Big series starts tonight, as the first-place Cardinals come to town to play the upstart Reds. I know people keep saying, “It’s early!”…but it’s really not early anymore. We’re five weeks into the season, and pretty soon, the Reds will have played a full 20% of their 2009 games.

All that means is that, while there are no must-win series in May (for a team positioned like the Reds), winning two or three games this weekend would be a huge boost. Unfortunately, Joey Votto isn’t playing again tonight, so the Reds are playing with one hand tied behind their back (full lineup in the extended entry below; it’s the same lineup as last night).

Johnny Cueto has been lights-out lately, and he’ll pitch before what should be a great crowd at GAB, if the rain doesn’t depress attendance. I will be there tomorrow and Sunday, but tonight I’m with you, hanging out in the game thread.

While you’re watching, listen to the latest podcast. C’mon, admit it…you’d rather listen to my voice than George Grande’s, anyway.

BR Preview

Taveras CF
Hairston 2B
Bruce RF
Hernandez 1B
Nix LF
Rosales 3B
Hanigan C
Janish SS
Cueto P

200 Responses

  1. jason

    Well it looks like Ryan Freel is now a Chicago Cub. This is me praying for all grandmothers in Chicago.

  2. Kurt Frost

    If it rains in Cincinnati like it rained in Louisville the last two hours…there will be a lengthy rain delay.

  3. Mike Martz

    I hope the Reds can whip the feathers off the Cardinals this weekend!

    Go Reds!

  4. EKyRedsFan

    These Reds trivia questions are ridiculous. I want to go on there and get some tickets.

  5. renbutler

    I just had a vision of Freel diving head-first into the center-field wall.

  6. renbutler

    At Wrigley Field, of course. That would be painful.

  7. EKyRedsFan

    I heard they gave Joey Gathrite (sp?) in return for Freel. Not sure which team comes out on top of this deal.

  8. Chris Wilson

    Someone let FSN know they were wrong on their trivia. The question was: On June 6th of last season, Jr. became what # payer to hit hit his 600th homerun. Their answer was the 5th! He was the 6th player since Sosa did it first. Jr. ranks 5th now, but he wasn’t the 5th to do it. Of course the guy answering the question said 7th, so technically they were both wrong.

    Bonds, Aaron, Ruth, Mays, and Sosa all did it before Jr.

    Of course it was Jim Day, so Chad, when you interview him, inform him of this gaff.

  9. John

    Hairston batting second again. Walt just needs to take the toy away.

  10. pinson343

    People are in denial about Sosa hitting 600 HRs.
    And when Junior passed him last year, it was ignored by the national sports media.

  11. mike

    since there is a rain delay and I’m procrastinating work and there was mention of Jr and 600 HRs I decided to look up the ACTIVE Reds HR leaders. Here are all the active players and their # of HRs they have hit for the Reds. Players who are currently Reds are bold

    HR
    Adam Dunn 270
    Ken Griffey Jr. 210
    Jason LaRue 84
    Brandon Phillips 73
    Austin Kearns 71
    Dmitri Young 67
    Edwin Encarnacion 67
    Wily Mo Pena 51
    Felipe Lopez 41
    David Ross 41
    Rich Aurilia 37
    Javier Valentin 34
    Joey Votto 31
    Jay Bruce 29
    Jose Guillen 27
    Juan Castro 25
    Russell Branyan 25
    Ryan Freel 22
    Mike Cameron 21
    Josh Hamilton 19
    Alex Gonzalez 18
    Corey Patterson 10
    Jeff Keppinger 8
    Jerry Hairston Jr. 7
    Chris Dickerson 7
    Corky Miller 6
    Paul Bako 6
    Bronson Arroyo 4
    Paul Konerko 3
    Andy Phillips 3
    Jolbert Cabrera 3
    Ryan Hanigan 2
    Chris Denorfia 2
    Jorge Cantu 1
    Laynce Nix 1
    Ramon Hernandez 1
    Chad Moeller 1
    Jason Ellison 1
    Willy Taveras 1
    David Weathers 1
    Brendan Harris 1
    Paul Janish 1
    Norris Hopper 1

  12. mike

    here is a good trivia question I think
    Among currently active pitchers (they don’t have to current be a Red), who are the top 5 in Wins as a Red?

    the top 2 are super easy but I was surprised to see the next 3 (and really the next 8)

  13. mike

    oh funny that should have read the next 8 but it took the 8 and ) and the emoticon

  14. KP

    I think this rain has already saved a couple of Cardinal homeruns… still no hitter for Cueto though through 2

  15. renbutler

    Would I be out of line to suggest that Dickerson wouldn’t have made that catch to close out the 2nd inning?

  16. Jimmy James

    The ball is flying tonight. I think we’re going to see a few homers.

  17. Jimmy James

    Boy, Rosales acts like he’s having fun every second he’s out there.

  18. Jimmy James

    A hit here by Taveras would make it 5-0, and THAT would be the way to start a series against the hated Cardinals.

  19. Abner

    I think I heard Marty just utter my name, And the cowboy with a wierd-o voice echo.
    And another hit. Nice.

  20. Jimmy James

    I don’t know where everyone is, but this is AWESOME.

    I don’t think the Reds have hit a single ball hard tonight (other than Hairston’s first hit), but they’re up 5-0.

  21. MinorLeaguer is an understatement

    I am sitting in the press box at the Louisville Bats game and Homer Bailey has given up seven runs in the first two innings. Ouch. Not getting much help in the field, either. It’s 7-2 with Louisville batting in the bottom 2. At least the Reds are taking care of biz. Check my site for mediocre Bats’ updates over the course of the season.

  22. Steve Price

    Also during the Reds trivia questions, they misspelled some of the answers. Ewell Blackwell’s name was spelled “Ewel”. Heine Groh’s name was misspelled something like Hienie Grosh; I thought another was misspelled, too.

  23. Chad Dotson

    Cueto just made Pujols look silly. Not many pitchers can make Albert Pujols look silly.

  24. brublejr

    Just joining in…what a way to start the game. Nothing better than putting in on the Cards 🙂

  25. brublejr

    I like Hannigan, its a shame he don’t get more chances.

  26. pinson343

    Nice HR list, Mike. The top 2 were easy. I never would have guessed LaRue for 3rd on the list.

  27. Jimmy James

    They put “Hinie Grosh” on that quiz. That’s bad.

    “Jockerty”….take a drink.

  28. Chris Wilson

    Chad, good point. I have no life.

    BTW, How’s the kid? Call me so we can plan out tomorrow.

  29. pinson343

    MLB.com has no update on the status of Phillips and Votto.
    Have the Reds broadcasters said anything ?

  30. mike

    I would have never guessed LaRue either…not even for the top 5 but when you look at some of the others at the top of the list who aren’t currently Reds a lot of them were Reds for a very short period of time. Kearns, D Young, WMP, Lopez, Ross, etc

    But a much more surprising list is the list of active Reds Wins leaders. Shows how bad our pitching has been in recent history

    WINS W
    1 Aaron Harang 65
    2 Bronson Arroyo 42
    3 Brett Tomko 29
    4 Elmer Dessens 28
    5 Edinson Volquez 21
    T6 David Weathers 19
    T6 Ron Villone 19
    8 Matt Belisle 16
    9 Kent Mercker 13
    10 Todd Coffey 12

  31. mike

    before today’s game Cueto had the 4th best ERA (adjusted) in baseball

  32. Chris

    Tomko and Dessens are active? (Tomko was my guess but I didn’t think he was still around).

  33. Chris

    Just listened to the last podcast with Chad and Doug Gray, on the way home from the golf course. Great stuff.

  34. CeeKeR

    Great game by the Reds so far – this Cueto kid isn’t too bad is he?!

  35. mike

    one more thing about the HR list. One name really stood out

    Arroyo!
    4 HR as a Red?

    only 11 Reds pitchers in this teams long history have more HR than Arroyo

  36. mike

    Tomko is pitching for the Yanks AAA team and Dessens is pitching for the Mets AAA team
    I was surprised to see neither was retired as well

  37. jason

    Ok, I was going to take a night off from the thread, but after seeing that….thing? in pink dance i have to ask…what was that? and why did they pick…that to focus on. And they wonder why attendance is off a tad. Woof.

  38. Chad Dotson

    How was the golf, Chris?

    Yeah, Doug was pretty good on that podcast, but I was just GREAT. I’m very humble, too.

  39. Chris

    Question: Will Joey Votto make the all-star team?

    Pullhols will be the starter. Adrian Gonzalez will be the lone Padre. Can they leave Ryan Howard off the team? Cantu, the Prince, and Helton are all hitting too.

  40. Chris

    Golf was fun – charity outing put on by some clients. My three teammates are much, which is good and bad. I won a really nice golf bag in the raffle, which was the high point.

    Jason: Keep an eye on your mailbox.

  41. Chris

    Went to the Dragons last night. Good time, as always, at that first class park. Fun game, though we didn’t stay for all 14 innings.

  42. mike

    here is an even crazier thought.
    Harang is 34th on the all-time Reds win list

    and among pitchers with enough innings to qualify he’s 4th on the Reds all-time strike out / 9 IP list behind Maloney, Sullivan (!?!?) and Rijo

    He’s 12th on the Reds all-time SO list and by the end of the year he will very likely pass Luque, Mullane and Browning and be in the top 10

    He has the best SO/BB ratio of any pitcher in Reds history

  43. pinson343

    According to Gameday, this umpire has a very wide strike zone.

    When Cueto gives up a line drive out, I start to think: What’s wrong with him?

  44. Chad Dotson

    Yeah, that Dayton park is something else. One of the top three minor league parks I’ve ever been to.

    That whole franchise is just very well-run.

  45. RiverCity Redleg

    The bats are falling asleep a bit.

  46. Y-City Jim

    So I presume that Votto and Phillips are still worshiping at the porcelain alter.

  47. RiverCity Redleg

    Why does it always seem that when we jump to an early lead, we always tend to relax our bats the rest of the game. Then, if we need it, we can’t wake ’em back up.

  48. Y-City Jim

    Come on, Cueto. Give us one more scoreless inning and then your night is done.

  49. brublejr

    Man, the wheels are falling off a little bit…need a DP bad…

  50. Chris

    One nice change in Dayton (at least to my ears) was a noticeable decrease in the volume. Used to be, you couldn’t hear yourself think between innings. Now, they still have the carnival nonsense going on, but you can ignore it and talk to your friends if you want.

    Johnny is falling apart here pretty quick. He needs a deep breath and a DP.

  51. brublejr

    there we go…needed that, too bad the shutout is gone

  52. Y-City Jim

    That was worth giving up the run.

  53. mike

    hmmm Votto making the allstar team. Good question

    Right now if they had to pick a Red it would probably be Cueto

    The fans will probably (rightly) vote Pujols as the starting 1B. He’s been the best 1B in baseball this season and is a star.

    But only 1 other (other than Pujols) NL 1B has produced more than Votto. Gonzalez in SD.
    The 3rd best 1B should make the team I’d think

    Only 15 NL players have produced more than Votto so far this year. That might get him on the roster. But I also know that it’s not just about this year performance…in particular because of the voting

    if the allstar game was right now I’d think the starting lineup would be
    1B Pujols
    2B Utley (even if Orlando Hudson is having a better year)
    3B Zimmerman (having a better season that Wright but not by that much)
    SS Ramirez (duh)
    LF Manny oops then I guess Dunn (Ibanez is having a slightly better season)
    CF Beltran (nobody is even close)
    RF Ethier (nobody is even close)
    C either NL Molina probably

    you know what’s really interesting. RF is a pretty weak position in the NL and Bruce has had been playing well. Right now only 3 RF have produce more than Bruce. Ethier, Werth, and Hawpe. Those guys big name allstars so if Bruce got hot and made some ESPN highlights he could get to the all-star game

  54. Chris

    Remember, for all-star voting, all OFs are lumped in together.

  55. Y-City Jim

    Reds are middle of the pack in terms of DPs, 11 behind MLB leading KC.

  56. RiverCity Redleg

    Nice comeback by Cueto to get out of the inning.

  57. Chris

    I know we’ve talked about this before, but besides Lost, there is no better television program than MLB Tonight. There’s nothing even close.

  58. mike

    Have the Reds had a single base runner since the first two innings?

  59. Y-City Jim

    Get’em on, Get’em over, Get’em in – drink

  60. brublejr

    98 pitches for Cueto through 7, I’ll take that everytime.

  61. Chris

    Book recommendation time again: The Last Season, by Eric Blehm.

    THE LAST SEASON TELLS THE INSPIRING, POIGNANT TRUE STORY OF THE LIFE AND MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF JAMES RANDALL MORGENSON WHO, over the course of 28 summers spent in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, became arguably the most celebrated ranger in the National Park Service’s most adventurous unit.

    I saw this cool story, which I believe was discussed (as unsolved) in the book.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103939764&sc=fb&cc=fp

  62. RiverCity Redleg

    Yeah, like Chris said, OF are all lumped together, they just take the top 3 vote getters and then figure out where to play them. I don’t think they worry too much about specific OF pos for the bench either. They just want the most deserving players.

  63. brublejr

    Janish has been a nice surprise this year…And he has a cannon for an arm…much better option than Gonzo right now.

  64. mike

    ah I forgot about all the OFers being lumped together.
    While only 3 RFers have out produced Bruce in the NL this year

    11 total OFers have out produced him.

  65. Y-City Jim

    Wow!!!!! That almost never happens when the Reds plays St. Louis.

  66. brublejr

    Great hustle by Cueto…too bad they made the out at third

  67. Jimmy James

    Johnny Cueto! Great awareness!

  68. Y-City Jim

    I can’t believe they are running Cueto out for another inning.

  69. Y-City Jim

    Maybe Cueto hitting has as much to do with a lack of faith in the bench as anything.

  70. Kurt Frost

    ‘I know we’ve talked about this before, but besides Lost, there is no better television program than MLB Tonight. There’s nothing even close.’

    Duh. Chuck.

  71. Y-City Jim

    Just under 100, and he showed signs of losing it last inning before rebounding.

  72. Chad Dotson

    Chris, my wife isn’t going to be very pleased if you keep making book recommendations. I’ll never get to the bottom of the stack next to my bed, and that doesn’t count the ever-increasing number on my Kindle.

  73. Y-City Jim

    Not to mention The Office as well.

  74. Jimmy James

    What’s so good about MLB Tonight? I don’t think I’ve ever watched it.

    Never watched Chuck either, but in order to keep harmony in the game thread, I acknowledge that it’s the greatest show in the history of television.

  75. RiverCity Redleg

    1st pitch swinging..jackass

  76. pinson343

    BBBBBRRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCEEEEEEEEEEEEE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  77. Jimmy James

    Jaaaaaaaaaaaaay! (oh wait, wrong name)

  78. mike

    you guys are faster than the Yahoo live box score. Bruce hasn’t even come to bat yet in my Reds universe right now

  79. RiverCity Redleg

    Of course it works for Bruce.

  80. pinson343

    Maybe Cueto isn’t coming out to pitch in the 8th, Dusty just had him lay down the bunt because our bench is short-handed (and weak).

  81. Jimmy James

    One of these days I’m going to check out the game threads at other teams’ blogs. I bet I won’t find another one where book recommendations are discussed in the game thread.

    Another reason to love redleg nation.

  82. Y-City Jim

    Phillips and Votto should tongue kiss Hairston after the game.

    Coughing on him would probably suffice.

    🙂

    Join the party, Laynce.

  83. Jimmy James

    Kurt’s #102 comment is a horror. Ewwwwwww.

  84. Chad Dotson

    Jim, I read that about the iPad. I knew they’d do something like that as soon as I heard Steve Jobs talk about how the Kindle was stupid because no one reads anymore.

  85. Y-City Jim

    Maybe Cueto isn’t coming out to pitch in the 8th, Dusty just had him lay down the bunt because our bench is short-handed (and weak).

    You are a prophet.

  86. RiverCity Redleg

    As soon as we scream for Nix, he stops hitting.

  87. brublejr

    I can’t say i would have used Rhodes in this situation tonight…

  88. Y-City Jim

    It will interesting to see what else Apple intends this iPad to do. You know they aren’t building it just to help Amazon sell eBooks.

  89. CeeKeR

    Rhodes has been impressive this year… Still sporting that 0.00 ERA.

  90. Y-City Jim

    Bailey bounced back after the bad start, which is encouraging. The previous Bailey would have likely delf-dstructed

    HR. Crap.

  91. pinson343

    Thanks, Y-City. Or maybe I’m learning Dusty-think.
    Actually, the move made sense, Cueto can also run well.

  92. brublejr

    Hindsight 20/20…but I think I would have brought out Burton to start this inning, but that is just me…I would have like to keep these two fresh for the weekend.

  93. Y-City Jim

    Pujols 0 for 4. I’d take that every game of this series.

  94. Y-City Jim

    Ludwick. Yet another Hal McRae success story.

  95. Chad Dotson

    It was inevitable that Weathers would give up a run soon. I just hope it’s only one run.

    I still have bad memories of collapses against the Cardinals. One Graves-induced collapse, in particular.

  96. Y-City Jim

    How do you throw to the second base side of second base? Oh, George.

  97. brublejr

    Crap…at least he is getting this out of the way with a bigger lead than normal

  98. brublejr

    Chad, I was at that game you were refering to…it was just plain terrible.

  99. Chris

    Why MLB Live is great:

    – Coverage of ALL the games, not just NY and Boston.
    – Host Matt Vasgersian – hilarious and smart.
    – Insightful analysts who actually analyze, not just take outrageous positions for the sake of “controversy.” Al Leiter, Dan Plesac, Joe Magrane, Sean Casey, Barry Larkin, Bill Ripkin, and the most surprisingly good: Mitch Williams.
    – Live in-game look-ins. If something’s happening in a game, they go there to watch for 5 min. or so.

    The idea behind the show, which I think they’re really achieving so far, is to capture the feel of March Madness, where the studio team talks about what’s going on, and the viewer sees all the important stuff.

    Everything you (I) hate about Baseball Tonight and ESPN, generally – they don’t have any of that.

  100. Y-City Jim

    We need an emoticon that has a toothpick in its mouth.

  101. Y-City Jim

    Shut the freakin’ door, Reds!!!

  102. Chad Dotson

    I’m sorry to hear that you were at that game, brublejr. I’m sure you still have nightmares.

  103. Jimmy James

    Tying run at the plate to face Jared Burton.

  104. RiverCity Redleg

    The worst thing is that it’ll probably get Pujols back up in the ninth

  105. Jimmy James

    In 1/3 of an inning, Weathers’ ERA went up from 0.00 to 2.89.

  106. pinson343

    Yes I’m having flashbacks to the nite Weathers and Graves blew a 6 run lead in the 9th to the Cardinals.
    Let’s hope Cordero is sharp.

  107. Steve Price

    I don’t understand why Dusty had to use two relievers like he did. To say it better, why use Rhodes for one batter in a 6-1 game? Pitch him to more batters or pitch someone who can stay longer…it’s a function of having too many pitchers and allowing a manager to over manage a game.

  108. Jimmy James

    Single for Rosales, Hanigan got him over to second, Janish up.

  109. Y-City Jim

    It looks as if Bankston had made his error in the 2nd that Bailey would have had a decent outing and a win tonight.

  110. Y-City Jim

    Let’s get it done in 1-2-3 fashion, Cordero.

  111. Jimmy James

    cocococococococococococococococo!

  112. pinson343

    Having Hannigan give himself up in that situation made no sense, consdiering who was coming up.
    What a freakin’ bench.

  113. brublejr

    It’s all coming back to me…tried to forget it

  114. brublejr

    That’s my boy! I :love: Hannigan.

  115. Jimmy James

    I LOVE Ryan hanigan!!!! Great throw!

  116. CeeKeR

    Reds winning percentage at 83% according to ESPN… It was up over 96% last inning…

  117. mike

    wow reverse-HAVOC
    why would you send a guy in the 9th down by 2? a HR ties the game and even if that guy scores on a single you are still down by 1.

  118. CeeKeR

    …and that (boneheaded?) stolen base attempt moves the Reds winning chances back to 96%, nice!

  119. renbutler

    That’s the Larue we all came to love. :p

  120. Chad Dotson

    Larue was my wife’s favorite Red back in the day, but after seeing him just now, she has changed her mind.

  121. Steve Price

    Bad history…Babe Ruth was out stealing for the final out of one World Series the yankees lost…I believe he was the tying run with Gehrig at the plate…everybody was shocked that he ran

  122. brublejr

    Wow! Janish has a freaking gun…Great Win!!!

  123. mhopp

    What’s not to like about Ryan Hannigan?

  124. CeeKeR

    Great start to the series…and not to be overlooked, a pair of nice wins with a definitely depleted lineup. Good to see!

  125. jason

    Wow, 2 wins in a row w/o B.P and Votto-Matic. Im starting to get a feeling about his team, great game!

    Go Get”em tomorrow Harang! GO Redlegs!!

  126. mike

    plus if I see the #s right nobody has successfully stolen a base of Hanigan this year
    he’s thrown out 4 guys

  127. RiverCity Redleg

    Hopefully we can another tomorrow when I’m there.

  128. pinson343

    Coco doesn’t like pitching 3 days in a row, he wasn’t sharp, I was expecting the worst.
    Don’t like the way Dusty over-managed the 8th inning, top and bottom.

    But WE WIN AND HERE’S TO RYAN HANNIGAN !!!!

  129. RiverCity Redleg

    Does anyone know what the weather will be tomorrow.