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

FINAL
Houston 5
Cincinnati 8
WP: Harang (5-4)
LP: W. Rodriguez (5-3)
S: Cordero (12)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Smiling side of the scoreboard! Great way to start the series against Houston, especially with a tough pitcher on the mound for the ‘Stros. Two more wins in the next two days (yeah, I know that’s a tall order, with Oswalt pitching one of those games), and it will have been a particularly nice homestand, am I right?

–What can we say about Jonny Gomes? You know we’ve been saying that the Reds should call up Gomes since Opening Day. There will be leaner times, but he’s justifying our faith in him right now. Today, Gomes got on base 4 times, going 3-4 with three RBI. Toss in his sterling defensive play in the 8th inning and you have a guy that’s really helping this team right now (especially with all the injuries the Reds have suffered).

I’m just going to say it: Gomes better never play another game in Louisville.

–Two hits each for Ramon Hernandez, Jerry Hairston, and Adam Rosales.

–Another nice outing for Francisco Cordero, as he picks up his 12th save.

NEGATIVES
–Jared Burton. Is he hurt? With an ERA over 6, and two runs allowed today in just one inning, I’m worried.

–If Lance Berkman played for the Reds, he’d be one of my favorite players. As it is, I can’t stand the guy.

ETC.
–Aaron Harang didn’t have his best stuff again today, but he always battles. Glad to see him get the win; it wasn’t a foregone conclusion, since the teams were delayed more than two hours by rain after Harang got out number two in the top of the fifth.

–Carlos Fisher pitched two more scoreless innings. He walked a couple of guys, but emerged unscathed.

–I know, I should just drop it, but you should know by now that I love nothing more than beating a dead horse (I’ll have an Adam D*** post for you later, I promise). Anyway:

Jonny Gomes: 4 games, 6 hits, 3 RBI
Darnell McDonald: 24 games, 7 hits, 1 RBI

–Today is a perfect example of why I love baseball. With injuries, illness, etc., Dusty Baker’s hands were tied and he started what may be the worst lineup in Cincinnati in fifty years. Chris Dickerson hitting third?

So what did that terrible lineup do? Just bat around in the first inning, with even Harang getting an RBI! Goodness, I love this game.

29 Responses

  1. pinson343

    Eight unearned runs, that’s taking advantage of opportunities !

    Hernandez throwing out Pence trying to steal 3rd and picking Keppinger off 2nd were big plays, but they’re not in the video hilites and I didn’t see the game. Has Hernandez’ arm come back to life, how did he look on those throws ? I like both Hannigan and Hernandez.

  2. pinson343

    If Lance Berkman played for the Reds, and so got to play 81 games at GABP, how many HRs would he hit ? He just feasts on Reds’ pitching, whether it’s good or bad.

  3. pinson343

    The Keppinger trade looks more and more stupid. In the lineup we had today, he could have batted 3rd in the order.

  4. Y-City Jim

    I was in and out of the broadcast all day. I feared I might jinx the Reds if I posted during the game so I stayed away.

    Burton and Lincoln’s troubles might be part of the reason Bailey went down. Pole has his hands full trying to get those two straight. I don’t think Burton is hurt. It just seems like he hasn’t command of all his pitches.

    FSOH cameramen must go through a rigorous training regime in order to spot the ladies in the crowd. They certainly had no problem picking out a well endowed one at the conclusion of the game.

  5. earl

    Hernandez and the infielders definitely have that pick off play working pretty well, as they have been able to now pull it off three times that I have seen, this being the first time at second.

    Walt Jocketty bringing in both Hernandez and Tavarez have worked out OK so far. I’d love to see a to date comparison between Hernandez/Hanigan behind the plate against Ross/Bako and Tavarez against Patterson. I bet those numbers would be pretty eye popping, especially when you consider Bako got most of his hits the first five weeks of the season.

    Lance Berkman is both a player on an opposing team that I really like and wished played for the Reds and a top Reds-killer. The odd thing about Berkman is that he often will usually either rake like mad in the first half or second half and slump in the other. The guy has had a few years that ended up that way. He has had a couple that piled up some insane stats, but he has probably had five that were split into burning hot/completely cold parts. It will be interesting to see what he does from here into his late thirties, I could see him being one of those guys that just falls off a cliff production wise one year. I’d bet his career numbers have benefited from playing his whole career in parks of the NL Central. Heck Wrigley is probably one of the more neutral hitters parks in the division at this point by comparison.

    Jonny Gomes is definitely playing like a guy that doesn’t want to see AAA. As they said in the broadcast, he does seem to move pretty good for a really big guy. As many have stated, I think he could be a real nice platoon partner with Nix (who seemingly has vanished again for playing time).

  6. Sultan of Swaff

    I thought the move to let Harang come out for the last of the 5th was hugely irresponsible on Baker’s part. He was willing to put Harang’s health on the line in order to get him a win. Stats ahead of team goals, nice message Toothpick.

  7. brublejr

    I really cannot believe they won this game after I saw what the lineup was today. Gomes has been a huge boost to say the least. Burton has to get sent down or DL when Masset comes back because right now Fisher is a better option (I would say get rid of Lincoln, but they had to sign him to a two year deal and isn’t going anywhere)

    I LOVE beating the Astros…they stink and I hate em.

  8. Matt WI

    Wow, you miss a weekend, you miss a lot. While traveling across the Midwest, I come back to find Jonny Gomes up, Homer come and gone, and the Reds taking care of business. Thanks to my Titanic Struggle Recaps, I feel like I never missed a beat.

  9. BigRed Tube

    I want to see a Laynce Nix appearance in the near future please.

  10. Matt B.

    Honestly, I think Burton is hurt. He doesn’t have much command, and he’s topping out around 91 mph.

  11. Matt B.

    And I second the Laynce Nix appearance.

  12. Y-City Jim

    We’ll see Nix tomorrow against Oswalt. I’m sure Votto and Bruce will be back in there as well.

  13. earl

    Trying to see if I could find the stats to compare the catcher and center-fielder this year over last, I realized that today is the one year anniversary of the 18 inning game against SD, when the Reds fortunes turned south and the season was over. Here is what the trio was doing at this point last year.

    Reds record 5-25-08 was 23-28 after the 18 inning loss to the Padres. I couldn’t find the stat sheet for that date, but by the box score this is where the trio’s batting averages were at that point. Obviously Bako and Ross slipped quite a bit and Patterson didn’t change. Only David Ross is still on an MLB roster at this point.

    Bako .256
    Patterson .201
    Ross .263

    One thing that does take a bit of the sting out of getting swept by the Padres last week is that they have pretty much continued to play great baseball and have now won 10 straight, including a sweep of the Cubs.

  14. earl

    Also looking at the schedule, it doesn’t look like the Reds will have go to a fifth starter to replace Volquez’s rotation spot with the off day Thursday. If Volquez hits his dates he should probably pick back up against the Cardinals, if everything is OK.

    Looking at the Brewers schedule, this looks like the possible match-ups for next weekend, which I think breaks a bit for the Reds. The Brewers pen has gone from being terrible to pretty good this year, so I think we will need to make the runs off of the starters.

    Fri- Cueto vs. Bush
    Sat- Harang vs. Gallardo (tough matchup – definite game to see)
    Sun- Owings vs. Suppan

  15. AnnapolisRed

    I like Rosales much more than Keppinger.

  16. AnnapolisRed

    Bailey was getting sent down no matter what he did. Has nothing to do with Burton or Lincoln.

  17. David

    Can we please start the free Drew Stubbs thread? I’ve been pulling for him ever since he joined the Reds. He has played great baseball and unfortunately if Willy T stays healthy, he won’t see Cincinnati. Can you say trade bait?

  18. Steve Price

    I know that Bill Lack has soon Drew Stubbs numerous times, I saw him for the first time last night. That guy can cover some serious ground in center field. He called off the left fielder one time on a ball I feel rather certain was straight away left field.

    He’s a crowd favorite, along with 1b Kevin Barker, who’s been there for a few years. I really don’t think Stubbs’s bat is ready for the majors yet. He’s made some huge adjustments from what I understand…right now he’s hitting about .320 with one homer in the minors, and that’s not going to translate real well to the maajors. I think the Reds would like to see some of his power stroke return. The Bats are hitting him third in the lineup.

    As of now, I believe the Reds are predicting a September cup of coffee for Stubbs, and possibly a bench role next year…shooting to replace Taveras in 2011.

  19. Mark in CC

    I frankly don’t care who plays as long as they win.

    I don’t get it.

    If Dickerson bats third and they win, then good let him bat third. Everyone is happy when Bruce bats third but not Dickerson. Don’t look now but Dickerson has been hitting better the lately

    Taveras has been very good, much better ther than most here expected and we are talking about his replacement. He is 27.

    Keep Keppinger in Houston and Dunn in Washington. The guys here are winning, those guys didn’t and aren’t.

    FOR GOD SAKES BE HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Steve Price

    Hey, I get it…

    In my opinion…this site, and others like it, are for discussion.

    Nothing sits in a vacuum; everything changes.

    Discussion takes place on topics of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

    Not that we have the privilege of owning the Reds, but the discussions we have about the Reds have been taking place about baseball teams since organized teams began in the mid-1800’s. It’s nothing new, and it’s all opinion. No doubt, someone then was saying “be happy and be quiet.”

    However, for the record, I think Jay Bruce is a bad #3 hitter for this team, too. He’s not getting on base regularly enough. With the power stroke he’s using, but low OBP, he’s a good #6 hitter, may be #5 on a weaker team.

    Dickerson’s OBP has been climbing, but he’s had 2 doubles and 2 homers this year. He would have been better cast in the leadoff spot (Taveras batting second), or in the #7 or #8 slot.

    It wasn’t Keppinger or Dunn’s fault at any of those spots. It was management’s decision to not get good enough players to surround them to help them win. Other than Micah Owings, who some here think his abilities have been overvalued due to his pinch hitting novelty, there’s no team correlation to losing Keppinger and Dunn. We have plenty of starting pitching to replace a #5 starter (Owings has been much better than what we had last year).

    Thus, if we still had Dunn and Keppinger, the point is we would be even better than we’ve been, for they are precisely the kinds of players needed but not on this team. They weren’t in the deals that brought us vital parts for this year’s team. As for money, Keppinger is near the major league minimum, and Dunn was signed for a bargain price by Washington. Cincinnati may not have been so lucky, and having Dickerson in CF rather than Tavares probably would have netted us similar results, and let us afford to sign Dunn.

    And this is what “hot stove league” and baseball discussion groups are all about.

  21. pinson343

    Since I complained about the Keppinger trade (where my issue is who we got in return, not who’s on the active roster), I’ll give equal time to some positive moves.

    I liked the Rhodes pickup as the effective LOOGY we haven’t had for a long time, of course he’s turned out so far to be a lot more than that. Also liked the Hernandez pickup, when did we last have two good catchers ?

    Glad that Masset is back.

    Taveras’ OBP has dropped to .335, but he’s wreaked enough havoc to score 32 runs in 42 games. And who would have thought Hairston would score 27 runs in his first 123 ABs, with a .463 slugging pct. (Of course all those runs have a lot to do with Joey V. and BP’s May.)

    Most of us here wanted Rosales and Gomes on the roster at the start of the season, the bench is a whole lot better than it was.

    My main concern now is our staying healthy, let’s hope Joey V. is OK and that BP and EE are back soon.

  22. Tom Diesman

    The Reds can win 70 times a year with the pitcher batting third and be a last place team. I’m completely happy when I’m discussing the defending World Series Champions and 1st place Reds. Until that happens, I’ll be happy by discussing in minute detail how they can be made to be the defending World Series Champions and 1st place Reds. So I guess winning and happiness is all relative to Reds fans.

  23. AnnapolisRed

    Mark CC-I know where you are coming from. It seems like all some posters want to talk about is this person or that person should be replaced.

  24. AnnapolisRed

    Steve-I can understand your argument for Dunn, but not Keppinger. He is off to a good start so far this year, but I don’t think he’s any better than Rosales in the long run.

  25. per14

    “Steve-I can understand your argument for Dunn, but not Keppinger. He is off to a good start so far this year, but I don’t think he’s any better than Rosales in the long run.”

    Agreed. But for the short run-i.e., this season-I think Kepp is a much better player and fit for the team.

  26. GregD

    Yeah, a LFer batting 280, on-base over 40% of the time, and slg almost 600 would be a terrible fit for this team this season.

  27. Matt WI

    I have to admit I liked Kepp a lot. At the end of the day, I just like guys that can hit, even if it’s without power. Reminds me of Hal Morris. Had Kepp not had such a horrific spring, he’d be here right now. I agree that he would be a great #2 hitter playing 3-4 times a week.

    I’m very happy with where this team sits as May closes out. The fact people have something to complain about or suggest for making the team better is a good thing, because at least at this point, it’s relevant and not just a wish for a competetive team.

  28. Bill Lack

    Looking at their minor league numbers…Rosales was a better minor league hitter (close in OBP, Rosales hit for much more power). His sample size is too small to see if that translates to the big leagues yet, but I don’t think it’s a shoe-in that Keppinger’s a better hitter.