Kyle Lohse really pitched well today. The Reds didn’t have an error. They actually scored two runs that were not on home runs. Edwin Encarnacion is continuing his role as Phoenix rising from the ashes of AAA. It’s time to focus on baby steps with this team. Hopefully there won’t be a relapse in Houston. The good news – Roy Oswalt won’t be pitching in this series. I’m guessing he’s sick of playing the role of Zed to the Reds role of The Gimp.
Ken Griffey Jr. must have known that he’d eventually get back to center field given Freel’s balls out style of hustle. He’s really lucky he didn’t get hurt worse than he did. He’s getting paid well because of his motor so I don’t expect him to scale it back any when he returns. We’ll know more tomorrow, but it sounds like he’s only going to be out a few games.
Kirk Saarloos is back to AAA. It worked for Edwin – perhaps everybody on the team needs a little time in Louisville. Bobby Livingston is on the major league squad again, this time to serve as fodder in the bullpen. The organization just keeps throwing stuff on the wall to see what relievers stick.
Don’t answer that. I already know. But boy it would be difficult to top Friday night’s monumental meltdown and what looks like a sweep by the butt Pirates. As with any extended slump, every mistake is magnified. People are sniping at every decision the manager makes (or doesn’t make – to wit: Santos was left out there just a bit too long today.) And – I have to ask this question – at what point does Jerry Narron take the hit for what, on paper, looks like a personnel problem? My guess is by mid-June, if not sooner.
Wayne Krivsky looked really smart last year. He looks equally as incompetent when you look at this year’s team. The bullpen is an absolute train wreck. The team still can’t play defense. The Reds can’t score a run unless someone hits a dong, and when that happens the bases are usually empty. Things look hopeless – can this team possibly pull out of the nosedive it’s in?
One strand to hold onto is that the team is in the National League Central. Despite a horrendous last 20 games, the team is only 10.5 games out of first – they’re technically in better shape than the Yankees (12.5 out of first). I’m really grasping at straws, but the team can’t continue to lose this much can it? My God – the Nationals and Pirates are usually the benchmarks for the worst teams in the league. Now it’s Cincinnati. If something doesn’t break soon, the back biting and venom in the blogs will get worse. I can’t promise I won’t go there myself.
Todd Coffey was sent to AAA in a “clear your head like Encarnacion did” type of move. In other news, I want to attend the game in person tomorrow for the 1:15 p.m. first pitch, but I don’t think my 3 or 5 year-old boys can sit through an entire game. It’s also considered child abuse to make them watch the Reds when they’re playing this poorly.
In fact, he picked up the win against Cincinnati pitching two scoreless innings in the 7th and 8th innings. The savior (aka Jesus Colome) helped get the Reds to within one game of the worst record in baseball. Felipe Lopez helped too – F-Lo stomped on his former team with a grand salami in the 7th for the Nationals. I swear – this season is going in the toilet quicker than when I ate at that taco stand in Tijuana.
Josh Hamilton’s chronic gas has allowed Edwin Encarnacion an opportunity to get his act together back in the majors. His first stint with the team this year was like a long uncomfortable fart, so it figures. He was 1 for 4 tonight with a run scored. Perhaps time in Louisville has gotten him back to his old form. (As Dr. Mofidi once said to me in Louisville while I was there on business, “Kentucky is known for three things: The Kentucky horses, the Kentucky Bourbon and the Beautiful Kentucky women. Tonight I hope you are able to enjoy two of the three.” Typical for me - I ended up with the bourbon and the horses. Don’t ask.)
Ken Griffey Junior has turned back the clock and gone back to the hitting prowess of his youth these past few weeks. It’s awesome to see and a damn shame it’s happening while the team is playing so poorly overall. I’m personally very impressed to see a Reds player in the top 10 in homers and top 20 in RBI. It probably won’t happen again in our lifetime so I’m soaking it up. I hope Junior has a monster season with no injuries.
It’s almost time to start picking out the little things to be happy about with this team. It’s still not too late to turn it around, but if you can’t start a multi-game winning streak against the Nationals, you’re pretty much sunk. Sigh. Jim Bowden – you snake oil salesman – you won’t get away with this!
The world has officially gone to hell in a handbasket. Josh Hamilton is in the hospital with gas. The hit streak of Brandon Phillips is over. And the Reds had to battle it out for last place in the National League against their ex-GM Jim Bowden and the Washington Nationals.
The irony is the Reds found a bullpen worse than their own. The Nationals had a 6-0 lead in the second inning and the Reds came back on them. Rough start for Arroyo 6 earned over 2 innings. Ironic that the Reds actually score runs in his worst start of the year.
The bitter divorce with Jim Bowden continues to fester as the Reds have filed a grievance against him. They also cut Jim’s face out of all the pictures they have and spliced him out of their 8mm family videos.
Griffey homered yet again. He’s one away from tying Harmon Killebrew for 8th on the home run list and is now one RBI away from 19th on the RBI list (Ernie Banks – big names he’s passing in a Hall of Fame career). Javier Valentin is clutch in the pinch. He came through yet again today. He should just get a PSP, hang out in the bullpen, get up when’s called and collect his well-earned paychecks.
Happy Birthday Josh Hamilton. Get better soon.
Not much to say really. I’m almost surprised the Reds took any games of the series. And that’s sad. I shouldn’t have my spirit broken this early in the season.
Jerry Narron shot his wad for the season by going bonkers on the third base umpire on a close call. Freel shouldn’t have been stealing in that situation anyway. Regardless, Narron saw the moment to unleash the past three weeks of frustration on the ump. My first thought was that it’s not often you see third base get the wrath. My second thought was that Narron with his head moving back and forth looked like a goose attacking someone in a parking lot. The ump must have agreed because he imitated Jerry before sending him to the visitor’s locker room.
I also lost a bet on this series. I only went through with the bet because it was for a beer. Damn it Reds. You’re not that bad a team on paper. Why are you struggling so much?
It was a questionable ball four call by home plate umpire Ed Rapuano that ended the game, but lousy defense is the reason the Reds lost again yesterday. Another big factor was the Reds letting Jake Peavy off the hook in the first inning – they had first and third with no outs but ran into a strike ‘em out / throw ‘em out double play (with Junior at the plate, no less). The way that guy is pitching, you have to finish him when he’s reeling.
Bullpen / defense. These were things this team was supposed to improve from last year. The results have been abysmal. There’s no quick fix either – this is the hand the Reds are dealt.
The new strategy appears to be getting the most mileage out of Reds starters rather than dip into the bullpen for situational pitching. It’s difficult to argue with that approach. Arroyo caught another tough break yesterday but he has nobody but himself to blame for the outcome, unlike some of the horrible relief appearances he’s had to endure during his starts this season.
Ken Griffey Jr. was named National League player of the week. He and Josh Hamilton have been honored with various awards this year.
Make no mistake – the Reds had this game in the throes of another loss last night. The formula was playing out: Harang had a stellar outing, the Reds only put one run on the board to support it, Harang has a bizarre balk – his cleats caught the mound forcing him to try to throw as he’s falling - that forced in a run from third.
Up walks Junior in the 12th to smack one out of the park – his eighth in 18 games. All this while battling diverticulitis. I saw in the Hardball Times from last year that Griffey was one of the top 10 clutch hitters from last year, which surprised me a bit when I first read it. We see though how easily he can change the game when it matters most.
This team needed a win of any kind to get back on track. Perhaps a gritty one-run win like last night’s is a cure for their confidence and performance. They should shoot for three of their next four road games to make the road trip salvagable. Tonight Arroyo goes (yay!) against Jake Peavy (5-1 with a 1.52 ERA – uh, oh). Arroyo has probably pitched just as well though with some poor offense and luck behind him so I still like the Reds chances to make it two in a row.
It was a Western road trip that buried the Reds last year. This year it may be the same thing only three months earlier. I can’t see any way the Reds have a shot at the postseason the way they’ve played. I’m starting to dread looking at the box score. I can’t even think of a way of fixing the bullpen short of a wholesale change. Has that ever been done before short of strike scabs?
I’d like to see more urgency and disgust from the players. This team needs a leader to start kicking people in the arse. Marty Brennaman is going to have live cattle birth on the radio airwaves if this keeps up. The starting pitching is going south now; there are just too many holes springing in the Cincinnati dinghy. I cringe at what interleague play is going to be like.
Yeah, I’m still alive. We’ve been having some WordPress problems over at Reds Minors so I had to take a break there but I’m back up and running. In the meantime, I figured I’d poke my head in here for a bit because I found this story about the Great American Ballpark pretty interesting. It seems that GAB is close to being the first “green” ballpark in the major leagues. From high effeciency lighting to attempts to decrease carbon emissions, the Reds are doing everything they can to make the ballpark as eco-friendly as they possibly can.
Not that it makes up for all the losing, but it’s a fun read. At least my boy Adam Dunn is having the year he should. He only leads the team in homeruns, RBIs and runs and he has an OPS that’s pushing the four digit mark. It’s too bad he’ll probably be gone by season’s end. I know that’s pessimistic but with them struggling like they have, I can see ole Wayne pushing Dunn out to try to come up with a more complete fix. I hope I’m wrong though……..