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.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Down To The Final Gun USF 38 UC 30

Isaiah Pead converted a key third down play with a 19-yard pick up.

Pead appeared to be stopped short but kept his feet to keep UC hopes alive.

Zach Collaros had to be evaluated for a leg injury in the last minute of the game.  Chazz Anderson kept the drive going with a strike to Armon Binns.

UC held the ball with :36 left on the USF 36 yardline, third and two.

USF Quenton Washington interfered with Armon Binns giving UC a first and 10 from the 21.  Anderson ran out of bounds after a five yard gain, then threw incomplete to Binns.

South Florida used its last timeout with :18 to go in the game with UC facing a third and five from the 16.

D.J. Woods dropped a pass over the middle to make it fourth and five with :15 seconds.

Anderson was stopped by Mike Linaris to give the Bulls the win.

It was UC's first Big East loss since 2008.

Maalik Bomar Makes a Key Stop For UC

Bomar stopped Faron Hornes for a four-yard loss on a third and seven from the USF 28.

UC gets the ball back on its own 29 with just under four minutes left, needing a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie.

UC Scores Again Need a Defensive Stop

Zach Collaros hit Armon Binns with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 5:35 left in the game.

The play happened when Cincinnati recovered its own fumble for a first down at the 15.  Collaros was on an 11-yard run but was popped by Sam Barrington.  Marcus Barnett came up with the loose ball to help UC retain possession.

USF Shreds UC Defense

B.J. Daniels hit Demetrius Murray with a 39-yard pass on a third and six from the Cincinnati 41.

The Bulls took a first and goal from the two.

South Florida was stopped on first down and recovered its own fumble on second down.  USF called a timeout with 9:36 left.

Daniels scored on a keeper around right end for another touchdown.  The extra point restored Bulls 15-point lead with 9:32 left.

Daniels a running QB that was being converted into a drop back passer.  The results were not good.  He was intercepted 10 times in six game coming into the game but is 13-16 for 286 yards and two touchdowns.  He has run for 26 more yards and two touchdowns.

Where's the Defense? USF 31 UC 23

Zach Collaros got rid of the ball before he was sacked on a third down play from the USF 32.

An offensive lineman touched the ball drawing a penalty that was declined to bring up a fourth and six.  Marcus Barnett caught Collaros' throw in the endzone.  The play stood up to review to cap an eight play, 80-yard drive with 13:45 left in the game.

End of the Third Quater

UC is looking up at a 15-point deficit despite out gaining the Bulls 390-323.

USF Strikes Again

Zach Collaros failed to pick up a fourth and one from the South Florida 30.

B.J. Daniels spotted Faron Hornes with no one near him at the UC 45.  Hornes out raced the lagging Bearcats for another touchdown.

With 1:26 left in the third quarter, South Florida has a 31-16 lead.

UC Field Goal but USF Touchdown 24-16

Jake Rogers kicked a 44-yard field goal but a kickoff out-of-bounds set up the Bulls at their own 40.

B.J. Daniels hit a wide open Dontavia Bogan with a 64-yard pass to the Cincinnati two. Demetri Murray ran it in from there to push the lead back to eight.

Cincinnati Drive Stopped by Interception

Mistral Raymond intercepted a pass from Zach Collaros.

Cincinnati drove the second half kickoff to the Bulls 20-yardline but the interception preserved the Bulls 17-13 lead.

The Bulls Hold 17-13

Jake Rogers and the Bearcats settled for a field goal with :36 left in the first half.  Barnett's catch and run put UC in position to tie the game with 1:20 left but Craig Marshall batted down Collaros third down pass.

Marcus Barnett Reception Sets Up UC with 1:20 Left

Barnett took a pass from Zach Collaros at the USF 30 and broke a tackle to give UC a first and goal at the Bulls four with 1:20 left.

USF Field Goal 17-10

Maikon Bonani kicked a 33-yard field goal with 2:40 left in the first half to put USF up 17-10

Zach Collaros Hits Armon Binns in the End Zone USF 14 UC 10

There is 9:40 left in the half.  Collaros found Binns open with two steps on the defender on a third and 10 from the USF 20 for a touchdown.  Quick passes to Binns and D.J. Woods put the Bearcats in position for the score.

USF Scores Through the Air 14-3

With 12:46 left in the first half, B.J. Daniels connected with Dontavia Bogan for a 31-yard touchdown strike.

The Bulls pinned Cincinnati in its own territory.  Zach Collaros took another sack at the UC two and a short punt and return set up South Florida for a one-play drive.

South Florida Takes the Lead 7-3

South Florida QB B.J. Daniels ran the ball into the Cincinnati endzone from five yards out.

Runs by Faron Hornes and Dontavia Bogan set up the Bulls inside Cincinnati territory.

End of the First Quarter

UC 3 USF 0

The Bulls have a second and goal at the Cincinnati eight.

UC On The Board

Jake Rogers kicked a 26-yard field goal.

The Bearcats first possession resulted in a punt but the Bulls were pinned on the two-yard line.

The Cincinnati defense forced a punt and UC moved it inside the 10 but QB, Zach Collaros took a 15-yard loss on second down.

To The Strains of Cat Scratch Fever UC Kicks Off

USF starts at its own 26.....Mills (Colerain), Wolfe, Hughes and Giodano across the front lines.  J.K. Schaefer (La Salle) and Malik Bomar (Winton Woods) at linebacker.

Johnson, Richardson, Frey and Cheatham in the backfield.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Joe Morgan Dismisses Playoff Jitters

Joe Morgan threw out the first pitch for the franchise that allowed him to play in his first postseason game.

"It was here against the Pittsburgh Pirates," Morgan said before Game 3 of the NLDS.

The Reds dropped Game 2 by making four errors, allowing six runs in a 7-4 loss on Friday.  With the Reds youthful roster and this being the first playoff experience for all but a handful of Reds, nerves were blamed by many fans and observers.

"You always have jitters," Morgan said.  "I had jitters for every game I played.  A lot of people said those errors the other night were caused by jitters.  But it was the two best players on the infield that made those mistakes, two gold glovers. I don't think that was the case.  I'm not trying to say there's not jitters with anybody that takes the field in the postseason. I don't think it had that much effect.  You might have a little more jitters in the playoffs because the stakes are higher.  I still think that once the ball is put in play, everything settles down."

Paul Janish Will Start

Paul Janish will start for the Reds in Game 3 of the NLDS.

The status of Orlando Cabrera was still unknown three hours before game time.

"He hasn't seen the doctor yet," Dusty Baker said.

Janish has taken the reigns before when Cabrera went down but this is the playoffs.

"Honestly, it's really not that much different. Obviously, the circumstances are more significant, but as far as the actual playing, what's going on on the field, it's not a whole lot different. He's banged up and can't go, so I'm ready to go," Janish said.

The mood in the clubhouse hasn't changed much from normal.

"The mood seems to be pretty light in the clubhouse. Obviously we're on the wrong end of a 2 0 deficit against a pretty good team in Philly. But everybody is going about their business as usual and staying it in stride. We know we have to show up tonight and battle and hard tonight," Janish said.  

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Final UC 45 Miami 3

UC had 609 yards of total offense.  Isaiah Pead rushed for 197 yards on 10 carries a whopping 19.7 yards per touch.

There were no turnovers.

Cincinnati gained some confidence within its team going into Big East play, starting at Louisville on Friday night.

Dick Pole Has Been Replaced by Munchie Legaux

My favorite sports name was Dick Pole. In the second half of the UC/Miami game, Pole has been replaced by Munchie Legaux, a freshman wide receiver from New Orleans.  His last name is pronounced Le Go.

If there was a Cajun fastfood restaurant, he would have to be the spokesman.

End of the Third Quarter UC 45 Miami 3

Chazz Anderson is the quarterback for Cincinnati.  George Winn is the tailback.  There are liberal substitutions.

Collaros Finds Ben Guidugli with the Sixth UC Touchdown Halftime

Collaros threw a six-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ben Guduigli with 0:16 left in the first half

It is UC 45 Miami 3.

The Bearcats are a touchdown away from its highest point total in the series at halftime.

Charlie Manuel Speaks

The Philadelphia Phillies manager is one of my favorite visiting managers.  His manner of speaking is colorful with the country twang of early Andy Griffith Show.

A reporter asked Manuel about the Reds task of trying to win three straight games, having to beat, Cole Hamels, Roy Haladay and Roy Oswalt in succession.

"I think sometimes when you play, and when you look and say, "There is no way that can happen," the more I think about it and the longer I've been in the game and how we talk about the day to day thing and how we're going to play on that day, it can happen. It ain't goin' to happen, but it can happen (laughter)," Manuel said.

And how about this exchange about Carlos Ruiz, who is nursing a sore knee.

"He's doing good. I just talked to our trainer a minute ago, and he's doing very good. He's not as sore as we thought he was. Actually, he's pretty good."

It is not grammatically correct but it is entertaining.

In spite of his tongue in cheek comment about Roy Haladay's no-hitter in game one, "I think it was good managin,"  Manuel is a good manager, who players love to play for.

In April 2007, Manuel and the Phillies came into Cincinnati with a high payroll and a 4-10 record.  Their closer, Tom Gordon, came into a 1-0 game in the ninth inning.  With two outs and the bases empty, Gordon gave up a game tying home run to Scott Hatteburg.  Cincinnati beat Gordon in the 10th to put sink the Phillies to a 4-11 record.

The fans that commented on the Philadelphia Inquirer website wanted Manuel fired.

He held a meeting on Saturday morning.  The Phillies won five games in a row and eventually won the first of their four straight and counting Eastern Division titles.

For the record the Colorado Rockies swept them in the 2007 NLDS.

Manuel doesn't sympathize with the Reds but sees the development happening the way it did with his team.

"I look at their team, and not only are they a good team, but they're going it get better. And I have a lot of respect for them and believe me, we don't take 'em lightly at all."


Cincinnati Scores Again and Again and Again

There is still 6:56 left in the first half.  A two-yard TD run by John Goebel.  The score was set up by Isaiah Pead's 69-yard run.  It is 38-3 and counting.

Rogers Kicks a Field Goal For UC 31-7

Cincinnati had a touchdown called back and settled for a 24-yard field goal by Jake Rogers.  There is 10:35 left in the first half.

Miami Begins Comeback

Trevor Cook kicked a 48-yard field goal with 13:40 to play in the first half.

It cut into Cincinnati's lead now at 28-3.

First Quarter Ends UC 28 Miami 0

Cincinnati has 273 yards of offense.  Miami has 95.

Isaiah Pead Scores Bearcats Fourth TD of the Quarter

Pead raced 80 yards for another Bearcat touchdown.  It was the longest rushing touchdown for Cincinnati this season.

The Bearcats scored 52 against the Redhawks in 1999 for a 52-42 win.  Their most lopsided victory was 46-0 in 19 ought 4.  There is still 2:34 in the first quarter.

UC Scores Again....

Zach Collaros and Armon Binns hook up for their second touchdown of the first quarter.  It was a 32-yard strike in the right corner of the end zone.  The play stood up under review, 21-0 Cincinnati.

UC Rolling at Nippert

D.J. Wood scored on a reverse from 18-yards out to stake the Bearcats to a 14-0 lead with 8:20 left in the first quarter.

The Rivalry is On at Nippert

D.J Wood made a nice return on the opening kickoff and two plays later Zach Collaros hit Armon Binns with a 40-yard touchdown pass.  Twenty-five seconds into the game UC leads Miami, 7-0.

Cueto Holds Reds Fate

Johnny Cueto is 24 years old.  The fate of the 141-year old Cincinnati franchise is riding on his powerful right arm.

"Well, Johnny Cueto has been excellent at home here. And if not, it's kinda "Johnny Whole Staff" tomorrow and the next day," Dusty Baker said.  "We can't afford to get behind. We need to get ahead. I have confidence in Johnny Cueto. If not, he would not be starting. He's a young man that's hungry. He's a young man that's been through a lot in his short lifetime, so we got a lot of confidence in Johnny Cueto."

Cueto through interpreter Thomas Vera said, "I am going to through my game."

"Pitching in the playoffs is the same just more noise and more people in the stands.  It's the same game.  My arm feels strong.  I just have to concentrate and keep the ball down."

Cueto last pitched the day after the Reds clinched the division on September 29, 10 days ago.

This season against Philadelphia, he is 1-0 with a win on June 28.  He pitched eight innings and allowed one run on six hits.  He also pitched six innings in Philadelphia allowing one earned run in seven innings on four hits.  

Reds Have No Choice and A Slim Chance

Dusty Baker took a fatalistic approach to his team's 0-2 predicament in the National League Division Series.

"We have no choice," Baker said. "It is a tough spot, but it's not impossible. All things are possible through faith and perseverance. I've been in this situation, down 2-1, down three with three to go. In 1980, Arroyo I think was in Boston when they were down 3-0 in a best of seven, and they came back and won four."

"Like I said yesterday, the hardest thing is to win one. And you win one, and you got yourself some action. And we've got our backs up against the wall, but this club performs well with our backs up against the wall. That's the kind of club we have. I wish we didn't always have our backs against the wall, but, you know, we've been there before, not necessarily in elimination, but we're just trying to get one." 

Cabrera's Status In Question

Orlando Cabrera called the trainer this morning according to Dusty Baker.

 "He said that he was better," Baker said. "It has been bothering him for awhile now.  It's going to be tough for him to play."

Cabrera missed 27 games with a strained left oblique from August 3 to September 3.  He aggravated it Friday night in Philadelphia and had to leave the Reds 7-4 loss in the fifth inning.

"We haven't made a decision," Baker said.  "We are going to wait until the last minute."

The Reds sent rookie Chris Valaika to Arizona to work out for just this type of contingency.  He is flying in from Goodyear.  The Reds would lose Cabrera for the next round if they choose to replace him.

"We have to worry about getting to the next round," Baker said.  "It will be tough for us to play short."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Aroldis Chapman Gets to Face His Childhood Hero

Aroldis Chapman has never met Jose Contreras, the 39-year old reliever for the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Contreras was the Cuban National Team's best pitcher when Chapman was a boy.  He watched him on TV,

"When I was a kid and watching baseball, I saw Jose.  I liked the way he threw.  I liked the way he pitched," Chapman said through an interpreter on media day in Philadelphia.  I was impressed with the number of pitches he had and the quality of the pitches he had.  He was the best in Cuba."

Contreras was a starter when he first appeared in the Major Leagues after defecting from Cuba in 2003 with the New York Yankees.  He was the ace of the Chicago White Sox World Championship team in 2005 with a 15-7 record.  He won a world series game against the Houston Astros.

This will be his fourth trip to the playoffs.  He was with the Yankees in 2003, White Sox in 2005 and the Colorado Rockies last season.

This season with the Phillies, Contreras has appeared in 67 games all in relief with a 6-4 record and 3.34 ERA.  He contributed four saves.

Chapman became the most watched player in baseball this spring after he signed with the Reds in January.  He needed to work on some things and become acclimated to life in the United States.  The Reds sent him to Louisville as a starting pitcher but with the huge success of the Reds starting rotation this season, the Reds felt he could be valuable pitching from the bullpen.

"My teammates in Louisville helped me out with a lot of things," Chapman said.  "The same thing when I came to the Reds.   I received a lot of help from my teammates.  I feel very lucky that I got to be part of the celebration."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Travis Wood Comes A Long Way

The Philadelphia Inquirer hired a freelance writer to do a story on Aroldis Chapman.  His signing sent a buzz throughout the baseball world.

But Travis Wood came up through the organization with the quiet calm that depicts his personality.  He has confidence in himself and is very intense but is not one to stand out.

Major League scouts prefer tall pitchers that throw the ball on a downward plane to induce ground balls.

Wood is 5' 11' and 163 pounds.  He is hard to pick Wood out in the clubhouse unless he has his uniform on.

Reds pitching coach, Bryan Price, had never seen him before Wood reported to Goodyear, Arizona as the Reds pitching coach.

"He was  the first guy that caught my eye when he came out early to Goodyear.  I had never seen him before. Obviously, he was on the radar because he was the organization pitcher of the year.  Having a chance to watch him before spring training even started.  I could see he would probably pitch here.  It is beyond good stuff.  He has great deception," Price said.

Wood nearly made the team out of spring training but Mike Leake was chosen and pitched well early in the season.  Wood made his debut in Chicago on July 1.  He pitched seven innings and allowed just two runs on two hits.  He pitched into the ninth inning with a perfect game in Philadelphia, the Reds opponent in the playoffs.

"I can't say I anticipated the kind of start he got off to in Chicago and Philadelphia, going out there and having a perfect game through eight innings in Philadelphia but I certainly felt he was capable of being a good player."

Wood was asked in spring training (http://www.redsspringtraining.blogspot.com) if he thought he could make the team.  He always believed he would have a chance.  He continued to believe in himself when he was sent to Louisville in favor of Leake.  Now Leake has been shut down for the year but Wood is likely to pitch in the playoffs.

"I thought I had a good chance out of spring," Wood said.  "They went with Leake but I thought I threw well for them.  I went to Louisville and got my stuff together.  Now, I'm here and I'm going to do everything that I can for them."

"It's amazing.  It's been a great year.  I couldn't ask for much more," Wood said as he rushed to the field for the 1 p.m. workout before the team leaves for Philadelphia.

Dusty Baker Signs a Two-Year Contract Extension

Two years ago in Sarasota, Dusty Baker took a look at the raggedy clubhouse staffers such as Elder grad, Rick Stowe and decided they needed a wardrobe makeover.

He bought the staff suits for travel.  He told noone.  They had to keep them for two years.

"Hey man this we're going to the playoffs dude," Baker told them at the time.  "I added some more guys here."

"He ordered them in Sarasota, and said 'You'll need these'" said Stowe, who looked surprisingly good in a Colerain T-shirt after losing a bet earlier in the football season.

On the day the Reds announced that Baker's contract was extended two years, the suits were hanging ready for a trip to Philadelphia.

"I want them all clean, looking good, representing and believing that we're going places," Baker said.

Bob Castellini turned the microphone over to General Manager, Walt Jocketty to make the announcement.

"With the success we've had this year and really the last couple years, today under the leadership of Dusty, we've got here to the playoffs sooner than we thought.  A lot of it is due in part to Dusty's leadership and his staff.  It's a great situation for this organization to be in the playoffs.  We believe that we are in position to be in the playoffs for many years to come," Jocketty said.  "Dusty has agreed a two-year contract extension.  We have also offered his coaches a two-year contract extension."

"Dusty, we are very pleased.  You've done a terrific job.  If all goes well, you might have another Manager of the Year Award."

"I want to thank Bob Castellini for having the faith in me to lead this team.  It always good to have someone else have faith in you, as you have faith in yourself.  I'm happy.  My family is happy.  People are going to ask me why two years so I'm going to answer that before you ask.  I'm not too superstitious but I've had my best success when, I've signed a two-year contract," Baker said. "I don't know why I just have."

The coaches were just offered extension a couple days ago.

"It is important to have continuity," Baker said.  "You have to have continuity of staff before you have continuity of team.  You have to have continuity of staff, trainers, ground crew, everybody.  I expect them back."

Jay Bruce is Named NL Player of the Week

Jay Bruce was named National League player of the week.  He hit .444 for the week with four home runs and five RBI, including the ninth inning blast on Tuesday that clinched the National League Central Division for the Reds.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Harang's Sad Farewell

No crying in baseball eh.  Don't tell Aaron Harang.  The big hulking 6'8" gentle giant most likely has pitched his last game as a Red.

Harang was a young pitcher just reaching his prime when the Reds sent Jose Guillen to Oakland for Harang.  That deal came at the end of the 2003 season, engineered by Brad Kuhlman, who was an interim GM after Jim Bowden's firing.

The big righthander became the ace of a team three two seasons into its streak of nine straight losing seasons.  He won 53 games in his first four seasons and this spring made the Opening Day start for the fifth straight year.

The last three season have been rough.  He won six games all three years but suffered 17,14 and 7 losses.

When the Reds decided that Edinson Volquez was going to Open the playoffs, he was scratched from Sunday's start and Harang was given the last day assignment.  It is likely that the former ace will not be able to pitch in the postseason and it hurts.

Stopping to wipe tears from his face Harang knew that he may be left out of the postseason and worse may not be back next year.  The Reds have an option for next year.  If they exercise the option they have to pay him $12.5 million or they can buy it out for $2 million which makes more financials sense, since they have built a stable of good young pitchers.

"I don't really know.  I guess.  You just kinda know in a way but just, sorry, for me and my family.  My daughter always grew up here.  Besides regular home, this is the only place she's known.  It's tough.  God I thought I'd never do this but its not completely over yet so we'll see what happens,"  he said through the tears.

They crowd cheered him as he walked off the field, a blister on his right middle finger that prevented him from throwing anything other than fastballs.

"That made it tough," he sobbed.  "You never ever hoped it would end that way. It is what it is.  Those people were paying attention.  You have to give them credit for that. We've been here for the good and the bad. A lot more of the bad.  We got it turned around.  Hopefully we can keep it going.  It's been a tough seven years but its been an enjoyable seven years.  The city has been good to me.  It's just, I'll definitely miss it here.  Cincinnati has a place in the back of my heart.  You never know what's going to happen."

His language indicates that he feels the run is over here in Cincinnati.  The pronoun has changed from we to they.

"The you group of guys and the new players that they have, you know the guys that they have that will be here for the future, you definitely see that change.  They just have to keep it going," Harang continued.

Dusty Baker has empathy and appreciation for what Harang has been through.

"I wanted to give him the ball personally today," Baker said.  "It's been a tough three years for him.  I wanted to get him to 7-7.  He hurt his finger a couple days ago and he didn't like the way it healed but he wanted the ball.  You like his attitude."

Baker has not ruled Harang out completely.  He told Carlos Fisher, Chris Valaika, Matt Maloney, who got the win Sunday, Sam LeCure and Jordan Smith that they are going to Arizona to work out and be ready for later rounds of the playoffs.

"We haven't set our roster yet.  Harang is not going home and he's not going to Arizona," Baker said.

There were some personal goals that were reached on this last day.

Jay Bruce hit his 25th home run and drove in his 70th run.  Drew Stubbs stole his 30th base and Francisco Cordero saved his 40th game.

"It means a lot to me," Cordero said.  "I am happy the way I finished the last five or six outings.  I had two or three times this season with some bumps in the road, so that is a pretty good number."

Cordero Saves 40th Nails Down Season Finale 3-2

The man that many nervous Reds fans have dubbed Coo Coo Cordero, pitched a scoreless ninth to nail down the team's 91st victory of the 2010 season.

It gives the righthander his third 40-save season of his career and he has now logged 290 in his career.

Jay Bruce hit his 25th home in the fourth inning and Joey Votto and Jonny Gomes had first inning RBI hits to provide the offense.

Bruce and Stubbs Finish at their Highest Points

Jay Bruce hit his 25th home run and singled in his tune up at bats before Dusty Baker emptied the bench in the season finale against Milwaukee.

Bruce finished with 70 RBI and a batting average of .281.  It is very close to the highest its been all season.  Bruce was hitting .287 on June 26th.  Four days later he slipped to .281.  Bruce dipped to .253 on August 7.  In his last 37 games, he hit .377 with 15 home runs and 29 RBI.

Stubbs had two hits in two at bats on Opening Day.  He went 3-for-18 in through April 11th to slip to .250.  He was under .200 on May 21.  He fought back to .251 on July 20, then slipped to .228 on August 2 before starting the climb back to his current .255 with a 1-for-2 performance in game 162.

Stubbs is a .310 hitter with nine home runs and 28 RBI since his low point.

Reds Rally on Fountain Square Tomorrow

The Reds will have a rally on Fountain Square tomorrow from 2-6 p.m.

Marty Brennaman will host it.  CEO Bob Castellini and General Manager Walt Jocketty will speak.

Joe Morgan, Joey Votto, Scott Rolen, Brandon Phillips along with Dusty Baker will attend.

The entire team will attend between 2 and 4 p.m. based on their travel schedule which will be determined later this evening.

Reds Set Up Pitching for the Playoffs

The Reds do not yet know who its opponent will be in the National League Division Series but the starting pitching rotation has been set.

Edinson Volquez will throw a light bullpen today to save his arm for the first game against an opponent yet to be determined. (San Diego, San Francisco or Philadelphia)

Bronson Arroyo will start the middle game.

"He is soft thrower," Dusty Baker said.  "We want him to follow the hard thrower."

Johnny Cueto will pitch the home game.

"He's pitched very well at home," Baker said.

The Reds will carry 11 pitchers and 14 position players.  Homer Bailey and Travis Wood will also be on the staff.

"Wood gives us potentially four lefthanders.  He and Homer are the least experienced.  They may be used in the fourth or fifth game if needed," Baker said.

The Reds don't have to submit the roster until 10 A.M. the day of the first game.

The only tough decisions are between Laynce Nix and Jim Edmonds both of who are recovering from injuries.  Nix is further along than Edmonds.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Harang Starts and Finishes

Aaron Harang was the starting pitcher on Opening Day on April 5th.  He gets the honor of closing the season nearly six months later.

Edinson Volquez was listed as Sunday's starter on the Reds notes this morning.

They announced that Harang will get the start instead.

Harang was once the ace of the staff.  He won 16 games in 2006 and 2007 but has struggled since.

His 109 2/3 innings is the lowest total since he joined the Reds in 2003.  He is 6-7 with a 5.25 ERA in 19 starts (21 appearances).

Reds Reserves Rally to 7-4 Win

Dusty Baker is treating the last two games of the season as if it is spring training.  He wants to keep players sharp yet give them rest.

The starters including Homer Bailey the pitcher, worked five innings then took a seat.

The Reds starters built a 4-1 lead with two home runs by Jay Bruce.  After he struck out four times in last night's game, Ken Macha of the Brewers ordered him walked as the winning run in the ninth inning last night.

He should have followed the same strategy today as Bruce hit two home runs, a two-run job in third and a disputed solo home run in the fifth.  It was Bruce's fifth two-home run game of the season.  A fan appeared to interfere with Lorenzo Cain's attempt to catch the drive but a replay examination upheld umpire Sam Holbrook's initial call.

Jordan Smith, who is trying to earn a postseason roster spot coughed up the lead in the seventh after working a scoreless sixth.

He hit Ryan Braun and walked Prince Fielder.  Casey McGehee launched a game-tying upper deck home run to cost Bailey his fifth victory.

Bailey was decent in his five innings, six hits and one run but took 120 pitches to navigate his five frames.

The Reds took the lead back for good in the eighth.

Supersub, Miguel Cairo singled off former Red, Todd Coffey.  Yonder Alonso doubled, his second hit of the game off the gate to the Reds bullpen to score Cairo.  Corky Miller blasted a long home run to centerfield.

Logan Ondrusek got the win with 2/3 of an inning to go 5-0 on the year.  Francisco Cordero gave up one hit but faced just three batters for his 39th save.

The Reds reached the 90 win mark with the victory a number that Baker says is significant.

"Now we join all the division leaders and playoff teams that have 90-plus. That was big. In spring training, usually that's my goal every year but especially this year. Most of the time if you can get to 90, you'll be somewhere in the playoff hunt. You've usually got a pretty good chance for something between 90-95. Usually 90 is that magic number. Then you start thinking back on things and you're saying, 'Hey, man, this team has the potential next year of achieving that magic 100 even, 10 more games.' You're happy where you are, but as a manager you always want more."

Reds Choosing Post Season Roster With 3 Future No. 1 Pitchers.

The Reds are playing out the schedule, not yet sure who the opponent will be.  The most likely candidate will be Philadelphia but as former manager Jerry Narron used to say, "It ain't written in ceement."

At stake are positions on the 25-man roster.  Dusty Baker said that the Reds have it pretty much figured out but won't publicly reveal it because he wants to tell his players first.  He won't even tell how many pitchers he'll use because, "those guys can all count."

"We want to keep everybody but you can't," Baker said.  "That's why its a tough decision picking three out of five."

"I think our pitching has been better than it's ERA," Baker said.

If it is indeed the Phillies, they have three number ones in Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt, longtime noted Reds killer.

"Roy Hallady wasn't always a number one," Baker reminded.  "We have some guys who will be number ones."

Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Travis Wood and Mike Leake all have number one starter potential.  All but Volquez came up through the Reds system, although Leake bypassed it.  He is a rare case learning at the Major League level, though he has been shut down after reaching an organization imposed innings limit.

"This system is producing players," Baker said.  "That's the only way to sustain excellence."

Friday, October 1, 2010

To Philadelphia For the Playoffs With 4-3 Loss

The Reds are going to play the Philadelphia Phillies in the opening round of the playoffs unless San Diego or San Francisco beats out Atlanta for the wild card.

Atlanta lost tonight so their lead over San Diego is a game and a half over San Diego.  San Diego must sweep and the Braves must get swept by the Phillies for that to happen.

The Reds had a chance to edge San Francisco for the second best record in the National League but needed to sweep Milwaukee while San Diego sweeps the Giants.  San Diego leads 5-0 in the fourth inning as of this writing (11:35 pm).

Travis Wood did not allow a hit for five innings but Rickie Weeks led off th sixth with his 29th home run.  With one out in the seventh Casey McGhee doubled and Lorenzo Cain singled him to third.  Wood was replaced by Logan Ondrusek, who allowed a pinch hit single to Craig Counsell and a sacrifice fly to Jonathan Lucroy to tie the game.

The Reds had few opportunities with rookie Mark Rogers.  Rogers was taken by Milwaukee one pick ahead of Homer Bailey.  The Brewers narrowed their choices to those two in the 2004 draft, deciding on Rogers.

Rogers had a good season in Double AA.  This was his second start and fourth appearance in September.  He started his career with nine hitless innings including tonight.

 The Reds scored a run without a hit in the first inning on Joey Votto's sacrifice fly.  Drew Stubbs walked, stole second and advanced to third after Brandon Phillips grounded out.  The Reds scored one in the fifth on a suicide squeeze play by Paul Janish and in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Phillips.

The game went into the 11th.  Sam LeCure gave up a single to Corey Hart and walked Ryan Braun.  He was relieved by Jordan Smith, who allowed a single to McGhee.  It was a potential double play but Phillips couldn't come up with it.  It was ruled an error but changed to a hit because Phillips was screened by the umpire on the play.

From Press Box Funny Man - Tom Hardricourt

The beat writer for the Milwaukee Brewers was reading on the internet that the Mets were going to fire its General Manager, Omar Minaya and Manager, Jerry Manuel.

The Brewers just took three out of four in New York.

"If I had a dollar for every manager that got fired after losing a series to the Brewers, I could buy a franchise," Hardricourt said.  "Everytime a manager drops three out of four to the Brewers, management gasses them."

Former Colerain Player Is the NCAA Leader

When Kent State visits Miami Saturday afternoon, the will feature the current NCAA interception leader.

Brian Lainhart, who played at Colerain High School, has 15 interceptions.  He is the all-time career leader for the Golden Flashes.  The senior is looking for his first pick of the season against the Redhawks.

Kent State will also bring Lainhart's High School teammate, linebacker Cobriani Mixon, who is the team's leading tackler.

Lainhart was a member of Colerain's 2004 state champion team but was injured much of the season.  He led the Cardinals secondary during his senior season in 2005.