Thursday, July 7, 2011
UNSOLICITED COMMENTS from The Man Cave while wondering if the Potawatami Casino in downtown Milwaukee wonders what happened to that guy who used to lose money at the blackjack tables when the Cincinnati Reds were in town.
When oh when oh when oh when are the Cincinnati Reds going to quit throwing high fastballs to Milwaukee’s Rickie Weeks?
Probably when they quit making sausages in Milwaukee.
For what seems like the 100th time, Weeks stuck a deep dagger into the Reds, this time with a three-run home run off a Homer Bailey high fastball in the fifth inning.
IT WAS THE third straight game in which Bailey gave up a three-run home run that beat him — this time by 5-4, the 19th one-run loss this year by the Reds.
THE REDS ARE now 1-6 in the first game of their last seven series. And it was the eighth straight time they tried to put together a two-game winning streak, only to lose the day after winning a game.
Zack Cozart was called up for Thursday’s game and made his debut at shortstop, and it wasn’t a bad one.
He pulled a single in his second at-bat for his first major-league hit and scored from first on a singe. And he made a nice defensive play in the hole.
It doesn’t appear Cozart has the arm of Paul Janish, demoted to Louisville to make room for Cozart. First baseman Joey Votto saved an error by digging a Cozart throw out of the dirt.
THE REDS LOST to left-hander Chris Narveson, whom they had beaten up twice earlier in the season while the Reds went 7-2 against the Brewers in their first nine meetings.
The Reds had only two runs and seven hits over six innings against Narveson.
Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead in the second, but the Reds tied it in the third on three straight one-out hits, including a double by Homer Bailey. But with two on and one out, Joey Votto lined to left and Brandon Phillips struck out.
THE BREWERS scored four times in the fifth, the rally beginning when catcher Jonathan Lucroy beat an infield hit to Cozart at deep short. Narveson was sent up to bunt, but Bailey walked him on four pitches. That’s when Weeks jumped on Bailey’s first-pitch fastball and made it 4-2 with his homer. Corey Hart singled, stole second and scored on Mark Kotsay’s single to make it 5-2.
The Reds put their first two runners on base in the sixth, but Cozart swung at the first pitch and grounded into a double play and Ramon Hernandez grounded out.
The Reds scored a run in the eighth off LaTroy Hawkins, but should have scored more than one because they had runners on first and third with no outs after Votto’s single and a hit-and-run single by Phillips.
Votto scored on a ground ball to second by Jay Bruce, then Jonny Gomes flied to right and pinch-hitter Chris Heisey grounded to second to leave it 5-3.
Facing closer John Axford in the ninth, Hernandez drilled the first pitch for a home run. It was Hernandez who hit the game-winning walk-off home run off Axford on Opening Day in Great American Ball Park.
After Edgar Renteria grounded to the pitcher, Drew Stubbs walked. With the count 0-and-1 on Miguel Cairo, the Brewers called a pitch-out. Timing is everything. Stubbs, indeed, was trying to steal and Lucroy gunned him out at second, only the fourth time in 28 tries this year that Stubbs has been thrown out.
As so often happens, Cairo then blooped a broken-bat single to right field. Votto singled to left, putting runners on first and third with two outs and the Reds down one run.
Alas, Phillips grounded out to the pitcher. Game over.
After not being able to beat cousin Narveson, the Reds must now face Zack Greinke and Shawn Marcum, Milwaukee’s Best — and I don’t mean beer.
IN ADDITION TO calling up Cozart and sending down Janish, the Reds also sent starting pitcher Edinson Volquez back to Louisville for the second time this season and called up relief pitcher Carlos Fisher.
Fisher’s stay will be short. The team needs a starter Sunday in Volquez’s spot and that guy will be - ta-dum - left-hander Dontrelle Willis.Tweet
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from the scorching-hot Man Cave - despite today’s purchase of a new oscillating fan — while wondering how in the name of Rip Van Winkle can a team build an 8-0 lead in the fifth inning and snooze for the next seven innings?
And that’s what happened to the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday night, almost an ambush in Busch Stadium.
On a night when it looked as if the Reds would easily scramble to within three games of the first-place St. Louis Cardinals by constructing an 8-0 lead in the fifth, they didn’t score again while the Cardinals scored nine unanswered runs to tie it, 8-8.
But Ramon Hernandez saved the day — and maybe the season, with a two-out 0-and-2 double to left in the 13th that provided the Reds with a 9-8 win.
So, instead of a staggering five games out of first place, the Reds are three back, but more importantly losing a game that you led by eight runs in a could have been a severe morale destroyer, a defeat that could have lingered in the psyche for a long time.
When the Reds came to bat in the 13th, after scoring eight runs in the first five innings, they had no runs, three hits and one walk from the sixth through the 12th.
Jay Bruce started the 13th with a 3-and-2 walk. After Scott Rolen struck out, Drew Stubbs, a late entrant into the game, singled. Ryan Hanigan lined to right, but Hernandez, the last position player the Reds had left, pinch-hit and drove a 0-and-2 pitch to left for a ground rule double that scored Bruce with the game-winner.
Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker plugged in his office Mixmaster, tossed in some names, and came out with a fluffy cake with five runs worth of icing in the first inning and things looked hunky-dorey.
Drew Stubbs was not in the lineup, not batting leadoff, not batting six or seventh and not playing center field. Chris Heisey was in center field, batting leadoff.
Brandon Phillips did not bat second. Baker put him back in the clean-up spot and dropped Scott Rolen from fourth to sixth.
Edgar Renteria played shortstop and took Phillips’ spot at second in the batting order.
Did it work? Well, a team that had scored one run in the first two games of the series, had a 5-0 lead in the first inning after five batters.
HEISEY TURNED on the first pitch of the game offered by St. Louis pitcher Jake Westbrook and planted it into the left field seats. 1-0.
Renteria singled and Joey Votto walked. Phillips drilled a first-pitch into the right field corner for a two-run triple. 3-0.
Jay Bruce drove one into the right field seats. Five batters up, 5-0 lead.
And the Reds weren’t done. Lewis made it 6-0 with a leadoff home run in the fourth and they scored two more in the fifth on Scott Rolen’s two-run homer for the 8-0 lead.
Now they were done - until the 13th.
GIVEN THE BIG lead, Reds starter Bronson Arroyo was driving with his feet on the steering wheel - no runs and one hit through five innings and that was an infield roller to Joey Votto at first base.
St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa out-foxed himself. Down, 8-0, he took out Lance Berkman and Yadier Molina.
The Cards began the comeback in the sixth with a run on back-to-back doubles by Tony Cruz and Dirty Dan Descalso.
All four wheels and the spare went flat in the Cardinals seventh, a six-run uprising that drew the Cardinals to within 8-7.
IT BEGAN WITH a home run by Matt Holliday, his third in two days. LaRussa permitted his pitcher, Brandon Dickson, to make his first major-league at-bat and he singled. Colby Rasmus singled to put two on and no outs.
After Arroyo retired Cruz, Baker replaced Arroyo with Bill Bray to face Descalso and he singled for a run. Bray retired Jon Jay, but Baker permitted left-hander Bray to pitch to right-hander Ryan Theriot and he doubled to make it -8-6.
When Bray walked Skip Schumaker, to bring up Albert Pujols, fresh off the DL, Logan Ondrusek was brought in. Pujols pounded one into the ground and it one-hopped over third baseman Scott Rolen’s head for a run-scoring single to cut it to 8-7.
The Reds still led, 8-7, when closer Coco Cordero entered the ninth, having saved 17 games in 19 opportunities. Make it 17 for 20 because Jon Jay led the ninth with a game-tying home run and the game was sent spiraling into extra innings.
Jose Arredondo pitched two scoreless innings, the 11th and 12th, then Aroldis Chapman, the last relief pitcher the Reds had, came on in the 13th.
He retired Nick Punto on a ground ball then gave up a single up the middle to Cruz. He struck out Descalso, who had four hits, for the second out. That brought up Jay, whose homer in the ninth off Cordero tied the game. Chapman hum-fired a 101 miles per hour fastball past Jay on a 1-and-2 pitch to end it — the first major-league save for Chappie and, perhaps, a save of the season as they packed and headed for a late-night flight to Milwaukee for the start of a four-game series tonight.Tweet