For the first time since 1995, the Reds are in the playoffs. Yippee. And it all starts tomorrow at around 5 pm. Edinson Volquez gets the nod in game one and while he only has twelve starts to his name this season, he’s been about as solid as you can ask in September. He had the rough August but hopefully those days are behind him.
I criticized the signing of Dusty Baker but he’s helped get us to the promised land. For his troubles, the Reds gave him a two year contract extension. I just hope this doesn’t turn out to be like what happened here in Detroit (I live in the Detroit area, born in southern Ohio) with Jim Leyland where it turns out to be a one year thing but Baker has some pedigree so we’ll see.
Of course the tough part for the Reds is the face the two time defending National League Champions. The Phillies are throwing Roy Halladay in game one and it doesn’t get much easier after that.
The Reds were shut down by Bret Myers for most of this game and while they made some noise late, it wasn’t enough in the 4-3 loss. Jay Bruce singled home Joey Votto to put the Reds on the board in the seventh and then Ramon Hernandez belted a two run home run but the Reds had four runs to make up so they just fell short.
Joey Votto is making a late push for MVP and he went three for five with the run and two doubles. Jonny Gomes went two for four and Ramon Hernandez had a single to along with his home run.
Travis Wood was decent but not good enough. He gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits with five strikeouts in six frames. He fell to 5-4 on the season. Jordan Smith also gave up a run in relief while Logan Ondrusek pitched a shutout ninth to finish up the game.
Now it’s on to Milwaukee. Game one is tonight and we’ll see Homer Bailey go up against Chris Capuano. Bailey left his last start after experiencing some dizziness and while Bailey said he felt fine yesterday, Baker was still leaving things a little open so we’ll see who actually steps out on the mound.
Alright, my personal losing streak is over as the Reds won in a big way yesterday against the Houston Astros. Good hitting, check. Good pitching, check. Everyone got in on the action, check. This was an all around good game as the Reds had the lead by the third and were sitting comfortable by the fourth. Jim Edmonds hit his second home run with the Reds and he scored three runs so hopefully he’s working his way out of his slump since joining the team. Ryan Hannigan had three hits and Jay Bruce went deep with his 21st home run of the season. Drew Stubbs also went yard with number nineteen.
Bronson Arroyo gave up an early run but settled down to pick up his 16th win of the season. Arthur Rhodes, Jordan Smith and Jared Burton then threw a shutout inning each to finish up the game. Arroyo gave up just four hits and a walk with five strikeouts in six frames although he needed 98 pitches to plow through it.
The rubber game is this afternoon. It’ll be Travis Wood against Bret Myers. And with the Cardinals losing, the Reds magic number is down to eight. They could wrap things up with about a week to go.
Since I started back up, the Reds are 0-2. Am I that important that I can cause a cosmic shift that’s forces a Reds slump? Or are the Reds coasting because their playoff chances are all but assured? Or are they just hitting a rough patch that they have to work through so they can run the table in the playoffs?
The big news was Aroldis Chapman gave up a run finally. In fact he gave up two and gave up three hits and a walk without getting anyone out. At times (and that’s been up to yesterday’s game at the big league level), Chapman looks unhittable but every once in a while, he can’t get a guy out and that’s what happened yesterday. He topped out at 99 mph against Jeff Keppinger. Ironically, that was a single that started the rally.
Johnny Cueto had a decent start. He gave up three runs on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts. That’s his fifth straight start going at least six innings and I like that. I’m confident in the Reds pen and if the starters can throw six solid frames, the Reds have a pretty good chance of walking away with the win.
Jonny Gomes had the big hit with a three run blast Joey Votto had a pair of hits including his 32nd double of the season. Outside of that, the Reds didn’t get much done at the plate other then draw walks (which is good, you just have to push those guys home). Votto also stole his 15th base of the season.
Game two is tonight. Bronson Arroyo goes for win number 16 and the Reds hitters will face Nelson Figueroa. It’d be nice to see some more road wins so we can push this magic number down from the 10 it’s sitting at.
I know, this is pretty late to restart a blog, but even though I haven’t been writing, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been following and more importantly, have been excited about the Reds pending playoff entry. Who would have thought after the whole Brandon Phillips/Cardinals sweep that the Reds would have an eight game lead at this point in the season. The magic number is 10 and it could go down to nine because the Reds are beating the Diamondbacks at the moment.
And just as cool is Joey Votto will probably win the MVP. Yeah, Pujols and Gonzalez have good years but Votto has been just as good and he ‘s playing for a winner. I also have to eat some crow because I never thought we’d get to the playoffs under Dusty Baker. I was critical when they brought him in but you can’t argue with the results.
What’s been up with Edinson Volquez? He has five strikeouts through four shutout innings today and he struck out ten in seven shutout innings in his last start. I’ll take it and it’s nice to see him on an upswing as we head into the playoffs.
And how exciting is Aroldis Chapman? The callup might have hurt the Louisville Bats chances for a Governors Cup but you wonder when this guy is going to give up a run. Eleven strikeouts, two walks, 7 2/3 innings, enough said.
On the hitting side, Scot Rolen turned out to be quite the pickup. I criticized this one too but he’s been our second best hitter this year. It’s also nice to see Jay Bruce working through things as well.
And in case you missed it, unless something crazy happens, THE REDS ARE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS.
Joey Votto and Scott Rolen just hit back to back home runs to break a 3-3 tie with the Cardinals. For Rolen, it’s his second of the game. This one is still early though (rain delay, so it’s just the middle of the third).
I’ll keep this brief because it seems like the more I write, the worse the Reds do. Just kidding (and making excuses) but the short of it is, the Reds won, and for today, they’re in first place. Next up are the Brewers and after my hiatus, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon.
It was Chris Carptener. That’s at least one of the reasons why the Reds were held to a measley three hits in a 6-0 loss to the Cards this afternoon. Drew Stubbs doubled and Joey Votto and Scott Rolen singled and that was the extent of the Reds offense. In all, they scored just six runs in the three game series and in a lot of ways, the Reds were lucky to walk away from St. Louis with even a single win.
Aaron Harang threw a solid game but it still resulted in his fourth loss. HE gave up three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts. Carlos Fisher was knocked around for two runs and Micah Owings, who might be pitching himself into a rotation spot, pitched a shutout inning.
it didn’t take very long for the Reds to fall out of their second place perch. They’re also back into the losing section of the division at 12-13. Now they’ve got three against hot (at least not too long ago) Mets. In fact both the Mets and Reds have two game losing streaks that followed extended winning streaks. Game one has Oliver Perez throwing against Mike Leake. Leake has pitched into the seventh in all four of his starts so hopefully he can pick up a win for the Reds before things get out of hand.
Don’t look now, but the Reds have a winning record. After five straight wins, they now sit in second place in the NL Central with a 12-11 record and while the Cards still have a comfortable three game lead, the Reds have a couple more chances to chip into that. Even better, the Reds have put a little bit of room between them and the rest of the division although one good losing streak could put them back into the second half of the division. Still, we can enjoy it while we can.
Johnny Cueto picked up his first win of the season. He gave up two runs on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts. The Reds then used five guys to get through the final four innings. They gave up their share hits (7) but didn’t allow a run. Nick Masset pitched a shutout eighth and Francisco Cordero pitched a shutout ninth and he picked up his ninth save of the season. With twelve wins for the Reds and nine saves for Cordero, most of the Reds wins are tight.
Jay Bruce has broken out finally and he went three for four with two RBIs and a run. He drove in the first two runs with two different singles then scored the go ahead run on Jonny Gomes single. Brandon Phillips pitched in with a pair of singles and he scored one.
Homer Bailey gets the nod today while Kyle Lohse throws for the Cards. Bailey has to produce soon or he could find himself back with the Bats for yet another stint. He’s got some weird numbers because he’s striking out a batter an inning, but hitters are also hitting .326 against him. His best start was his first and even that would be considered mediocre. Still, he can put the doubters in their place by throwing well today.
The Reds need to win tomorrow to avoid a losing week but more importantly, they’re tied with the Houston Astros for dead last in the NL Central. Yeah, those Astros that lost their first eight games. If there’s a silver lining, it’s the fact that the Reds are just four games back of first place. They just have a ton of teams in front of them. Right now, the Cardlinas are the only team with a winning record at a mediocre 10-8. You know that’s not going to last long so the Reds can’t bury themselves too early.
Of course getting shut out on four hits isn’t going to help things and that’s what happened today. Ryan Hanigan doubled for the only base hit and to make matters worse, they were caught stealing twice. This wasn’t a pretty day and it was against a Padres pitcher (Wade LeBlanc) who doesn’t have a ton of big league experience.
Johnny Cueto fell to 901 with a rough start. He gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk with five strikeouts in six innings. Daniel Ray Herrera had a nice outing and he pitched two shutout innings of relief.
The Reds try to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon. It’ll be Homer Bailey that’s hoping to play the stopper. Clayton Richard gets the nod for the Padres.