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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, April 22, 2016

Reds Tweak Beleaguered Bullpen

Lost in an epic pitching performance by Jake Arrieta, was the Reds bullpen was drawn, quartered and keelhauled by the Chicago Cubs last night, giving up 11 runs in five innings.

Tim Melville, who allowed four runs on five hits in two innings, was designated for assignment this morning.  The Reds' recalled J.C Ramirez from Louisville.  Ramirez from Managua, Nicaragua was signed by the Reds in November and invited to spring training.  Ramirez pitched for Arizona and Seattle last season.

"When they sent me down at the end of spring training, they told me they wanted me to use more sliders," Ramirez said.  "That is what I was doing down there (Louisville). I am throwing my slider in any count. I've showed that I have been doing that and that's why I'm here."

Ramirez was sleeping this morning when Delino (DeShields) called him and told him to get his things together and go to Cincinnati.

"I was disappointed with myself when I was sent down because I knew there was a lot of opportunity here to make the team in spring training but at the same time, it put in my mind that I had to work hard and show people I belong at this level for a long time," Ramirez said. "

Drew Hayes picked a memorable game to make a forgetable debut.

Hayes came into the game into the game with the Cubs leading 9-0 in a game that their ace was pitching a no-hitter, the first in 7,109 regular season games.

Hayes retired David Ross on a ground out, then he walked no-hit, boy Arrieta. Dexter Fowler singled in front of Jay Bruce in right. Hayes walked Jason Hayward and Kris Bryant unloaded the bases with a home run deep off the berm in centerfield.

"Honestly I felt good," Hayes said on Friday afternoon. "I felt like I had my emotions under control. I warmed up the day before when Tucker (Barnhart) hit the walk off so that helped a little bit to get hot and get those nerves out. I felt good yesterday. I didn't execute. Playing against the Cubs if you don't execute, you're going to pay a price.  That's just the way it goes.  Walking Arrieta hurt and trying to be too fine on Hayward hurt.  We can live with singles and balls hit in play but we can't live with walks and that's on me. I'm not making any excuses. It had nothing to do with nerves. It was about not executing."

"I took it in more when I saw my family afterward. I text them and told them I loved them," Hayes said. "I took in more what how they helped me to get here rather than the atmosphere in the stadium."

After the grand slam, Hayes collected himself and finished his two-inning stint strong.  He got Anthony Rizzo to ground out and struck out Jorge Soler, looking.

"I threw Bryant a fastball that I didn't get down and away like I wanted it. It got too much of the plate. I talked about being too fine earlier, that was one that I should have been finer with," Hayes said.  "Then the guy following him (Rizzo) is a pretty good hitter. I had to concentrate on getting him out. I was thankful for the opportunity to go back out there for the eighth. I will help my confidence having that clean inning."

Hayes got a ground out by Ben Zobrist, then finished by striking out Addison Russel and Ross swinging.

A no-hitter is so rare and coupled with a once in a lifetime event in making your major league debut is something that Hayes will remember for ever.

"You don't want those things to happen but it's something that I can tell my children and grandchildren about," Hayes said.

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