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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Reds Tangled Up With Texas Yu Darvish Goes Deep

The Reds and the Texas Rangers were entrenched and entangled in a high scoring game that had more momentum shifts than a pendulum.

Tim Adleman the pride of Georgetown University started against international star Yu Darvish from Osaka, Japan.

The Rangers jumped on Adleman in the second inning.  Roughned Odor singled to open the inning. Jonathan LuCroy hit a one hopper fielded by Joey Votto at first.  Votto made an awkward throw from his knees that pulled Jose Peraza off the base.  Peraza's return throw was cut off as Votto and Adleman both tried to cover first. Nomar Mazzar hit his 15th home run into the mood deck in rightfield.

The Reds got two runs back without a hit.

Adam Duvall was hit by a pitch by Darvish. Brandon Phillips smoked a pitch from Darvish but centerfielder Ian Desmond caught it on the warning track two steps from the fence.  Darvish walked Scott Schebler and Eugenio Suarez.  Ramon Cabrera hit a ground ball between first and second that Odor turned into a force play as Duvall scored.  Suarez scored on LuCroy's passed ball.

Adleman shut down the Rangers until two outs in the fifth.  Darvish drilled his first career home run and third career hit on to the green in centerfield. Desmond hit his 21st four pitches later, a lined shot to leftfield.

"It was a really bad pitch," Adleman said. "It was something he could handle and he did.  It's a blow when you make a mistake with two strikes when you could have been out of the inning."

"Any time a guy is up there with a bat in his hand, that can happen," Bryan Price said.

Tony Renda singled pinch hitting for Adleman one out into the fifth. It was the first hit for Cincinnati.
Billy Hamilton hit a slow roller to Elvis Andrus at shortstop. He had no chance to get Hamilton and threw the ball into the camera well behind first.  Peraza's ground out made it a 5-3 game.

"The only time

Adleman allowed five runs, four earned in five innings on five hits but three of them were home runs.

"He (Adleman)  was aggressive and threw the ball pretty well. He made some big pitches," Price said.. "You can look at a lineup Desmond 20 home runs, Beltran 24, Beltre 21, Odor is on T.V punching somebody out.  You can talk yourself into trying to be too perfect."

Michael Lorenzen pitched a perfect sixth.

Darvish gave up the lead in the sixth.  Schebler beat out a roller to Odor stationed in short right.  Suarez drew his second walk.  Ramon Cabrera hit a line fly to the gap in rightcenter that bounced in and out of the stands for a ground rule double. Schebler scored but Suarez had to hold third.  Ivan De Jesus Jr. batting for Lorenzen hit a fly to center to bring home Suarez with the tying run.

"The only time he was vulnerable was with men on base and he tried to be too quick,' Price said. "We were patient and took some close pitches to put him in those situations.  We had four hits and scored five runs."

The Rangers regained the lead with two outs in the eighth Ian Desmond was hit by a pitch and stole second. Adrian Beltre doubled to score Desmond. It was his 2,900th hit.

Sam Dyson earned the save with a perfect ninth.

The Reds Found Pitching At A Yard Sale

You can have your number one draft choices.

The Steven Strasburg's, the Clayton Kershaw's are can't miss pitchers who haven't missed.

Dan Straily was picked by the Oakland Athletics in the 24th round of the 2009 draft.  Strasberg, Mike Minor, Mike Leake, and Shelby Miller were all taken in the first round that year.

Strasburg was having a good season until he went on the disabled list with a 15-4 record and a 3.59 ERA.
Mike Minot hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2014.  Mike Leake is 9-9 with a 4.56 ERA and Shelby Miller is 2-9 with a 7.14 ERA.

Straily doesn't have as many wins as Strasburg at 10-6 but his ERA is actually slightly lower at 3.57. Straily outpitched Strasburg head-to-head on June 4 with seven innings of two-run basebal, while Strasburg lasted just 5 1/3 and allowed three-runs in the Reds' 6-3 win.

On Wednesday Straily baffled the AL West leading Texas Rangers with six shutout innings. It was the eighth straight start in which Straily has allowed two runs or fewer.  Raisel Iglesias and Tony Cingrani finished the 3-0 shutout.

"Straily has deception," Bryan Price said. "He only throws 90-92 but I don't think batters see his fastball. He gets a lot of swings and misses on it.  They can't pick up his release point or the spin of the ball."

Straily was traded from Houston to San Diego and then waived by the Padtes in a span of 24 hours.  The Reds worked him out in Indianapolis in their last exhibition game of the spring and signed him.

Tim Adleman, who starts for the Reds on Wednesday against Texas has a 2-1 record in five starts, sandwiched around an oblique injury.

Adleman was a 24th round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2010 draft.

Jameson Taillon, who has just reached the Major Leagues with the Pirates, Drew Pomerantz who was recently traded from San Diego to Boston, Chris Sale of the White Sox and Noah Syndergaard were all taken in the first round.

Adleman was released and signed in an independent league when the Reds signed him.

The pair are diamonds in the rough and have turned a pitching staff that was planning to depend on its own young stars and first round draft picks into a solid staff.

Neither were on the list of 15 pitchers that Bryan Price mentioned as candidates for the starting rotation on the first day of spring training.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Dodgers Hit Seven Home Runs, Collect 21 Hits Even Series

Before the game Reds' manager Bryan Price warned the press about talking exit velocity, the speed in which the ball leaves the park after a batter hits it.

That left the press nothing to talk about when the Dodgers launched seven home runs, four in a six-run fifth inning on the way to a 18-9 win over the Reds to even the four-game series at two wins each.

"It's a loss. It's uglier and takes longer than when you lose 1-0," Bryan Price said. "We'll start fresh tomorrow."

The only exit faster than the balls struck by the Dodger hitters was the exit of Homer Bailey, who lasted 2 1/3 ineffective innings as the Reds' starting pitcher.

"It comes down to what do I have that day and is it detrimental to my team winning a game. There are days when you're achy or fatigued. That's part of it," Bailey said. "It happens when you're not coming off of surgery too, just the valleys aren't as low."

"We know there will be games like this coming off surgery," Price said.

Adrian Gonzalez followed singles by Chase Utley and Corey Seager to open the game with his 13th home run.  The Dodgers added a fourth first-inning run on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Toles that scored Joc Pederson.

The Reds fought back.  Billy Hamilton wangled a walk from Dodgers' starter Scott Kazmir.  Hamilton toured the bases, second on a fly to center, third on a ground ball to secondbase and a triple by Adam Duvall on a fly to shallow right that Toles couldn't locate.

Scoring continued in the third

Three straight singles by Pederson, Howie Kendrick and Toles produced a run.  Rob Segedin's sacrifice fly scored Kendrick.

The Reds countered off Kazmir.

Jose Peraza doubled. Joey Votto singled to score Peraza. Adam Duvall walked.  Scott Schebler and Tucker Barnhart singled to bring the score to 6-4.

Peraza singled and scored on Votto's double in the fourth made it a one-run game.

"We had a really nice offensive day," Price said. "To see it in a game like that when it is slipping away shows some effort," Price said.

Josh Smith picked up the Reds when Bailey left getting the last two outs in the third and throwing a scoreless fourth inning but the fifth was another story.

Smith walked Kendrick.  Toles hit his first career home run.  Segedin followed with his first career home run. Utley singled and Corey Seager hit his 22nd of the season to set a new record for Dodgers' shortstops.  Jumbo Diaz replaced Smith and served up the second home run of the game to Gonzalez. It was the 21st time he had more than one home run in a game.

The Reds started another comeback in the sixth against Pedro Baez.

Peraza singled again, his third hit.  Votto hit as sinking line drive that bounced past Toles for a triple.  Duvall drove Votto in with a sacrifice fly.

Peraza had four hits and pushed his batting average over the .300 mark.

"I'm trying to keep working on the details and put the ball in play," Peraza said.  

The Dodgers weren't finished.

Jumbo Diaz walked Utley and Seager forcing Bryan Price to bring Blake Wood into the game. Wood became the third Reds' pitcher to give up a home run to the first batter he faced as Gonzalez set a career high with his third home run of the game. His seven RBI was also a career high.  Yasmani Grandal gave the Dodgers their third set of back-to-back home runs.  Grandal, the Reds' first draft pick in 2010, it was his 22nd home run of the year, extending his career high.

The Dodgers scored two runs off Michael Lorenzen without the aid of a home run.  Seager set a career high with four hits in the game.

Bud Norris, who started the first game of the series on Friday, entered in the eighth for the Dodgers.  Schebler's third hit drove in Duvall with the Reds' eighth run.

The Reds resorted to using outfielder Tyler Holt to pitch the ninth.  Holt retired the side in order on five pitches using a knuckleball that he learned playing catch with his dad as an eight-year old.

"I couldn't take my at bat seriously," said Holt of his fly out to rightfield in the eighth inning. "I was trying to have a good time with it and take it seriously.  I threw two knuckleballs and three bp (batting practice) fastballs.  I didn't want to hit anybody.  Hitters aren't used to hitting a ball at that speed."

Cody Reed Starts For Louisville On Tuesday, Zack Cozart Still Out

Cody Reed will start Tuesday night for the Louisville Bats.

Reds' manager Bryan Price will rely on reports from roving pitching coach Jeff Fassero rather than Reed's pitching line.

"We want to see the shape of his pitches," Bryan Price said.  "We want to see his pitches change planes.  Jeff was knows what his pitches looked like when he was dominating at Double A."

Zach Cozart is still out with pain in his achilles tendon..

"We want to see him get on the field first," Bryan Price said.  "He has been inside, getting around the clock treatment."

Jose Peraza, who has hit in every game since being recalled, will remain with the team as long as the Reds' can find him playing time.  Louisville's season will end in exactly 14 days.

The Reds are looking at which pitchers to activate or promote.

"It's not like last year when we had pitching limits on a lot of guys," Price said. "The only guy we are close to innings limits is (Brandon) Finnegan."

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dodgers U-Turn Led By Chase Utley and Jose Urias

Chase Utley and Jose Urias led the Dodgers on a U-turn in the four game series with a 4-0 win.

The Dodgers sent young Urias, 20-years old, against a Reds' squad that scored 20 runs in the first two games of the series.

His task was tougher facing what has become the Reds' ace Anthony DeSclafani is 7-1 on the season.

The veteran Utley opened the game with his11th home run. Utley singled in a run in the third and scored on a single by Corey Seager.

 "I tried attacking," DeSclafani said.. "I'd like to have that pitch back in the first inning."

DeSclafani gave up a single ro Adrian Gonzalez leading off the sixth.  Yasmani Grandal doubled off the leftfield fence just out of the reach of  Adam Duvall.. Joc Pederson's sacrifice fly produced the Dodgers' fourth run.

 "In the third I got behind guys," DeSclafani said.."I just didn't make good pitches when I had to. I have to get better at that. This wasn't good enough. It was a grind. I tried to compete and keep the bullpen out of it."

Urias allowed two hits in three of his six innings but he didn't make things tougher on himself. He allowed six singles and no walks.  The Reds were unable to get the key hit they needed.

 "Urias was good today," Bryan Price said.. "He was better than I expected. He got the breaking ball over early. I stacked the lineup with right-handers and he was able to get it in on them. We didn't square a lot of balls up today. We were on a prodigious run lately."

Joe Blanton replaced Urias to start the seventh.  Eugenio Suarez doubled to leadoff the seventh, his second hit of the day.  He went to third on a passed ball but Ivan De Jesus Jr. bounced to the pitcher and Scott Schebler struck out.  Tucker Barnhart walked.  Joey Votto getting his first day off since June pinch hit for DeSclafani but Blanton caught him looking at strike three.

"DeSco threw the ball well for all intense and purpose," Price said.. "He got us through the seventh. He's not going to fall apart on us. It's part of the responsibility of a starting pitcher. When you have guys that fall apart when they give up runs early, if affects the bullpen."

Pedro Baez allowed an infield hit to Peraza but got Brandon Phillips to hit into a double play in the eighth.

Tony Cingrani started the eighth for the Reds. Ohlendorf pitched the ninth.

Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth in a non-save situation.

Moving On Up Zack Cozart Optimistic About Reds Near Future

The Reds are out of the basement.

With five straight wins, including last night's win over the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers sixth straight loss an 8-2 decision against Seattle, the Reds passed the Brewers in the standings.

"Like the Jefferson's said, we're moving on up," said Bryan Price in reference to the Jefferson's 70's TV show.

An injured Zack Cozart pointed out that the Reds' recent surge has come against good teams.  The Reds took three out of four from the Miami Marlins, who are within a game and a half from a Wild Card spot. The Reds have taken the last two from the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are within a half game of the National League West Division lead and currently hold the first Wild Card spot.

"We think we're one of the better teams," said Cozart, who is temporarily sidelined with a heal injury. "We're beating good teams.  The Dodgers came in with one of the best team ERA's in the league and we've hit them pretty well.  We've been consistent since we've gotten healthier.  Getting some starters back and getting Raiseel Iglesias and (Michael) Lorenzen back has helped out pitching staff. It is fun coming to the ball park.  We're not coming in here thinking we're going to lose."

It is no secret the Reds have been developing young players like Jose Peraza, who is taking Cozart's place for now.   Scott Schebler has replaced Jay Bruce.  The Reds have had clutch performances by Tony Renda and Ramon Cabrera this week.

Cozart sees the indications with the second half surge.

"I think we're going to better sooner than later," Cozart said.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Reds Jump All Over Brett Anderson And The Dodgers

The National Anthem was still echoing off the hills in Kentucky when the Reds jumped all over Brett Anderson to rout the Los Angeles Dodgers, 11-1.

Adam Duvall's 28th home run set the tone.

Anderson was making his second start after having surgery in March to repair a bulging disk in his back.  He gave up five runs in his only inning of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

The Reds gave him no pity.  Billy Hamilton singled sharply to center to open the game.  Jose Perraza, who carried a seven game hitting streak with him from Louisville, singled Hamilton to third.  Joey Votto topped a ball the Anderson and firstbaseman Adrian Gonzalez both went for the ball, leaving no one to cover first even if they had come up with the ball cleanly.  Gonzalez gloved it but dropped it.  Votto was credited with a hit.  After missing four games with an injured left foot, Duvall launched his home run into the Reds' bullpen.

Perraza was called up from Louisville while Zack Cozart allows his achilles tendon to heal.

"I feel happy to be back here to contribute to the team winning," Perraza said. "I worked on small details when I went back to Louisville. I put them to work. It was easier playing every day. I had a rhythm."

Perraza hit his first Major League home run in San Diego the day before he was sent to Louisville.

 "Freddy (Benevides) told me I had home runs in two straight games. (He homered in San Diiego the day before he was sent down) I thought about it and it was true."

The Reds starter Brandon Finnegan walked Kike Hernandez in the first inning but retired six of the first seven batters.  He led off the second inning with a double. Perraza singled to score him.

Finnegan walked in the third inning.  Anderson was removed from the game.  Grant Dayton took over. Dayton served up Perraza's second home run of the season to give the Reds a commanding, 7-0 lead.

While Finnegan held Los Angeles hitless through five innings.  All nine Reds in the starting lineup had at least one hit by the fifth inning.  The Reds loaded the bases on singles by Brandon Phillips, Eugenio Suarez and Ramon Cabrera against Josh Fields.  Hamilton walked to force in the eighth run of the game.

 "It is as sharp as I've seen Finnegan," Bryan Price said.. "We got him runs early so he didn't have to be so exact. He was coming out whether it rained or not. The hit just made it easier. He is one of the guys we are concerned about his innings.".

 "I was just worried about making quality pitches," Finnegan said. "I hand command of all three of my pitches tonight."

Adrian Gonzalez broke up the no hitter with a clean single to rightcenter, leading off the seventh.

 "Gonzalez hit it hard but you never know when BP (Brandon Phillips) is around," Finnegan said.. "We had the shift on but he beat it."

Finnegan retired the Dodgers in the seventh without Gonzalez advancing.

Rain halted play in the bottom of the seventh.

 Kenley Jansen had already been warmed up and announced before the rain delay for the Dodgers.  Joe Blanton took the mound at 10:50 when play resumes after 79 minutes.

Jumbo Diaz took over for the Reds in the eighth.  Finnegan finished seven innings allowed one hit and two walks.  He struck out eight.

"I'm not going to tell you what I'd have done if he still had a no hitter. Yeah with 93 pitches we would have probably sent him out," Price said..

Tony Renda doubled in the eighth off J.P Howell and scored when Duvall singled to drive in his fourth run of the game.  Schebler followed with his fourth home run.

The Reds had 12 different hitters come to the plate and 11 of them hit safely.  Only Tyler Holt who had one at bat in the eighth failed to get a hit.

Josh Smith allowed a run in a mop up role.

Jose Peraza Up, Keyvius Sampson Down, Zack Cozart Out, Adam Duvall In

Jose Peraza was recalled from Triple A Louisville.  Keyvius Sampson was optioned to Louisville.

It was nothing Sampson did wrong. He was sent down in lieu of a shortstop because Zack Cozart is dealing with a sore achilles tendon.

Ivan De Jesus Jr.has been filling in admirably for the Reds. Along with Tony Renda, who played leftfield while Adam Duvall nursed a bruised left foot from fouling a ball off it on Monday, De Jesus has filled in for Cozart.  Tyler Holt and Ramon Cabrera have also played well while spelling Tucker Barnhart and Billy Hamilton, who lost a heated debate with the outfield fence.

"Zack is a little banged up," Bryan Price said. "We are going to let the swelling go away. I'm not going to put him out there. I'm not comfortable with a three-man bench.  Duvall is back. It is good to get whole again."

Sampson pitched the ninth inning last night. He picked up the bullpen with six innings of relief in Milwaukee last Sunday.

"You're always only a day away from using up your bullpen but we've been getting better starts lately," Price said. "If that happens we can get someone here to give us an eight-man bullpen."

Peraza was sent to Louisville to maintain frequent playing time. He comes back to play his former teammates with a .250 average, one home run and eight RBI.  Peraza had a seven game hitting streak at Louisville, with 12 hits in 27 at bats (.444).

Scott Schebler and Corey Seager Friendly Rivals

Scott Schebler and his former roommate Corey Seager are competing against each other at Great American Ball Park this weekend.

Schebler came to the Reds in the three-way trade with the White Sox that sent Todd Frazier to Chicago.  The Dodgers got three players from Chicago.  Schebler, Jose Perraza and Brandon Dixon from the Dodgers.

Seagar and Schebler came up through the Dodgers' system. Schebler was the 26th round pick of the Dodgers in the 2010 draft.  Seager was the Dodgers' first choice in the 2012 draft.  Seager, 21, spent the first part of the 2013 season at Great Lakes in the Midwest League, the was promoted to Rancho Cucamonga in the California League.  Schebler was there from the beginning of the season and the pair became friends.

"It is fun to play against those guys and beat them for bragging rights," Schebler said. "People would ask me if I saw him being this good.  I said 1,000 percent."  Seager is hitting .313 with 21 home runs and 57 RBI.

Schebler is in his second stint with the Reds.  He started the season on the Major League roster but was sent to Louisville on May 8 after hitting .188 in 27 games.  While at Louisville, Schebler hit a cool .311 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 75 games.  He was named International League Player of the Month in July. Schebler returned to the Reds in August after Jay Bruce was traded.  Since his return, Schebler is hitting .175 with two home runs and six RBI, including a game-winning homer against St. Louis.

Rachael Adams Daughter Of Former Colerain Star Wins Medal In Rio

A Colerain heritage is part of the makeup of USA Volleyball star, Rachael Adams scored 15 points, five blocks and two aces.in the Bronze medal match win over the Netherlands.

Rachael Adams
Her father Richard was a standout  basketball player for the Colerain Cardinals from 1972-74.  Richard and Robin Adams' daughter played Volleyball at Mount Notre Dame.

She got a scholarship to play the sport at the University of Texas, majoring in advertising.

Richard was in Rio de Janeiro to watch his daughter.  After he starred for Colerain, Adams played basketball at the University of Illinois.

We was drafted by  the San Antonio Spurs in 1978 but didn't play in the NBA.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Joey Votto Backs Tim Adleman With A Home Run Michael Lorenzen Goes Deep

Joey Votto's three-run home run in the first inning backed a credible performance by the man who came from nowhere, Tim Adleman in a 9-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It snapped a string of nine straight wins by the Dodgers over the Red.

Bud Norris walked Billy Hamilton and surrendered a single to Ivan De Jesus Jr., playing in place of Zack Cozart.  Votto lifted his 20th home run of the season onto the grassy knoll beyond the centerfield fence.

Adleman was drafted in the 24th round by the Baltimore Orioles in 2010 and released in 2012.  He signed with the Reds out of an independent league in October 2013 and spent two years with Bakersfield and Pensacola.  At 28-years old, he was invited to his first Major League camp this spring in Goodyear, Arizona.

Adleman pitched in four games, pitching 4.1 innings and was lit up for 11 earned runs. He was dead last on the spring training stat sheet with a 22.85 ERA.  He turned it around in Louisville and earned a start with three starts and a 2-0 record with a 4.24 ERA.  Adleman made four starts for the Reds in May.  He had a 1-1 record with a 3.72 ERA.  A strained right oblique forced him out of his start on May 19 after 3 1/3 innings of three-hit, two-run baseball.

The Reds had runners on first and third with no outs after the Votto home run in the first. Norris pitched out of further trouble coaxing a shallow fly to left by Scott Schebler and a double play grounder from Tony Renda.

Adleman gave up a two-out triple in the first and jams in ehe second, third and fifth to log five scoreless innings. But not before he contributed some offense.There were some big plays in that game.

"Adleman was able to stay comfortable in high stress situations," Bryan Price said.

 "Getting out of those situations had a lot to do with the defense," Adleman said. "Renda went up against the wall in left. Billy used every inch of the ball park to make a catch. You have to tip your cap to Tucker for calling the right pitch in those situations. I'm not a guy that's going out there to strike out 10 or 12. If you're going to pitch that way you have to be able to get out of those situations after a couple singles and men on base."

 Eugenio Suarez reached on a single off Norris to open the Reds' fourth.  He went to second on a wild pitch and to third on a ground out. Renda's pop fly to right was not deep enough to score Suarez.  The Dodgers walked Tucker Barnhart intentionally to pitch to Adleman.  The big right-hander ripped a double to the gap in rightcenter for his first Major League hit and RBI's.  Votto drove in his fourth run of the game by taking a walk with the bases loaded.

"I don't think you can count on five RBI from your pitchers every night," Price said. "They had a chance to get out of that inning by walking Barnhart and he hit a two-strike pitch into the gap. That was a big hit not only because we extended the lead but it forced Norris to throw more pitches."

Adleman was calm as he could be but delighted about the hit.

 "The hit was pretty cool. I thought they would walk Tucker," Adleman said.. "I figured if I'm going to hit just don't punch out. The swing on the second strike was pretty weak. I thought he might try to go high on me to get me to chase and I was able to get the bat on it."

Ross Ohlendorf allowed a run in relief in the seventh inning.

Michael Lorenzen bailed out Ohlendorf on his first day back from bereavement leave.  He entered the seventh with one out and runners at first and second.  He got the two outs to end the threat.

Lorenzen, a former outfielder at Cal-State Fullerton, hit his first Major League home run with two runners on off Pedro Baez to extend the Reds' leave from the death of his father.

"The Lorenzen home run was emotional for all of us," Price said.. "If you stay in this game long enough you still think you won't see anything like that It was so improbable. It was majestic and poetic The emotions were palpable and got stronger when he got to the dugout. The curtain call showed there was some awareness in the crowd."

Lorenzen's father left his familty when Michael was in elementary school.  His father had to battle drugs and alcohol.  His father was in his life even after he left the home.

“Definitely, everything happens for a reason," Lorenzen said.. "I just praise God for something like that happening. It’s something special, not just for me, but for my family, Lorenzen said. ”Everything that happened tonight, I don’t think I’ll ever feel that way again. My family needed that. It was just a great feeling to do this with everyone watching.”

Lorenzen's emotions got the bet of him after the third out of the seventh inning. His teammates helped him get together to take his at bat.

 “Even after the third out of my first inning I needed to go back into the bathroom because I broke down," Lorenzen said.. "There were some teammates who helped me out and I was able to go out and hit”.  

Lorenzen changed walkup music to The Who:to honor his father.

“My dad was a Who fanatic," Lorenzen said.. "He took me to a concert. He says I throw so hard because I used to play the drums on the floor. That’s one of his favorite stories. I’ve been listening to the Who the past two days. Helped me have good memories of growing up”.  

The Dodgers scored a run off Keyvius Sampson in a mop up role.

Zack Cozart, Adam Duvall Sit One More Day Michael Lorenzen Is Back

Zack Cozart and Adam Duvall are both available but will get an extra day to rest their injuries.

Cozart is feeling the residual effects of his knee surgery.  He could be used in the game but Bryan Price decided to give him an extra day.

Duvall fouled a ball off his instep on Monday.  He is feeling better but again Price decided to give him that extra day.

"I could use him as part of a double switch," Price said. "He hit live on the field yesterday. We talked about him being available but I thought it would be a bad idea.  I think one more day will do it.  Cozart hasn't shown enough improvement. I would like to get this behind him."

 "I fouled it off my instep (on left foot)," Duvall said. "I've fouled plenty of balls off it but I've never missed any time. The first night was unbearable. I couldn't sleep it was throbbing. It is better now. I'm going to wear a guard on it."

Michael Lorenzen came back from his bereavement leave.

The reason for Lorenzen's bereavement remains private but it clearly had an effect on the usually outgoing pitcher with a positive attitude.

 "It is good to be back around the team. It's good for me. It's good for my family to be able to tune in and watch me play. I think it will weigh on me a little bit. It'll be tough. He took me to all my games and stuff. I'll always remember him," said Lorenzen in an uncharacteristic subdued tone.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Reds Fillet Marlins And Jose Fernandez

The Reds played spoiler to the Marlins' playoff run with a 5-4 win over their young ace Jose Fernandez.

Ramon Cabrera slammed a three-run home run in the second inning off Fernandez. It was Cabrera's first of the season.

Brandon Phillips led off the inning with a solid single.  Scott Schebler singled out out later.  Cabrera unloaded into the right field bleachers.

 "We took advantage of Fernandez' strikes early in the count," Bryan Price said.. "But he throws it around 100. He looked like a million bucks but we got the barrel on the ball. Ramon set the tone for us. Most of Ramon's production has come from the right side but he was great from the left today."

The Reds got to Fernandez again in the third using a different tactic, speed.

Billy Hamilton opened the inning with a single off Fernandez.  Joey Votto walked with one out.  Phillips hit a line drive to centerfielder Marcel Ozuna, who caught it on the run.  Hamilton tagged but was indecisive about continuing. He stopped but then sprinted for third.  Ozuna's throw to third skipped past Martin Prado and Hamilton raced home.  Eugenio Suarez doubled to plate Votto, giving the Reds a 5-0 lead.

Fernandez left after four innings, his shortest outing of the year.

Dan Straily shutout the Marlins on two hits through five innings.  Ozuna hit his 22nd home run with Prado on base with his seventh hit of the series.

"They are one of those teams that make you fight for each out," Straily said. "The only pitch I'd take back was the change up to Ozuna. When Mack came out to the mound. He just came out to settle me down. He wanted to know what my next pitch was. I said a slider and Ramon said a slider. We were on the same page. Outside of the pitch to Ozunas, it was all about the next pitch."

Straily left after six innings in line for his fifth straight winning decision over six starts.  He allowed two runs on six hits and struck out seven with no walks.

"It is a special year for Straily. He is solidifying his career," Price said.

Cabrera nearly hit another home run that missed the right field seats by a couple feet.  He ended up with a single as Ichiro Suzuki played it off the wall.  He lined out to the shortstop in the fourth and lined out hard to Suzuki in the eighth.

"It was special for me. I talked to the umpire (Pat Hoberg). He said do you remember who the umpire was when you hit your first home run off Lackey? It was me," Cabrera said.."I come in every day and work in the cage to stay ready. I hit everything hard tonight."

The Marlins put two runners on with no outs against Jumbo Diaz.  A throwing error by Diaz allowed Jeff Mathis to reach to open the inning.  Diaz walked Adeiny Hechavarria but struck out pinch hitter Derek Dietrich.  Dee Gordon grounded out as the runners moved up. Prado's second hit of the game drove in two runs.
Blake Wood took over for Diaz. Wood struck out Christian Yelich to put out the fire.

Wood added a scoreless eighth setting up Raisel Iglesias for his second save.

Iglesias pitched a perfect ninth.

In The Olympic Year Billy Hamilton Strives For The Gold

Billy Hamilton would like to see gold on his mantle this winter but he doesn't covet Hussein Bolt's gold medal for sprinting a skill in which Hamilton also excels.

The Reds' outfielder would like a Gold Glove on his mantel to illustrate the work he's done in preparation to play centerfield.

"It would mean a lot," Hamilton said. "Just because after a couple years I thought I should have had it. I think about and I don't know what they look for. It shoudn't be about hitting. It's the Gold Glove not the Gold Bat Glove. I'd like it for all the effort I gave.."

Hamilton is just in his fourth full year in centerfield.  He was signed as an infielder and played secondbase but mostly shortstop.

"They came to me in 2012 when I was in Pensacola and asked me if I wanted to move to centerfield.  They said it would get me to the big leagues faster.  I started playing it that year in the Arizona Fall League."

Billy had reservations when first told but then thought it might be easier than playing shortstop.

"I told them I'll be honest with you. I've never played outfield.  I thought about and thought how hard could it be shagging fly balls. Then I got out there the first day and thought oh, I see how hard it it. It's not that easy."

After nightly appearances on Sportscenter and other hightlight shows,

"It is fun for me to be out there.  They let me play where they want me to play," Hamilton said. "It was hard being out there in the sun, then night games. Then how the ball gets off the bat and knowing who's batting. How they hit the ball and reading off the bat. That's the main thing.  Adjusting to the flight of the ball was hard for me. I never thought I'd be as good at it."

Another honor Hamilton has in sights is the Reds' team stolen bases of 81 set by Bob Bescher in 1911.

"It would be amazing," Hamilton said of breaking Bescher's mark. "I want to help my team and 81 bags would help them out a lot.  It's something I look forward to trying to get but it's not about me stealing bases it's about getting on base."

Hamilton declined when asked if he would like to race Bolt.

"I don't want to get embarrassed," Hamilton said. "I'm not a big race guy. I just play baseball and run the bases.  If I could train, maybe but let's start with him hitting a baseball and go from there.  It would be a lot easier for me to race.  I could train and run 100 yards.  I could do that. But let's see if he could hit a baseball. That is not easy."

Hamilton makes a lot of catches look easy but unseen is the work leading up to them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Won't You Come Home H Bailey? Brandon Phillips Backs His Pitcher Up With Bat And Glove

Homer Bailey made his first start at Great American Ball Park since August 7, 2014, a 4-0 win over Cleveland.  While not involved in the decision, he turned the game over to the bullpen that allowed the Reds to outlast Miami in a 3-2 win.

It was Bailey's fourth start of the season and is coming off a six-inning scoreless start against Milwaukee.  Bailey stretched his scoreless streak to nine innings before Marcel Ozuna blasted his 21st home run into the Reds' bullpen.

"They (Marlins) put together some really good at bats," Bailey said.. They laid off a lot of close pitches.. The home run was a pitch I just served up there. It didn't come out of my hand right."

After over two years not pitching here, Bailey had minor adjustments to make.

"I've been here long enough that I'm familiar with the dimensions. The lower mound, it took a little time to get used to it again," Bailey said. "Under normal circumstances I could have pitched longer but Bryan made the decision to get me out."

Brandon Phillips backed his longtime teammate with two sterling defensive gems. Phillips returning after missing two games with bruised knees, stole a hit from Martin Prado with a leaping grab of a line drive in the third inning and a leaping throw to edge Dee Gordon leading off the fifth inning.

"I got to the ball easy enough and I knew I could make the play on Dee Gordon but he's fast. I wasn't sure I could get him out," Phillips said.

Phillips returned to his hot hitting form that saw him hit .500 in his last 10 games.  Phillips doubled leading off the fourth and scored the tying run on a double by Eugenio Suarez.

"It was a situation where he could have played yesterday but we'll give him one more day," Bryan Price said.

Phillips was all smiles after his contributions.

 "I had a lot of stupid injuries. I gave my body a little rest. I'm not thinking about it right now but when I get home and sit down to watch a movie. I might," Phillips said.

Suarez gave the run back the next inning.  Christian Yelich singled with two outs and stole second base.  Ozuna hit a smash right at Suarez but he missed the ball that allowed Yelich to score.

Bailey left after the fifth, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk.  He struck out six. Bailey is still looking for his first win but a rally capped by Phillips' two-run double off Nick Wittgren in the seventh put the Reds on top.  Billy Hamilton pinch hit for Smith and beat out a slow roller to the thirdbase side of the mound, that Wittgren bobbled for just an instant.  It was enough for Hamilton to reach.  Tony Renda's sacrifice moved Hamilton to second.  Zack Cozart popped to short.  The Marlins' walked Joey Votto intentionally but Phillips doubled to the gap in right center.to put the Reds ahead, 3-2.

"I was looking for a pitch out over the plate and I finally got it," Phillips said.

Blake Wood blanked the Marlins in the eighth.

Tony Cingrani earned his 15th save with a perfect ninth..

The Ball Will Find You

Tony Renda just started playing leftfield this season.

He played 46 games (45 started) in leftfield this season at Double A Pensacola and played six games for Louisville in the month and a half he was with the bats.

Renda was drafted in the 42nd round by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of Serra High in San Mateo County, California. It is the same high school that Barry Bonds attended.  The 5'8" 173 pounder decided to accept a baseball scholarship to California instead.  After three years, he was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the second round of the draft.  Renda was traded to the New York Yankees last summer and was included in the Aroldis Chapman trade over the winter along with Eric Jagielo, Rookie Davis and Caleb Cotham.

Renda, 25, hit .326 in 68 games for the Blue Wahoos.  He was promoted to Louisville and hit .280 in 23 games.

The Reds promoted him after the trade of Jay Bruce on August 2.  He made his debut against St. Louis and pinch hit.  He reached first on the bunt which was ruled a sacrifice and an error.  Three days later the scoring was changed to a base hit, giving him his first Major League hit.

Renda started two games at second base before he replaced Adam Duvall, who fouled a ball off his foot.  The rookie made his first major league start in leftfield in place of Duvall.

And the ball found him.  Christian Yelich, the third batter of the game, blooped a single into left in front of Renda for a run scoring single.  There was another hit to left and a fly out to left in the first inning.

"Anytime you're in a new position or when you double switch the ball has a way of finding you. That's just baseball. I feel comfortable out there," said Renda, who added his third single of the year.

Adam Duvall is in a boot to immobilize his left foot.  He is not expected to miss more than a couple games.

"There is no fracture. He was hit on one of those spots that you don't want to be hit. We decided immobilizingit was the wayt to go. We think he'll be out a couple days," Bryan Price said.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tucker Barnhart's Grand Slam Sinks Marlins

Tucker Barnhart had never hit a grand slam in his career until he launched a pitch by Jose Urena into the rightfield bleachers at Great American Ball Park as the Reds evened the series with a 6-3 win over the Miami Marlins.

Barnhart's seventh home run of the year broke a tie forged by a bases loaded walk to Ivan De Jesus Jr.,who started in place of the injured Brandon Phillips.

Anthony DeSclafani wanted to bounce back after his lone loss of the season in his last start, despite a quality start of six innings, three runs.  Martin Prado doubled for his fourth hit of the series and scored on Christian Yellich's bloop single. 

DeSclafani rolled his ankle in the fourth inning after reaching on a walk.  He had to change directions on a line drive to short that turned into a double play.

"I rolled my ankle a little bit. It's swollen and sore right now. But I've rolled it in games before and knew if I moved around and kept it loose I would be o.k," DeSclafani said.. "I'm glad I was able to get quick outs. Cozart made a great play that always helps. We had a big lead so I didn't have to be so fine."

With two outs and the bases empty Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez and Scott Scheble singled to load the bases.  De Jesus walked on a 3-2 pitch and Barnhart homered on a 1-0 pitch.

 "He (Urena) throws a lot of fastballs," Barnhart said.. "I got ahead in the count. The ball got in on me a little bit but I got enough of it."
On his current streak

"There were a lot of things that had to happen with two outs to get to Barny," Bryan Price said.. "He gives you an at bat you can trust. You can let him swing 3-0, you can trust him to take a pitch and hit and run in certain situations. He can handle the bat well enough to be that first catcher."

The home run extended Barnhart's hitting streak to 12 games.

"I don't hit in the cage as much as I did early in the season. I just take batting practice and get loose," Barnhart said. "It's the time of the year where you start to feel it (fatigue) a little bit.".
Miami scored when Dee Gordon singled, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out. He scored on a balk by DeSclafani.

Votto's sacrifice fly drove in Tony Renda, who started in leftfield.  Renda singled; moved to second on a walk to Zack Cozart and to third on a wild pitch.

Raisel Iglesias pitched two innings and gave up a home run to Christian Yellich, his 13th.  Iglesias had allowed a total of six singles to hitters in their last 51 at bats.

Tony Cingrani entered in the ninth inning trying to earn his 14th save.  Cingrani gave up a triple to Ichiro Suzuki.  It was the last Major League ballpark in which he was hitless.  After walk to Adeiny Hechavarria, Cingrani got Chris Johnson to hit into a double play to end the game.

Reds Work Around Pain

The Reds are missing four players as they challenge the Miami Marlins tonight in the second game of this four-game series.

Billy Hamilton has a bruised right side of his body. Brandon Phillips is still healing from a contusion on his knee.  Adam Duvall fouled a ball off his foot last night but continued to "gut it out."  Michael Lorenzen was placed on the three-day bereavement list.

Tim Adleman was recalled from Louisville to take Lorenzen's place.  Tony Renda will play leftfield and leadoff.  Ivan De Jesus Jr., who played shortstop last night will move to secondbase.  Scott Schebler will move to centerfield and Tyler Holt will play in rightfield.

The list of injuries continue to grow for the Reds but they are not alone.

“It all came together at one point in time," Bryan Price said. "The good news is none of them require a trip to the DL, but for the short term, we’re a little short."

Marlins' manager was asked about his growing injury list, including the loss of slugger Giancarlo Stanton with a groin injury.

"I think it's baseball," Mattingly explained. "Every year, every team gets banged up. We can't worry about it. We have to focus on ourselves.  We have to find a way to win tonight and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow."

Price is in the same boat.  He has to move his players around and find a way to win tonight.

Adleman was coming up anyway.

“The way we had it laid out, he was going to start on Friday anyway," Price said.. "In the meantime, he supports us in relief, especially with Keyvius not available after pitching five innings (on Sunday). If we don’t have to utilize him in relief, he’ll start on Friday. We hope we don’t have to use him(in relief). We’d like to see him start on Friday against the Dodgers.”

Adleman was chosen in lieu of rookie Robert Stephenson, who has turned in seven quality starts in his last 10 games but is 2-6 with a 5.46 ERA in those games. On the season, Stephenson is 6-9 with a 4.29 ERA.

“Well, first of all, there’s how he pitched in May," Price said. "After watching him, I was thinking he can pitch up here. Then he had a string of good starts with Louisville. He’s our next best, It’s nice to reward the guys who are performing the best.”

Adleman made 11 starts for Louisville and two more in Cincinnati before he injured his oblique.

As a Bats' starter he is 3-1 with a 2.31 ERA.  In his two starts with the Reds he is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA.

Hamilton ran into the wall twice on Monday night and is really banged up.

“It’s my whole right side," Hamilton said.  "It’s nothing bad. It’s just the impact of hitting the wall. It’s my knee more than anything. I’ve hit the wall a couple of time, but this is the worst one yet. The wall is undefeated.”

His sourse of action is to rest.

“I’m not going to do anything today," Hamilton said.. "I’ll get some treatment. The next couple of days could be better.”  

Price wants Hamilton to stay aggressive.

 “I have not told him not to run into walls," Price said.. "I have not advised him to play more conservatively. If he continues to have times when he’s missing two or three days at a time, there may come a time when we have to do that, but a component of his game is aggression – offensively and defensively. It’s how he plays the game, and I would hate to talk him down from that level of play.”

Monday, August 15, 2016

Reds Play Spoiler But Marlins Fresh In Series Opener

The Reds started a 10-game homestand against wild-card candidates in the Miami Marlins. The visitors from Miami opened the four-game series with a 6-3 win.

Brandon Finnegan got the ball for the Reds.

Finnegan came into the game with two quality starts in a row against the St. Louis Cardinals, winning a 7-0 contest in which he pitched six innings, then allowed three runs in six innings to the Cardinals in St. Louis on Tuesday in a no-decision.

The left-hander started slowly.

Dee Gordon opened the game with a double and promptly scored on Martin Prado's single.  Billy Hamilton saved him with a fine running catch of Marcel Ozuna's fly near the Reds' bullpen in left centerfield.

Scott Schebler hit his third homer of the season off Marlins' starter David Phelps which snapped an 0-for-28 slump.

Finnegan worked out of a jam in the third when Prado tripled with one out.  Hamilton ran into the wall and jammed his shoulder on the play.  Christian Yellich drew a walk but Ozuna hit into a 6-4-3 double play.

Chris Johnson's fifth home run scraped the fence in the rightfield corner to put the Marlins ahead again.  Ozuna led off the sixth with his 20th home run to center.  Hamilton's replacement Tyler Holt could only watch.  Finnegan walked J.T. Realmuto, who scored on Johnson's double.  Finnegan was replaced by Jumbo Diaz

 "They took advantage of some elevation pitches," Bryan Price said.. "I bet they are tickled to death to be hitting here instead of their own ballpark."

Finnegan felt he pitched well enough.

 "I made a lot of good pitches today," Finnegan said.  "I had bad luck on two routine fly balls that carried out. I've been going deep into games all year. There were just a few games that I didn't."

 The Reds inched closer in the bottom of the sixth against three Marlins pitchers.

Ivan De Jesus Jr. singled with one out.  Joey Votto walked facing Brian Ellington.  Out out later Ellington walked Eugenio Suarez.  Hunter Cervenka, a leftield came in the game to face lefty hitting Schebler and walked in the run.  Dustin McGowan struck out Joe Renda to end the threat.

Tucker Barnhart hit his 18th double to open the seventh against McGowan.  Pinch hitter Kyle Waldrop struck out but Holt hit a ground ball up the middle that Marlins' shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria stopped from going into centerfield with dive.  The throw to get Holt at first was wide and ended up out of play as Barnhart scored to make it 4-3.   De Jesus grounded out to move Holt to third.  Mike Dunn relieved McGowan to face Votto, who grounded out to end the inning.

The Marlins loaded the bases with two outs against Blake Wood with two walks and an infield single.  Dee Gordan hit a ground ball fielded by Votto, who had to back up on a high hop.  His under hand feed to Wood covering caused Wood to miss first.  Gordon was credited with an infield single as Johnson and Hechavarria scored on the play.  Schebler made a diving catch of Prado's bid for a fourth hit off Ross Ohlendorf to end the inning.

 "We got into a bind in that inning," Price said. "We had a bang, bang play at first and they had some speed on the bases."

 Billy Hamilton ran into the fence twice chasing down fly balls and left after the sixth innings with a contusion on his knee.

"Billy has a contusion. He ran into the wall twice. Basically, the entire side of his body from his shoulder to his knee is a contusion. The knee was more prominent."

"He is a gold glover. He takes a lot of pressure off you," said Finnegan of Hamilton.

The Reds threatened again in the eighth against Kyle Barraclough.  Adam Duvall reached on an error by Hechavarria.  Suarez singled to set the Reds up with no outs.  Schebler took a called strike on a 3-2 pitch. Tony Renda smashed the ball down the thirdbase line but Prado turned it into force at third with a diving stop.  Barnhart grounded to short to end the inning.

"We made a couple of pushes against their bullpen pieces," Price said. "Phelps was very good."

Fernando Rodney walked Zack Cozart pinch hitting but struck out De Jesus and Votto to earn his 21st save. He had 17 with San Diego before being traded to Miami.

Reds Farm Cody Reed Recall Kyle Waldrop...Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart Out Of The Lineup

Reed, the key talent in the trade that sent Johnny Cueto to Kansas City, was 0-7 in 10 starts with a 7.36 ERA overall.  Reed had problems in the first inning of games.  His ERA was over 14 in 10 first innings.

 “What we wanted to see was him turn the corner somewhat. I talked to Cody when we sent him out and I told him his season was not dissimilar to those with the kids we brought up last year," Bryan Price said. "They struggled and got knocked around. He needs to work on controlling the running game and his command of the zone. He’s got some things to work on, and he will. He’s got some work to do on his delivery.”

Is he an option to be recalled in September?

“He is for me. Some of that might be based on his innings. We know what we want to do with him. We want him to pitch in September,” Price said.

Brandon Phillips is sitting out with contusions on both knees.  Tony Renda will start in his place.  Ivan De Jesus is in the lineup giving Zack Cozart a day off.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Reds Rudely Welcome Mike Leake Home

Mike Leake played the prodigal son as he took the Great American Ball Park mound, his old stomping grounds.

The new look Reds behind the batsmanship of Brandon Phillips spanked its former number one draft choice in a 7-0 white wash to win just its fourth series against the Cardinals in the last 12 played at GABP.

Phillips lined a single to right to open the second inning. Scott Schebler doubled over Brandon Moss' head at firstbase.  Eugenio Suarez first attempt at a sacrifice fly was too short but Ramon Carbrera hit a hard grounder between Moss and the bag for a two-run single.

Brandon Finnegan was the victim of an error by Suarez as leadoff hitter Tommy Pham reached base.  Finnegan retired the next 13 batters until Jhonny Peralta singled in the fifth with one out.  He retired the last five batters he faced in order, completing six innings with one hit and four strikeouts.

"I didn't have my best stuff but I commanded the ball pretty well," Finnegan said.

"The hit three balls on the barrel in the sixth inning. For a guy that is accumulating innings, we thought he did enough.  We had a fresh bullpen," Bryan Price said.

The Reds added on to the lead off Leake.

Phillips doubled to open the fourth.  Schebler grounded to first sent Phillips to third.  Suarez' second attempt at a sacrifice fly was successful.

The Reds knocked Leake out in the sixth.

Adam Duvall walked.  Phillips' second double sent Duvall home.. Leake hit Schebler with a pitch that had the Reds' new rightfielder hobbling.  Suarez doubled to the gap in leftcenter for another run.. Seth Manes replaced Leake.  Cabrera drove in his third run of the game with a single.  Tyler Holt hit into a double play as Suarez scored the seventh run.

"I just try to put the ball in play in that situation," Cabrera said. "I just want to hit the ball hard somewhere."

Raisel Iglasias pitched two scoreless innings.for his 11th straight scoreless effort, covering 22 2/3 innings.

"He is nasty," Cabrera said.  "He comes down sidearm.  That's tough for the hitters. They don't want to face him."

Jumbo Diaz and Tony Cingrani finished the Reds' fourth shutout of the season.

Zack Cozart's Finger Leads To Unusual Pinch Hit

Zack Cozart is still out with a bruised ring finger but may be able to play if he is able to grip a bat.

The Reds are working with a four-man bench as it is and were short of hitters off the bench on Wednesday night. The Reds had a backup catcher, Billy Hamilton and newcomer Joe Renda on the bench when they needed a hitter for starting pitcher Cody Reed in the fifth inning..

Bryan Price didn't want to use his bench so early so he sent Josh Smith in to hit and to relieve Reed.

"Smitty can handle the bat a little bit," Price said.  "We told him if he got loose in time, he would hit for Reed. He threw one more pitch and headed for the dugout."

Smith was already warming when bullepn coach Ted Power told him that Reed was facing his last batter.  Reed's spot in the batting order was due to lead off the bottom of the inning.

Reed coaxed a double play to end the top of the fifth, so Smith didn't have time to think about it.

"That was probably a good thing," Smith said.  "I just wanted to swing at the first fastball I saw.  I knew they didn't want to walk me so I thought I might get a good pitch to hit."

Smith lined that first pitch into the leftfield corner for a double. It was the first pinch hit by a Reds' pitcher since Micah Owings singled off Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers on June 15, 2010.

Smith had a triple in 10 at bats last season, so it wasn't his first Major League hit.  He is now 3-for-12 with a sacrifice bunt in his brief career.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cody Reed Struggles But Scott Schebler Shines In Loss To Cardinals

Scott Schebler is making Reds' fans forget Jay Bruce but he can't help Cody Reed forget his 0-6 start on a night the St. Louis Cardinals ganged up on the rookie for four first inning runs on the way to a 5-4 win over the home team.

It was rugged from the start.

Tommy Pham singled to open the game.  Jedd Gyorko doubled to left to put runners on second and third.  Stephen Piscotty bounced to Reed on the mound.  He threw home to get Pham in a rundown.  Pham did his job and stayed in the rundown, long enough to keep runners at second and third.  Reed loaded the bases when he hit Matt Holiday.  The rookie lefty got ahead of left-handed hitting Brandon Moss 0-2 but Moss doubled home two runs.  Johnny Peralta hit a ground ball to Ivan De Jesus Jr., playing for the injured Zack Cozart (bruised right ring finger), threw out Holliday at the plate.  Yadier Molina walked to reload the bases. Greg Garcia capped the inning with a two-run single.

"Reed isn't acute with his stuff," Bryan Price said. "His best innnings were second through fifth by then we were in a hole.  In the big leagues this is what it's all about. Not too many pitchers come into the league and are successful right away. They have to get punched in the face then get up and punch back."

Homer Bailey came up in June 2008 and was 0-6 in his first eight starts with a 7.93 ERA.

"He showed me," said Reed, who is now 0-6 in his first eight starts with a 7.30 ERA.

"He;s one of our five starters. These guys put enough pressure on themselves. I'm not going to turn up the heat on them," Price said.  "I think he will be a good big league pitcher."

The Reds bounced back against Michael Wacha.

Tyler Holt, starting for the first time since May 29, singled past Gyorko at thirdbase.  Eugenio Suarez dumped a single to right centerfield and Holt raced to third.  Joey Votto reached base for the sixth straight time with an RBI single.  Brandon Phillips forced Votto at secondbase as Suarez scored.  Schebler singled but was stranded.

Matt Holliday singled down the rightfield line to open the third but Schebler cut it off and caught Holliday at second.  Moss doubled but was stranded.

"They always said I have an average arm," Schebler said. "The reverse pivot put some momentum behind the throw."

Wacha allowed a single by Phillips in the third but picked him off to end the inning.

Gyorko hit a fly destined for the rightfield seats but Schebler got position and brought it back, saving a run.  Reed gave up a home run to Piscotty on the next pitch.

"I've seen Jay (Bruce) do it a million times. I was working with Hatcher before the game a little bit. Early in the year I had two opportunities to do it and both times a fan took it from me.  One was here (GABP) and a Cubs fan got it."

Schebler didn't start playing outfield until rookie ball in the Dodgers' organization in 2010.

Josh Smith doubled as a pinch hitter for Reed leading off the fifth but he was stranded before he took the mound to throw two scoreless innings.

"Josh can handle the bat a little bit," Price said.  "Ted (Power) told him if he got loose, he'd be in to hit.  He threw one pitch and ran in from the bullpen."

"They told me it was Cody's last batter when Moss was at the plate and that if he got the double play you are going to bat," Smith said.  "I didn't have a lot of time to think about it.  That probably helped.  I knew he didn't want to walk me leading off I was going to swing at the first fastball I saw."

Smith hasn't hit in a game in four or five years.  "I played thirdbase in college," Smith said.

The Reds sixth was reviewed for over six minutes.  First, Adam Duvall tripled off Piscotty's glove and went home when Piscotty's throw appeared to go into the stands as umpire Phil Cuzzi ruled.  The Cardinals challenged the call and got a reversal.  Phillips singled to score Duvall belatedly.  Schebler grounded into the shift and the Cardinals appeared to turn a 4-5-3 double play but the Reds had it reviewed because Gyorko left the base before gloving the throw.  De Jesus singled Phillips home.

Duvall reached second with one out in the eighth but Kevin Siegrist got Phillips to fly out and struck out Schebler.

Seung Hwan Ho, who gave up the game winning home run to Schebler on Tuesday came on to save this one for the Cardinals.  Tucker Barnhart singled with one out.  Billy Hamilton ran for him.  Ramon Cabrera pinch hit for Michael Lorenzen, who pitched two scoreless innings.  Cabrera flied out but Hamilton stole his 37th base on the first pitch to Holt.  Holt worked the count full.  Oh struck out Holt to earn his eight save in nine attempts.

Scott Schebler In Right, Adam Duvall in Left and Tyler Hot In Center Reds Outfield New Look

Tyler Holt hasn't had a start since May 29 but will be in centerfield and leading off for the Reds on Wednesday.

The slightly built Billy Hamilton will get a night off with a day game on Thursday.  He is healthy and the Reds want to keep him that way.

"It was more that I wanted to get Holt in there," Bryan Price said.  "Today seemed like a good day."

Scott Schebeler started the game Tuesday in left with Adam Duvall moving over to take rightfield that was vacated with the Jay Bruce trade.

All three outfielders were competing along with Jake Cave and Yorman Rodriguez for the open leftfield spot this spring.  Schebler was expected to platoon with Duvall but struggled.  Schebler was optioned to Louisville and regained his stroke, hitting .311 with 13 home runs in 75 games.

Holt and Schebeler had key hits in the season opening win against the Philadelphia Phillies.

'We're trying to gage Schebler as a rightfielder," Price said. "He played rightfield for the Dodgers.  I talked to Delino (Louisville manager DeShields). Schebler played some right but mostly center for Delino"