Time for a recap of today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 5
Pittsburgh 0
WP: Cueto (2-1)
LP: Karstens (1-1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Johnny Cueto has been very good this season, but I’m not sure how much more dominant he can be than he was today. His pitches were hopping. Eight innings, four hits, no runs, 9 strikeouts, just one walk. Cueto’s ERA is down to 1.65 on the season. Gotta love this youngster.

–Long homer by Jay Bruce, and he continues to look good at the plate. He should be hitting cleanup in this lineup.

–Ramon Hernandez’s bat continues to heat up. He had a couple of hits, and cleared the bases on a single (before getting thrown out trying to advance to 2nd; he is sloooooooooow). Hernandez’s defense leaves a lot to be desired, as we knew it would, but with every hit he is making us forget Paul Bako. And that’s a good thing.

–Arthur Rhodes pitched another perfect inning. He has been simply dominant this year.

NEGATIVES
–Johnny Cueto is terrible. He can’t hit AT ALL. Just a disaster at the plate.*

ETC.
–Another series win on the road. Now off to Florida, for a two-game series against the slumping Marlins.

–It’s a good thing Chris Dickerson can take a walk, because he looks overmatched pretty much every single time he takes the bat off his shoulder. I keep telling myself that he isn’t this bad, but he just doesn’t look comfortable up there. At least he didn’t screw up any plays in the field today.

–Want a laugh? Check out this Conan O’Brien skit that was referenced in the game thread. Hilarious take on old-timey baseball.

*Yes, that was tongue-in-cheek.

24 Responses

  1. Kurt Frost

    Bruce looked like Dickerson does now at the beginning of the year. Maybe he we will turn it around.

  2. Y-City Jim

    Slumping or not, that Marlins pitching looks pretty impressive.

  3. mhopp

    The Marlins did give up 6 runs to the Cubs today…if they beat the Cubs though the Reds will be in front by 1 game…I’ll take it!

  4. david

    The Reds are the only team in MLB with an overall winning record and a losing record at home. You gotta hope the Reds can stay hot away from Cincy. I dread homestands.

    As for Dickerson, there was an article about his changing his batting stance to model Jay Bruce last season. That is when he started getting hot at the plate. He reverted to the old stance early this season and took BP in last year’s stance. Hopefully that helps.

    The Reds still need a cleanup hitter to put this team over the edge. If the Reds are within a couple games of the wildcard this summer, you’d have to expect Dickerson, Bailey, Frazier, etc. to come up in trade talks.

  5. al

    The nationals have this guy named kearns who’s a righty outfielder, opsing .944, i wonder if the reds might be interested?

    in all seriousness, i doubt management would bring back kearns (and certainly not dunn), but with the nats already out of it, their terrible pitching, and their glut of outfielders (thanks bowden!), i wonder if they’d be a good midseason match for the reds.

    kearns for maloney and roenicke or something?

  6. Mark in CC

    Just got back to Ohio from the Pittsburgh last night and I know today was great but yesterday I can not remember being more disappointed with a team’s intensity.

    It started before the game with Phillips as he sepnt all of Batting practice playing home run derby. I am supised he didn’t pull a back muscle. The only 3, players who did any kind of fielding practice was Votto (who worked on every part of his defense from ground balls to shorthop throws and pop ups), Rosales who when Votto was hitting couldn’t even get someone to take throws at first and Janish. Phillips stood out there with his hands folded and never moved except when Votto was done with his workout stood and talked to him. Too bad he didn’t work with Rosales on taking throws at 2nd. After they hit I didn’t see Taveras or Bruce in the field. Dickerson did a little.

    The lack of hustle at the end of the game by Phillips and Hernandez should have given them both a seat today. Dusty was even stupid bringing in Rhodes with two outs after they fell so far behind. Wonder why he say his bullpen is spent.

    I’ve always liked PNC Park but yesterday just reinforced for me what a poor effort they made at the GABP.

  7. Mark in CC

    Al,

    Suppose they would take Bray for Kearns?

  8. World

    The Reds need a veteran outfielder in left- a RH stud who will hit in the cleanup spot and knock in a bunch of runs. Dye would have been perfect.

    I remember my Phillies days when Bake McBride was acquired from the Cardinals for Tom Underwood who was an emerging young hurler. This trade came out of the blue and was at first very unpopular with the fans in Philadelphia. Yet the acquisition of McBride turned the team around and the offensive provided spurred them into the playoffs and in the late ’70s and led to the last piece of the puzzle, Pete Rose, taking them to where they had never been before in 1980. The point is that Paul Owens, the GM of the team, recognized an obvious need and didn’t wait to act upon it until the season was 3/4 over as this trade took place on June 15th.

    Walt J. should be burning the midnight oil to get someone to plug into the #4 hole for the Rojos. There’s so many people that could be traded- Phillips (Hairston could play 2nd among others), EE (in a multi-player deal), Maloney, some of the top minor league talent in a package.

    Walt needs to make a move here.

  9. RiverCity Redleg

    Why is Nix not being given the chance to keep the LF job vs righties. He is obviously hitting better than Dickerson right now. Insert him in at the 7 hole and move Rosales up to 2nd and voila, you got yourself a lineup.

  10. Bruce in the OV

    Dusty needs to put Nix in left, but bat Rosales in the two-hole.

    Phillips seems to be coming out of his slump, but Bruce should’ve been put in the cleanup spot 10 days ago. Phillips is simply not as motivated as he used to be.

  11. brublejr

    Cueto looked so good today. His movement and change of locations is what did the Pirates hitters in the most. It is looking good for Cueto, the sky is the limit.

  12. jrs1972

    I think going after the Nat’s Kearns or Willingham would be a good play for the Reds. I wouldn’t part with Bailey for either one though.

  13. Glenn

    I agree its hard to watch him at the plate but I don’t really care if Cueto hits. Just concentrate on whats he’s doing on the mound.

  14. mhopp

    I know I’m beating a dead horse but this team (and no team) will ever reach it’s maximum potential with Dusty Baker as manager. He must absolutely not be able to light any fire under anyone…every time I’ve seen him during practice it’s like he’s at the beach watching the boats go by.

    Why is Ryan Hanigan not pinch hitting late in the game yesterday? Yet again this year it seems as though he puts “giving everyone a chance” before putting the best line up out there every day

  15. Mark in CC

    I don’t get why Nix isn’t playing. Maybe Dusty is using the old stupid Bob Boone logic that he is more valuable coming off the bench.

    Since it isn’t likely that a rade will come about I have really been impressed witht eh performance and consistency of Wes Bankston. BA .295, 930+ OPS, 18 RBI and he is younger than Dickerson. Bankston has out performed the more famous Gomes.

    Janish isn’t getting to play at all and with Rosales up maybe Paul needs to go down. This would free up a spot for Bankston and keep Dickerson on the bench for the lefty off the bench. Hairston can be the other infielder and keep him out of the outfield for a while. If Hairston isn’t hitting when EE is healthy then he gets a pat on the back and few parting gifts.

  16. Chad Dotson

    I don’t get why Nix isn’t playing.

    In the game thread, someone suggested that Dusty was just giving Dickerson one last chance this weekend to prove he belongs in the starting lineup before he changes things up.

    I really want to believe that’s true, so I’m going to close my eyes and try to believe it.

    I still think a Nix/Gomes platoon would be serviceable.

  17. Y-City Jim

    But World, where would they play?

    🙂

  18. pinson343

    Ryan Hannigan is not getting pinch hitting chances.
    The reason I presume is the lack of a 3rd catcher.

    I’m totally opposed to carrying 3 catchers (that’s a painful memory) but someone who could be an emergency catcher is needed. Maybe Rosales ? Unfortunately, Castillo is not hitting at AAA.

  19. al

    since i opened pandora’s box earlier, i figured i may as well go all the way. felipe lopez is opsing .899 right now. where’s bill bray when you need him?

  20. pinson343

    I don’t believe Dusty has just been giving Dickerson one last chance in LF. It is set in Dusty’s mind that, regardless of his play, he starts vs. righties. Also regardless of play, Gonzo is the everyday SS and Hernandez the catcher. The only thing that could change that reality is an injury or a trade.

    I’m not complaining about Gonzo or Hernandez, but Hannigan and Janish should be playing more. If Janish is going to play so seldom, he’d be better off at AAA, his hitting was starting to improve.

  21. pinson343

    I like Austin Kearns and in spring training, kept saying I thought he’d have a good 2009. But he’s overpaid and if we take on most of his salary, I don’t think we should have to give up a decent pitcher for him (not Roenicke, Maloney, or Bray).

  22. Steve Price

    It would be nice to see Austin back in Cincinnati,but I really don’t think he would produce enough for what we need. His “batting average” hasn’t been over .274 since his rookie season, and it seems that the fan base or current management would appreciate his .408 OBP since that means he’s walking a lot.

  23. GregD

    That’s the 5th shutout by the Reds this season….last year they had a grand total of 6.

    This season Reds pitching has allowed 2 runs or less in 45.8% of their games…a feat they only accomplished last season in 23.5% of their games.

  24. GregD

    Sometimes luck plays into it. They Marlins just got swept by the Cubbies with the Marlins worst three performing starters getting the call. Now the Reds come to play, and they are facing the Marlins best two pitchers
    Johnson 2-0, 2.60 ERA, 1.04 WHIP
    Volstad 2-0, 2.67 ERA, .99 WHIP

    These types of things are supposed to balance out over a 162 game season, but I could see a lot of people making the wrong conclusion about Reds v. Cubs if the Reds don’t do well the next two days.