

This is Sebald's second chance at earning a place in the Major Leagues, he signed with the Texas Rangers as a non-drafted free agent in 2016.  Sebald pitched in 16 games between Arizona League Rookie ball and Spokane in A ball that summer.  He started three games, with a 1-0 and one save with a 2.61 ERA.  Sebald struck out 34 batters in 31 innings and walked 10.

Sebald was released after spring training in 2017 but didn't give up.

The last two seasons, when he wasn't playing trivia at the Cloverleaf Inn in White Oak, Sebald pitched for the Normal Cornbelters in Normal, Illinois, a member of the Frontier League.  It is the same league the Florence Freedom play in.

Sebald earned a 12-4 record with Normal.  His ERA was 3.20 with 122 strikeouts and 36 walks in 149 innings.

Sebald joins former Colerain teammate Ryan Atkinson, who pitches for the Double A Jackson Generals of the Southern League, an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Reds Finally Vanquish Cardinals For The 999th Time

Jim Riggleman managed the San Diego Padres one year that was 14-0 against the Montreal Expos.  The Reds faced that same measure of ineptitude after losing 13 straight times to the St. Louis Cardinals coming into the game Sunday afternoon.

The Reds scored four runs in the fourth inning off Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez after two were out to stop the streak with a 6-3 win.  It was the 999th win all-time against St. Louis.

"Honestly the losing streak to the Cardinals was the last thing on my mind.  It was all about today.  It was unfortunate but a lot of stuff happened but we did get it," Jim Riggleman said.

Billy Hamilton walked.  Ball four to Scott Schebler went to the backstop and Cardinals to challenge but the call was upheld.  Tucker Barnhart singled with Schebler going to third.  Joey Votto took his third walk to load the bases.  The National League's leading hitter, Scooter Gennett.  Gennett, who started the day with the fourth highest RBI total at 45, singled to score two runs.  Eugenio Suarez, who was tied for the League's lead with 47 singled to score the fourth run of the inning.

"Where Billy hit that ball you don't see too many triples," Riggleman said. "He got himself in scoring position.  Scheb put the ball in play and we got a quick point."

The Cardinals scored two runs off Reds' starter Anthony DeSclafani in the third inning.

Matt Carpenter singled with one out. Tommy Pham and Jose Martinez walked to load the bases.  Marcel Ozuna hit a line drive to left.  Jesse Winker leaped against the wall and appeared to catch the ball and third base umpire Brian Knight ruled a catch.  The runners moved up thinking the ball hit the wall first.  The throw was sent to second base to double up Phamm.  The Cardinals challenged and the call was reversed with one run scoring and the bases loaded with one out.  Molina hit a line drive to left and Pham beat Winker's throw.

The Reds got a run back in the bottom of the inning.  Hamilton lead off with a triple on a close play at third.  Schebler's ground ball to second got the run home.  Barnhart and Votto walked but Gennett struck out.  Suarez was hit by a pitch to load the bases but Winker hit into a force play.

Martinez walked seven and hit a batter leading to his removal.from the game.  Cardinals' pitchers walked a season-high 11 altogether

DeSclafani pitched into the sixth inning.  Greg Garcia doubled to open the sixth.  Harrison Bader singled too sharply for Garcia to score.  Manager Jim Riggleman brought Amir Garrett into the game.  Pinch hitter Yairo Munoz flied to shallow right.  Garcia was going to hold but Schebler's throw bounced off Barnhart's mitt and even Garrett, who played college basketball at St. John's could haul in the rebound as it went to the dugout.  Garcia scored on the error and Bader was awarded third.  Pinch hitter Luke Voit bounced to the mound. Garrett fielded and got Bader in a rundown.  Garrett struck out Carpenter to end the inning.

DeSclafani's second start since returning from injury was five innings, allowing three runs, two earned on 10 hits and two walks.

"I don't think I'm as good as I wanted to be today," DeSclafani said. "There's definitely a lot of work to do. I was falling behind some guys and giving up too many hits.  That's a lot of battling throughout the game.  It is something to build on.  It's a win. The team played great defense behind me."

DeSclafani earned his first win since he beat the Cardinals on September 28, 2016, 2-1.

"DeSclafani did a good job and we made some plays behind him," Riggleman said.  "Anthony is a pro.  He prepares himself to give you every thing he's got.  He left it all out there."

Michael Lorenzen pitched a scoreless eighth.

Adam Duvall's pinch hit single off Brett Cecil in the eighth gave the Reds a 6-3 lead.

Jared Hughes took the mound in the eighth.  Hamilton made a great catch against the fence off Garcia that led to a scoreless inning.  Hughes was able to earn his fourth save in five tries after using just 13 pitches in the eighth.  Hamilton made another catch against the fence on Carpenter's long ball.

"It's awesome. I'm so excited for him," Hughes said of DeSclafani. "I'm a big fan of T-bone.  The balls coming out well.  Any time you get a save its good because the team won."

Hamilton made two catches against the fence to rob Cardinal batters of extra base hits and threw out two base runners trying to advance, including Carlos Martinez at the plate, trying to score on a double.

"That's why Billy is so important," Riggleman said.  "With all due respect with every body else, nobody can do the things he does and I mean throughout the league.  He threw a couple guys out and made a few catches.  He was on display today."

DeSclafani and Hughes chimed in on Hamilton's defense.

"It's top notch man. It's definitely fun to watch, DeSclafani said.  "Billy has saved my butt a couple times.  He makes some great plays. It builds a momentum into an inning. If he makes a great play for out one, it's like you snuck away with and out. It gives you momentum to get the next two and into the next inning."

"Billy made some insane plays," Hughes said. "I gave him the game ball and a big hug.  It was unbelievable. I'm so happy he's on my team."

The Reds Need For Speed Keeps Billy Hamilton In The Lineup

When Billy Hamilton gets on base, he scores at a much higher rate than any other base runner.  The first rule of a base stealer, "You can't steal first base."

Getting on base in the first place is the problem for the switch hitting centerfielder, who saves the Reds' young pitching staff a lot of runs by getting to baseballs that no other outfielder is able to reach.

The Reds won 97 games with Drew Stubbs in centerfield even though he added very little to the Reds' offense.

Hamilton in spite of his base stealing and base running potential is becoming a Drew Stubbs without the occasional power.

"With Billy its all about on base percentage," Jim Riggleman said.  "Billy scores runs at a higher rate than anyone in baseball when he's on base.  Earlier in the year he was at a .320 on base percentage.  Since then he's drifted back.  .320 is not high for a lot of guys but for him its a good number.  He creates havoc. He scores runs.  However he does it, a walk or base hit, We need to get him on base."
The Reds converted Hamilton, who bats right-handed naturally, into a switch hitter.  There are rumblings within the organization that he should give it up and go back to right-handed hitting.

"I saw Billy for the first time back in 12," Riggleman said.  "It occurred to me that right-handed swing looks good.  I had him in 13.  I felt the same way that hitting only right-handed would be the way to go.  The numbers have not bore that out.  He's actually has a higher batting average left-handed. He's gotten on base more left-handed.  He is higher right-handed on slugging percentage.  He drives the ball more right-handed.  There's not enough information to say he should bat just right-handed.  Billy has not expressed that to myself or the coaches that he wants to do.  There are people who feel that he should only hit left-handed.  I want him on base."

Indeed his career number show that Hamilton is a .248 hitter batting left-handed with a .308 on-base-percentage.  Batting right-handed, Hamilton, is hitting .229 with a .265 OBP.

Still the defense that Hamilton provides is too good to pass up.  By chasing down would be extra base hits and charging sinking liners to rob opposing hitters of single, he save runs, innings and pitches for a young pitching staff that could use a bit of confidence.   Hamilton has erased a lot of pitching mistakes for the pitching staff.

We definitely want his defense in there," Riggleman said.  "He is off the charts on defense.  Especially in the bigger ballparks, we have to have him in there.  Even here, there are a lot of guys giving great efforts but just can't get to balls that he gets to.  We are still holding out hope that Billy will get to the point that we have him out there every day."

It isn't just making catches.  Hamilton has thrown four runners out trying to advance and was among the league leaders with 13 last season, using the arm of a former shortstop. Add to that the actions that aren't as easily quantified.  He is able to cut balls off in the gap to prevent bases advanced.  He makes the right and left fielders more effective but reducing the need for them to cover more ground.

Hamilton is not stealing bases at the rated he once did either.  The Reds' staff have had discussions about it too.  Hamilton has 10 stolen bases and been thrown out three times this season.  That's a pace to steal less than 30 bases for 2018.  He has stolen 56 bases or more in each of his four full seasons in spite of a career OBP of .299.  Still he is in a four-way tie for sixth in the National League

"We've discussed how he isn't running as much when he gets on base," Riggleman said.  "He's playing team baseball.  We've been down so much that he is saying, I could get my stolen bases but I don't want to be thrown out and hurt the team.  I appreciate what he's doing there.  They are throwing over, trying to be quick to the plate and the catchers get on top of their game when he gets on.  He is being unselfish.  Guys who can steal bases don't want to be held back. He put that restriction on himself.  I appreciate that."

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Cardinals Continue Mastery Of The Reds

The St. Louis Cardinals scored five runs off Luis Castillo all after two were out in the inning.  The Cardinals held on to claim its ninth straight win in 2018 against the Reds, 6-4.

St. Louis has bested the Reds in their last 13 meetings.  Michael Wacha has won his 10th straight decision over the Reds.

Jose Martinez hit two home runs on Friday night.  Like Friday night, Martinez hit his ninth home run of the season after Castillo struck out Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham.  Marcel Ozuna followed and launched on to the Pilot House in centerfield, his sixth home run of the season.

"We have to somehow turn those three run innings into one-run innings or fours to two or something.  It is asking a lot of our club to fight back every night.  It's going to happen.  It's part of baseball but it's been happening too much lately," Jim Riggleman said. "The other side of that you saw the talent of Castillo the last three innings.  He was outstanding.  It's exciting to know he'll be around here for a long time once he gets over these growing pains."

The Reds faced an uphill battle against Wacha.  The Reds have a 1-10 record against the Cardinals hurler.  The Cardinals have won his last 12 starts against the Reds, coming into the game. He is 9-0 against the Reds in that span.  The last time the Reds beat Wacha was on September 9, 2014.

Wacha, a .045 hitter, walked to open the Cardinals third.  Carpenter singled.  Pham struck out for the second time but Castillo walked Martinez to load the bases.  Ozuna popped foul to Joey Votto at first for the second out.  Yadier Molina cleared the bases with a long double to left center to give the Cardinals a 5-0 stranglehold on the Reds.

Scooter Gennett singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth.  Eugenio Suarez launched a 448 foot blast on a 3-1 pitch to take over the NL lead with 47 RBI.  His 12th home run of the season pushed him two RBI ahead of Gennett at the top of the league's RBI lead.

Mike Mayers relieved Wacha with a runner on and two outs in the sixth.

Austin Brice took over for Castillo, who retired 10 of the last 11 batters.  He finished with six innings, allowing five runs on four hits and three walks.  Castillo struck out 10.

"I went out there to compete today. I tried to do my best.  They got two runs in the first and the other runs.  After that I picked up the pace," Castillo said. "You have to be strong mentally as well as physically.  That's part of the game. If i get mad at myself, it's worse for me and worse for the team.  I just try to keep competing with two outs."

Brice gave up Carpenters eighth home run with two outs in the seventh to make it a 6-2 game.

Jose Peraza doubled to extend his hitting streak to 12 games against Mayers, opening the seventh.  One out later Scott Schebler doubled to make it 6-3.

David Hernandez picked up Brice after Molina led off the eighth with a single.  He walked Greg Garcia but pitched out of the inning.

Jesse Winker hit his third home run of the season off Sam Tuivailala with one out in the eighth to bring the Reds within two runs.  Curt Casali singled to bring the tying run to the plate.  Peraza's second hit of the game brought Brandon Dixon, who entered as a double switch in the sixth, representing the go-ahead run.  Dixon hit the ball hard but right at right fielder, Schebler was thrown out on a reviewed play to end the inning..

Jordan Hicks, who can throw the ball at speeds in excess of 100 mph, entered the ninth  Hicks was seeking his first career save. Hicks struck out pinch hitter Alex Blandino looking but Votto hit a 101 mph hit into left field for a single.  Gennett struck out swinging.  Suarez struck out swinging to give Hicks the save.

It was another frustrating loss to a team that has had their number for a long time.  The loss dropped the Reds to 21 games under .500, the low point of the season so far.

"We don't allow the spirit to dwindle. It hasn't happened.  It's not going to happen.  It is a statement about our coaches. We'll keep pushing them.  Fans are buying tickets to these ballgames.  That's a requirement to give a good effort.  Our players do that," Riggleman said.

"We don't accept morale victories but we keep grinding.  Our starting pitchers are going to stop putting us in these holes.  My message to the team after the game is it's exciting to see what Luis did.  There's a down side the runs they scored early but it shows them how good they can be."

Ken Griffey Jr. Anniversary Joe Votto Moves Up All-Time List Reds Cardinals History

Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 600th career home run 10 years ago off Mark Hendrickson at Florida's Dolphin Stadium on this date.

Griffey, who is still being paid by the Reds until 2024, hit eight more for the Reds in that 2008 season before he was traded to the Chicago White Sox at the trading deadline for Nick Massett and Danny Richar.

Griffey hit three more that season for the White Sox to give him 18 for the season.  Griffey was born on November 21, 1969 in Denora, Pennsylvania on the same date and the same town as St. Louis Cardinals great, Stan Musial.  He hit 630 career home runs, finishing with his original organization the Seattle Mariners for whom he played in 2009 and through May 31, 2010.

His father Ken Griffey Sr. played for the Reds most of his career.  Junior grew up in Cincinnati and graduated from Moeller High School in 1987.  The Mariners made him the first pick in the draft.  Griffey made his debut less than two years later on April 3, 1989 at the age of 19.  He played 22 years in the Major Leagues and was inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in 2016.


Homer Bailey will test his inflamed right knee in a start at Louisville on Monday.  When he is healthy, Bailey will be inserted back into the Reds' starting rotation.  The organization changed its mind about moving Bailey to the bullpen.


Joey Votto is poised to catch former Reds' great and Hall of Famer, Frank Robinson in several categories on the team's all-time list.

Votto is starting his 1,494th game as a Red.  He is currently in 10th place on the list and within eight games of Robinson, who is number nine with 1,502 games in his 10 years as a Red from 1956 through 1965.

Votto has 1,656 hits, 10th on the list.  Robinson is also ninth with 1,673 hits.  Pete Rose is the leader with 3,358.

Votto is fifth on the list with 354 doubles.  Johnny Bench is fourth with 381.

Votto is ninth with 857 RBI, four shy of George Foster, who is eighth with 861.


The Reds and Cardinals have played each other every National League season since 1892 when the Cardinals joined the league.   The Reds joined in 1890 and missed St. Louis for two seasons after being competitors from 1882 through 1889 in the American Association.

The Reds are 998-1,149 against the Cardinals all-time.  The Cardinals are 9,993-9,513 in its history.  The Cardinals need seven wins to reach 10,000.   The Reds need two wins to notch its 1,000th win over St. Louis.

The Cardinals have won 12 straight against the Reds.

"We've had some great ballgames against them but we keep coming up short," said Jim Riggleman, who got his start managing in the Cardinals' organization.  "There are no morale victories there.  I think we're close to being a respectable club.  Our record says we're not but we're not far away from getting out of this last place rut we've been in for a couple of years."

Friday, June 8, 2018

Cardinals Take 12th Straight Win Over The Reds In Extra Innings

Jed Gyorko's single in the top of the 10th  off Raisell Iglesiasgave the St. Louis Cardinals their 12th straight win over the Reds, 7-6

Iglesias walked Marcel Ozuna with one out.  Reds' arch-enemy Yadier Molina singled to right under the dive by Scooter Gennett.  Gyorko singled sharply to left.

"We've been doing that a lot, coming back from multiple runs down.  It takes a lot of clutch hits to do that," Jim Riggleman said.  "We just couldn't get over the hump. They had a big 10th inning."

Matt Harvey gave up three home runs in the first three innings, two to Jose Martinez as the St. Louis Cardinals built a 5-1 lead.  The Reds tied the game in the ninth inning for the second day in a row but bowed in 10.

"Matt threw more good pitches than in any of his starts so far," Riggleman said.  "The home run in the first was kind of weird but the few bad pitches he made ended up getting hit."

Martinez hit a solo home run into the Reds' bullpen in right field with two outs in the first inning, his seventh.  Yairo Munoz, the shortstop hit his third home run off the top of the fence in left in the second.  Martinez struck again with two runners on in the third after Harvey walked Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham singled.

The Reds used patience against Cardinals' starter Luke Weaver.

Eugenio Suarez singled off Weaver with one out in the second inning.  Jesse Winker, hit safely in his fifth straight plate appearance, sending Suarez to third.  Jose Peraza beat the relay of on an attempted double play to drive in the Reds' first run.

The Reds kept chipping away while Harvey turned his night around.

Harvey retired 11 of the next 13 batters, with two walks and a double play mixed in.  He left after six innings, allowing five runs on four hits.  He walked three and struck out five.

Cincinnati crossed the plate in the third inning.

Scott Schebler singled but Tucker Barnhart bounced into a double play.  Joey Votto walked and scored on Scooter Gennett's double tying Suarez with the Reds' lead in RBI with 45.

Schebler singled to open the fifth.  Barnhart forced Schebler at second.  Pham made a diving catch of Votto's line drive.  Gennett singled.  Weaver walked Suarez and Winker to force home the Reds' third run.

Alex Blandino walked, hitting for Harvey in the sixth.  Austin Gomber replaced Weaver and walked Billy Hamilton.  Schebler hit into a double play but Barnhart walked.  Votto drove Blandio home with a solid single to right.  Gennett, the second best hitter in the NL, came up with the tying run on second.  For some reason Barnhart ran on a 2-1 pitch and was thrown out stealing, ending the rally.se

"Tucker was trying to get a secondary lead.  It looked to him that it was right down the middle and going to get hit.  He got his feet tangled up and couldn't get back," Riggleman said.  "He felt terrible about it but it happens."

Michael Lorenzen replaced Harvey in the seventh.

Kolten Wong walked to start the inning.  Harrison Bader grounded slowly to short and Wong moved up.  Wong reached third on a wild pitch.  Carpenter's single gave the Cardinals a 6-4 lead.

Lorenzen pitched out of a jam in the eighth.  Marcel Ozuna hit a drive to straight away center.  Hamilton leaped but couldn't make the catch.  Ozuna slid into third with a leadoff triple.   Lorenzen accepted the challenge.  Yadier Molina hit a ground ball to short.  Peraza fielded the ball, held Ozuna and threw Molina out at first.  Jed Gyorko popped foul to Suarez.  Munoz bounced to Lorenzen who threw to first in plenty of time.

Jordan Hicks who can throw the ball at 100 mph pitched a scoreless eighth.

Bud Norris came into the game in a rainy ninth inning.

The umpires tried to finish the game but at 10:13 the tarp came out.  Schebler stepped into the batter's box 36 minutes later.  He doubled to start the ninth bringing the tying run to the plate in Barnhart.  Norris recorded a strike out on a 3-2 pitch.  Votto stepped in.  Votto singled to drive in Schebler.  Gennett as Brandon Dixon ran for Votto representing the tying run.  Gennett came up empty swinging through a 2-2 pitch.  Suarez became the Reds' last hope.  Suarez singled to left center sending Dixon to third.  Winker, who hit the walk off home run on Thursday, came to the plate.  His single off the glove of Carpenter at third tied the game.  Peraza hit a soft liner to first off the end of his bat to send the game to extra innings.

"It was raining pretty hard.  I came into the cage and sat around because I didn't know how long it would be," Schebler said.  "I went out about 10 minutes later and it wasn't raining, so I went back in and hit off the machine for five minutes.  Then I went out and sat there for what seemed like an hour but it was only 15 minutes.  I didn't watch any video of Norris. I faced him as a starter when I was with LA.  He is throwing the ball pretty well this year.  It was nice to put a rally on him for sure."

Schebler had four hits for the first time in his career and raised his average to .291.

"You have to take the positives out of it.  We scored two in the ninth.  I know it sucks right now. I feel like if we keep grinding stuff out it will get us on a winning streak at some point," Schebler said.

John Brebbia pitched a scoreless 10th for his second save, working around a two-out double by Schebler.  Dixon struck out swinging to end the game.

The Reds last beat the Cardinals on September 13 of last season at Busch Stadium.  The Cardinals last beat the Reds 12 times in a row from June 1, 1931 through April 25, 1932.  The Reds lost 18 straight to the Cardinals from July 4, 1930 - May 23, 1931.  All-time the Reds are 998-1,142 against the Cardinals.

Homer Bailey Going On Rehab As A Starter Dylan Floro Late Relief

The Reds will send Homer Bailey, who is out with a wounded knee, to the minor leagues for a rehab assignment.

Bailey was informed that he was going to be removed from the starting rotation and re assigned to the Reds' bullpen.  That order has appeared to be rescinded.

"He is throwing off flat ground and it is going pretty good," interim manager Jim Riggleman said.  "He's anxious I know that.  He's going to keep throwing an extended amount that would prepare him to start originally.  He will do it as a starter on the 11th or 12th."

Riggleman hinted that the Reds current starters will be evaluated.  When Bailey comes back, he may take the place of one of them based on performance.


Dylan Floro has a 2-1 record.   All three have come in the 11th inning or later.

Floro was an afterthought.  He showed promise during spring training but the Reds opted to bring Austin Brice and the more experienced Kevin Quackebush to Cincinnati to start the season.

Floro pitched three scoreless innings with the Louisville Bats before the Reds brought him up on April 13.  Since he has pitched in 17 games, working 26 innings with a 3.26 ERA.  He was the winning pitcher against the team he pitched for in 2016, the Chicago Cubs on May 19.  It was his first Major League win after 27 big league efforts.

"Floro has been a great find," Riggleman said.  "Our front office did a great job to get him in camp this spring.  He earned himself a spot on this ball club.  Regardless of how we use him, he's been composed.  You would never know he's here walking around the clubhouse.  He doesn't say anything.  He's been both durable and effective.  Sometimes it's hard to find that combination."

Floro was the losing pitcher in a 12-inning decision against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 23 but pitched three scoreless innings to get the decision against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday.

"I guess, I'm the 11th inning specialist.  I've never really thought about that," Floro laughed.  "Now that I think about it you're right.  It gives me a chance to get into those high leverage situations where we're trying to win a ballgame."


The Reds held a moment of silence for Red Schoendienst, who passed away Wednesday at the age of 95 as the oldest living Hall of Famer.  Schoendienst spent most of his 19-year playing career with the Cardinals.  He was their manager for back-to-back NL champions in 1967 and 1968, winning the World Series in 1967 over the Boston Red Sox.

"I got to know him very well," said Cardinal manager Mike Matheny.  "He was an icon for our organization and our community.  He set real high standards to what it looks like to go about your business and wearing this jersey well.  Red was a very unique man.  Our organization did a phenomenal job of recognizing how impact-full Red could be at any age.  He not only had an open door but a role and we all benefited from that."

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Jesse Winker's Blast Stopped The Rockies Bid For A Sweep

Jesse Winker's second home run of the season off Chris Rusin in the 13th inning allowed the Reds to beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5.  It was Winker's first career walk off home run.  Dylan Floro pitched three scoreless innings to earn his second win of the season.

The Reds survived untimely errors and base running mistakes to send the game to extra innings with three runs in the eighth and ninth.

"We didn't play good but we played hard," Jim Riggleman said.  "We played hard the last few nights.  We feel like we should win every game.  We got one today.  They played good.  All our pitchers did a good job.  The only blip on the screen for us was Garrett.  We got nine innings of relief with only a couple of runs, we'll take that any day."

Floro is 2-1 and all of those decisions came in games 11 innings and longer.

"Floro has done that before," Riggleman said.  "He's been good and he's been durable.  Usually you get one or the other but he's been both."

Winker is part of the Reds' controversial four-man outfield.  Winker, a left-handed batter, hit his game winner off a lefty.

"It was a very fun day. It was a fun win for sure," Winker said.  "Any time you're names called you want to contribute.  As a left-handed hitter, it can be used against you.  I guess baseball has always been that way, whether you can or can't hit lefties.  Any time you can do anything productive against lefties, it helps build your case.  As a guy who wants to play every day you've got to be able to hit, lefties, righties, whoever. I take pride and getting better at that.  Scheb and Votto are good against them.  I learn from them.  Jay Bruce helped along the way with lefties also."

It wasn't Winker's turn to play.

"That's kind of our message to the four guys in the outfield," Rigglman said. "We have an outfielder sitting every day but almost every day they get in the ballgame. This thing about being out of whack because you're not in it every day.  You pretty much are.  Winker stayed ready and was able to help us."

Tyler Mahle thought he had the first out of the game when DJ LaMahieu hit a ground ball to shortstop but Alex Blandino's throw was high and pulled Joey Votto off the base.  The Rockies put the leadoff man on base in six of the first seven innings.

"He popped up and my arm hit him when I went to throw," Blandino said.  "It's a tough spot for us we're trying to complete the play.  The umpires said once it went to review it wasn't his call any more. It was New York.  They thought he was trying to get out of the way."

Charlie Blackmon's single sent LaMahieu to third.  Nolan Arenado hit a ground ball to Blandino, subbing for Jose Peraza.  Blandino threw to Brandon Dixon, subbing for Scooter Gennett at second.  Dixon's relay was too late to double up Arenado, or was it?  The Reds appealed the safe call and won it as LaMahieu scored.

The Reds got the run back off Rockies' starter Tyler Anderson.  Adam Duvall singled with one out.  Curt Casali the newest Red doubled and Duvall beat the tag of Tony Wolters.  This call was upheld on review by Bud Black, the Rockies manager.

The Rockies got the lead back.  LaMahieu doubled to lead off the third.  Mahle struck out Blackmon and Arenado.  Carlos Gonzalez, however, singled up the middle to score LaMahieu.  The Rockies used a leadoff double to add a run in the fourth.  Mike Tauchman beat the shift with a slow roller that Suarez couldn't reach.  Ryan McMahon flied to right deep enough for Tauchman to go to third.  Mahle hit Wolters with a pitch.  Anderson bunted.  Votto fielded the ball and threw quickly to second.  With Wolters bearing down on him, Blandino's throw was too high to complete an inning ending double play.  The Reds claimed Wolters' slide interfered with Blandino's throw.  It was a down and up slide that appeared to hit Blandino's arm as he made the throw.  The umpires reviewed it.  This time the call went the Rockies' way.

Michael Lorenzen pinch hit for Mahle, who pitched five innings, allowing three runs, two earned on six hits, two walks and a hit batter.

Lorenzen singled with one out.  Billy Hamilton forced Lorenzen.  Scott Schebler's double scored Hamilton from first.  The Reds bid to tie the game was foiled when Arenado dived to spear Blandino's smash headed down the left field line.  Arenado was able to recover and end the inning, throwing Blandino out at first.

Amir Garrett relieved Mahle.

Tauchman dumped a single down the left field line.  McMahon drilled a triple to right.  Wolters was hit by a pitch again.   Anderson sent Wolters to second with a sacrifice bunt.  LaMahieu's fly to right made the score 5-2.

Anderson left after seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits, a walk.

Mike Dunn started the eighth for the Rockies.  Hamilton walked to lead off and Schebler followed with a single.  Gennett pinch hit for Wandy Peralta, who pitched a perfect eighth.  Dunne, who came into the game with 15 walks in 16 innings, walked Gennett to load the bases.   Scott Oberg entered the game to pitch to Votto with no outs.  Votto's slow ground ball to second base drove in the Reds' third run and put the tying runners in scoring position for Eugenio Suarez.  Suarez hit a hard one hopper to Trevor Story at short.  Schebler scored but put Gennett in a rundown.  Gennett stayed in it long enough for Suarez to take his place at second base.  The RBI gave Suarez 45 for the season one behind the NL leader, Javier Baez.   Jessee Winker pinch hit for Duvall and singled sharply to right  Gonzalez threw Suarez out at home.  Suarez failed to slide for some reason, leaving the Reds down 5-4.

Jared Hughes allowed a single to Arenado in a scoreless ninth.

For the third straight day, the Reds faced Wade Davis in a save situation.  Davis started the ninth with 20 saves in 22 attempts.

Casali, Dixon and Peraza were due to face Davis. Casali reached base by getting hit with a pitch.  Dixon struck out.  Peraza came to bat with a nine-game hitting streak.  His single to left extended it to 10, bringing Hamilton to the plate with the tying run in scoring position.  Runners advanced on a wild pitch off Wolter's mit to put the winning run at second.  Hamilton struck out swinging.  Schebler came to bat looking for his fourth hit of the game.  On a 1-2 pitch, Davis tried to bury a sinker and it got past Wolter to tie the game.  Schebler struck out on a ball in the dirt to send the game to extra innings.

Raisell Iglesias struck out all three Rockies' batters in the ninth.

Bryan Shaw walked Votto with one out in the 10th.but Surez hit into a double play.

Dylan Floro pitched a scoreless 11th.

Winker opened the bottom of the 11th with his second hit of the game off Shaw.  Casali sacrificed Winker to second.  Dixon walked. Peralta bounced into a double play.

Red Schoendienst Old Reds' Opponent Dies At 95 The Oldest Living Hall of Famer

Red Schoendienst retired in 1963 after playing 19 seasons in the Major Leagues.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee in 1989.

Schoendienst passed away on Wednesday June 6 in a St. Louis suburb.  He was the oldest living Hall of Famer.  Born Alfred Fred Schoendienst in Germantown, Illinois on February 2, 1923. He played his last game on July 7, 1963 at the age of 40.  Schoendienst then became a manager and coach, spending 75 years in a baseball uniform.  The switch hitter hit .289 in 9,224 plate appearances and was a second baseman.

He was a teammate with the great Stan Musial most of his career.  Musial also retired in 1963 his last game was at Crosley Field on September 29.  He singled off Jim Maloney and was removed for pinch runner Gary Kolb.

Reds' interim manager, Jim Riggleman, spent eight years as a coach and manager in the Cardinals farm system, he was a minor league field coordinator for three seasons and spent time as the team's farm director.

It was in the Cardinals system that Riggleman had contact with Schoendienst and Musial through Whitey Herzog, former Cardinal manager.

"Whitey Herzog put me on his staff in 1989," Riggleman said. "Red was there. There was no term bench coach at the time but that was really what he was.  He was in uniform every day in the dugout a full time coach. Whitey loved him and relied on him.  He was generous with his time.  He was the most pleasant guy.  His closest friend was Stan Musial.  You would never know those guys even played baseball (let alone been Hall of Fame players).  The would never talk about their achievements they were great humble people.  Red was a wonderful man."

Schoendienst played at 170 pounds on a 6 foot frame.  He survived Tuberculosis and an eye injury.

Schoendienst was one of seven children born to Joe, a coal miner and Mary in the town 40 miles east of St. Louis.  The family lived without running water.  Red showed great baseball skills and was so much better than the kids around him that they used to handicap him by making him bat left-handed.

At 16, Schoendienst was working in one of Franklin Roosevelt's work projects, the Civilian Conservation Corp,  when he injured his left eye while fixing a fence.  Doctors wanted to remove the eye but he resisted.  It was difficult for him to follow the spin of breaking balls from right-handed pitchers, so Schoendienst started facing right-handers from the left side of the plate, becoming a switch hitter.  He joined the US Army and placed in the bazooka corp but the eye injury prompted a medical discharge.

Schoendienst joined the Cardinals in 1945 at the age of 22.   He made his debut at Wrigley Field on April 17.  His first hit was a triple off Paul Derringer.  He scored his first run on a single by Walker Cooper.

"He was a very strong man, physically," Riggleman said.  "Whitey Herzog used to talk about playing golf with him and how far he could hit a golf ball with power in his hands and arms.  When he was playing he looked a little slight when he was playing but later he was a big man. He had an amazing career.  He managed in the World Series (1967 and 1968)."

Schoendienst managed the St. Louis Cardinals in back-to-back pennant seasons, winning the World Series over the Boston Red Sox in 1967 and losing to the Detroit Tigers in the 1968 World Series.

As a player he played in three World Series, 1946 with the Cardinals against the Red Sox and in 1957 and 58 with the Milwaukee Braves against the New York Yankees. He had 21 hits in 78 World Series at bats.

His number 2 uniform is retired by the Cardinals.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Colorado Invades Cincinnati And Spoils G-Day

The sixth of June has been D-Day for the last 74 years.  Scooter Gennett is making a bid for changing it to G-Day over the last two years.

Gennett was 5-for-5 with 10 RBI and four home runs a year ago.  Tonight Gennett was 1-for-3 with two RBI but Sal Romano couldn't stifle the Colorado Rockies who bested the Reds 6-3 despite Gennett's performance.

The Reds had 17 hits in a loss last night.  Tonight they out hit the Rockies 11-8 but the scoreboard declared it wasn't good enough.

"We have a lot of guys doing good things," said interim manager Jim Riggleman who inherited this dumpster fire.  "We have to do more to win.  We have to have more timely hits.  A few guys doing some good things doesn't do us any good."

Romano issued a two-out walk to the struggling Ian Desmond, who started the game with a paltry .193 average.  Tony Wolters, struggling even more than Desmond, was hitting .159 when he doubled past Joey Votto at first to drive Desmond.

Jon Gray, the Rockies starter, had been struggling too.  He allowed 20 runs in 32 1/3 innings in the month of May.  Gray allowed 19 of those runs in his last four starts in 18 1/3 innings.

The Reds added to that total with a run in the second.  Gennett walked.  Eugenio Suarez singled to send Gennett to scoring position and Jose Peraza, extended his hitting streak to nine games with a run scoring single.

The Reds took the lead in the third.  Jesse Winker started it with a double.  Votto's single past Nolan Arenado put Winker on third.  Gennett's sacrifice fly put the Reds up briefly.

Romano got the first out in the fourth but a ground rule double by Trevor Story preceded an RBI single by Gerardo Parra.   Desmond lifted his 11th home run of the season into left field to give Colorado a 4-2 lead.

Votto and Gennett doubled to make it 4-3.

Romano started the sixth but Carlos Gonzalez opened the inning with a double.  Michael Lorenzen came on to relieve Romano.  Lorenzen struck out Story and Parra's fly to deep center sent Gonzalez to third.  Lorenzen walked Desmond and Wolters, who hurt the Reds in Colorado last week, singled past Votto to score an insurance run.

Romano finished with five plus innings, allowing five earned runs on six hits and a walk.  He struck out six.

Romano did some good things but he realized his performance wasn't acceptable either.

"My change up was the best it's ever been," Romano said.  "I gave up five runs.  We lost again when I pitched.  It doesn't really matter what I did good today.  I hung a curveball to Desmond. I didn't get guys out when I needed to.  I didn't put guys away when I needed to.  I paid for it."

The Rockies scored a tainted run in the eighth.

Gonzalez led off against reliever David Hernandez, replacing Lorenzen.  Gonzalez hit a high fly to deep right center.  Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler both tracked it.  Hamilton had the ball hit off his glove for a two-base error.  Gonzalez slipped rounding second but Gennett dropped the relay throw and couldn't recover it in time to get Gonzalez sliding back to second.   Hernandez threw a wild pitch that rebounded back to Tucker Barnhart but his throw was off Suarez' glove.  Story walked.  Parra singled to right as Gonzalez scored but Story also slipped rounding second and Alex Blandino tagged him for the first out.  Hernandez struck out Desmond and got Wolters on a pop to Suarez.

The Reds had the tying run at the plate after two-out singles by Winker and Barnhart but Jake Mcgee got Votto to fly out to left in foul territory.

Wade Davis entered in the ninth inning for the Rockies in an attempt to earn his 20th save in his 23rd try.  The Reds looking for three runs to tie sent Gennett, Suarez and Schebler to get that job done.

Gennett popped foul to first base on the first pitch.  Suarez singled and went to second on a throwing error by DJ LeMahieu.  Schebler struck out swinging.  Newcomer Curt Casali became the Reds last hope.  Casali had three hits in his first four at bats for the Reds.  He popped to short to end the game.

Scooter Gennett Ready To Wield His Weapon On Anniversary

The sixth of June is an historic date.

The Allies invaded Nazi territory on Juno and Omaha beaches in 1944.  Scooter Gennett invaded home plate four times with a quartet of home runs to invade St. Louis Cardinal territory.

Gennett wasn't trying to be humble when he said," My expectations are lower than that for tonight. I always keep my expectations low."

Gennett likes having that type of personal success but admits that it doesn't mean much if the team is losing.

"It was nice and we won the game, but until we start putting up "W's" on a regular basis, it is not that meaningful,"  Gennett said.  "It is something I will look back on when I quit playing but right here and now in a Major League clubhouse those individual accomplishments don't matter much."

It was the 57th game of the season and Gennett had three home runs, including one on Opening Day when the Reds battled nemesis Adam Wainright.

The Reds' secondbaseman, who was born in Cincinnati, hit a grand slam off Wainwright in the third inning.  He hit another off John Gant in the fourth inning with a runner on base.  Gennett slammed the next off Gant in the sixth with one on base.  The last came off John Brebbia with one on in the eighth inning.  Gennett singled in the first inning to drive in a run.  He was 5-for-5 with four home runs and 10 RBI in the 13-1 win over the Cardinals.

"I don't put a lot of expectations on myself," Gennett said.  "If I go 1-for-3, I don't want to be upset if I expect to get three hits.  I keep expectations low.  That doesn't mean I want to strike out or anything but I'm not going to raise expectations, higher than what they already are."

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Anthony DeSclafani Returns Against The Colorado Rockies

The injury riddled Anthony DeSclafani clawed his way back from a strained oblique that was diagnosed in Goodyear, Arizona in Mid-March to take on a 9-6 loss.

 The right-hander made 20 starts after a similar injury delayed the start of the 2016 season and missed all of last season with several injurious setbacks.

DeSclafani was twice named Opening Day starter and twice scratched from the job.

There were no apparent physical discomfort when he made his first start since a 2-1 win gave him a 9-5 record on September 28, 2016.  The Rockies first four batters gave him plenty of discomfort.

DJ LeMahieu, himself recently returned from injury, singled to start the game.  The Rockies were on the board two batters into the game when Charlie Blackmon tripled into the right field corner.  Nolan Arenado drew a walk.  Carlos Gonzalez hit a slow roller to Joey Votto at first, who wanted to throw home but DeSclafani was in the throwing lane.  Votto opted to take the out at first but as he reached to tag Gonzalez, the pitcher was in his way again.  The run scored and the Rockies had runners at first and second with no one out.  Trevor Story hit a flare down the line that could have dropped in for a bloop double but Votto was able to snag it in foul territory.   Gerardo Para hit a fly to Adam Duvall in left and Arenado appeared to mistake it for the third out and was doubled off second.

The Rockies continued to torment DeSclafani in the second inning.  Ian Desmond hit a solid single to left.  Chris Ianetta hit a towering fly that carried into the second row of right field seats.

"I had Iannetta 0-2.  You can't leave the ball over the plate," DeSclafani said.

That was when DeSclafani got his act together.  He retired the next six batters.  Parra singled but Tucker Barnhart threw Parra out stealing.  DeSclafani easily took care of the next five batters, concluding with a strikeout of the bearded, pesky Blackmon.

"The first two innings weren't the way I wanted them to go," DeSclafani said.  "I made an adjustment.  Tucker made a suggestion that I stayed closed a little longer.  It worked."

The Reds rehabbed warrior, who is replacing Homer Bailey in the starting rotation finished with five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk.  He struck out five.

"He had a tough start but after the first two innings, he was his old self," Reds' manager Jim Riggleman said.  "He was really good.  It will give us something to build on."

Kyle Freeland cuffed the Reds on three singles through four innings until Scott Schebler hit his eighth home run.

Austin Brice relieved DeSclafani.  Brice was lifted from the disabled list.  Jackson Stephens went back to Louisville.  To make room for DeSclafani on the 40-man roster, Kevin Shackelford was released.

Brice struggled in his return.  Arenado and Gonzalez greeted him with singles.  Story flied out to right.  Parra singled to score Arenado.  After Desmond grounded out the Reds ordered Iannetta walked intentionally but Brice made it a bad move by walking Freeland to bring home the sixth Rockie run.

"Uncharacteristically, our bullpen gave up some runs in the middle innings," Riggleman said.  "That was unfortunate."

The Reds got to Freeland in the seventh inning.  Schebler and Jose Peraza singled with one out. Alex Blandino struck out for the second out of the inning.  Jesse Winker walked to fill the bases. Barnhart's ground ball found the hole at shortstop into left field.  Mike Dunn came in to pitch to Votto.  Votto was 1-for-13 against Dunn but rifled a single to left.  Parra threw home in plenty of time to get Winker.  Brian Gorman signaled out and the call held up under review.

Curt Casali doubled off Bryan Shaw in the ninth, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Winker's ground out. Barnhart singles  Votto singled for his third hit.  Scooter Gennett singled to bring Barnhart home.  Adam Duvall singled to plate Votto.

Bud Black had to call in his closer, Wade Davis to attempt his 19th save in his 21st opportunity. He faced Schebler as the tying run.  Davis struck out Schebler looking on three pitches.

The Reds had 17 hits in the loss.  The last time the Reds lost a game in which it had 17 hits was on September 5, 1984, a 15-11 loss to the San Diego Padres.

Ryan Weathers Ran Around Reds' Clubhouse One Of Draft Day Surprises

David Weathers was the third round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays out of Loretto, Tennessee 30-years ago.

Weathers pitched for the Reds part of the 1998 season and again in 2005-2009.  Altogether he pitched for 19 seasons in the Major Leagues, mostly out of the bullpen.  He left his mark on modern baseball, not from his performance on the diamond but what he did on the practice fields of Sarasota, Florida and in the pregame outfield at Great American Ball Park.

Often Weathers could be seen soft tossing to a pudgy little kid, who even from the ages of five through nine could pound a baseball.   The little man, big for his age, showed a strong left arm playing catch with his dad.

Ryan Weathers had the run of the clubhouse, never in the way but a frequent visitor, who would pal around with Darren Baker for the two years, Dusty Baker managed the elder Weathers.   He was a quiet kid but was not shy around big league players.

On Monday, Ryan Weathers, was chosen as the seventh overall selection in the baseball draft, two picks after the Reds chose Jonathan India of the Florida Gators.  Young Weathers played baseball at his father's alma mater in the tiny Tennessee town six miles from the Alabama border.

Weathers earned a scholarship as a left-handed pitcher, who was 10-0 and allowed one run during his 2018 senior year.

Joey Votto and Homer Bailey are the only current Reds who saw Ryan on those days with his dad.

"I most definitely remember him," Votto said.  "He is one of the most well mannered, respectful, quiet young man, I've ever met.  His father did a great job.  Jay Bruce and I were texting last night about how we look forward to striking out against a kid that used to bounce around the clubhouse."

Joey does it make you feel old at all?

"Not yet," Votto responded with a chuckle.  "Once he strikes me out, he will."

You can read more about Ryan in the Loretto Times Daily through the following link.


Darren Baker was drafted last year in the 27th round by the Washington Nationals out of high school but he elected to play for the California Golden Bears and recently completed his freshman year.

Baker hit .273 in 44 games, starting 42, with one home run, six doubles and 23 RBI.

The Reds picked 11 players in the first two days of the draft including a former Mason, Ohio native, who pitched for the Comets in high school.

The Reds took India, a thirdbaseman who has also played shortstop as one of the most accomplished bats in the country from the Gators' roster.  India was playing in the Super Regional of the NCAA leadup to the College World Series as he was selected.

"It was crazy," India said.  "We are trying to win the National Championship.  I talked with the Reds a bit before the draft.  Once the season is over, I'll take a couple days off with my friends.  We'll work out the details then."

The Reds' second pick with the 47th spot in the draft is Lyon Richardson out of Jenson Beach, Florida High School.  Richardson had talked to the Reds.  "I think I'm supposed to report on Friday," Richardson said.  He was named after the animal but his parents wanted to spell it differently.  "There is some reason or back story to why they named me Lyon but I'm not sure what it is."

The Reds picked up RHP Josiah Gray with the 72nd pick in the Competitive Balance segment after the second round.  Gray is from LeMoyne College which is the same college Reds' great Tom Browning came from as well as current Chicago Cubs broadcaster Jim Deshaies.

Brendan Spillane, an outfielder from the University of Illinois was taken in the third round.

Mike Siani, a centerfielder from William Penn Charter School was the 109th pick for the Reds in the fourth round.

"Siani stands out as the best athlete," scouting director Chris Buckley said.  "Bren Spillane is a good athlete too.  He's a big, tall guy who runs well."

The Reds picked RHP Ryan Campbell out of the University of Illinois, Chicago in the fifth round and RHP Yamil Maysonet in the sixth round out of Puerto Rico.

Catcher Jay Schuyler was taken out of San Diego State in the seventh round.

The Reds closed the second day with three right-handers....Matt Pidich from Pitt, Andrew McDonald out of Virginia Tech and Mason High School, and A.J. Moore of Kennesaw State University.

McDonald won the Reds over in a workout.

"He was quite impressive," Buckley said.  "Our scout over there has done a good job for us over the years and really wanted to get him."

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Eugenio Suarez Backs Luis Castillo Reds Best Bucs In Series

Eugenio Suarez launched his eighth home run of the season with the bases loaded and Luis Castillo stifled the Pittsburgh Pirates as the Reds won the series with a 5-4 win.

Ivan Nova and Castillo were locked in a scoreless battle when Nova committed the cardinal sin of walking Castillo, the opposing pitcher to lead off the third inning.  Jesse Winker drilled a single through the open hole between first and second.  Jose Peraza popped up his bunt attempt.  Scooter Gennett, who had driven home seven runs in the first two games, hit a slow roller that Nova fielded but threw wild to first base to fill the bases.  Suarez hit his third career grand slam on a 2-2 pitch.

"I just tried to bring in the closest guy.  I was trying to drive in one run.  God blessed me with four and I'll take it," said Suarez, who is now tied with Javier Baez for the National League lead with 38 RBI.  He is also tied for the NL lead with four sacrifice flies.

While Castillo was throwing blanks at the Pirates, allowing three singles and a walk through five innings.

The right-hander lost the strike zone in the sixth inning.  He retired Josh Harrison on a pop to Suarez but walked Adam Frazier.  When Castillo fell behind 3-0 to David Freese, new pitching coach Danny Darwin came out to talk to the pitcher.

 Castillo threw one strike but Freese hit a 3-1 pitch into the upper deck.

Castillo finished with six innings for the third time this month.  He allowed 25 earned runs in April in 28 2/3 innings for a 7.85 ERA.  In his fifth start in May, Castillo has also pitched 28 2/3 innings but has only allowed nine earned runs for a 2.82 ERA.  The Reds have won the last four and he is personally 3-1 in May.

"I made and adjustment and worked hard," Castillo said.

"He is getting closer," Reds' manager Jim Riggleman said.  "We want to be a seven inning plus pitcher.  He's not there yet."

The home run by Freese signaled the end for Castillo.

"I wasn't tired but he is a big league hitter," Castillo said through translator Julio Murillo.  "I made a mistake and he did what he was supposed to do with a mistake."

David Hernandez contributed 2/3 of an inning, allowing a lead off double to Austin Meadows to start the seventh but struck out Elias Diaz and got Sean Rodriguez to fly out.  Amir Garrett came in to strike out pinch hitter Josh Bell.

Garrett began the ninth in quest of his first career save.  Corey Dickerson reached on an infield single.  Garrett struck out pinch hitter Jose Osuna but Austin Meadows hit his third home run to cut the lead to one.

Jared Hughes was assigned to get the final two outs for his second save of the season.  The Reds got the second out when Hughes deflected a ground ball to Gennett, who barely got Diaz on the throw to Dixon, who had to stretch.  The call was upheld under video review.

"I can not believe we got an out on that play," Riggleman said.  "That ball, when I saw the angle that Scooter was going to have to go to, I kind of starting looking at my card, ok where's Polanco? I know that he's coming. All of a sudden I see the stretch.  That was some play."

Brandon Dixon had three hits, including a double and finished the game hitting, .375.

"It felt great.  It was a little bit of a relief after the first few nights," Dixon said.  "It was an awesome experience.  That was a close play on Diaz.  That was my first experience with the replay, too."

Joey Votto walked as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning to tie Dan Driessen for ninth on the Reds' all time list for games played with 1,480.

Joey Votto In Timeout Todd Frazier Trade Fills Reds Lineup

Pete Harnisch would look at the lineup on the day he was pitching and asked Jack McKeon passing by, "Skip are we trying?"

The Reds' lineup for the series ending afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates will be without Joey Votto and Billy Hamilton.   Hamilton regularly gets every fourth day off but Votto is getting a rare day off.

The move was foreshadowed by Bryan Price in spring training telling the press that the 34-year old first baseman would get more days of rest this season.  Votto appeared to tweak his thigh on the road, getting out of the batter's box in San Francisco but didn't miss any playing time.

Votto may need at least a mental day.  His 12th inning double made him 5-for-27 in his last eight games.  He was 0-for-5 for the game when he hit it.

One of the league's leading hitters during his career, Votto played in all 162 games for the second time in his career.  Since a distal quad strain in his left knee cost him 99 games in 2014, Votto played in 158,158 and 162 games the last three seasons.  He has played in 150 or more games seven times in his 10-plus year career.

With his next appearance, Votto will tie Dan Driessan for ninth place on the Reds' all-time list for games played with 1,480.  He is 22 games away from catching Frank Robinson, number eight on the list with 1,502 games.

"It was a good time to give him a day off with the long night last night (12 innings)," Jim Riggleman said.  "He is still on pace for 150 games."

Brandon Dixon will play first base.  He joins shortstop Jose Peraza and Scott Schebler in the lineup.  All three of the players the Reds' obtained in the Todd Frazier trade with the White Sox and Dodgers are in the Reds' lineup at the same time.

Dixon joined the team on Monday after hitting .326 in 37 games at Louisville when he got the call.  He hit 12 doubles, a triple and four home runs.  Dixon had a good spring, playing all the infield positions and every outfield spot but center.  The Reds elected to keep veterans, Phil Gosselin, who was claimed on waivers by Atlanta and Cliff Pennington, who is at Louisville.

Dixon is looking for his first hit after four at bats in his first two games.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Local Hero Josh Harrison Beats Reds In The 12th

Josh Harrison made his Princeton High School and University of Cincinnati classmates proud by lifting driving in the winning run against his home town Reds leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-inning 5-4 win that tied the series at a game apiece.

Harrison tripled with two outs to scuttle his hometown team's chances.

The Pittsburgh Pirates wasted little time getting on top of Homer Bailey.

Harrison grounded out on the first pitch but that was one pitch.  Gregory Polanco walked and Francisco Cervelli launched his seventh home run on Bailey's 10th pitch of the game.

"It would be tough for a hanging slider in the first inning to beat us," Bailey said.  "This start and the start before, when I go back and look on tape at the pitch execution it's pretty high.  They just got us today.  Sometimes they hit a ball hard right at the shortstop.  Sometimes it finds a hole.  I'm not a concerned as you might think.  There is a little luck involved."

The Reds were at the mercy of Chad Kuhl, pronounced "cool".  The Reds didn't get their first hit until Jesse Winker, the 10th batter of the game.

Bailey settled in and Kuhl continued to roll.

Bailey had to pitch out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth.  Kuhl allowed singles to Eugenio Suarez and Bailey himself.  Bailey's was a infield hit that third baseman Colin Moran couldn't handle.

The Pirates scored in the fifth.  Harrison singled as did Cervelli one out later.  Bailey struck out Josh Bell on a high heater but Corey Dickerson bounced a single into center field to score Harrison.

"The ball was coming out of Homer's hand pretty well," Jim Riggleman said.  "We had an infield hit, a bloop and a ground ball that found a hole."

Bailey didn't survive the sixth.

Austin Meadows lined a single to left.  Jordy Mercer blooped a single past Jose Peraza at shortstop.  Kuhl was just attempting a sacrifice bunt to move runners along.  The hard bunt got past a charging Suarez.  By the time Bailey chased the ball down and made a slide and throw Meadows scored from second base.

"That was an unfortunate play," Riggleman said.  "We had a play on where Peraza was covering second.  It was in between Homer and Suarez."

Tanner Rainey, who was recalled from Louisville to replace the injured Raisel Iglesias, walked Harrison to load the bases with no outs, then pitched out of it.  Rainey struck out Polanco and Cervelli before Bell bounced to the mound to end the threat.

Kuhl buckled a bit in the bottom of the sixth.  Scooter Gennett, who hit a grand slam home run on Tuesday, hit his ninth home run into the bleachers in right field.  It was Gennett's seventh RBI in the two-game series.

Kuhl left the game in favor of Edgar Santana after Scott Schebler opened the Reds' seventh with a single, the Reds' fifth hit of the game.  Kuhl pitched six full innings, surrendering on run on five hits and one walk.  He struck out six.

Santana finished the seventh, maintaining the lead.  Adam Duvall hit for Rainey, who pitched two scoreless innings.

Jackson Stephens retired the Pirates in order in the eighth.

Michael Feliz started the eighth inning for the Pirates.  Winker singled sharply to right, his second hit.  Tucker Barnhart's line drive up the middle nailed Feliz in the thigh.  It bounced half way to home plate.  Cervelli was out from behind the plate but Barnhart beat his desperate throw.  Joey Votto was the tying run at the plate.  He flied very deep to center, allowing Winker to move up.  Gennett walked to load the bases, bringing Suarez to the plate.  Suarez and Gennett were tied for the team lead with 33 RBI when the game began.  Suarez drove in his 34th run with a fly to left.

Felipe Vazquez, a left-hander replaced Feliz to face lefty Schebler.  Alex Blandino pinch hit for Schebler.  The move paid off when Blandino drove in Barnhart to make it a one-run game.  Jose Peraza worked the count full, then singled to tie the score.  Meadows throwing error from center put the winning run at third with two outs.  Brandon Dixon was caught looking at strike three to end the inning.

Jared Hughes, who will finish some games with Iglesias on the DL, entered the game in the ninth.  He turned in a scoreless inning, allowing Dickerson's third hit of the game.

Vazquez retired the Reds in order in the ninth.

Michael Lorenzen made his 2018 debut to start the 10th.

Lorenzen got two quick outs but walked Sean Rodriguez and gave up Harrison's third hit of the game.  Pinch hitter David Freese grounded out to Gennett at second base.

Steven Brault sent the game to the 11th.  With two outs, the Pirates walked Suarez intentionally to force the Reds to use Tony Cruz to pinch hit, the last man on the bench.  Cruz flied out to shallow center.

Dylan Floro, who earned his first Major League win on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs took the mound for the 11th.  Dickerson's fourth hit of the game was a two-out double but Moran flied harmlessly to right.

Peraza walked to open the 11th against Brault.  Dixon got a bunt down but he was called out.  Cervilli's throw hit Dixon and went down the line.  Dixon was clearly inside the line and was called out for batter's interference.  Billy Hamilton popped to short.  Winker was hit by a pitch moving Peraza to scoring position with two out.  Barnhart struck out.

"It's a bad rule but it's always been the rule," Riggleman said.  "It was unfortunate and didn't go our way but they got the rule right."

Meadows doubled off Floro to open the 12th inning.  Mercer bounced back to Floro, who caught Meadows off second.  Rodriguez flied to right.  Harrison tripled just inside the right field line.

Kyle Crick came in for the save but Joey Votto, 0-for-5 and 4-for-26 in his last eight games doubled to open the bottom of the 12th.  Gennett singled.  Votto stopped at third.  Suarez lined to left but not deep enough to score Votto.  Out of players, Floro had to bat and struck out.  That left the game in the bat of Peraza.  The count went full.  Peraza walked to load the bases.  Dixon in his second big league game came to bat.  He grounded out to end the game.

"Again Suarez hit the ball hard and had nothing to show for it," Riggleman said.  "It was line drive to the left fielder who was in good position to throw."

The Reds bullpen was brilliant.  Everyone pitched effectively but the Pirates got the benefit of some good breaks.

"It was a great ballgame," Riggleman said.  "It was a great effort by everyone involved."