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

FINAL
Cincinnati 7
Florida 0
WP: Volquez (4-2)
LP: Volstad (2-1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Another outstanding start by Edinson Volquez, who looks like he’s putting it together. Eight innings, 3 hits, no runs, 7 strikeouts. He did walk 4, but two of those were late when it was evident to everyone other than Dusty Baker that Volquez was gassed.

As noted in the game thread, It’s the first time in 3 starts that Volquez has given up more than 1 hit. His ERA is down to 3.47.

–Brandon Phillips had his best game of the year, by far. BP was 3-5 and he tied his career high in RBI, with 6; three of those came on a mammoth homer in the 7th inning. It will be great if Phillips really is coming around; the black hole in the cleanup spot has been killing the Reds. Tonight was a good sign.

–Joey Votto. Again. This guy just knows what he’s doing at the plate, and it’s a joy to watch. Votto was 2-2 tonight, he walked 3 times (that’s right, he was on base five times), and he drove in a run while scoring two.

–Very good game by Jerry Hairston, Jr., and Ramon Hernandez had a couple of knocks too. These are the guys that are going to have to contribute if this offense is going to do anything.

–Laynce Nix pinch-hit and got another double. What does this guy have to do to break into the lineup?

NEGATIVES
–None.

ETC.
–I ain’t no front-runner.

–This pitching staff is really looking good lately, both the rotation and the bullpen. If the offense could score consistently, this team would be seriously dangerous.

–Willy Taveras, Hairston, and Hernandez worked together to gun down a Marlin at the plate, before the score got out of hand. It was a big play, and it’s nice to see the good defense.

–While we’re on the subject of defense, I saw Phillips make a couple of very nice plays.

–After tonight, the Reds have only been outscored by one run this season.

–Tonight was the 6th time the Reds have shut out an opponent in 2009. Last year, the Reds had 6 shutouts all year!

44 Responses

  1. Y-City Jim

    From McCoy’s blog:

    When McKeon managed, we used to smoke cigars in his Riverfront Stadium office and he’d say, “Keep puffing. General manager Jim Bowden hates cigar smoke and won’t come in here while we’re smoking.” So we puffed and puffed and puffed and Bowden stayed away.

  2. World

    The team appears to be solid with the development of the pitching staff moving along nicely.

    That being said, the Reds are getting little or nothing from 3b and left field which are both prime offensive positions. Maybe EE will come back but maybe not. Rosales looks like a sub at best in the few times I’ve seen him swing. If Big Bob is serious about his repeated monologues about “winning now” and is willing to shell out some bucks, he could point Walt J. in the direction of Oakland for a certain 2010 free agent who used to play for Colorado. Or the left fielder from the Chisox. Or a half dozen other sluggers who could patrol left for the Rojos for a couple of years until the Big Boy #1 Draft Pick is ready to p[ush Votto to left. There’s enough talent in the Reds organization to swap for these players and put some real punch in the lineup. I can’t see where some of them are going to play anyway with a young team out there on the field. 40+ homers in the #4 slot (with adequate defense that Adam Dunn could not provide) would make this club a playoff contender and put some people in those empty seats at GABP.

    Anyway, the team looks a lot better than they have in recent years. For tonight anyway.

    Goodnight all.

  3. david

    A lot of people were wanting Janish to start over Hairston. I know that many of us second guess Dusty Baker on a rather consistent basis, but there have been several moves that are worthy of kudos to the ol’ skip. He isn’t an everyday SS, but he is a great utility guy to have around. That’s right – I said it, in favorable matchups this guy is great to have around.

    I’m very interested to see what happens this summer. They have to address left field, and could be a playoff team if they make the right move. If they don’t mortgage the future in the process, this core of young players/pitching staff could have a nice few runs in them.

  4. jrs1972

    I am starting to have the same sort of confidence when Joey Votto comes to the plate for this team that I haven’t felt for a Reds hitter since Barry Larkin was in his prime.

  5. Chris

    Hadn’t seen this nonsense mentioned here:

    And manager Dusty Baker said when he left PNC Park Saturday night his Sunday lineup had Rosales batting second. When Baker got to the ball park, he changed his mind and dropped him back to seventh.

    “Let’s not put undue pressure on the young man so fast,” he said. “There are a lot of things to do at No. 2. Rosales is not a taker yet and we need that with Willy Taveras batting ahead of him. And I like speed up top — Taveras and either Chris Dickerson or Jerry Hairston Jr. second.

    “Let’s let him chill and marinate down there in the order right now,” Baker added. “He is just learning the pitchers and No. 7 is important. He can turn over the order, get us back to the top. And there are a lot of two-out ribbies available down there.”

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayton-sports/cincinnati-reds/rosales-needs-time-before-moving-up-to-no-2-105603.html

    Chill and marinate. Just awesome.

  6. Chris

    Another tidbit, answering a question I asked the other night:

    Daniel, not Danny
    Speaking of names, when he was called up from Louisville last year his name was Danny Herrera. Now it is Daniel Ray Herrera. Why?

    “I’ve always gone by Daniel Ray,” said the lefthander bullpenner. “But people call me Danny. The media relations people ask me what I prefer to be called and then they put in Danny anyway and call me what they want to call me.”

    Not this year. The 2009 Reds media guide calls him Daniel Ray.

    Only question: Is “bullpenner” a real noun?

  7. Chris

    I don’t “want” either Hairston or Janish (or Gonzales) to start at shortstop for the Reds. Not one of those guys is a legitimate major league SS. Hairston can’t field the position; Janish probably can’t hit at replacement level over a full season; Gonzales apparently can’t do either one.

    But if Hairston is hitting .122, Janish is the least bad option. At least his defense won’t slump.

  8. david

    One thought…. This team is 10-5 on the road. 10-5! For those counting at home that is the BEST road record in the majors. The team is also 4-7 at home. 4-7! For those counting at home that is the WORST home record in the majors.

  9. Y-City Jim

    Chill and marinate. Just awesome.

    He must have been hungry.

  10. Chris

    I would pay $500 to follow Dusty Baker around for 24 hours. Maybe I could donate to some charity he supports in exchange for a day of just watching his life in action.

  11. Plowboy

    Haven’t been able to listen much to McAlister the last few days, (I spend much more time mouthbreathing on here), but I’ll make a point to see that River City Redleg gets the credit for HAVOC since Lance was so excited about it. (but, then again, for those of you that know him, what DOESN’T he get excited about?)

    Nevertheless, McAlister IS the voice of Cincy sports talk (officially, as of last week), so I’ll be sure to call in and set the record straight, regardless if it matters or not – especially considering that our so called SPEED isn’t exactly creating said HAVOC (uh…100 stolen bases, Willie? Where’ve you been? Especially, last night…8th inning…?…Uh….all month for that matter?)

    Either way, it’s a cool acronym, even if it doesn’t necesarilly apply to our solid starters.

  12. Fighting Fascism

    Dustyisms sure are fun. That has t-shirt potential too.

    Something like:

    Bat me 7th…
    So I can chill and marinate.

  13. mike

    Chris I’ve hung out with Dusty when he use to do a radio show here in SF.
    why would you like to follow him around?

    He’s a really nice guy who seems to know a lot more about blues and soul music than he does baseball.

  14. al

    just looked at the pitching match ups for the home stand and i have to say, i like how we stack up.

    arroyo and owings against the brewers, who can hit, but aren’t world beaters.

    then cueto, harang, and volquez against the cards. if anything slows down st. louis, that does.

  15. EKyRedsFan

    I’m not sure I buy into Matt Holliday. His HR numbers would definitely go up in Cincy as opposed to Oak-town. And regarding Carlos Quentin, I don’t think the Sox are looking to deal him. He’s pretty much all they have.

  16. mike

    the question is, do the Reds rent-a-player or do they get a guy like Holliday who they get for a while? They have next to nothing in the minor leagues close to helping the big club so I think rent-a-player is a bad idea. But if you want to win? All they need is a big RH bat.

  17. EKyRedsFan

    If they do something like the Braves did with Teixeira, I’d be totally against that. The Braves minor league system would be ridiculously good had they not made that move. If we give away some top prospects, I’d like to see them keep the player they get long term.

  18. earl

    Matt Holliday will be dealt by the A’s as he is a free agent after this year,. I think he might bring more bucks on the open market than the Reds would pay, so if they got him, it would be mostly as a rental.

    Willie Taveras doesn’t have a big arm in the outfield, but he seems to be quite accurate on hitting his cutoff man.

  19. al

    holiday may turn it around, but willy t does have his ops beat by 40 pts right now. just sayin.

  20. al

    i might look more towards baltimore or arizona. both teams at the bottoms of their divisions and likely not going anywhere this year. both teams that walt has made trades with in the last year.

    to get any of their younger guys will take a load of prospects probably, but i could see that happening under the right circumstances.

  21. jason

    And that is why i have changed my morning pre-work ritual from ESPN to MLB Network. MLB starts their ‘Quick Pitch’ highlight show Volquez spotlight and Reds highlights while ESPN continues to either bury or ignore al things small market. I am a fan of the new network, they also played a hour long 1990 World Series recap this morning.

  22. doktor

    Last night was best all around Defense seen from this team in a while. Multiple players made plays to hold Florida scoreless. Hernandez had a good play on a chopper in front of the plate to throw out thier speedster. Another play he picks off Cody Ross at 1st on a bunt play. Phillips makes a great block of the bag to tag Cody Ross. BP makes a leaping grab to rob a hit. Hairston in middle of relay to throw out a runner at the plate and another nice play by Hernandez to dive/tag the runner. Dickerson had a really nice diving catch. Hairston almost had a great over the shoulder catch at SS. Nice to see the effort from all positions.

  23. AnnapolisRed

    Believe it or not the Reds now lead all of major league baseball in team ERA and in shutouts.

  24. Glenn

    I can’t figure out why Dickerson is playing and Nix is coming off the bench. It makes no sense.

  25. Matt WI

    An important little run in the schedule here against division foes. I’d love for this team to send the Cardinals a little message. This MUST be better than the last home-stand.

  26. Matt WI

    And “chill and marinate”??? Love it. Just love it.

  27. John

    Glenn, obviously Nix needs to marinate on the bench for a while, so he can get that good pine flavor.

  28. jrs1972

    What is really frustrating to me as a fan is the fact that this team’s offensive problems are not impossible to address. We may not be able to get an ideal solution easily, but certainly we have better options at LF and cleanup hitter than the Reds are running out there day in and day out.

    I feel like Dusty Baker’s terrible management is letting an opportunity for this team to be really fun to watch slip away.

  29. RiverCity Redleg

    Thanks, Plowboy, for the love.

  30. RiverCity Redleg

    Jermaine Dye would look awfully good in this lineup.

  31. RiverCity Redleg

    Do you think we’ll get a Janish, Hannigan sighting tonight with Arroyo toeing the rubber? Since we’re facing a lefty, I would put Janish at short and move Hairston to left for tonight. Unless they decide to put AGon on the DL, then I would bring up Gomes (maybe Hopper) and insert him directly into the lineup tonight. What do you think?

  32. David

    Reds face Manny Parra and as I said earlier in another thread – Hairston hits Parra VERY well. Expect Hairston to bat 2nd and play short.

  33. Matt WI

    You’d think we’d see Hannigan just to give Hernandez a rest after the long game Monday and then playing last night and traveling. I vote for bringing up Gomes if A-Gon goes on the DL.

    If this team wants to break away from previous Reds (recent) history, they have to not take away the momentum from the winning road trip and drop three in a row, or 4 of 5. It’s usually: “get excited, think we have something, boom, back to .500 or worse.” Super frustrating. May the force be with Bronson tonight… keep the Brewers from knocking it out of the park. They can mash.

  34. GregD

    5-4 vs LH starters this year
    9-8 vs RH starters

    They had a winning record vs LH starters last year and a losing record vs RH starters

  35. Matt WI

    But GregD, if you just reverse the numbers, the Reds would be 4-5 against lefties and have a losing record, thus making Dusty’s moves for match-ups “correct.” 😀

  36. abcisme25

    What would be nearly as disappointing as dropping 3 in a row or 4 or 5 would be really bad gate figures. This should be a HUGE home series as we finally have an exciting team to watch with some dominant pitching.

    Votto is a beast. I agree with jrs1972. Reminiscent of Larkin in his prime.

  37. Chris

    Mike, as you said, Dusty is a man of diverse interests. I’d really like to see (1) how (and how much) he actually prepares for the games, and (2) what he exposes himself to that results in such strange statements (“chill and marinate”).

    He seems like a fascinating guy, and I mean that sincerely.

  38. David

    abcisme25 – I really don’t understand fan attendance. I live in Milwaukee, but would likely have season tickets if I were in Ohio. I think the great thing about Brewers games and Cubs games is that the games are an event. Cincy doesn’t have that feel to it.

    Chris @ 39 – My only exposure to Dusty was when the Reds were staying in Milwaukee. The team was at the Pfister hotel, as per usual. Dusty was at the bar with some Reds brass getting what can only be described as a lap dance from what I can only imagine to be a very “professional” and very flirtatious young blonde.

  39. Matt WI

    Good point(s) David (@ 40)… I now live in over in Fort Atkinson and have been to a couple Brewers games a year. It’s a great atmosphere. Just took in my first game at Wrigly in mid-April. Event indeed. But, I’d like to hear from people that can and do regularly go to GABP… not fair for me to judge on having only been there a few times and not in a few years. But like David, I’d like to think if I had access to the Reds, I’d be there.

  40. Steve Price

    Bill James posted some info about baseball attendance a few years ago…says that it usually lacks almost a season behind. Fans will wait until after trade deadline (usually later, just using a demarcation) and then s-t-a-r-t to come back and finish with a bang if a losing team starts to win.

    The real payoff is the next year when fans expect them to win. Off season ticket sales rise. However, if the team loses, the attendance drop off doesn’t wait a year to happen….may be a month or two.

  41. GregD

    Some shutout facts:

    The Reds had 6 team shutouts last year, fewest in the NL Central.
    Cubs = 8
    Cardinals = 7
    Brewers = 10
    Astros = 13
    Pirates = 7

    So far the Reds have 6 shutouts this year, 4 in the past 6 games. Elias sports bureau says this has happened only 2 other times in Reds history. The earliest was 1943 when Elmer Riddle, Joe Beggs and Vander Meer (twice) accomplished this. The huge difference?

    The 1943 Reds allowed 5 runs in the two non-shutout games (winning both). They allowed 1 run in the 2 games prior to this 6 game streak (winning both). And this overall contributed to a 10-game winning steak.

    In contrast, the 2009 Reds allowed 11 runs in the 2 non-shutout games (losing both). They allowed 12 runs in the 2 games prior to the current streak (losing both). And they are just 5-6 in their last 11 games.

  42. pinson343

    Jason, I’m making the same switch from ESPN to MLB.Network. The nite Volquez threw an 8 inning 1 hitter against Houston, it was not EVEN mentioned on Baseball Tonite or Sports Center. Same thing with Cueto’s recent combined shutout. They’re such A__HOLES, on both nites I got to see Yankees/Red Sox coverage multiple times.