CINCINNATI — Some things that most fans most likely don’t know about some of the Cincinnati Reds, some stuff more interesting than the 8-2 beating they took Friday night from the Cleveland Indians:
There will be some stuff at the bottom about Beavercreek High School graduate Justin Masterson, who held the Reds to one run (a Brandon Phillips home run) and four hits over eight innings, walking one, hitting one and striking out five while throwing 102 pitches, 65 for strikes.
And how’s this? Masterson hadn’t won in his last 11 starts, not because of bad pitching but because his team went on strike offensively when he pitched. In those 11 starts, the Tribe was shut out four times and scored 22 total runs in those 11 games.
More about the mastery of the Reds by Masterson lately.
Phillips hit two homers, his second was his 1,000th hit, and it was a mere footnote to this massacre.
Masterson’s opponent, Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo, on an awful scale of 1 to 10 was a 13 — 4 2/3 innings, eight runs, nine hits and three home runs, including a back-to-back set in the third by Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana after Grady Sizemore homered in the second.
SINCE THE REDS are giving away Dusty Baker bobblehead dolls with toothpick holders Saturday, Baker was asked, “How many toothpicks do you go through in one game?”
Technically, though, they aren’t toothpicks. They are Australian Chewing Sticks he orders special.
“How many? Depends on the game,” said Baker. “A tight game, more. If we’re way ahead or way behnd, less. Just calms me down a little bit. I tried to quit chewing tobacco. My dad always had toothpicks. You need a toothpick, go see my dad.”
AND I’LL BET you though closer Francisco Cordero’s nickname, Coco, came because his first name ends in ‘co’ and his last name begins with ‘co,’ hence Coco.
“Doug Jones was the closer with the Detroit Tigers when I came up in 1999 and he said that I looked like the pro wrestler Koko B. Ware. So he called me Koko and it stuck.”
HOW MANY SETS of catching gear (chest protector, shin guards) do you think Reds catcher Ramon Herandez has in his locker? One? Two?
How about six?
“Yeah, I have six sets,” he said. “But I only use two in games, one set in the first half of the season and one for the second half.”
Does he pay for all that gear?
“Nah, I have a contract with Mizuno and they give the stuff to me,” he said.
MIKE LEAKE is wearing The Big Red Machine look, knicker pants and high red socks with stirrups. And where did he find stirrup-socks?
“I found them in a storage room,” he said. “They had three used pairs in there storage room (maybe Johnny Bench or Don Gullett wore ‘em). I took all three, just in case. I’m still on my first pair.”
Asked why he is wearing his pants high when he didn’t do it before he was sent to the minors, he said, “I told myself that if I ever go down (to the minors), I’m going to go back up (to the majors), so that’s why my pants are up.”
CHRIS HEISEY went to Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. What’s Messiah College?
“It’s a Division III school near my home,” said Heisey. “We had 2800 students. It’s a Christian school close to home and I had a cousin who played basketball there, so I was on campus all the time.
“The big reason was that I talked to both the baseball coach and the basketball coach and I was going to play both,” he said. “Most schools you can’t do that. Basketball was actually my favorite sport coming out of high school. I could have easily played both, but I decided I wanted to do good in school and I better stick with one before I fail out and can’t do either.”
PAUL JANISH? What kind of name is that?
“It’s Czech,” he said. “My dad is Czech and my mom is Mexican. That’s interesting, huh? I think my named used to be spelled Janisch, but that was long ago. My dad’s parents were born in Czechoslovakia. Czech was my grandmother’s language.”
But doesn’t that make Janish Czech-Mex? Isn’t that a cereal.
IS EDINSON a common name in the Dominican Republic.
“No,” said Edinson Volquez, who many fans believe is Edison Volquez. No, there is an ‘n’ in that name. “I only know one or two others named Edinson. My mom said my sister named me, but I never asked my mom or my sister why?”
And what’s your sister’s name? “Baby.” Oh.
OK, MASTERSON, the Beavercreek graduate? He left only seven tickets, but more than 100 friends and family showed up, including his father, Mark, and mother, Judy, who still live in Beaverceek.
Masterson grew up a Cincinnati fan and came to several games with friends.
“I remember it was Scott Rolen’s rookie year and he was playing with the Phillies,” said Masterson. “I was sitting behind the Phillies dugout and I never even asked but he flipped me a ball and I said, ‘Hey, that’s my favorite player.’”
Rolen had one of the four hits off Masterson, so maybe Justin was paying him back.
MASTERSON HAS a deep Christian background and needed it all to keep his senses during the 11-game drought.
“You can never let the score dictate how you pitch,” he said. “My job is to keep them from scoring. These guys battle every night and it was good for them to put some runs on the board.
“You can only control your own effort,” he said. “When you are not getting victories, you at least can say you put forth the effort and you can’t do much more.”
Former Cincinnati shortstop Orlando Cabrera, now a Tribesman recently said he felt bad and felt sorry that the team couldn’t score runs for the 6-6, 250-pound 26-year-old.
“There is no need for him or anybody else to feel bad, I never say anything,” he said. “It isn’t like everybody isn’t trying. I work my tail off and they work their tails off for me, playing tremendous defense all year.”
Cabrera said he was also impressed with how positive Masterson stayed during his long, fruitless ride.
“It helps me to stay positive and why are you going to feel sorry for yourself,” he said. “You can’t. This game is crazy. Good things, bad things. There is no room to feel sorry for yourself because nobody else is going to feel sorry for you. I’m not the first person to go through something like this and I won’t be the last person to go through something like this.”
Nobody asked him if he felt sorry for the Reds.Tweet