About Me

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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Robert Stephenson To Louisville Jackson Stephens To Torionto

The Reds sent struggling long relief pitcher Robert Stephenson to Lousiville and recalled rookie Jackson Stephens from Louisville.

The move refreshes the Reds' long relief after being used up in last night's 17-2 loss in Toronto.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Reds Pick Up Jake Buchanan From Cubs Off Waivers. Amir Garrett To DL

Jake Buchanan was drafted by the Houston Astros with their eighth pick in the 2010 draft.

He made it to the Ma
jor Leagues with the Astros in 2014. He made two starts and 15 relief appearances with them.  Buchanan had a 1-3 record with a 4.58 ERA. He pitched in two games in 2015 and was released at the end of the season.  The Cubs signed him as a free agent on April 3 2016. Buchanen started one game and allowed one run in six innings.

The Reds designated OF/1B Peter O'Brien for assignment.

Anir Garrett was placed on the 10-day list with inflammation in his right hip.

"Amir exascerbated his hip in his last start on Monday," Price said. "It wasn't a cause for concern but we sent him to see Dr. Kremchek and have an MRI.  He will miss one start but the time after that he should be ready."

"Jake pitched against us before," Price said.  "He fits in our mix as  a starter and length reliever."

Buchanen beat the Reds with five scoreless innings on September 30 last season.

Reds And Cleveland Postponed Until July 24 At 7:10

The final game of the four-game home and home series with the cross state rival  Cleveland Indians was postponed by rain.

The Reds will fly to Philadelphia while the Indians stay home to play Kansas City.

The game will be played on July 24 at 7:10 pm.  It is a mutual day off.  The Reds start a road trip to New York the following day.

Reds Loss Reversed To Reds Win

The Reds had flatlined.  The game was over when Billy Hamilton was called out by firstbase umpire Tim Timmons, sending the Reds to its second straight one-run loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Reds' manager Bryan Price challenged the close play.  It was recent experience that led him to do it.

“We had nothing to lose,” Price said. “We weren't waiting to look at the replay like the Cubs game.”

On May 18 the Reds had a man on first and the tying run coming to the plate when the firstbase umpire ruled that Joey Votto was safe when the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo was pulled off the base on a throw that would have ended the game.  Cubs' manager Joe Maddon challenged the call and it was reversed.  The Reds lost the chance to tie the 5-3 game.

Last season a game ending missed call allowed the winning run to score in St. Louis but Price was told he waited to long to object.

This time he was all over it.

The replay showed that Hamilton beat the return throw.

The Reds trailed the Indians 3-2 going into the ninth inning facing Cody Allen, who nailed down his 13th save in 13 chances the night before in Cincinnati.

Scooter Gennett and Tucker Barnhart hit singles to open the inning.  Arismendy Alcantara ran for Barnhart. Jose Peraza tried to bunt the runners o ver but Carlos Santana, who was personally responsible for the Reds' deficit, forced Gennett at third.  The speedy Hamilton, arguably the fastest runner in baseball. Hit a one-hop ground ball right to Santana.  Santana threw to Francisco Lindor at second and took the return throw.

Indians fans cheered, fireworks went off, and the Cleveland players were starting to high-five each other.

Zack Cozart, who hit a clutch single in the same situation in the eighth inning last night, hit a sinking line drive to leftfield.  Michael Brantley dived to make the game ending catch but couldn't come up with it.

“I talked to the umpire Will at secondbase in the bottom of the ninth, who said that's what the replay is for,” Cozart said. “It was weird. Billy looked safe. I was working on my timing against Shaw.  He started me off with a curve ball but I hit a fastball. I was pretty pumped. I was shocked Brantley almost caught it.  I try to go Joey Votto style where I don't go situation to situation. I take care of my plan no matter what the spot is. It seems to be working.”

Alcantara scored with ease.  Hamilton, running on the pitch, scored from firstbase on the single.

“When I saw Brantley dive, I was going wasn't going to stop,” Hamilton said. “I wasn't looking at Billy (thirdbase coach Hatcher). I had it in my head, I was going to go.”

The Reds went from losing the game 3-2 to taking a 4-3 lead.

The Indians and Reds traded two-run home runs in the first four innings.  Santana (5th) hit one against Lisalverto Bonilla.  Adam Duvall (10th) touched up Indians starter Trevor Bauer with a two-run home run.

In the bottom of the fifth Santana hit a run scoring double off Bonilla, his second double of the game.

Rain forced a two-hour delay.

The game resumed with Bauer and Bonilla replaced.

Andrew Miller replaced Bauer.  Blake Wood took over for Bonilla.

Michael Lorenzen pitched a scoreless eighth that earned him his third win without a loss but there was still drama.

Raisell Iglasias got the first two Indians in the bottom of the ninth.  He issued a walk to Jason Kipnis.  Francisco Lindor singled to send the tying run to third base.  Brantley bounced out to Peraza as Iglesias earned his ninth save.

“We can't help but feel a sense of satisfaction when you grind it out like that,” Price said.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Reds Comeback Foiled By Wild Pitch And Clutch Throw

Eugenio Suarez was singing the traditional “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” song in the clubhouse before the game.  He was getting a rest and wasn’t in the starting lineup but kept repeating the chorus that is the seventh inning traditional song.

In the bottom of the seventh, Suarez added new meaning to the song.  His pinch hit, three-run home run capped a game tying four-run rally that tied the game.

But a wild pitch and a good throw sent the Cleveland home with an 8-7 win.

The Cleveland Indians ambushed Amir Garrett in the third inning.  The five-run rally fueled by two home runs allowed the Indians to split the two-game Cincinnati portion of the series.

Francisco Lindor’s 10th home run put Cleveland starter in a quick lead.

The Reds offense took exeption and back-to-back two out doubles by Joey Votto and Adam Duvall tied the score.

Garrett ambushed Carrasco in his first at bat. After Scooter Gennett walked and Jose Peraza was hit by a pitch.  Thirdbase coach Billy Hatcher called Garrett for a conference. Instead of the expected bunt, Garrett slapped the ball to rightfield for a run scoring double.  Billy Hamilton’s single scored Peraza and put the Reds in business with first and third and no outs.  Hamilton took off for his 24th steal but Yan Gomes quick release caught the Reds’ speedster for the first out.  Hot hitting Zack Cozart popped up.  Votto walked but Duvall forced Votto at second.

"Billy asked me bunt or slash?," Garrett said.  "I said I'm slashing. I told Billy I was going to get a hit."

The Indians were laying in the weeds waiting for Garrett.  Lindor walked and scored on Michael Brantley’s double down the rightfield line.  Brantley took third on the throw. Carlos Santana tied the game with a single.  Edwin Encarnacion, who broke into the Major Leagues with the Reds, hit his eighth home run of the season.  Yan Gomes hit his fourth one batter later.

"It was pitch quality," Bruan Price said. "He stuff was good but he didn't cluster enough good pitches for strikes.  He has the temperament and the stuff to pitch here but that's not going to insulate him from struggles.  The big inning came back to bite him." 

Encarnacion hit his ninth home run off Garrett in the fifth. It was his 26th career multi-home run game and gave the Indians a 7-3 lead.

 “I didn’t throw Encarnacion, anything special," Garrett said.. "He just put a great swing on the ball. The pitches weren’t in spots I was supposed to hit that whole inning.  I have to find a way to stay away from those innings.  It sucks when all your mistakes happen in one inning.  We could have won that game.”

Carrasco allowed two base runners between the second and sixth inning.

The Reds took advantage of Carrasco and the Indians respected bullpen to tie the game.

Hamilton walked to start the frame.  One out later he scampered to third on Votto’s single off Boone Logan.. Duvall delivered Hamilton with a single off Bryan Shaw  Suarez batting for Austin Brice, who held the Tribe for two innings, hit his first career pinch hit home run and his 10th of the year.

The Indians took the lead without a hit in the eighth against Drew Storen.  Bradley Zimmer walked.  Encarnacion hit a double play ball to third but Gennett booted it.  Jose Ramirez attempt to sacrifice resulted in a force at third as Zimmer over slid the bag.  A fly to right sent Encarnacion to third.  Storen’s wild pitch allowed Encarnacion to score the lead run.

Jose Peraza wis thrown out at the plate by Daniel Robertson on Cozart’s single to right in the eighth.  The Indians took an 8-7 lead into the ninth.

Cody Allen was entrusted with the one-run lead, looking for his 13th save in 13 chances.

Votto walked to open the inning. Duvall struck out on a 3-2 pitch.  Tucker Barnhart singled up the middle putting the tying run on second and winning run on first.  Devin Mesoraco came to the plate and popped up in the infield. Gennett

scott Schebler Rewards Bryan Price's Faith

Scott Schebler was an underdog all of his life and needed to prove himself at every level of competition.

As a youth Schebler was smallish.  He wasn’t drafted out of high school and went to play baseball at the Des Moines Area Community College.  The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted him with its 26th pick in the 2010 draft.

“I wasn’t a top prospect,” Schebler said. “When I got to pro ball my window was limited. I always had a little chip on my shoulder.  I haven’t lost that.  It is that little burning inside of me that keeps me going.  Good family support helps.  I didn’t get any looks out of high school for basebal. I thought I was going to go football.  You always want to kind of prove people wrong.  You saw it can be a good thing or a bad thing. Last year I came here and had to show them why they traded for me and I pressed a little. You have to find way to use it to benefit you.”

Seven years later Schebler is the starting right fielder for the Cincinnati Reds and after a slow start has rewarded the faith that Bryan Price showed in him.

“I knew he had power,” Price said. “I didn’t if he could play exclusively in rightfield. With young players you don’t know whether they can work out of their struggles quickly. He has shown the ability to work out of his struggles. He doesn’t fall into the paralysis by analysis. That’s hard for a young player who wants to stick. He doesn’t need to look over his shoulder. I’m a believer in Scott Schebeler. I think we all are. I see a guy that does everything from average to plus. The really plus plusses are his power, his defense and base running.”

Schebler was determined to take the job and run with it.

‘I worked my tail off to become better in right,” Schebeler said. “It is probably the one I played least in the minor leagues.  It was always my arm that kept me out of right. I really worked hard on my arm. I’m seeing some good things from my arm. At the end of the day you have to get to the ball quick and make sure they don’t run.”

Price allowed Schebler to work through his struggles at the plate.  Last year with Jay Bruce in rightfield, Schebeler was platooned early with Adam Duvall in left.  It didn’t work for Schebeler and he had to go to Louisville when Duvall took over the job on a daily bassis.  After Bruce was traded Schebler shook off initial struggles and finished the season strong.

On April 22, Schebler was at his season low mark with a .153 batting average.  In the 26 games since then he has hit. .306, been on base at a .361 clip with a slugging percentage of ..663.  He hit 10 home runs and drove in 20 runs in that stretch.

“He pulled me into his office and said, ‘hey, you’re our guy.’ He didn’t have to do that,” Schebler said. “He did and it made a world of difference to me. I’m still new to this organization. Every body has been really, really  awesome to me. I appreciated that.”

Monday, May 22, 2017

Scott Feldman Pitches Reds To Cross State Win

Indians manager Terry Francona was prophetic.

“I don’t imagine you see a lot of 2-1 games in this ballpark,” Francona said before the game. “Now watch us play one.”

That was the score going into the seventh inning.  The Reds three-run outburst changed the tone of the game.

Scott Feldman pitched six strong innings in the Reds 5-1 win over the visiting Cleveland Indians. He was hit twice by hard hit balls up the middle and survived a loud foul ball to completer his task.

"I had a pretty good breaking ball but Tucker called a great game," Feldman said. "The had som balls hit hard early.  Ham bone (Billy Hamilton) made a great play. I made a play with my foot and my wrist.that worked out lucky for me.  It hit me in a good spot off the soul off my shoe. I didn't even feel it."

Billy Hamilton singled to open the game against Josh Tomlin and moved to second on a ground out.  Adam Duvall singled Hamilton home.  Scott Schebeler hit his 13th home run off Tomlin in the second inning.

Schebler homered in his third straight game. Since snapping  an 0-for-13 slump,  Schebler is has six hits in his last 13 at bats with three home runs.

Feldman shiut down the Indians, retiring the first eight batters, six on strike outs.  Tomlin the pitcher dumped a single into right field for the first Cleveland hit.  Feldman pitched out of a jam, er excuse me high leverage situation in the fifth.  Jose Ramirez hit a leadoff double and advanced to third on a groundball first out. Tomlin grounded out on a 3-2 pitch to keep the Indians scoreless.

Jason Kipnis led off the sixth his fourth home run that Hamilton climbed into the stands to try to catch.  Francisco Lindor followed with a double  Michael Brantley walked but Carlos Santana bounced into a double play.  Feldman struck out Edwin Encarnacion looking after a long drive of over 400 ft. was foul down the leftfield line.

"Mack (pitching coach Jenkins) came out and told me to get a double play," Feldman said. "Santana's a good hitter. I decided to throw him a change up. It's something I don't usually do but we got him to roll over on it.  The foul by Santana gave me a heart attack.  I threw inside three times in a row.  Tuck came out and we had a plan after that.  If he's going to pull the ball that hard inside, something on the other side of the plate might work."

Manager Bryan Price entrusted the 2-1 lead to Wandy Peralta, who made quick work of the Indians in the seventh.

The Reds got to Tomlin in the bottom of the inning.

Jose Peraza and Tucker Barnhart singled on a hit-and-run play to put runners on the corners with no outs.  Arismendy Alcantara, batting for Peralta, bunted between the mound and firstbase.  Peraza scored easily as Tomlin threw the ball down the line and into centerfield.  Boone Logan replaced Tomlin and struck out Hamilton.  Dan Otero was brought into pitch to Zack Cozart, the Reds’ leading hitter.  Cozart stepped to the plate with a .343 average.  His hard groundball single up the middle sxored two runs.

"Tomlin is hard to steal on," Bryan Price said. "He's quick to the plate, he throws over a lot and he varies the time he holds the ball.  We thought Tucker was a candidate for a double play.  It was well executed.  I sent Alcantara up because he's a switch hitter.  I usually use Scooter (Gennett) but they had a right-hander and a left-hander in the bullpen.  I didn't want to make it easy on him (Francona).  Alccie's a good bunter. It was a safety squeeze so he could pick a good pitch.  He didn't have to be perfect.  It was well executed too."

Alcantara was ready for anything when he went to the plate.

"You don't know what to do until they tell you what to do," Alcantara said.  "You have to be ready with an open mind.  As soon as I started playing baseball I bunted. I'm not to tall so I have to play the little game. You practice a lot so when you get in the situation, you have a good approach.  You have to know who's running. You don't have to be too perfect.  I just had to choose a good pitch."

Michael Lorenzen stranded two runners in the eighth inning.

Raisell Iglesias entered in the ninth in a non-save situation with Encarnacion, Ramirez and Chisenhall between him and the first Reds win in the last seven games with Cleveland.

Ohio Cup Up For Grabs Between Indians And Reds

They share a facility in Goodyear, Arizona for six weeks and since 1997 they have played a series during the regular season with the exception of 2002.

Tonight will be the 100th regular season meeting between the cross-state rivals with the Indians holding a 45-54 lead.

The Reds have won or tied 11 of the 19 series but have dropped the last two series in 1-5 in 2015 and 0-4 last season.  The four losses by the Reds were the first in an 11-game losing streak.

Since 2008 a Most Outstanding Player is chosen by writers from both teams.  Past winners are; 2008 Adam Dunn Reds, 2009 Ramon Hernandez Reds, 2010 Shin-Soo Choo Indians, 2011 Asdrubal Cabrera Indians, 2012-2013 no award was given, 2014 Kristopher Negron Reds, 2015 Jason Kipnis Indians, 2016 Rajai Davis Indians.

Cleveland is the defending American League champions, losing in seven games to the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.  They own a 23-19 record and are tied for first place with the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division. 

The Reds are 20-23 in fourth place in the National League Central 4 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Indians feature former Reds’ thirdbaseman, Edwin Encarnacion. who will play first base with after signing with Cleveland as a free agent this winter.

Encarnacion and Carlos Santana alternate between firstbase and designated hitter.  Since ther National League rules apply for the two games in Cincinnati.  Santana will play rightfield with Lonnie Chisenhall moving to centerfield.

“The Reds are swinging the bats well. They have balanced lineup,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.  “I can’t imagine a 2-1 game in this ballpark. We’re going to have to score to win.”

Reds manager Bryan Price acknowledged the games are fun for the fans.

“It is more fun for them than it is for me,” Price said. ““They have a lot of things going for them. They already had a good lineup and they made themselves a lot better by adding Encarnacioin. Their pitching, their starters in particular, is something that’s allowed them to turn things around, and their bullpen is shutdown. That makes a difference.”

Scott Feldman will start for the Reds. He has pitched mostly in the American League during his career.  He comes into the game with a 2-4 record and a 4.29 ERA. Feldman has a 2=3 record with a 2.72 ERA in 15 games, six starts against Cleveland.

Josh Tomlin starts for Cleveland. He comes in with a 2-5 record and a 6.86 ERA.  Tomlin has faced the Reds five times with a 2-2 record and a 4.55 ERA.

Ohio Cup Up For Grabs Between Indians And Reds

They share a facility in Goodyear, Arizona for six weeks and since 1997 they have played a series during the regular season with the exception of 2002.

Tonight will be the 100th regular season meeting between the cross-state rivals with the Indians holding a 45-54 lead.

The Reds have won or tied 11 of the 19 series but have dropped the last two series in 1-5 in 2015 and 0-4 last season.  The four losses by the Reds were the first in an 11-game losing streak.

Since 2008 a Most Outstanding Player is chosen by writers from both teams.  Past winners are; 2008 Adam Dunn Reds, 2009 Ramon Hernandez Reds, 2010 Shin-Soo Choo Indians, 2011 Asdrubal Cabrera Indians, 2012-2013 no award was given, 2014 Kristopher Negron Reds, 2015 Jason Kipnis Indians, 2016 Rajai Davis Indians.

Cleveland is the defending American League champions, losing in seven games to the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.  They own a 23-19 record and are tied for first place with the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division. 

The Reds are 20-23 in fourth place in the National League Central 4 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Indians feature former Reds’ thirdbaseman, Edwin Encarnacion. who will play first base with after signing with Cleveland as a free agent this winter.

Encarnacion and Carlos Santana alternate between firstbase and designated hitter.  Since ther National League rules apply for the two games in Cincinnati.  Santana will play rightfield with Lonnie Chisenhall moving to centerfield.

“The Reds are swinging the bats well. They have balanced lineup,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.  “I can’t imagine a 2-1 game in this ballpark. We’re going to have to score to win.”

Reds manager Bryan Price acknowledged the games are fun for the fans.

“It is more fun for them than it is for me,” Price said. ““They have a lot of things going for them. They already had a good lineup and they made themselves a lot better by adding Encarnacioin. Their pitching, their starters in particular, is something that’s allowed them to turn things around, and their bullpen is shutdown. That makes a difference.”

Scott Feldman will start for the Reds. He has pitched mostly in the American League during his career.  He comes into the game with a 2-4 record and a 4.29 ERA. Feldman has a 2=3 record with a 2.72 ERA in 15 games, six starts against Cleveland.

Josh Tomlin starts for Cleveland. He comes in with a 2-5 record and a 6.86 ERA.  Tomlin has faced the Reds five times with a 2-2 record and a 4.55 ERA.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Home Run Day At Coors Field er Great American Ball Park

It was the tail of two pitchers with vastly different styles at Great American Ball Park between the Colorado Rockies, a 6-4 winner and the Cincinnati Reds.

The ancient Bronson Arroyo, 40, a notorious fly ball pitcher, faced off against the fuzzy cheeked Rockies rookie, Kyle Freeland, 23, who gets 2/3 of his outs with ground balls.

It turned into a mini home run derby at the friendly confines of what is affectionately called “Great American Small Park.”  Six hitters shrunk the park with home runs.


Black chose Stanton but acknowledged Hamilton’s game changing speed.

"Hamilton is a force,” Black said in the pre game meeting with the press. “When he starts walking to the plate you become concerned because of his ability to steal and create havoc. We saw what happened two nights ago the ball he hit down the line and enc up scoring, going first to third on a single to left. He has game changing speed.  He has the desire to steal and is arguably the best base stealer in the game. He's a dynamic player. When he's in the box you worry about him getting on base.  The way you combat that is to make him earn it.”

After Arroyo struck out two batters in a scoreless first inning, Hamilton made Black look prophetic.

Hamilton reached base when thirdbaseman, Nolan Arenado, fumbled a short one-hop grounder to lead off the bottom of the first.  While Jose Peraza was drawing a walk.  Hamilton stole his way to thirdbase, giving him 23 for the season.  Peraza stole second.  Joey Votto’s ground out chased Hamilton home. Adam Duvall was hit by a pitch but Peraza was picked off by Freeland.  The Reds scored without a hit.

Arroyo breezed through two frames but former batterymate, Ryan Hanigan hit a single.  Freeland proved he could hit the ball in the air with exhibit one,  a double. Charlie Blackmon’s deep fly tied the game.  The second of D.J.LeMahieu’s four hits gave Freeland a lead to work with.

The turning point to the inning and the game was the double by Freeland, who missed two attempts to bunt.

"That hurt me bad," Arroyo said.  'I opened a can of worms. You gotta get the out there. I tried to put the ball on the outer half. I didn't see the pitch if it got too much of the plate."

That’s when the clouds went away, the sun appeared and the park shrunk to size.

Carlos Gonzalez, Freeland, exhibit two, LeMahieu and the brother of a former Red, Pat Valaika  hit solo home runs off Arroyo.  "I missed with a change up to Gonzalez," Arroyo said. "There's an ebb and flow to the game.  Sometimes bad pitches are outs and good pitches get hit.  I have to find a way to get deeper into games."

Arroyo is coming back after missing two years.  The Reds have three starting pitchers out with injuries.  It remains to be seen if Arroyo can hold onto his position in the starting rotation.

'I've been in position a hundred times even when I was younger.  We have three pitchers coming back within a month or a month and a half.  That is my window of opportunity," Arroyo said.  "I'm feeling healthier all the time but it seems like I'm going to my bag of tricks earlier in the game.  Time will tell. I cnn't give up a run an inning and expect to hold on."

Bryan Price is willing to let Arroyo's career play out for awhile.

"Bronson has been very honest with himself and with us," Price said.  "That's what I like about him. It's a challenging game. It's unforgiving."

Meanwhile Freeland allowed harmless hits to Devin Mesoraco and Scott Schebler.  The Reds were lifting the ball at a higher rate off Freeland, eight of the first 15 outs were from ground balls, including a double play grounder.

But the Reds plugged into the power grid in the sixth inning. Jose Peraza hit a ball off the top of the leftfield wall.  He slid into third with a triple but the umpires reviewed it to see if it bounced off the stands and came back to the field.  The original call was confirmed.  Votto said, “review this” with his 12th home run into the very same stands.  Two outs later Schebler hit his 12th off the Bowtie Bar sign above the Rockies bullpen.

Robert Stephenson and Blake Wood calmed the Rockies for two innings while the Reds mounted threats.  Devin Mesoraco narrowly missed a home run to center with a leadoff seventh-inning double.  It went to waste as Chris Rusin left him stranded.

Votto and Eugenio Suarez singled in the eighth off Adam Ottovino but Duvall, Schebler and Arismendy Alcantara struck out.

Wood worked around an error for a scoreless ninth.

Greg Holland entered the game for Colorado, looking for his 19th save in 19 tries.

Holland walked Mesoraco to open the ninth. Pinch hitter Scooter Gennett hit for Wood representing the tying run. Gennett fanned on three pitches.  Hamilton flied out.  Peraza went down swinging.

Zack Cozart Right Wrist Keeps Him Sidelined

Zack Cozart’s day off on Sunday was planned but he has missed some time with discomfort in his left wrist.

Arismendy Alcantara was in the lineup on Sunday at secondbase.  Jose Peraza moved to shortstop and took Cozart’s place batting second in the lineup.

“There is nothing going on with the wrist,” Cozart said. “There is nothing really to say about it. Sometimes it feels terrible. Sometimes it feels good. So we’re just taking it day by day. It’s mainly when I sleep, trying not to get in any weird positions and have it stuck there for awhile or whatever. It’s precautionary. So I’m not using it in bad ways.  There’s nothing crazy going on. It’s one of those things where you tweak something. Because I swing everyday. It’s going to be there for a little while. I’ve had some days off. I’ve been playing a month and a half with it, ever since Pittsburgh.”

There is nothing structurally wrong with it although he had a brace-line bandage on it after returning from the indoor batting cage Sunday morning.

“Honestly, I don’t know why I go a week or two feeling great and it just pops up again. I don’t know what causes it.  Whether its a swing anything like a dive.  It’s nothing major. It just flares up,” Cozart said. “The best thing would just be rest but in baseball there is no time off, so it’s not going to happen.”

Cozart is hitting a lofty .351 at the quarter pole of the season.  He has 20 hits for extra bases among his 46 hit, 12 doubles, four triples and four home runs.

“I just have to play through it,” Cozart said. “I want to play every day. I hate not being out there for the team but there are just some days when it doesn’t feel good.  Today is not one of those days.  It was already a scheduled off day. I talked to Bryan (Price) a couple days ago. It’s just we want to win a series today so I want to be out there.”

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Scott Schebler's Four RBI Saves Win For Newest Reds And Snaps Streak

The Reds woke up from a nightmare with a six-run sixth inning to stop wake up a seven-game slumber in the land of the lost.  Scott Schebler hit his 11th home run of the season to bring the Reds all the way back to a 12-8 win.

It was another nightmare inning that put the Reds upside down on the way to what would have been it;s eighth straight loss bad dream. It was a six run inning that put the Rockies ahead 8-3

Devin Mesoraco set the tone with his second home run of the season off veteran Chad Qualls.  Scooter Gennett, a double switch that put tne newest Red, Asher Wojciechowski, singled. Billy Hamilton’s bid for extra bases was foiled by Charlie Blackmon, who made a running catch of Joey Votto’s bid for extra bases in the first inning.  Zack Cozart singled.  Votto drew a walk off reliever Mike Dunn.  Adam Duvall’s sharp single to left scored Gennett.  Eugenio Suarez fly to deep center got the Reds within a run.  Schebler reached the right field bleachers with a three-run homer.

 “When I got up, in the sixth I was just trying to get on base," Mesoraco said.

Mesoraco started the rally and Schebler completed it.

 “I’ve felt good at the plate the last seven days but they just haven’t been falling,” Schebeler said. “Just coming through in those situations gives you confidence.  Hopefully I can ride this thing for awhile.  It was a really cool moment.  You try not to press.  You’re going to read into things like that because you want to come through for the team. At the end of the day you want to win. You try not to let it affect you but you can only do so much.”

“Talk about invigorating a ball club,” Bryan Price said.  “It brought us back to life. It was a very rough stretch through the last turn through the rotation.  We had a couple well pitched games we could have won, then this time through we were always digging ourselves out of a hole.”

The Rockies strung together every kind of hit in a six-run fifth inning against Reds’ starter Tim Adleman and Drew Storen.

Charlie Blackmon had two singles in the inning, the first started the frame that found the Rockies down 3-2.  He stole second and advanced to third on a wild throw to second.  Billy Hamilton nearly threw him out at third but the ball hit him.  D.J. LeMahieu grounded out to short and Adleman appeared to have the inning under control.  Nolan Arenado walked. Ian Mark Reynolds singled to center and Hamilton threw Arenado out at third after a review revealed Arenado over slid the base.   With two outs and a man on first Adleman appeared ready to escape. The baseball gods had other plans. Ian Desmond hit a bloop single after Carlos Gonzalez walked.  Alexi Amarista lofted a fly to left but Duvall lost it in the setting sun and it fell for a double.  Tony Wolters was intentionally walked so Adleman could pitch to Rockies’ rookie pitcher Antonio Senzatela.  The move backfired when the pitcher lined a single back through the middle. Blackmon drove in the sixth run of the inning with a single.

 There was a lot of bad luck in that inning,” Mesoraco said.

The Rockies jumped to a lead on a first-inning RBI single by Reynolds.

Hamilton walked and stole his 21st base in the bottom of the inning. Votto was robbed by Blackmon and the Reds’ didn’t score.

Mesoraco drove in a run with a single in the second inning. A sacrifice fly by Schebler and a single by Jose Peraza put the Reds ahead 3-1.

Adleman gave up a two-out run scoring double to Amarista in the fourth to set up the fireworks in the fifth.

Wojciechowski, who was brought in from Louisville to bolster a beleagured Reds’ bullpen, entered in the sixth, his first game in two years and sixth of his career.  He rode the wave to his first major league win.

 “This is great. I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Wojciechowski said. “Pretty much a month ago to his day, I didn’t have a job.  To have this happen is pretty much remarkable.  The first inning I was running on a lot of adrenaline.  Once I threw that first strike, I started to calm down.”

“I got doused with some stuff in the shower.”

Wojciechowski retired 11 straight until Pat Valaika singled with two outs in the ninth.  Bryan Price thought he'd had enough.  Price brought Reisell Iglesias in to record the final out.

Asher Wojciechowski To The Rescue From Louisville

The Reds with their bullpen under water from over use purchased the contract of Asher Wojciechowski from the Louisville Bats.

Stuart Turner was placed on the 10-day disabled list with strained right hamstring.  RHP Nefi Ogando was placed on the 60-day disabled list. He had been rehabbing from a right thumb and shoulder injury.

Wojciechowski was the first round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010, the 41st player taken.  He played college baseball at The Citadel.  The 28-year old was traded to the Houston Astros. 
Wojciechowski made his debut on April 9, 2015 allowing four runs in four innings against Cleveland.  He was picked up on waivers by the Miami Marlins and pitched in their system the entire year.  Wojciechowski was signed to a minor league contract by the Arizona Diamondbacks in December and was released on March 28. 

“I didn’t have a job but I continued to throw batting practice at the Citadel,” Wojciechowski said. “The Reds signed me and I am happy for the opportunity.”

The Bats played a 17-inning game in Louisville last night.  Infielder Hernan Irrabarren pitched the last three innings and took the 6-5 loss to Columbus.  Wojciechowski, who was 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA in five starts, threw a bullpen earlier.

‘I was in the clubhouse in the 15th inning when the trainer told me to get my spikes on.  Delino (DeShields) wants to talk to you,” Wojciechowski said.  “Delino asked if I could throw. I told him I threw a bullpen earlier but I could take an inning.  He said well you’re going to the big leagues, you can throw one there.”

The right-hander pitched in five games with Houston in 2015 with three starts. Wojciechowski allowed 13 runs in 16 innings a 7.16 ERA.

Wojciechowski will be the 20th pitcher and 11th rookie used by the Reds this season.  He has the longest name by number of letters in Reds’ history.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Rockies Sixth Inning Avalance Buries Reds

Colorado manager Bud Black put a thumbs up emoji on the Rockies big inning.

A close game collapsed on the Reds in an avalanche of eight sixth inning runs covering the Reds with an ugly 12-6 loss to the Colorado Rockies. The Reds’ seventh straight loss was seen on a live stream on Facebook by 1.2 million fans, the first ever carried by that medium.

Lisavelverto Bonilla, who saved the Reds’ bullpen with an eight inning complete game loss last Saturday, was hoping to follow up with another good game.  It started off slowly and ended badly.

Charlie Blackmon opened the game with a long double to centerfield.  Bonilla hit D.J.LeMahieu with a pitch.  Nolan Arenado’s infield hit loaded the bases. Mark Reynalds single got the first run home.  The first out of the inning, a sacrifice fly to right by Carlos Gonzalez scored LeMahieu.

Bonilla settled in with four scoreless innings while Eugenio Suarez hit his eighth home run of the season off Rockie starter Tyler Anderson.

The Turning point for Bonilla was his at bat in the fifth inning. He was hit in the right hand trying to bunt.

"I don't want to make excuses," Bonilla said.  "My hand hurt but i left a change up high to Amarista. I knew I had to go deep in the game to give the bullpen a rest. I tried to make their at-bats quick but they were aggressive.  After that I just worked on getting outs."

The roof gave way in the sixth. Gonzalez opened the inning with an innocent single.  Ian Desmond doubled.  Alexi Amarista hit his second home run into the Rockie’s bullpen and just like that the Reds trailed, 5-1.  By the time the inning was over Bonilla was gone and Wandy Peralta, who had a fine 1.06 ERA after six straight scoreless innings, gave up five hits and two walks, including Nolan Arenado’s 11th home run.  Eight runs scored is the Rockie’s best inning of the year.

"It was just a bad night for Wandy," Bryan Price said. "I left him out there for 40 pitches.  It was a disgrace."

Adam Duvall singled to score Zack Cozart, who doubled in the bottom of the inning.  With Scooter Gennett on first, Billy Hamilton circled the bases in an unorthodox manner.  He doubled into the left field corner.  He went to third when the Amarista’s relay throw kicked away from catcher Tony Wolters, Hamilton slid home with the Reds’ fourth run.

Suarez doubled in the eighth among the woo’s.  Jose Peraza hit his first home run of the season off Jordan Lyles to close the gap to four with two outs in the eighth inning..

Austin Brice, who allowed one run in nine innings, gave up a two-out, two-run single to Mark Reynolds to complete the Rockies’ scoring.

"We tried to stay away from using Brice," Price said..  "You have to respect the game. I cnn't use a position player there.  We get the home run from Peraza it is 10-6.  People come here to see a game. We can't use a position player when we could get back in it."

The Reds haven't one a game since the 17-inning, 3-2 loss to San Francisco.

Reds Pitchers Getting Healthy Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan

The Reds’ starting rotation is last in the National League in many categories; ERA 5.57, innings pitched 197, earned runs allowed 122 and home runs allowed 39.

The bullpen has been good and will soon be getting a shot in the arm, no pun intended, when Brandon Finnegan, Anthony DeSclafani and Homer Bailey are making progress for a return.

Finnegan is the closest to returning.

“He threw off flat ground today (Friday) aggressively,” Bryan Price said.  “Brandon feeling great. I think Brandon felt very good fairly soon after he strained that muscle, however, that injury needs time to heal, like a lat injury.  It is realistic he’ll be on the mound in relatively short order.”

Anthony DeSclafani returned to the Reds’ clubhouse from Arizona and was examined by Dr. Timothy Kremchek.

“I got some good news. I’m cleared to throw,” DeSclafani said. ‘We are going to get together and put a program together. I will get to feel like a baseball player again. I’ll put a glove on it and start to throw.”

DeSclafani was shut down early in spring with an ulnar collateral ligament strain in his right elbow.

“It is not going to be soon for him,” Price said.  “It will be like the first day of spring training. I will know more when we come off the next road trip (June 2).”

Homer Bailey threw a live batting practice today.

“He’s been throwing great,” Price said. “If he does all of his work today, he will pitch in a camp game in Arizona as soon as the 24th.”

Price, a pitching coach for 10 years has been dealing with an injury riddled starting since he took over as Reds’ manager in 2014.

“This is the third or fourth year of doing this, going back to Mat Latos and Homer in 2014,” Price said. “That went into 15 and 16, not having a rotation in tact from what we expected. It is not unique.  It is something you learn to deal with. I feel like I’m better as far as knowing what to expect in 2017 or 16.  We’ve run a lot of rookie arms through here. Some have learned to swim here. Some have sank to the bottom but it is a good way of finding out what we have in the system.  Who needs more seasoning. Who is a big leaguer. It’s been a challenge. It’s what we signed up for.  In order to reach our goals we have to be better in our starting rotation.”

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Rookie Davis Optioned To Louisville

The Reds this morning optioned Rookie Davis to Triple A Louisville.

Davis made five starts for the Reds.  He was 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in five starts, totaling  19 innings an average of less than four per start.

Davis started Monday against the New York Yankees and allowed four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.

The Reds will announce a corresponding move before the Thursday night game in San Francisco.  Davis turn would have come up on Saturday but the Reds have a day off on Monday.  The Reds have a day off today and another on Monday.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Reds' Big Inning Beats Bronx Bombers

The New York Yankees were knocked off their high horse by the Reds five-run second inning making Tim Adleman a winner for his second straight start.

The 5-3 victory showed a huge bounce back after a 10-4 for loss against a New York team that currently leads the American League East.  The Reds finished a 7-2 home stand that sent them to San Francisco with an 18-15 record.

Solo home runs by Gary Sanchez his sixth Didi Gregorius his first put the Yanks up going into the bottom of the second.  Gregorius broke in with the Reds in September of 2012, hitting .300 in eight games.

The Reds went to work on long-time foe C.C Sabathia.  Scott Schebler dumped a single into lert.  Jose Peraza poked one through the hole at short.  Devin Mesoraco walked to load the bases.  Sabathia struck out Adleman but Billy Hamilton singled hard off the glove of Ronald Torreyes at third that made it to leftfield.  Peraza beat the throw standing up for the tying run.  Zack Cozart and Joey Votto singled for two more runs.  Adam Duvall capped the inning with a run scoring single.

"We took advantage of what we got," Bryan Price said. "They beat us up last night.  Coming back to play better baseball today was as big as anything."

Adleman and Sabathia were both trying to find the strike zone.

"Early on I was giving the Yankees a little too much credit," Adleman said. "They deserve it but I started to pound the strike zone after that. They are the best team in baseball. They beat us up last night and smacked around the Cubs over the weekend."
Starling Castro opened the fourth inning with a double.  Adleman walked Jaocoby Ellsbury but Aaron Judge hit into a 6-4-3 double play.  Gregorius blooped a single into right to drive in his second run of the contest.

Sabathia settled in and retired the next 10 batters until he hit Schebler with a pitch with two out in a scoreless fifth.

"He didn't find his cutter until later on," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

 Michael Lorenzen took over for Adleman in the sixth.  He got the first two out but walked Judge.  Gregorius singled, his third hit of the game. Lorenzen hit Chris Carter to load the bases but got Torreyes to ground into a force play.

Adleman pitched five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out six.

Lorenzen pitched two scoreless innings. 

"I don't have to manage as much with Lorenzen and Iglesias going two innings," Price said.

Raisell Iglesias entered in the eighth  He allowed one hit in two scoreless innings for his sixth save.  Iglesias has not allowed a rin in his last five outings. 

"One inning, two innings or three innings, I'm ready to do what the manager asks me to do," Iglesias said.

The game ended with runners on first and second with one out, Sanchez lined to Suarez, who turned it into a double play.

"I was anticipating that way," Suarez said of the play.  "Iglesias always says thank you. He and Lorenzen get a lot of ground balls."

Monday, May 8, 2017

Reds Blasted By Bronx Bombers

Two years ago Rookie Davis was working toward making a start for the New York Yankees. On Monday he started against them in the 10-4 loss to the Bronx Bombers.

The 24-year old was the Yankees’ 14th round selection in the 2011 draft.  Davis spent four years in the Yankee system but was traded to the Reds on December 28, 2015 for Aroldis Chapman.

He and young Yankee slugger Aaron Judge exchange texts regularly, having been brought through the New York system together.  Judge was not in the lineup but the other Yankess treated Davis like a step-child, scoring three runs in the first inning and one in the second.

Brett Gardner hit a ground ball too wide of first for Joey Votto to get but Jose Peraza fielded it and made a clean throw to Davis covering. But Davis couldn’t find the base and was charged with an error.  Aaron Hicks followed with a hard single. Davis struck out Matt Holliday.  Jacoby Ellsbury took some tough pitches for a walk.  Gary Sanchez and former Reds’ prospect Didi Gregorius singled for the three runs.

"Rookie was aggressive," Bryan Price said. "They were recognizing the slider out of his hand and didn't bite on them.  It is a new pitch for him.  He has some work to do on it.  It was like Homer Bailey when I first got here. He would throw one just off the plate and they would take it.  Sometimes it's just a new grip that makes it look like a fastball out of their hands then it breaks away from a right-hander and in on the back foot of a left-hander."

The Reds scored in the first inning for the fourth straight game.

Billy Hamilton singled against Yankee starter Masahiro Tanaka. Red hot Zack Cozart singled to right as Hamilton raced to third.  Votto singled and the Reds had a run in and no outs.  Adam Duvall flied to left.  Eugenio Suarez hit into a double play.

The Yankees got to Davis again in the second inning.

Another former Reds’ prospect, Ronald Torreyes singled to open the inning.  Tanaka bunted Torreyes to second.  With two outs, Hicks singled him home.

Davis settled in, pitching two scoreless innings.  He struck out the side in the fourth.

"I have to find my release point," Davis said.  "The pitch count got up. I have to do a better job of executing my pitches.. The last two starts I pounded the zone pretty well but pitching fewer than six innings to me is unacceptable."

The Reds wasted a New York sized opportunity in the fourth.,  Holliday, playing first base absent the designated hitter, couldn’t handle Chase Headley’s throw on Duvall’s grounder.  Suarez singled and Scott Schebler hit a smash that ate up Holliday at first to load the bases.  The inning that could have turned momentum around ended abruptly.  Peraza popped out to Torreyes at second on the first pitch.  Tucker Barnhart hit a high hopper right at secondbase the Gregorius turned into an easy double play.

The Yankees got two straight one-out singles from Holliday and Ellsbury.  Austin Brice relieved Davis and gave up a run scoring single to Sanchez.

Davis finished with 5 1/3 innings allowing five runs, four earned.on seven hits and three walks. He struck otu four.

The Reds scored an unearned run in the fifth. Arismendy Alcantara singled. Cozart forced Alcantara for the second out of the inning.  Votto reached on Headley’s error and Duvall’s single plated Cozart.

The game went south when Drew Storen couldn’t hit his spots but plunked three Yankees. in the seventh.  Storen hit Hicks, Sanchez and Headley and walked Holliday.  Torreyes singled in another run but Hamilton threw Sanchez out at the plate.

It was the first time that a Reds' pitcher hit three batters in an inning since Raul Sanchez hit three Phillie batters in the eighth inning of the first game of a doubleheader.

Wandy Peralta hit Gardner in the ninth inning.

"It was a very unusual inning.  There was no intent," Price said.

Joey Votto’s two-run home run got the runs back, temporarily.

Gardner hit a two-run home run off Barrett Astin and Holliday hit a solo shot in the ninth.  Ellsbury walked for the third time and Sanchez reached base for the fifth time with his third single of the game. \\

"We didn't play very well," Price said. "They got momentum and laid some lumber on the young guy."

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Scott Feldman Throws Complete GAme Shutout Against Giants

It was simple request.

Scott Feldman approached Reds manager Bryan Price after eight innings and asked politely if coming out of the game was negotiable.

Feldman blanked the Gaiants 4-0 with the aid of home runs by Zack Cozart and Scott Schebler and nifty defense from Cozart, Jose Peraza and Joey Votto.

“After the eighth inning, I got an extra shot of adrenaline and asked Bryan if I could stay in the game,” Feldman said.  “He showed confidence in me which is great.”

The Reds had Wandy Peralta and Raisell Iglesias warming in the bullpen.

Feldman completed his third career, complete game shutout and his first since August 30, 2014 for Houston against the Texas Rangers.  He also threw one on September 9, 2013 for Baltimore against the Chicago White Sox.

It was the first by a Reds’ starter since August 27, 2016 when Anthony DeSclafani pitched one at Arizona.

“He was pitch efficient. He’s a veteran. You have to treat veterans like veterans,” Price said. ‘I never felt he was in trouble. He got a lot of ground balls. It was all on his shoulder.”

Feldman didn’t allow one of the four Giants hits until Hunter Pence led off the fourth with a ground single up the middle.

The Giants got a runner to third with one out in the fifth.  Christian Arroyo doubled and went to third with one out.  He got a fly out to short right by Gorkys Hernandez and a nice bare handed play by Zack Cozart to end the inning. Hernandez led off the eighth with a double but two ground outs and a strike out finished the Giants off that inning.  The ninth was a 1-2-3 inning.

‘I think he’s been pitching pretty well all year,” said Zack Cozart, who hit his second home run to give the Reds a four-run margin.  “He works fast and pumps strikes.  You get a lot of plays made behind you when you do that.”

Reds Sweep Giants Over Former Ace Johnny Cueto Reds Scott Feldman Throwe Shut Out

Johnny Cueto was asked last night if he was going to shutout his former team.

‘They hot,” Cueto replied. The Reds scored 27 runs in the first two games of the series. 

Cueto kept the Reds in check but they scored two unearned runs in the first inning and added home runs by Scott Schebler and Zack Cozart to ride Scott Feldman’s finest start of the season to a 4-0 win.  The Reds swept the Giants at GABP since July or 2013.

Shortstop Christian Arroyo didn’t do Cueto any favors. He bobbled Billy Hamilton’s hard ground ball to open the game.  Singles by Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett, netted two runs.  Schebler hit his ninth home run off Cueto in the third.  Cozart hit his second of the season after Hamilton walked, took second on a balk and was thrown out stealing third.  Hamilton beat the throw but over slid the bag, costing the Reds a fifth run.

Feldman hit a batter and walked one but didn’t allow a hit until Hunter Pence singled to start the fourth inning.  He took a shutout into the eighth inning.  Gorkys Hernandez opened inning with a double.  Michael Morse batted for Cueto.  When Feldman struck him out he became the first Reds’ starter to pitch more than seven innings.

Cueto was ace-like, completing seven innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk.  He struck  out 10 Reds.

Feldman kept the Giants from scoring in the eighth in spite of the leadoff double by getting Joe Panik and Brandon Belt out on ground balls to Votto with Feldman covering.  Feldman was brought out to go for a complete game.

He had to navigate through Pence, Buster Posey and Conor Gillespie to complete his third career shutout.

Reds Send Amir Garrett To Louisvile

The Reds are sending you ace Amir Garrett back to Louisville and recalling reliever Barrett Astin from Louisville.

Garrett goes to the minor leagues, arguably, the Reds best starter in 2017 but there is strategy involved.  Garrett, 3-2 with a 4.25 ERA and quality starts in five of six outings, leads the Reds in innings with 36, an average over six per start.  That would put him on pace to pitch 198 innings this year.  The Reds feel that is too big a jump from the 144 2/3 he pitched last season.

“We’ve got two days off,” Bryan Price said. “We’ve got the day off after the Yankees series on Wednesday and then again on the following Monday, so we have the ability to skip a starter. That being said, Amir’s been our most effective starter to this point. But the thing we’ve had to keep our mind’s eye on is his overall innings for the year. He pitched 145 last year in the minor leagues, so we’re not going to take him to 200, to 190, 200, 210, 220. We knew, and we talked to all of our young pitchers when spring training ended about the possibilities and probabilities of some of these guys flipping out so we could control their innings.”

The Reds recalled Astin to give them an extra bullpen arm while Garrett rests.

The Reds want the other starters to get the benefit of an extra day.

“Garrett pitches (in Louisville), but it’s really more for like an inning or two innings, just to cut him back,” Price said “If we can cut him back a couple of times this year in this type of a scenario – and then every now and again, perhaps after the All-Star Break, maybe we skip him a start if the innings are an issue – we can do that. But we can’t do that all through the year because that means that all the other guys are pitching on regular rest. They never get the extra day. With Bronson, Feldman, Rookie Davis, Adleman, you’re not going to want to do that. You don’t want these guys to have to pitch every fifth day and then not get that one extra day when we have a day off. It’s something we might be able to do in the second half. Certainly we can manage September a lot easier with the extra bodies. We had to make a smart decision here, and I think we did. He’ll be back in relative short order.”

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Reds Support Amir Garrett With An Avalanche Of Runs

The Reds bats battered Giants pitching for the second straight day turning in a 14-2 whooping on the San Francisco Giants to climb improve to 16-14 on the season.

The Reds have won five of six games on the homestand and fourth in a row.

Ty Blach couldn’t catch his breath.

Billy Hamilton tripled to start the game, his second in two nights.  Hamilton was on base five times on Friday and scored four runs. Zack Cozart hit a deep fly to center to start the scoring.  Adam Duvall belted his ninth home run. 

Amir Garrett took the mound and has little trouble with the Giants in the first inning. The second inning was more torublesome.  Garrett’s walks to Buster Posey and Christian Arroyo put in a bad position.  Patrick Kivlehan just dropped an easy fly ball by Justin Ruggiano to surround Garrett with base runners.  To his credit, Garrett limited damage to two runs. One scored on a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Nunez.  The other crossed the plate on Gorkys Hernandez’ double.

That was all that the Giants could muster off Garrett, who finished six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks.  He struck out two without his better stuff.

“I really didn’t have anything," Garrett said.. "I was able to lock in as much as I needed to and let them get themselves out.  The big cushion took the stress off.”

The Reds were just getting warmed up.  Jose Peraza reached on an error. Kivlehan singled. One out later, Garrett bunted the runners up 90 feet.  Hamilton’s second hit of the game, a double put the Reds back up by two.

Kivlehan made his fourth start and mentally had to overcome his second inning error.  His four hit game more than made up for it.  He lifted his season average to .357.

 “It was the worst way to start the game," Kivlehan said.. "I got that first hit and it took the stress off. A mistake like that lingers with you a little bit. Anyone who says it doesn’t isn’t telling the truth. It’s tough to lock back in.  I tried to relax as best I could.”

Brryan Price is trying to keep the bench sharp and ready when needed.

“Bench players live for an opportunity to start," Price said. "When a guy like Kivlehan comes in and gets four hits it is a big boost.”

It got worse for Blach.  Joey Votto walked to open the third. Duvall singled. Eugenio Suarez doubled. Jose Peraza’s groundball scored Votto.  Suarez scored on a wild pitch before Kivlehan hit his first home run of the year.  “I face him (Blach) a couple times in Triple A.  He just left the pitch up a little,.” Kivlehan said,

Devin Mesoraco singled.  Garrett’s bunt failed as he popped out to the catcher.  Hamilton singled again, reaching base for the eighth time in two games. Cozart drove in a run with a single. Votto hit a double scoring Hamilton.

Saurez hit his seventh home run off George Kontos in the fourth.  Duvall had a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Doubles by Cozart and Alcantara plated one run and Scooter Gennett’s single drove in the 14th run. 

Robert Stephenson finished the game to record his first career save.

"It was a three inning save where he was sharp," Price said.

The Reds scored 13 against the Giants Friday night and with 14 tonight, the 27 runs was the first time they have scored that many in consecutive games since the totaled 27 in a two-games on May 28 and 29 against Houston in 2010.

“The great thing about baseball is all the anomalies. You enjoy it while it lasts but it is more likely you’ll go through stretches where you don’t score a lot of runs," Price said..”It is nice to have everyone swinging the bats well at the same time.

Former teammate Johnny Cueto faces the Reds on Sunday. He rode the elevator with the writers on his way out of the park.  A San Francisco writer asked if he was 'going to throw a shutout manana?"

"They hot," Cueto said.

St. John's Grads Miss Connection

Friday night it was Hernando High School night at Great American Ball Park as two grads faced each other.

Bronson Arroyo was the Reds’ starting pitcher.  He faced young Christian Arroyo who attended Hernando High 18 years after Bronson did.  Christian hit a home run off the older alum.

On Saturday, two St. John’s University students were a potential matchup.  Reds’ starting pitcher Amir Garrett took the mound.  The Giants regular secondbaseman Joe Panik attended St. John’s.  Panik played baseball at St. John’s.  Garrett played basketball.

Panik, born October 30, 1990, batted .371 with 24 home runs and 48 doubles for the Redstorm. In his three seasons, Panik knocked in 156 runs in 166 games.

Garrett averaged 6.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 55 college games for St. John’s until he transfered to Cal State - Northridge.   Garrett was born on May 3, 1992

The meeting would come to a head but Panik got the day off from manager Bruce Bochy with the left-handed Garrett pitching.  Kelby Tomlinson started at secondbase instead.

“I’ve never met him,” Panik said.  “It’s cool though.  It doesn’t matter if it’s baseball or basketball, another St. John’s guy in the majors. There’s been a few Johnnies in the majors. The more the merrier.”

St. John’s alumni who played for the Reds and Giants.

John Franco, Rich Aurillia, Frank Viola, and C.J. Nitkowski, the Reds first pick in 1994, played for the Reds.  Terry Bross pitched two innings for the Giants in 1993.  He was on St. John’s 1984-85 Final Four team.  He is now an agent with one of his clients, the Reds’ Bronson Arroyo.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Bronson Arroyo's Arm Reds' Bats Cut Giants Down To Size

The ancient Reds’ starter, Bronson Arroyo, had plenty of help from his friends in carving the Giants up in a 13-3 triumph in the rain.

The game was delayed two hours past Arroyo’s nap time but the veteran pitched 5 1/3 soggy innings before leaving with runners on second and third.  Blake Wood came on in relief.

The Reds jumped on Matt Cain with both feet in the first inning.

Billy Hamilton walked and Zack Cozart singled the speedster to third.  Joey Votto’s sacrifice fly started the scoring.  Eugenio Suarez, Scott Schebler and Jose Peraza singled in succession to score two more.

  “We laid off a lot of tough pitches early and made Cain work," Bryan Price said.. "We had a lot of good at bats. Everyone in the starting lineup was on base twice.”

Young Christian Arroyo, who attended Hernando High School in Brooksville, Florida, hit his third home run of the season off Bronson Arroyo, who also attended Hernando High.  Christian, the Giants first pick in the 2013 draft, was born three days before Bronson was chosen in the third round of the 1995 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 “We went to the same high school 18 years apart.  We had the same coach. A.J. Pierzynski is from there too.  There must be something in the water in that little town," Bronson Arroyo said.

“I went to his house when he was drafted to let him know what to expect," Arroyo said. "You have to find what works for you.  Do you go home and get a pizza or go out in bars?  You have to find out what works for you.  Sometimes you look back and wish you had done something better.”

The Reds were just getting started at the plate.
Hamilton and Cozart walked again.  Hamilton stole second and third.  Cozart stole second while Votto walked.  Suarez drove in two runs with a single. Schebler followed with his second hit but Votto was out at the plate fo end the inning.

Arroyo retired six straight, gave up a single and induced a double play to get the the fifth.

 “It was 100 percent better.  The two left-handers at the top of the order are tough on me. The arm felt normal today. I could have gone back out there.  I threw 95 pitches and felt good.  The rest of my body is catching up. I can do the normal things now.”

The Reds weren’t finished with Cain, who allowed only three runs in his last 23 innings.

Peraza singled again, stole second and scored on Hamilton’s single in the third.  Cain couldn’t survive the fourth despite a base path faux pas by the Reds.  Votto walked and Adam Duvall singled. Suarez hit a line drive over Hunter Pence to the base of the wall.  Votto stopped at third and Duvall was going to third while Suarez chugged to second.  Suarez was tagged out.  Schebler was intentionally walked to load the bases,  Peraza unloaded them with a triple, his third hit off Corey Gearrin.  The Reds added a run in the fifth.

Peraza was 3-for-4 and reached on an error.  He is hitting .385 in his last nine games.

 “I’ve been feeling good since day one. Somtimes things don’t go the way that you want it to,” Peraza said through interpreter Julio Morillo.  “I trust in my hands and the things that I do. Hopefully now the hits start coming.”

He was dropped from the second spot in the batting order to seventh.

The important thing is that I’m in the lineup. It doesn’t matter if I’m second or eighth or fourth,” Peraza said.

Eduardo Nunez and Nick Hundley doubled off Arroyo to score in the fifth.  The Giamts added an unearned marker in the sixth after Arroyo left,when Wood got Connor Gillespie to ground out.

“Bronson was able to pitch into the sixth. They squared him up early but he felt good after 5 1/3. He could have gone back out there.  That’s a good sign," Price said.

A walk to Scotter Gennett, Hamilton’s triple on which he was tempted to try for an inside-the-park home run, followed by a double by Cozart scored two more.

Schebler's RBI single capped the scoring.

Austin Brice made his Reds’ debut in the eighth. He pitched two scoreless innings.

Jose Peraza Drops In The Lineup Raises His Average

Jose Peraza has had a slow start statistically. 

The last eight games the 23-year old from Barinas, Venezuela is hitting .314 with an on-base percentage of .314.  Peraza has walked twice all year.

The low OBP has caused Peraza to drop from hitting second in the batting order to seventh.  The move has two purposes.  Peraza hasn’t been getting on base frequently enough.  His propensity to make contact cost Billy Hamilton pitches to grab a stolen base.

Peraza isn’t doing anythnig differently, balls he hits are dropping in or finding holes.

“I’ve been feeling good since day one. Somtimes things don’t go the way that you want it to,” Peraza said through interpreter Julio Morillo.  “I trust in my hands and the things that I do. Hopefully now the hits start coming.”

Peraza started last season at Louisville and hit a respectable .281 in 71 games. He was promoted to Cincinnati and hit .324 in 72 games, giving the Reds promise that Peraza would be an offensive catalyst at the top of the lineup.

Bryan Price, who had hope that Peraza and Hamilton would get on base and provide speed at the top of the lineup, dropped Peraza to seventh because his OBP was .256. The league average is .253.  Since hits started falling, He raised his batting average from .217 to .248 and his OBP from .256 to .274.

The drop in the order doesn’t cause Peraza to lose sleep.

“The important thing is that I’m in the lineup. It doesn’t matter if I’m second or eighth or fourth,” Peraza said.

The Reds have also asked Peraza to shift back and forth between shortstop and secondbase.  He has spelled Zack Cozart at short for rest days and a couple of minor injuries.

“I feel good whether I play second or short. Like I said, I’m in the lineup and that’s most important<” Peraza said.