About Me

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

Friday, June 30, 2017

Scott Feldman Pitches Adam Duvall Hits Putting Reds Over Cubs

Adam Duvall hit his 19th home run off Mike Montgomery with two on in the fourth inning to break up a scoreless tie that sent the Reds to a 5-0 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Scott Feldman flirted with a no-hitter until Ian Happ out of the University of Cincinnati drilled a clean single into right centerfield with two outs in the sixth inning.

Leadoff hitter Jon Jay reached base on an error by Jose Perraza and Happ’s single sent him to third, bringing up Ryan Rizzo as the tying run. Rizzo flied out to Billy Hamilton in deep right center.

Feldman faced one batter over the minimum until Jay reached on the error. He had walked two but one was erased on a double play.

Hamilton led off the fourth with a fly ball to center.  Albert Almora tried to make a diving catch but it slipped by him.  The ever aggressive Hamilton took off for third but Almora recovered in plenty of time to throw Hamilton out at third.  Zack Cozart, in his first game back from the disabled list with a strained quad, singled to center.  Joey Votto hit a smash by Rizzo down the rightfield line.  Cozart held third.  Duvall cleared the bases with a line drive home run to the rightfield bullpen.

 “For Duvall to drive that ball to rightfield was impressive," Bryan Price said.

Duvall has hit three home runs in his last four games.  His batting average is up to .288 with 57 RBI, tying him with Votto for the team lead.

“I feel I’m taking some good at bats and working some walks," Duvall said..  "Right now I’ve driving the ball. I got a pitch out over the plate. It was nice to drive it to right.”

The Reds added a run in the sixth.

Duvall walked and stole second as Eugenio Suarez struck out.  Scott Schebler singled sharply to left, Duvall held.  Peraza made up for his error with a safety squeeze bunt for a base hit.  Rizzo couldn’t make the charging bare handed stab.

Feldman allowed a single to Addison Russell but had his shutout intact through seven innings. He finished with seven scoreless innings with two hits, two walks and seven strike outs.

 ‘Feldman has been an absolute God send," Price said. "We are lucky to have him.  When we got him there was talk that if he didn’t work out as a starter, he could work in the bullpen.  I saw him and decided he was a starter.”

“He is great in the clubhouse and great with the young players.”

It was Feldman's ninth quality start of the season.  He dropped his ERA to 3.78 to go with his 7-5 record.

“I had a good mix tonight.  I didn’t shake Tucker off much.  We had a plan and stuck to it. I didn’t think much about the no hitter. Honestly, I’m just happy that we won the game. “It makes a huge difference when the manager has confidence in you,” Feldman said.

Michael Lorenzen came in to pitch a scoreless eighth.

Votto doubled and scored on a stolen base and wild throw by rookie catcher Victor Carantini.  Votto would have been out easily. He was just 2/3 of the way to third when the throw was sied of Happ, who moved from second to third to start the inning.

Wandy Peralta pitched the ninth in a non-save situation to throw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Cozart extended his hitting streak to nine games.

"Cozart hit the ball on the screws three times," Price said.

Zack Is Back Cozart Off DL Jackson Stephens Will Start On Saturday

All the boxes were checked and Zack Cozart got plenty of rest.  He is now ready to lug his All-Star vote total out to the shortstop position with his “Vida de Burro” warmup shirt.

Cozart at last count was leading the All-Star voting at shortstop and Joey Votto promised to buy him a donkey if he won the vote which will be announced Sunday.

The Reds’ shortstop has been out with a quad injury.

“I ran the bases the other day. It feels good,” Cozart said. “I feel way better. I feel good on defense and hitting. I’m going to pace myself out there to save when I really need it.”

Cozart didn’t like his rest period.

“I’ve been bored. This DL thing isn’t where you want to be,” Cozart said. “I’m excited to be out there with the guys and hopefully help us win.”

The distraction with the All-Star talk is over.

“I’m glad the voting is over with. I get that out of the way and now we just focus on winning games.  It’s been great.  The Reds have done a good job promoting it.  It would be really cool to be a starter and make the team,” Cozart said.

The Reds’ sent reliever Kevin Shackelford to Louisville to open the roster spot, giving the Reds a five-man bench again.

The Reds have announced that Jackson Stephens will start on Saturday, taking the place of Brandon Finnegan

Stephens was called up on May 30, when Robert Stephenson was optioned to Louisville but did not pitch.

Stephens was the Reds 18th-round choice in the 2012 draft out of Oxford (Alabama) High School.  The 22-year old righthander started the season at Louisville where he was 4-4 in 14 starts with a 4.97 ERA.

“Jackson got off to a very slow start at Triple A,” Bryan Price said. “He’s pitched better as of late. It is a good message for all of the guys in our system. We don’t pick up the stat sheet and look at the stats and say this is who you are.  Jackson has been competing a lot better in the strike zone.  We like his mix of pitches. He has four pitches and throws them all for strikes. This is a great opportunity to get him up here and get his feet wet.”

Stephens will be”

25th pitcher to appear in a game for the Reds
13th starting pitcher
7th rookie starter
8th rookie pitcher to make his debut this season
11th player to make his debut this season

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Brewers Clobber Homer Bailey And Reds

Homer Bailey has returned but his two starts have been a disaster.  He gave up eight runs in two in1/2/3 innings on Saturday.  His 43.20 ERA loomed large and actually shrunk with a three inning six run disaster of a 11-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Ryan Braun, Manny Pina and Jonathan Villar hit home runs off Bailey.  The Brewers scored on a double that manager Bryan Price claimed should have been ruled dead.  The call was confirmed and Price was ejected for the second time this season for continuing to argue.  He became the envy of GABP.

Bailey was mercifully removed after the third.  Kevin Shackelford made his Major League debut.

 “It was a tough one," Bryan Price said.. "He’s getting his sea legs under him. It’s been the better part of three years since he’s pitched at this level. His stuff is o.k. I got to watch from the office. His location isn’t good.”

Bailey made just eight starts since 2014 with  and had three surgeries in that span with 41 1/3 innings.  He pitched over 200 innings in 2012 and 2013.

"This would be his early season starts. He’s a better pitcher than that," Price said. “He’s made to starts that haven’t been very good. We have to keep giving him the ball.”

Bailey actually dropped his ERA from 43.20 to 27.00.

“The action on the pitches was there," Bailey said.. "The velocity was there. I’m getting back to the speed of the game.  I have to be a little bit sharper.  That little bit of sharpness is the difference between a home run and ground ball or pop up.  It is going to take some time.  When you start you throw six out of 10 where you want them.  Every start it gets a little bit better.  That’s when you start getting outs instead of hits.”

Villar, the first batter he faced, homered for the second time.  Shackelford struck out Domingo Santana for his first strikeout.  After a pair of singles, Jesus Aguilar hit a three-run home run to put the Brewers into a comfortable 10-0 lead.

Jimmy Nelson pitched three hitless innings, marred only by a walk to Joey Votto.  Votto hit his 21st home run in the fourth to break the no-hitter and the shutout.. Votto hit a second home run in the seventh putting him one behind Cody Bellinger for the NL lead.

Domingo Santana hit the Brewers sixth home run off Ariel Hernandez in the eighth inning.

The Reds had seven hits.  Adam Duvall hit two doubles.

Ryan Braun's home run was his 24th at Great American Ball Park, passing Lance Berkman for the most by any visiting player.  He has 39 home runs against the Reds in his career.  The most by anyone since the 2007 season which was his rookie year.

Scooter Gennett, Zack Cozart, Jose Peraza Share Middle Infield

Zack Cozart still leads the vote for the All-Star game at shortstop but his injury has opened the door for Bryan Price to play Scooter Gennett, who is having an All-Star month.

Gennett is hitting .317 with nine home runs and 34 RBI this month, highlited by his four home run, 10 RBI performance on June 6.  He is in the top 10 of the National League for the month of June in three categories, home runs (3rd), RBI (5th) and extra-base hits (14, 7th).

Cozart is getting a day to rest,  He has checked off all the boxes for his return from a quad injury.

“I did everything yesterday, I fielded, hit and ran the bases.  I even ran out a triple,” Cozart said.

“We're going to get through today and it could be as early as tomorrow,” Bryan Price said. “I think today is just going to be a day of rest. I think there's a good chance for tomorrow or certainly this weekend.”

Now the problem is finding playing time for Gennett, who has earned more.  The Reds are still trying to develop Jose Peraza as the every day shortstop but they also want to win.

Price will have to be creative to accomplish both goals.

“There's a lot of flexibility. We have to stay with the multi-positional theme to keep Gennett in the lineup,” Price said. “That means moving him around -- second, third, left, right. It's just going to mean we're going to have to mix and match a little bit. I think I was able to do that fairly well the first couple of months. You can't deny his impact on our ballclub and my desire to have him in the lineup with regularity. I just can't do it at one position. It's not going to look like it was before because there were times when he'd go 3-4-5 days without playing. I don't think that's going to happen frequently at all. But he will be more than simply a secondbase.”

Gennett played one inning in rightfield for the Brewers in 2014 and none until he came to the Reds.  He has played seven in leftfield and five in rightfield since coming to the Reds.  His natural position is secondbase,where he has played 354 in three years with Milwaukee.

Peraza is the secondbaseman or shortstop of the future.

“I think it's very important that we continue to develop Peraza as a middle infielder. I don't want to deprive him of the opportunity to develop.” Price said.

Peraza has shown flashes but been inconsistent at the plate.

He’s been a little up and down,” Price said. “A little bit of I don't know if it's transitioning through your first full season as a big leaguer. The league gets to know him a little bit, and he's got to compete with that. He's got to compete with the league knowledge of what he's handled well, what he hasn't handled well. Certainly, I think as he develops, we'll see better strike zone discipline which should increase the on-base percentage, getting better pitches to hit and deeper counts and more walks. However, if you take to date, he's got over 500 at-bats which constitutes what would resemble a full season. He's hit .282 with 39 stolen bases and some runs scored and some pretty darn good defenses at several positions. I am not at all disappointed and I have not lost any confidence in his ability to be an outstanding player. I think he's going to be an impact player for us here.”

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Billy Hamilton Steals A Win Over The Brewers

Billy Hamilton walked and stole his way to scoring position with his 32nd and 33rd theft to put himself in position to score the winning run in the Reds’ 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers’ closer, Corey Knebel, came into a tie game in the eighth to face the top of the Reds’ batting order. Hamilton stole second on the first pitch to Scooter Gennett.  Knebel caught Gennett looking.  The Brewers put Joey Votto on firstbase intentionally.  Hamilton stole third on an 0-2 pitch to Adam Duvall.   Votto took off for second and Duvall hit a sharp ground ball to Travis Shaw at third.  Shaw smothered it but had no play as Hamilton scored.

Rookie Luis Castillo, one game removed from Double A controlled the first-place Brewers offense into the fifth inning with a lot of help from his friends.

“Luis was terrific. He had electric stuff," Bryan Price said. "When I went out to take him out, there were a lot of infielders around.  To a man they said we really like this guy.”

Sxott Schebler climbed the fence to make a spectacular catch to rob Stephen Vogt or a three-run home run.  Vogt had to settle for a sacrifice fly that put the Brewers into a brief lead.

“When he made that catch I said, ‘thank God,"" Castillo said through interpreter Julio Murillo.

Chase Anderson, the Brewers’ starting moundsman lasted just one perfect inning.  While striking out to end the second inning, apparently Anderson strained his left oblique.

"I felt good going into the game," Anderson said. "My arm felt great, like it has all year. Get on the mound, get through the first inning in eight pitches and say OK, it's going to be a good game. I get up there, get 2-0, get take sign and get a strike, I get a fastball there and see it good and I swing at it and it literally feels like somebody stabs me in the left side. Not a good feeling. And the next swing, I was just trying to fight it off but not much you can do when you have that feeling in your side."

Duvall launnhed a long home run (18th) off Anderson’s successor, Paolo Espino.

Ryan Braun hit his eighth home run off Castillo to give Milwaukee another brief advantage.

Espino got two quick outs in the third inning but walked Billy Hamilton.  Gennett, a Brewer until the last day of spring training, drilled a line drive off a sign over the Milwaukee bullpen, giving Castillo a one-run lead to protect.

Castillo allowed a walk and a single in the fourth but got out of it, threw a perfect fifth but was saved by another outfielder and Wandy Peralta.  Shaw walked.  Hernan Perez hit a line drive to left.  Duvall picked it off the fence and fired a strike to Gennett to cut down Perez at second.  Castillo fanned Keon Broxton for his career-high ninth strike out.  Peralta entered to face Vogt, picked up by the Brewers on waivers from the Oakland Athletics.  Vogt lined out hard on a 3-2 pitch to Schebler.

 “No one took it in the shorts more than Stephen Vogt," Price said.  "He had four good at bats, hit the ball hard and just had a single to show for it.”

Tony Cingrani entered in the eighth.  He struck out Eric Thames, his fourth of the game, and Braun.  Shaw tied the game with his 17th home run.

Drew Storen struck out Perez looking to end the inning.

Knebel’s strike out of Gennett broke a Major League record set by Bruce Suter for most games in a row with a strike out, 39.

Raisell Iglesias earned his 14th save in 15 tries with a dramatic end of the game double play.  Jonathan Villar opened the inning with a single.  Vogt hit the ball hard again, lining out again to Schebler.  Orlando Arcia dumped a soft line drive over Gennett's head a second for a single that moved Villar to third.  Arcia took off on a third strike pitch to Jesus Aguilar.  Tucker Barnhart threw to Gennett.  Arcia's intention was to get in a rundown and let Villar score before the third out but Gennett made the tag before Villar could reach home.

“They were going to get in a rundown and let the tying run score," Barnhart said.. "As soon as I let the ball go, I thought, oh no, but Scooter ran him down. We have a lot or really good defenders all over the field.”

The Reds have taken two straight from the first place Brewers.  They made the most of four hits thanks to a great defensive effort and clutch relief pitching.

“Defense won the game," Price said.. "Lost in all the good plays was Billy running down that ball that Schebler lost in the sun.  Our defense has been fantastic.  I wrote them down, Schebler’s catch, Suarez stopping the line drive, Tucker and Scooter to catch the runner.  It was a great team win. So many parts of the game contributed.  Every thing went right for us.”

Scooter Gennett's Power Game Not Surprising To Brewers

The baseball brotherhood was evident on June 6.

While the Milwaukee Brewers were struggling to defeat the San Francisco Giants in Milwaukee, Scooter Gennett terrorized the St. Louis Cardinals with four home runs, only the 17th Major League player to accomplish the feat.

Gennett was born in Cincinnati. His parents moved to Sarasota, Florida when he was 10.  The Brewers drafted him out of Sarasota High School with the 16th round pick in the 2009 draft.  The Brewers waived him at the end of spring training and the Reds claimed him.

His given name is Ryan but he was called Scooter at home after a character on the “Muppet Babies.”  His mother took him to the police station to scare him after he refused to wear a seat belt.  He used the nickname for the first time in public.

Not so quietly, Gennett has found a home with the Reds, a team he rooted for as a Cincinnati native and watched in Sarasota, where the Reds held spring training from 1997-2009.  Gennett hit a home run on Opening Day as a pinch hitter.  He hit four homers against the Cardinals on that June 6 night, including a grand slam.  He singled home a run in his first at bat and drove in 10 runs.

With Zack Cozart’s injury problems, Gennett has been playing regularly.  He is hitting .307 with 11 home runs and an astounding 40 RBI in 176 at bats.

“Nothing Scooter does surprises me,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said.  “We were talking about it in the dugout during our game.”

“It brought a smile to everybody’s face,” Counsel said.  “There is shock value to everything he does, but even four home runs doesn’t surprise me. My favorite thing about it was how he handled it afterwood. I thought he handled it beautifully. He was very humble about it.  It was cool how he handled it.”

The consolation for Counsell was not only not against the Brewers.

“It was against the Cardinals.  We were fine with that,” Counsell said.

Counsel couldn’t remember whether he sent a text to Gennett.

“Quite a few (Brewers) texted me,” Gennett said.  “A lot of those guys are like family to me. They were extremely happy for me and congratulated me. In this game some things happen and guys get traded and move around but you stay in contact with people that you care about. It was nice they cared enough to reach out. I was extremely happy.  I got over 270 messages. I made getting back to them a priority.”

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Reds Brewers Slug It Out

When a 160 pound light weight opens the first inning with a home run, you know the ball is flying out of Great American Ball Park and it is time to hold onto your hat.

The Reds outlasted the Milwaukee Brewers to win 8-6.  Milwaukee won 3-of-4 from the Reds in April at GABP and swept the Reds in three games in Milwaukee later in the month.

Through five innings the Reds hit four home runs off Brewers’ starter Junior Guerra, including two in the first inning.  The Brewers played long ball with Reds’ starter Tim Adleman, hitting three off him.

 “We hit 15,16 balls right on the screws," Bryan Price said..  "We had the home runs but we had a lot of good at bats..”

Hamilton’s second home run of the season leaked into the first row of the right field bleachers on a line.  Adam Duvall followed a walk to Scooter Gennett with his 17th home run. Duvall’s didn’t leak out.  It screamed out landing past the first landing in the upper deck of the leftfield stands.

Devin Mesoraco’s single gave the Reds a 4-0 lead.

The Brewers didn’t wait long to answer.

Manny Pina hit his fifth home run off Adleman in a strange and contrary inning.  Adleman struck out Domingo Santana.  Pina homered.  Keon Broxton struck out and number eight hitter, Orlando Arcia hit his sixth home run before Adleman struck out Guerra to end the inning.

Eric Sogard took a pitch off his shoulder and Ryan Braun, freshly off the disabled list, hit a ground rule double.  Travis Shaw, the son of former Reds’ bullpen ace Jeff Shaw, put the Brewers on top with his 16th home run.

Eugenio Suarez promptly tied the game with his 12th home run in the bottom of the third.  Suarez had a hot first month but his average has settled at .265 but has a .355 on-base-percentage.

“It was great to see Eugenio driving the ball to rightcenter. His walks are showing how far his plate discipline has come. He gets on base in the middle of the lineup and it gives other guys the opportunity to drive in runs.”

Suarez has developed plate discipline that has gotten him through his struggles.

“My mechanics have been good," Suarez said. "There was nothing wrong with my swing. It was more mental. When you’re not getting hits you think too much. I have been trying to get a good pitch in the strike zone to hit. I tell myself if it isn’t in the strike zone, don’t swing at it.”

Gennett singled to open the fifth frame.  Joey Votto’s 21st home run put the Reds back in front. The Reds loaded the bases with no outs.  Mesoraco hit a sacrifice fly the give the Reds a three-run cushion. 

Guerra ended his streak of quality starts at three, leaving with the bases loaded.  He allowed eight runs, a season high.

Adlemann allowed five runs in five innings but exited the game with a chance to win his fifth game.  He allowed the most runs since Colorado scored six off him in 4 2/3 innings on May 20.

 “Adleman didn’t have his best game but he battled.  He would have gone back out there if we didn’t get to that spot in the order.  We wanted to add some more runs there," Price said.

Drew Storen relieved for one inning.  He allowed a dribbler by Broxton for a hit.  Broxton stole second base and Arcia drove Broxton in with a single.

Michael Lorenzen pitched out of a bases loaded high leverage situation in the eighth, getting pinch hitter Stephen Vogt to fly out to shallow right.

Raisell Iglesias entered in the ninth, facing the top of the order.  Iglesias retired the Brewers in order for his 13th save, aided by a running catch at the rightfield wall by Scott Schebler.

“Schebler’s catch saved us from facing Shaw as the tying run. He’s having a tremendous year,” Price said.

Reds Juggle Pitchers Kevin Shackelford Set To Make Major League Debut

The Reds purchased the contract of RHP Kevin Shackelford from Triple A Louisville.

The Reds sent Austin Brice back to Louisville and designated Jake Buchanan for assignment to put Shakelford on the 40-man roster.

Shakelford had been the closer in Louisville and has pitched multiple innings fot the Bats.  He pitched in 27 games with a 2-0 record and a 1.53 ERA.  As a closer Shackelford saved 12 games.

‘It is good to have a guy brought up by performance and not just potential,” Bryan Price said. “He was doing a good job closing and will give us length too.”

Shackelford was drafted in the 21st round of the 2010 draft by the Brewers out of Marshall University where he was a catcher for two years before being converted to pitcher.

The Charlotte, North Carolina native came to the Reds in the Jonathan Broxton trade along with Barrett Astin on August 31, 2014.

Brice pitched two innings against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday.

“He wouldn’t be available for two days,” Price said. “That was a reason for the move.”

Brandon Finnegan left the game with the Cardinals after three innings with a strained triceps muscle in his left shoulder after coming off the disabled list.

“It just feels tight today,” Finnegan said.  “It is a different injury. I just had an MRI a couple days ago and I was 100 percent.”

The Reds delayed putting Finnegan on the disabled list even though he will certainly miss a start.  Brice would have to stay in the minor leagues for 10 days unless there is an injury. Putting Finnegan on the DL would qualify and allow the Reds to bring back Brice after the two-day rest.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Bronson Arroyo's Last Game?

Later today after the Reds’ ninth loss in a row, Bronson Arroyo and Bryan Price will have a conversation.

The career of one of baseball’s top competitors appears to be in jeopardy.  June 18th, 2017 could well be the his last after 419 games and 383 starts that began on June 12, 2000, ironically as a pinch hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Atlanta Braves.

After a two and a half year absence with injuries, Arroyo made a valiant effort to add stability to a young Reds pitching staff, missing three projected starters.

The conversation today will go a long way to determine if Arroyo will pitch again.

“I am going to talk with Bronson and see how he’s doing,” Bryan Price said. “He’s not just challenged from stuff. I think he has some physical challenges that we will address.  We want to talk about where he’s at and how he’s feeling. If he’s having any physical issues, I wouldn’t put him back out there.”

Arroyo is having physical issues.  He has tears in his surgically repaired shoulder that have been treated with cortisone.  He is reaching the point of diminishing returns with the procedure.

‘I’m trying to pitch as comfortably as I could and hit my spots,” Arroyo said. “I’ve been hit around the yard for awhile. It’s a tough situation trying to perform when you feel like you’re running uphill and into the wind all the time.”

Bronson started to talk in the past tense.

‘I was hoping my arm was going to continue to get better and better as the year went on,” Arroyo said. “It is almost like it’s telling me ‘hey man, I’m not going to run this race for you anymore’.”

Arroyo was preparing to talk to his manager before the team leaves for Tampa to start a six game road trip.

“I will talk to him later today,” Arroyo said. “I think my arm is going to be checkmate. I’ve got some tears in my shoulder we’ve been masking with cortisone for awhile and it held up for the first three months. I got a second shot and it disappeared after three weeks. It’s almost like the body has gotten used to cortisone which it does.”

“Like he’s (Price) told me, I don’t mind if you’re going out there throwing 81,82, 83 miles an hour as long as you’re not in pain.  Now I’m in pain. You can tell the velo is going down. It makes it that much harder to pitch, command and compete.”

Will the disabled list and rest help?

“I don’t know,” Arroyo said. “I’ve been on this grind for awhile.  There have been times when you think you are turning the corner and things are getting a little bit better and getting a little bit stronger.  You think o.k. we’ll work in some things. Of late it’s kind of going south the other way..I will have a conversation with Bryan and we’ll see what happens.”

Arroyo believes his stuff plays better as a starter but would consider the bullpen.

“I would consider the bullpen,” Arroyo said.  “If my arm is healthy, I’d love to pitch. It has been a struggle the last three years.  Going out there each day, it hasn’t been horrible but you have to be running at a certain amount of optimal speed to compete. I just continue all year, I fell like I’m a notch lower than I used to be at my best. You continue to come down that latter and you get two notches below where you used to be. It becomes really difficult to get a good big league ballclub out.”

Could this be it?

“It could be,” Arroyo said. “I mean when I’m throwing my bullpens and I’m in a significant amount of pain. I’ve been dealing with the same two arm issues for awhile. The elbow, “Tommy John” is like changing the chain on a bike. It doesn’t matter how bad the chain was if the rest of the bike is o.k., you can change out the chain and continue to move forward. But your shoulder is like your favorite shirt, you’ve worn for the last 15 years and it’s been washed too many times and you get some tears in there and it gets brittle. When you have some tears in there, there is not a whole lot you can do with it. The cortisone helped but it looks like it’s not going to work anymore.so I don’t know that we have anymore options.”

“It went through my mind today,” Arroyo said.  “Last year with the Nationals, I thought I was going to be checkmated there even before spring training was over. I’ve been grinding like hell to be here where I am now I’ve been thinking about it. Even if you put that aside, you have to be successful. You have to put up enough quality starts for a ballclub to keep you around.”

“It could have been the last time I’m on the field.  It’s just the way it is,” Arroyo said.

Dodgers Survive Late Reds Rally Drop Ninth Straight

The Reds went to Los Angeles two weeks high on life.

The Reds swept arch rivals the St. Louis Cardinals in four straight and were just one game away from the .500 mark.  They were within two games of the top spot in the NL Central Division.

The Dodgers greeted them with a 7-2 loss and the Reds haven’t won since.  The Dodgers took all three games in Los Angeles.  The Padres beat the Reds in three.  The Reds returned home and the Dodgers were all over them, completing a season sweep with an 8-7 loss that the Reds made close with a late rally.

"We were able to push our way back in the game," Bryan Price said. 'It looked like it was going to be a runaway game.  No one wants to talk about the effort but I do. It shows we're not giving up.  Take you hats off to the Dodgers.  They really won the game.  They made the plays to win."

Bronson Arroyo, the sentimental favorite of fans and teammates, struggled in his shortest outing of the season.  Arroyo has 14 starts.  He has pitched into the sixth inning, seven times completing six four times.

"I think it's a combination of things with Bronson," Price said. "His velocity was down again. This isn't the guy we know. He's just battling, battling, battling. I have such admiration for Bronson. He gave us starts that we've had to have. Our young guys just aren't ready."

Arroyo struck out the Dodgers in order in the first inning.  He got the first two outs in the second, then the roof fell on him.  The bottom of the lineup got to him for three runs.  Austin Barnes singled with two out.  Kike Hernandez doubled.  Dodger starting pitcher, Kenta Maeda hit a double just inside the leftfield line to score both runners.  Joc Pederson drove Maeda home with a single.

 Maeda breezed through the Reds in order for three innings.

Logan Forsythe extended the Dodgers lead by getting to Arroyo with a two-run home run.

The Reds batted in the fourth trailing 5-0

Billy Hamilton singled to open the frame. Hamilton stole his 29th base and Joey Votto drew a one-out walk.  Duvall’s sharp single to left loaded the bases.  Scott Schebler was credited with an RBI by getting hit with a pitch.  Eugenio Suarez hit a low line drive to Yasiel Puig in rightfield.  The Cuban exile picked it off his shoe top.  Votto failed to tag and didn’t score.

Maeda, who was on base twice, was finished after five innings.

Wandy Peralta has been pitching well without notice.  This time TV camers caught a two-out, three-run home run by Justin Turner.  It was his third of the season,

Trailing 8-1, reliever Grant Dayton was touched by Duvall’s 16th home run.

Scooter Gennett hit his eighth home run with two on off Josh Fields in the seventh to tighten the game.  Duvall walked after Votto pushed Pedeerson to the warning track in centerfield.  Luis Avilan came in to pitch to Scott Schebler, who is second in the league with 18 home runs.  Schebler flied to center to end the inning.

Suarez hit his 11th home run, leading off the eighth against Pedro Baez.  Arismendy Alcantara followed with a double.  Tucker Barnhart hit a hard line drive right to the shortstop, Hamilton doubled for his third hit of the game, becoming the tying run.  Gennett walked. Votto stepped in to face Baez. Votto hit a drive that leftfielder Hernandez

"The last two and a half years, we played this game a lot," Price said.  "The ball was absolutely killed by Barnhart. He would have been up against the wall with the bases loaded. Then the ball that Votto hit. Hernandez makes the play of the year."

Kenley Jansen retired the Reds in order for his 15th save.

Rose Iconic Statue Captures Home Town Hero

Pete Rose head first slide was captured in bronz by Tom Tsuchiya and sits about 100 yards from the spot Rose’s record setting 4,192nd hit landed in 1985.

The Rose statue is the fourth representing players from the Big Red Machine, the 1970‘s powerhouse that some think was the best team ever, including the 1927 Yankees.

Rose Statue 
Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez, all baseball Hall of Famers were already honored with monuments on the plaze leading to the entrance of Great American Ball Park.  Rose’s accomplishments are worthy of the Hall but he is ineligible due to a lifetime ban imposed in 1989 by then commissioner Bart Giamatti for gambling on baseball.

The Reds were given permission to immortalize Rose by inducting him into the team Hall of Fame, retiring his number 14 and now the statue.

“I’m on the same block with these guys,” Rose said pointing to Bench and Perez. (Morgan was in attendance but couldn’t make it to the stage, struggling with illness).  They were the best at what they did.  I’m in the same garden with them.  It’s goose bumpy.”

“I though getting into the Reds’ Hall of Fame was big. I thought retiring my number was big.  This has to be the ultimate for any player, in any sport,” Rose said.

Johnny Bench, who is in the National Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, agreed.

“Joe asked me when I was the first statue, ‘How can you say this is greatest thing that ever happened to you?’ We’re immortalized. We are out there for the fans everyday,” Bench said. We’re at the baseball Hall of Fame and the Reds’ Hall of Fame, but everybody that comes to this town and walks by or everyone that comes to a game, thinks about us.”

Since retirement the four remain fans of the team.  It is easier for Rose because he was born and raised five miles from the site of the statue.

“We remain Reds’ fans.  We’re not trying to live in the past,” Rose said. “We appreciate that fans still think about us.  We’re not trying to sell the Big Red Machine or what we did in the past. That’s all history.  Our hearts are always here.  I said after the 1975 World Series, and I wasn’t trying to step on anybody’s toes, but I have to think it meant more to me because I was born here.I know it meant a heck of a lot to them but I was born here.  Still, Tony works for the Miami Marlins and Johnny works all over the country but everywhere they go they are Tony Perez of the Cincinnati Reds or Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds.  We all played for other teams except for Johnny but we are always thought of as Cincinnati Reds.”

Rose is ineligible for the Hall of Fame but he feels duly honored

“These guys are true Hall of Famers,” Rose said.. “The Cooperstown Hall of Fame is the ultimate goal of every player but being in the Reds’ Hall of Fame is enough for me.  Then they top it off by retiring my number.  Now they top it with a statue outside the ballpark. And the ballpark is on Pete Rose Way. There’s a corner Pete Rose and Johnny Bench.  That’s a hell of a street.”

The statue in itself took some engineering.  It shows Rose in a head first slide for which he was famous. 

“I think you have to agree, I was known for being aggressive. Sliding head first is part of being aggressive,” Rose said. “I had so many guys knocking me from first to third.or second to home. How many times did I hit singles and stretch it into a double?  I started sliding head first when I was nine years old. I felt it was the fastest way to get to a bag. How many times have you seen a guy slide feet first and the ball squirts away from the fielder?  When you slide head first, you pick up the ball with your peripheral vision. You pick the ball up and you can get up and go to the next base.”

Reds Call For Calvalry Move Asher Wojociechowski And Jake Buchanan

The Reds removed Asher Wojociechowski and Jake Buchanan from the roster to make room for Stuart Turner and Lisalverto Bonilla.

“We hate to lose Asher,” Bryan Price said. “He has to accept assignment or elect free agency.  We hope he stays. I like his stuff.  He may be better suited for long relief.”

Both Wojociechowski and Buchanan pitched on Saturday.  The Reds needed a fresh arm and Turner has exhausted his rehab assignment after recovery from injury.  Turner has to be carried on the Reds’ 25-man roster all year or be offered back to the Minnesota Twins for $25,000.  The Reds would love to keep him but with Tucker Barnhart and Devin Mesoraco healthy Turner will get little playing time.

“It was good to get regular at bats and get built up to play nine innings again,” Turner said.  “I can’t worry about whether I will stay here or be sent back to the Twins.  I have to make the most of the opportunities I get.”

Buchanan still has options left so he can be moved back and forth between Louisville and Cincinnati.

The Reds will need two roster spots soon for Homer Bailey, who pitches another rehab assignment in Louisville tomorrow.  Brandon Finnegan isn’t far behind.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dodgers Home Runs Sink Reds For The Eighth Time In A Row

On the day the statue for Pete Rose was unveiled, the Los Angeles Dodgers looked like the Big Red Machine.

Clay Bellinger and Joc Pederson hit back-to-back home runs off Asher Wojociechowski to defeat the Reds for the fifth straight time, 10-2.  It was the Reds’ eighth straight loss.

Yasiel Puig hit two for the Dodgers, giving them four four the game.

Wojociechowski struck out five batters in two innings surrounding first inning doubles by Corey Seager and Bellinger to take a 1-0 lead.

Billy Hamilton singled off Hyun-Jin Ryu to open the game.  Zack Cozart followed with a double to left.  An indecisive Chris Taylor missed the cut off man to allow Hamilton to score to tie the game.  Joey Votto took one of three hotly disputed strike calls from home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater.  The inning ending with a questioned third strike to Eugenio Suarez.

Scott Schebler singled and Devin Mesoraco walked to put Ryu in trouble in the second but Hamilton looked at another questionable strike and jumped in disgust.  Manager Bryan Price, protecting Hamilton, was ejected for the first time this year by Scheurwater.  It was his first ejection of the season and 10th of his career.

"It is a young umpire, trying to do a good job," Price said. "There was hesitation. I didn't care for that. It kind of got under my skin. I felt it wasn't a good enough pitch for Billy to get fined (for throwing his helmet)."

Wojociechowski unraveled in the third.  With the crowd booing three balls and cheering two called strikes, Wojociechowski fell behind the opposing pitcher, Ryu.  The Korean born left-hander hit a sharp ground ball to leading shortstop in the All-Star balloting.  Cozart allowed the ball under his glove for an error.   One out later, Seager walked. Taylor hit a two-run double in front of the home runs to put the Dodgers up, 6-0.   Bellinger’s 19th home run put him in a four-way tie for the National League lead with Eric Thames, Ryan Zimmerman and Votto.

"I got in a situation with runners on first and second,"  Wojociechowski said. "I worked myself into a good count on Taylor and threw a pitch right down the middle. It was poor execution. I had three of those that led to a five-run inning."

Wojociechowski along with Jake Buchanan, who pitched the last two innings, allowing two runs are holding onto spots on the roster.  Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan are close to returning.  Wojociechowski and Buchanan need to perform or be the odd men out.

"It is definitely frustrating," Wojociechowski said. "I've got to let it go and get better.

Pederson’s home run was his fourth of the season and second of the series.

The home run ended the day for Wojociechowski.  He pitched just 2 1/3 inning, allowing six runs, five earned on five hits and a walk.

Austin Brice took over for the Reds.

The Reds threatened to get back in the game in the bottom of the inning. Cozart, Votto, and Adam Duvall singled to load the bases.  Ryu walked Suarez to force in a run but Schebler lined out to Seager on the shift and Peraza bounced into a 1-2-3 double play.

"The biggest play of the game was Schebler's line drive," Price said. "Hitting it right at the shortstop with the shift on.  That was a break the inning open type of play."

The Dodgers were gifted a run when Brice walked Ryu in front of singles by Utley and Seager.

While the Reds wasted a two-out triple by Hamilton in the fourth and a lead off double by Votto in the fifth, Puig was preparing to hit his 11th home run, leading off the sixth and his 12th off Jake Buchanan to start the eighth.

The Reds wasted two triples, two with less than two outs, and two doubles.  The Reds stranded 10 base runners.

The Reds had been holding on and hanging in the race without Bailey, Finnegan and Anthony DeSclafani but Price doesn't want to wait for the cavalry to return to start winning.

"We did a nice job hanging in the race.  We swept the Cardinals and were a game from .500 when we started this losing streak," Price said.  "It may be comfortable when we get everyone back but we need to do better with what we have.  We don't want to fall so far behind the other teams, that we're playing out the year to get better.  We want to play meaningful games the rest of the year."

Friday, June 16, 2017

Alex Wood Shutsdown Reds For Seventh Straight Loss

The Los Angeles Dodgers have worn out the Reds since 2015.  The bitter rival from the Big Red Machine era has turn into Dodger supremacy.

The Dodgers own a lopsided 14-3 record since 2015, an .824 winning percentage coming into the game and Alex Wood shutdown the Reds, 3-1.  Cincinnati lost for the seventh straight game.

The Reds frustration continued Friday night after dropping six straight games on a West Coast trip including a walk-off 5-4 loss to the Dodgers last Saturday and giving up a 7-3 lead in the eighth inning on Sunday.

Joc Pederson hit his third home run of the season off Tim Adleman, the victim of Sunday’s blown save.  The ball leaked into the first two rows of the rightfield bleachers.

After the Reds squandered a leadoff double in the second inning by Eugenio Suarez, the Dodgers added another run aided by a walk with two outs and two singles.  A great relay by Adam Duvall and Suarez cut down the third run at the plate to end the inning.

Adleman wiggled out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth when he walked Dodger starter Wood and hit Chase Utley with Pederson on base with a double.  Corey Seager, who hit a grand slam home run against Raisell Iglesias on Sunday flied out to Billy Hamilton to allow Adleman to escape.

Wood, who won six straight decisions, escape a jam with runners on first and second by getting Devin Mesoraco on a double play ball back to the mound.

Adleman has now pitched at least six innings in four of his last five starts.  He pitched six innings, allowing two runs on five hits.

The Dodgers added a run in the eighth against Drew Storen.  Storen walked Pederson and Yasiel Puig with two outs.  Wood hit a squibbed a grounder right down the line to score Pederson.

Devin Mesoraco hit his sixth home run off Wood, who turned the game over to Kenley Jansen, looking for his 14th save.

Jansen nearly hit Hamilton with a pitch, trying to bunt.  Hamilton was hit with a foul ball but hit a ground rule double to lead off the ninth.  Zack Cozart, who sat out three game, came up as the tying run.  Cozart struck out but turned the role over to Joey Votto.  Votto struck out.  Adam Duvall had the game resting in his hands. Jansen got two quick strikes.  Duvall went down swinging.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Reds Beat Mike Leake Sweep Cardinals In Four Games

Joey Votto had four hits, including his 16th home run of the season, giving the Reds a 5-2 win over Mike Leake and the St. Louis Cardinals

Leake (5-5) started against the Reds for the seventh time since his trade by the Reds to San Francisco at the trading deadline in 2015.  He started the game with the third lowest ERA in the National League at 2.64.

He remained winless against his old mates in spite of taking a shutout into the fifth inning.  Reds’ starter Scott Feldman was even better.

The Reds' offense has been tremendous this season.  The Reds are in the top four in the National  League in nearly every offensive category, except strikeouts. The Reds scored 29 runs in the four game series.  The most against the Cardinals since 1970.

"It is early in the season," Votto said. "i don't think this team has separated itself.  We've had good stretches so far and this is another example of that."

Feldman retired the first nine Cardinals in order but newly Matt Carpenter, newly inserted into the leadoff spot singled.  He pitched around a leadoff single by Yadier Molina in the fifth.  Feldman gave up two singles in the seventh but on his 100th pitch, he got Tommy Pham to hit into an inning ending double play.

"We're capable of scoring runs," Feldman said.  'If we (starting pitchers) can keep the team in the game, like we did this series good things are happening.  I think we have to give the guys in our lineup a lot of credit. It makes our job more important"

"Man he (Votto) is something else,:" Feldman said. "I get a big kick out of watching his approach at the plate. When you play with guys a little longer, you really appreciate what he is.  When I was in the AL, I only got to see him every other year."

The Reds broke the ice against Leake with three runs in the fifth after the former Red pitched out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the fourth.

"It was phenomenal because Leaker was really on and pitched well with runners on base," Bryan Price said. "Scott  Feldman was up to the task. He really limited any real chances of them scoring the bulk of the game. Then we broke through for the three-run inning.  Then Votto with the two-run home run. It certainly didn't ice the game but it gave us a nice cushion." 

Votto started the inning with his third single of the game. It was the seventh off Leake all singles.

Adam Duvall hit a shot up the gap in leftcenter that stuck to the bottom of the fence in front of the Reds’ bullpen.  Dexter Fowler had to dig it out and overthrew his relay man, allowing Votto to score from firstbase. 

"I am going to have to talk to Duvall about that," Votto said. "Maybe I can get him to hit it out of the park so I can jog home."

Votto, who had sllow starts the last two season before dominating the league in the second half, is now at .300 even with 16 home runs and 48 RBI.  He is tied for third in home runs and fifth in RBI.

"I was confused last year and the year before," Votto said.  "This year I fell I have to stay on it. I've got to try to keep up with my teammates and collectively play good baseball."

Scott Schebler was hit by a pitch.  Monday’s hero, Scooter Gennett. singled Duvall home.  Gennett stole second.  Molina’s throw was high and ended up in centerfield, allowing Schebler to score.

Zack Cozart’s infield single in the sixth.  Cozart, who is second in the voting for starting shortstop in the All-Star game, has now reached base in his last 30 games.  Votto followed with his 16th home run, second in the National League and second in as many days.

Feldman (5-4) turned a scoreless game over to Austin Brice.  Carpenter hit his 11th home run with a man on to break the shutout and set up Raisell Iglesias 12th save attempt.

Iglesias has no blown saves and hasn’t been scored upon in his last 20 appearances, covering 20 innings.

The Cardinals lost for the seventh straight time.  It was the Reds’ first four-game sweep of the Cardinals since 2003.

Homer Bailey, Brandon Finnegan, Anthony DeSclafani Ready For Reds' Return

The Reds starting pitching is about tu get a huge shot in the arm this month.

Homer Bailey will start tomorrow for Pensacola on his way back to the Reds’ starting rotation.

Bailey, who had surgery in early February on his elbow, pitched three innings on June 4 at the Reds’ Goodyear, Arizona facility.

The complex will shut down for a few days for the amateur draft to be held on June 12.

Bailey will visit Double A in Pensacola to begin his inning build up.  He will need at least three starts in minor league games to return to the Reds’ starting rotation.

Brandon Finnegan will pitch Sunday in Pensacola.

“He will throw on Sunday in Pensacola. I think it’s realistic that we could see him by the end of this month,” Bryan Price said.

The third injured Reds’ starter Anthony DeSclafani is also working his way back.

“He’s behind. He initiated a throwing program in mid-May, and he may be approaching mound time by the end of June. That’s bullpen and live batting practice. I think a realistic time for him is August,” Price said.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Scooter Gennett Back To Earth But Reds Top Cardinals With Joey Votto's Home Run

Scooter Gennett’s encore was a double play ground ball with one out and two on in the second inning.  Joey Votto’s 15th home run lifted the Reds to a 6-4 win that sent the St. Louis Cardinals to its sixth straight loss.

Scott Schebler singled off Brett Cecil to open the seventh. After striking out in the fifth, Gennett’s single set up a three-run pinch hit home run by Patrick Kivlehan.  It was Kivlehan’s fourth home run of the season and the first pinch hit home run of his career.

"I hadn't had a pinch hit in awhile," said Kivlehan, who started the Tuesday night game. "I told myself, I'm not even going to the cage until I get up there.  It worked. It was awesome."

"I was so pumped for Kiv,"  Zack Cozart said.  "He didn't even take any practice swings. I told him he should do that all the time."

Cozart, who is second in the National League with a .353 batting average coming into the game doubled with two out in the inning. Votto greeted Trevor Rosenthall the game-winning home run.

It was the Reds' 13th come-from-behind win.

"We need to get a lead and stay ahead," Votto said.

"They never cease to amaze me," Bryan Price said.  "Right-handed batters are hitting .200 against Cecil.  Kiv just stayed in the middle of the field and didn't try to do too much."

Schebler missed three games with a strained left shoulder but returned to reclaim the National League lead with his 17th home run leading off the fifth.  Schebler finished with three-hits and a walk in four trips to the plate

Bronson Arroyo was touched for three runs in the third.

Matt Carpenter, who spent two years as the St. Louis Cardinals’ leadoff hitter, hit his 10th home run in his former spot in the batting order to lead the Cardinals to a 4-1 win, which snapped the team’s five-game losing streak.

A walk to Tommy Pham and a double by Stephen Piscotty  Jedd Gyorko gave the Cardinals and their starter, Lance Lynn a 3-0 lead.

The Cardinals got the run back when pinch hitter Dexter Fowler doubled over Billy Hamilton’s head in centerfield off Wandy Peralta.  Peralta relieved Arroyo with two on and two out in the sixth.  Aledmys Diaz scored but Eric Fryer was thrown out at the plate by Hamilton and Gennett’s relay to Devin Mesoraco. 

Cardinal manager Mike Matheny asked to review the play, claiming Mesoraco blocked the plate but the call was confirmed.

Peralta added a scoreless inning.  Michael Lorenzen pitched a scoreless inning and turned the game over to Raisell Iglasias, who made a winner out of Peralta with his 11th straight save.

Cozart has now reached base in 29 straight games.  He is also second in the league with a .447 on-base-percentage.

Fittingly, Gennett handled the final out of the game.  He used his glove.  Gennett turned two double plays in addition to making the perfect relay in the sixth.

What Does Scooter Gennett Do For An Encore?

Scooter wasn’t in the original lineup on Tuesday.

Manager Bryan Price had Patrick Kivlehan scheduled to replace Adam Duvall, who hadn’t had a day off in awhile.

“I targeted the second day of this series to give Duvall a day off just to get Kivlehan in there,” Price said..  Scott Schebler missed two games after being taken out of the game Saturday with a strained left shoulder.

“I was waiting on Schebler,” Price said.  “We were waiting on Schebler and after I talked to him, I decided to give him one more non start.  That led into Scooter.”

“I’d like to say it was good match up management, but it wasn’t” Price quipped. “I went out to talk to the home plate umpire yesterday, David Rackley, about late inning changes. He said, ‘Who you taking out Gennett?’ That’s when he had three homers. It was kind or funny, certainly tongue in check.”

Gennett was fifth in the order on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, he is in the lineup at secondbase but dropped down to seventh in the batting order.  ?????

“I’d have to say that certainly that based on his recent performance, I found a way to get him in there,” Price said.  “Every now and again, I get my share of mail that suggests, I should be making decisions other than the ones I’m making. I expect after a four-home run game and not starting, I would get a lot more of that.  Then I dropped him in the batting order. I really wanted to put out a batting order, that put him leading off, hitting fourth and hitting second and hitting ninth.  I thought that would be funny.’

“Isn’t it great that we were able to witness something like that,” Price said/  “Anyone here is still talking about it. I was there for Mike Cameron’s and I talk about that six times a year.”

Gennett was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee the last day of spring training on March 28.  He had more playing time with the Brewers than he was going to get in Cincinnati. Gennett was born in Cincinnati on May 1, 1990.

“It was admirable the way he took to his role off the bench,” Price said.  “He knew the role was as a bench player and part time role more than he was acostomed to.  There was never any push back on that.  He’s been above and beyond as a teammate and fits into this culture beyond my expectations.”

“It’s baseball, man,” Gennett said.  “It’s a humbling sport. You’re not going to always perform well. It’s how you come back from that.  That’s what keeps you in the game.  That was my mindset. Just get another team and be available for whenever they call my name.  Keeping that attitude and mindset is important.”

Gennett had 270 text messages and calls.  He gave away some equipment to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the Reds Hall of Fame.

“I’m very honored to have that at the same time I have a lot of work to do to get better,” Gennett said. 

It wasn’t like a no-hitter where players avoid talking to the pitcher about it.

“My teammates had a fun time with it. I appreciate it. It is something that doesn’t happen a lot and to be able to do it here in front of the home fans, in front of family and friends. My teammates definitely enjoyed it to,” Gennett said.

“Today is just like another day,” Gennett said.  “We always have that consistent attitude.  We treat everyone the same whether they do good or bad.  That’s what baseball is all about.”

Yet he got moved down in the lineup.

“I’m doing my job,” Gennett said.  “The crazy thing about baseball is you never know what’s going to happen in a single day. It is going to take some time to earn that right to be in the top of the lineup.  All I can do is go out and play and have fun with it.  We all want to get better.”

“I got some good sleep,” Gennett said.  “I got 270 text messages. I’m glad my phone didn’t die because I really still don’t know how to get back home to Kentucky.”

Included in his calls was the Hall of Fames request for collectable items.

“They gave me the option for every thing,” Gennett said. “I’ll keep the jersey, the bat, the batting gloves and the home run ball. I’m still going to use the bat. It’s pretty hot right now.  When it breaks, they’ll get it.”

Gennett still could become the first Major League player to homer in five consecutive at bats.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Reds Alarm Set For Seventh Inning Rally Shoots Down Cards

The Reds’ wake up call came in the seventh inning.  The lumber seemed to slumber unill Billy Hamilton returned from injury to ignite a four-run rall with a bunt base hit.

When the smoke cleared, the Reds were in control on the way to a 4-2 victory over arch rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals.and Carlos Martinez

“We were facing an ace. It looked like he was on," Bryan Price said.. "He didn’t give us much to be excited about. Then we get a bunt hit.  It’s the things you have to do."

Hamilton opened the seventh with a bunt single.  Zack Cozart singled through the hole at short.  Votto walked to load the bases.  Adam Duvall struck out on a 2-2 pitch.  Eugenio Suarez tied the game with a line drive directly over Fowler’s head in centerfield.  Fowler got a glove on it but couldn’t hold onto the ball.

Martinez was through after 6 1/3 innings.  Kevin Siegrist took over.to pitch to Scooter Gennett, playing in place of Scott Schebler. St. Louis brought the infield in.  Gennett doubled into the rightfield corner to give the Reds the lead at 4-2.

“This is a crazy game," Gennett said.  "You can do everything right.  You can hit the ball hard and get nothing or you can make soft contact like I did tonight and get a double.”

“Siegrist is a tall guy. It looks like he’s half way home before he throws the ball.  With second and third with the infield in, I’m bearing down.  I was just going to swing at good pitches and put the ball in play somewhere,” Gennett said.

Gennett was hitless in 19 at bats when his line drive found turf.

 “The more you play the game you understand that hitless streaks are going to happen," Gennett said. "You just embrace it and do the best you can.”

Asher Wojociechowski faced the minimum nine batters in the first three innings.  A pair of double plays got him to the fifth inning in a scoreless duel with the St. Louis Cardinals Martinez.

The fifth was less kind to Wojociechowski.

Super villain, Yadier Molina, doubled to open the fifth.  Tommy Pham matched him with a run scoring double.  A single by Paul DeJong sent Pham to third.  With one out, Martinez laid down a saftey squeeze bunt and Pham beat Joey Votto’s shovel throw home.  Adam Duvall saved a run by getting to Dexter Fowler’s single quickly and making a strong throw to Devin Mesoraco that easily retired DeJong.

The Reds had a walk and a hit in the first two innings but both were erased attempting to steal.  Hamilton opened the game with a walk.  With two outs and Duvall at the plate, Hamilton committed the sin of getting thrown out at third for the final out of the inning.  Duvall opened the second with what would have been a run scoring single if Hamilton stayed put.  He was also thrown out by Molina when Eugenio Suarez struck out on a 3-2 pitch.

Through six innings, Martinez faced the minimum 18 batters.

Duvall erased Stephen Piscotty, who walked after a well executed hit and run play with Molina. Duvall’s throw to Suarez for the second out of the inning got Wojociechowski out of trouble in the sixth.

 Duvall had to make good throws and he made them," Price said.  "That saved the game.”

Wojociechowski left after the sixth, allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks.  He struck out six..  Lisalverto Bonilla, who was credited with the win, took over.

 “I was focusing on fastball location. They made good plays behind me.  Two double plays.  Those throws by Duvall were huge. It gives you confidence and you know you only have to get one more out.”

Michael Lorenzen and Raisell Igleasias grounded the Cards.  Iglesias picked up his 10th save in 10 chances.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Homer Bailey To Ride Again

Homer Bailey threw three innings in the Reds camp in Arizona on Saturday.

"There were some challenges with a wet mound but he got through it," Bryan Price said.

Bailey has pitched in just 17 games the last two years, including minot league rehab starts after a series of elbow surgeries.

The Arizona extended spring will close down for a few days for the amateur draft.  Bailey will next pitch in a full season minor league game, most likely at Louisville or Dayton on June 9.

Billy Hamilton And Scott Schebler Available In Limited Roles

Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler left the game between the Atlanta Braves and the Reds with strained left shoulders on Saturday..  Both throw right-handed.  Hamilton is a switch hitter while Schebler bats left-handed.

Manager Bryan Price knew little about the pair before the Sunday game with the Braves but Hamilton was replaced in centerfield by Arismendy Alcantara.  Schebler's rightfield position was manned by Scooter Gennett.

After the game Price offered that both were available in limited roles on Sunday and with a little improvement could play against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday.

"If they aren't in the starting lineup they will be available in limited roles," Price said.

Schebler said after the game Saturday, "I had full range of motion and full strength when I got to the clubhouse.  It was a stinger (like a funny bone).  I had the same thing in Toronto but it went away faster.  This time it was still numb when I walked off the field.  If I'm not in the lineup tomorrow, I will probably be ready on Monday."

River Bank Slugfest Leave Reds Battered And Blue

Amir Garrett’s first outing back from a minor hip injury was not pretty.  On the other hand Atlanta Braves ace Julio Teheran has had better starts.

In home run happy Great American Ball Park with perfect conditions for fly balls, six home runs were strewn about the bleachers in an 13-8 series-deciding Braves win.

It has been a familiar pattern for the Reds.  Awful starting pitching put them in a 9-2 hole after three innings.

 "We keep an open line of communication with our position players," Bryan Price said.  "They have refused to cave in to these early deficits.  It's just not in their DNA.  We've comeback and won a couple of these games."

The Braves took advantage of a rare Zack Cozart throwing error to score an unearned run in the first.

Cozart more than made up for it with his 8th home run, a two-run shot off Teheran in the bottom of the inning.

The Braves added three runs in the second.  A two-run home run by Danny Santana erased the Reds’ brief lead.  Johan Camargo, giving Brandon Phillips a breather, doubled and scored on the second of Ender Incarte’s five hits.

The third inning was worse for Garrett.

Matt Adams sixth home run of the season and third in 24 hours opened the five-run frame.  The Braves loaded the bases with a hit and a couple walks.  Teheran, who had three trips to the plate with no official at bats, hit a sacrifice fly.  Inciarte’s three-run homer, his sixth, ended Garrett’s brief stint at 2 2/3 innings, of nine-run, eight earned baseball.

 "Amir was trying too hard," Price said.  "He had the good starts and his change up has come a long way.  He's going to learn some things and be a better pitcher for it."

Garrett wasn't shaken by the outing.

"I was trying to do too much with the change up," Garrett said. . "It is easy to fix. I need to get in the bullpen and work on it.  I was trying to pronate it a little too much.  I'm confident in myself. I'm going to get back on track."

Newly acquired Jake Buchanan, who was picked up on waivers from the Cubs for long relief situations like this, entered the game.

"You can't asked more from Jake Buchanan.  He pitched 5 1/3 innings with two runs.  He gave us a chance to come back," Price said..

I've pitched five innings in a start before," Buchanan said.  (At Cincinnati 9/30/16 5 innings 0 runs). "I didn't realize I was going that long. I was just trying to eat innings. I felt fine.  Warming up I was all over the place but once I got on the mound, the adrenaline kicked."

The Reds as is their recent customs made a run at Teheran.

The Reds put two singles together before Teheran stabbed Scooter Gennett’s smash and turned it into a double play in the fourth. 

In the fifth, Teheran unwisely walked Eugenio Saurez.  Tucker Barnhart doubled with Suarez stopping at third.  Bryan Price had no choice but to let Buchanan bat with a bench shortened by shoulder injuries to Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.  Also, Price couldn’t afford to go any deeper into an over used bullpen.

Buchanan surprised all with his first Major League hit, a run scoring single. Cozart tripled after Inciarte missed a diving catch that rolled to the wall.  Suddenly, it was 9-5.

"I was just trying to put something in play.  They were playing back so any thing I hit could get a run home. I got enough on the slider to get it out there," Buchanan said..

The Braves added two off Buchanan in the fifth.

Alcantara’s first home run of the season with Suarez on base negated the runs in the top of the inning.  Cozart’s second home run of the game off Jason Mott in the sixth got the Reds to within three runs of the lead.

Cozart ended the game with a .344 batting average with nine home runs, five triples, 13 doubles and 33 RBI after a 3-for-4 day in which he was on base four times.

"Zack Cozart has earned has earned every bit of credit.  He started out 0-30 in 2014 and was criticized for it," Price said.

Buchanan's stint of 5 1/3 inning allowed the Reds' bullpen to heal a little.

Atlanta scored two runs off Blake Wood in the ninth on doubles by Tyler Flowers and Santana, who had four hits and three RBI and Inciarte’s fifth hit, a run scoring single, for his fifth RBI.