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

FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Arizona 3
WP: Cueto (4-1)
LP: Augenstein (0-1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Sweep! Six games over .500, and your Cincinnati Reds are now tied for first place.

–Johnny Cueto pitched well again, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings. At one point, he retired 12 Diamondbacks in a row. His stuff is just outstanding.

–Four RBI for Brandon Phillips tonight; 8 in the series. It’s so good to see Good Brandon Phillips make an appearance in 2009. The last week or two have been very good for BP, and for us. BP’s OPS is up to 835 (which is 100 points higher than his career OPS). Can’t complain about that.

–Willy Taveras got three more hits, and he has now hit safely in 14 consecutive games. On the season: .322/.382/.413. That’s acceptable, isn’t it?

NEGATIVES
–N/A

ETC.
–The Reds are now 13-5 away from home. That’s the best record in MLB by far.

–I think the Diamondbacks have quit already. They play like a bunch of Little Leaguers.

–Enjoy the day off. It’s fun to be a Reds fan right now!

20 Responses

  1. pinson343

    Jerry Hairston’s double, triple, and stolen base seem pretty positive to me. At the time of his run-scoring double, we only led by 3-2.

    The defensive play by him and Hernandez on the 3rd inning groundout was awesome.

    From what I’ve seen of JHJ, when he’s healthy, he hits.
    That wasn’t true in his youth, then later he wasn’t healthy much. Maybe he’s learned something about hitting.

    We need him as a utility guy and I hope he stays healthy.

  2. Steve Price

    Willy Taveras is playing extremely well.

    Interesting comment from Chris Welsh during the game on a Taveras throw to the plate about him having the weakest throwing arm in the outfield at the time. Dickerson was in left and Bruce was in right.

    Shades of Deion Sanders….who definitely could create all sorts of havoc in all sorts of ways.

  3. Travis G.

    Someone mentioned this in the previous game recap, but the Diamondbacks are a very depressing team to watch. No energy at all.

    The Reds, on the other hand … this club definitely reminds me of the ’99 team.

  4. Matt WI

    Loving Cueto. So nice to see him (and really the whole staff) get to the 7th inning almost all the time this season. What an improvement. Remember during spring training when Fay (I’m pretty sure it was Fay) pondered the question of whether or not Cueto should be handed the 4th starting role? Question asked. Question answered.

  5. GregD

    I don’t know which mediot started it, but they all started questioning whether Cueto should be in the rotation around the same time.

    Baker has been very good about pitch counts. A starter has thrown over 110 pitches in only 4 games so far this year. And they’re still throwing deep into games. Very nice!

  6. Dan

    Great game! They do love hitting in the desert. They’re totally exceeding my expectations at this point, I’ll readily admit! The run differential is positive now (158-147). Outstanding.

    One thing that I am loving (just looked this up) is the Team Defensive Efficiency (the percentage of balls in play that the defense turns into outs). This is the stat in which Tampa Bay went from dead last to 1st in baseball last year.

    The Reds were last good at this — in fact, #1 in baseball! — in 1999 (Larkin, Reese, Cameron) and 2000 (Larkin, Reese, young uninjured Griffey). From 2001-08, they’ve finished 22nd, 17th, 21st, 17th, 28th, 21st, 25th, and 29th, out of 30 teams. (Ouch!)

    It’s a team stat so you can’t directly pin any of this on any particular players, but it gives you a nice overall read on how well the team is converting batted balls (not including HR’s) into outs.

    Well, so far in 2009, we are 7th in baseball! I’m thrilled w/ that!

    Basically, last year, when a ball was put in play, the opponents batted .327. (We’re counting errors as “hits” here.) This year, when a ball is put in play, the opponents are hitting .299.

    Excellent turnaround! Makes life easier on all of the pitchers too.

  7. RiverCity Redleg

    If it were a close game, I wouldn’t have minded seeing Cueto pitch another inning or two. As it were, it was the right move to sit him and give the pen some work, since the game was already decided.

  8. RiverCity Redleg

    Taveras, Hairston, and Phillips have been on some kind of tear. Once you plug Votto back in the middle of those guys, wow.
    Is it me or does Hannigan get a hit every game he starts?
    Fast Willy’s up to 10 SBs, 90 more to go.

  9. brublejr

    This team is so much fun to watch! I hate for JHJ or Rosales to be displaced by Gonzo. Watching that D-Backs team, it really reminded me of some of the Reds teams of the past few years(plenty of talent, just can’t do anything with it).

    @Greg Hal McCoy was the media person questioning why Cueto had a spot locked up when both Owings and Bailey were pitching so well this spring.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2009/03/06/

  10. RiverCity Redleg

    I like Rosales alright, but if Baker is insistant in plugging AGon back in, I’d like to see JHJ move to third for now and can play left vs LH starters.

  11. Sultan of Swaff

    The hitting approach these guys are taking right now is phenomenal. Everyone is willing to take the ball to right–that’s where the hit parade starts.
    Let’s not get enamored w/ Hairston as the everyday SS. A couple ‘great’ plays he made last night were because his range is iffy on one and his setup was poor on another. Let’s give Gonzo a few more weeks to get it together, and even then, I’d take Janish before Hairston day in day out. JHJ will get his at bats.
    Dickerson had a couple knocks and a walk. Good for him. Plus Dusty was able to give Colossus a two day break.

  12. Bill Lack

    Here’s my question at this point…the offense has caught fire…after being pitiful in April…will they even out over the course of the season or will it be “feast or famine” all season long? Anyone believe that Taveras, Hairston, etc will continue at this level?

  13. RiverCity Redleg

    I hope it will even out, my guess is Feast or famine.

  14. BigRed Tube

    This is the most fun I have had being a REDS fan in my young 25 yr old life. It feels good to be winning even if it is still early this time it feels much different then our wild card run a few years back. GO REDS IN 09′!!! RedlegNation is the Best!

  15. abcisme

    Not to be nit-picky, but the one negative – JHJ and his bunting. My-lanta. Twice in this series he failed to get the bunt down and runner over. Last night he hit into a DP because of his ineptness. I can understand Cuteo, a 22 year-old SP not being able to, but a utility guy like JHJ certainlly should be able to.

    On the positive side, I’m just giddy about the way the team is playing. Watching Taveras fly down the first base line on an infield single or bunt is just amazing. Practically the whole team is. The only thing to be concerned with is our bench. Dickerson and McDonald should be gone. Hopper would be a big improvement off the bench.

  16. Dave E.

    Great info, Dan. I think a large part of the improved DER has to do with LF.

    I had always heard that Hairston was a bad SS, but he has looked really good to me when I have seen him.

  17. GregD

    The Brewers and Cardinals play each other this weekend, so by beating the Padres, the Reds can always gain on at least 1 team.

    In two weeks, the Reds will have a 7-game road trip against the teams they are tied with today: the Brewers for 3 games and Cardinals for 4 games.

    Against weaker teams?
    The Reds are 7-5 record vs. Pittsburgh & Houston.
    They’re 3-0 against Arizona.

    The Brewers have a 7-1 record vs. Pittsburgh & Houston.
    They’re 2-2 against Arizona.

    The Cardinals are 7-4 vs. Pittsburgh & Houston.
    They’re 4-2 against Arizona & Washington.

    The Cubs are 4-1 vs. Houston (haven’t played Pirates yet)
    They’re 1-2 against Arizona & 2-0 against San Diego.