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

Cincinnati 7
Cleveland 3
WP: Bailey (1-0)
LP: Ohka (0-2)

–Smilin’ side of the scoreboard!

–This was absolutely the best lineup that Dusty Baker has put on the field all year long. Kudos to the dusty one. Plug a healthy Edwin Encarnacion into this lineup, and you’ve really got something.

–Paul Janish got on base two times and his defense was nothing short of exceptional. He has so much range out there, and his arm is a cannon. Heck, even Chris Welsh and George Grande (President and VP, respectively, of the Alex Gonzalez Fan Club) were praising Janish all over the place.

I don’t know how Janish will hit over an extended period of playing time, but watching him play shortstop next to Brandon Phillips is a joy. Best defense up the middle that we’ve seen in Cincinnati in a long time.

–Three hits for Jerry Hairston (1 double), and two each for Chris Dickerson (1 double), Joey Votto (1 double), and Laynce Nix (both doubles). Offense! I like it!

–Top two guys in the lineup were 5-10. Take note, Dusty…it helps the offense when the top of the order gets on base.

–More good work by the bullpen: Nick Masset, Arthur Rhodes, Francisco Cordero, and some other guy combined to shut out the Indians after Homer Bailey left the game.

–Jay Bruce was 1-2 with a homer, a BB, a sac fly, and 2 RBI. We’ve said it before, I know, but he looked a little better at the plate tonight. Keep your fingers crossed.

–None, really. I guess you could put the first item in the “ETC.” section below into the “negatives” column, but I’m torn on it.

–Can’t put David Bailey’s performance tonight in either the positive or the negative column. In many ways, it looked like the same old Homer. Seven walks is terrible. Period. Someone needs to smack Homer in the head and tell him to challenge hitters.

On the other hand, Bailey had velocity unlike I’ve ever seen from him in his major league starts. He was 93+ the entire game, and was hitting 98 around the 100 pitch mark. The splitter doesn’t look bad, and those walks were from a failure to locate his fastball. If you’re trying to look at a glass that’s half-full, you’d note that Bailey’s command of his fastball in AAA has been exceptional, so maybe it’s an anomaly.

In the end, not a good start, but there is reason for hope. I think. Maybe.

–I love those uniforms the Indians were wearing tonight.

–Okay, Reds can win the series and even up their record on this road trip with a win tomorrow afternoon. Let’s do it.

33 Responses

  1. earl

    I’d have to think that Joey Votto being in the line up changes how many of the other guys around him are pitched. I would think that some of these guys before and after are getting a few more fastballs.

    I’d also think that Reds management is going to have to lean to keep getting the young guys playing time. They need to leave Hanigan, Dickerson and Janish in the lineup and let them play. The lineup tonight should be about the regular deal. Are you sure your hammy is OK Willie T? You sure you don’t want to take a couple of weeks off?

    Criminy Lance Nix has 17 doubles, a triple and 7 HRs in 41 hits! That is a whole lot of extra base hits. I think that lefty/righty platoon of him and Jonny Gomes is really stout.

  2. RedBlooded

    Seven walks is, of course, terrible. On the other hand to walk seven and only give up three runs. The guy must have some stuff!

  3. Y-City Jim

    As for Bruce, the one non-sac fly out was a ball that he smashed.

  4. Tyler

    Homer was wild, but it didnt help the strike zone was the size of a dinner plate. at least he’ll finally get more than 1 start.

  5. Tyler

    And good thing the Indians traded Derosa, so he couldnt kill homer like last month.

  6. nllspc

    Uh yeah good thing..now Derosa’s back in our division. Really not looking forward to the day when Dusty starts forcing Hairston at SS down our throats when they bring EE back. He’s so bad there. Enjoy it now I guess. Also I wish they’d send homer to a sports psychologist. His stuff tonight could’ve been so dominant.

  7. preach

    The Jonny picture is still my favorite. If Homer cannot learn to throw strikes with his fastball, he could add seven new pitches to his repetoire and it just won’t matter. MLB guys will not help you out with wild swings like AAA guys.

    Still, good win. Hopefully Owings can pitch at least 7 tomorrow. With those two back to back we could expose our bullpen if we are not careful.

  8. mike

    was the gun on Bailey really that high?????

    I was busy today (Sunny warm day during big pride weekend in San Francisco I am NOT sitting indoors!) so didn’t watch.

    if his velocity is up at that end and it’s just a matter of control….we could be onto something.

    and preach “MLB guys will not help you out with wild swings like AAA guys” unless they are Reds named Taveras or Gonzo

  9. Y-City Jim

    BTW, Michael Jackson is still dead.

  10. mike

    Re: earl saying “I’d have to think that Joey Votto being in the line up changes how many of the other guys around him are pitched. ”

    there is absolutely no proof this happens and the only studies I’ve seen prove that it doesn’t happen until you get to extremes. Extremes meaning Bonds and Pujols in the middle of bad lineups

  11. mike

    and both Houston and Pitt won so I think this was a BIG win. The Reds would be sitting in 5th really close to last if they lost

  12. mike

    WOW! The last Reds starter to walk 7 batters and get the win?

    Danny Jackson in 1988 vs STL!!!
    and it’s only happened 21 times since 1954 for the Reds

  13. AnnapolisRed

    I have not been a pro Homer guy but it appears his velocity is back and I was actually encouraged by tonight’s performance. He just needs to trust his stuff and not try to be too fine. In the past when he’s walked this many guys he would just groove one over the plate and give up a home run or a three run double, but tonight for the most part he was able to get out of it. Can you imagine a rotation next year of Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Harang and Arroyo? Harang as your fourth starter and Arroyo as your fifth? Owings as a middle reliever and pinch hitter??

  14. JerBear

    I fear all this good will may go down the drain tomorrow if Taveras leads off, Hernandez catches, and Danny Richar or someone like that plays SS in Janish place.

    Man Derosa going to the Cards does stink. That seems like a pretty good move for them. None of the NL Central offenses seem that good. To add a Derosa to any of the NL Central teams is a nice addition, so kudos to the Cardinals for making a move.

  15. mike

    None of the NL Central offenses are good?

    Here are their rank in baseball

    #7 Brew Crew
    #9 Pitt
    #14 Stl (now with an extra piece)

    #27 the Reds

  16. pinson343

    I was happy to see DeRosa get traded away by the Cubs, now he’s back in the NL Central, ugh. He’s a Reds killer and makes the Cardinals lineup more solid.

    WJ is still trying to figure out if the Reds are buyers or sellers. If he doesn’t make a move while our rivals do, we end up as sellers.

  17. pinson343

    A couple of former Reds in action in LA tonite. Junior hits no. 620 off Eric Milton.

    If it weren’t for the injuries … Milton would have given up 620 by now.

  18. Steve

    Observations from last night:

    Ryan Hanigan’s role in getting Homer Bailey through five innings seemed very important. After Homer’s first start a month ago he said after the game that he didn’t feel comfortable with the game Hernandez called. My sense is that in general the Reds pitchers prefer throwing to Hanigan. Just one more reason he should get more playing time.

    Paul Janish needs to continue to play at SS. His plus range and arm stands in marked contrast to Alex Gonzalez’s limited range and Jerry Hairston’s inaccurate arm and shaky fielding. If Janish can hit just a little bit, and I think he will if given regular opportunity, he might become a fantastic SS (and great combo with BP) and a respectable #8 hitter.

    One very positive development is that it appears Baker has given the CF job to Chris Dickerson vs. RHP. Dickerson is so much better of an all-around CF than Willy Taveras it isn’t even close. I suspect today we’ll be back to WT in center, CD in left and Gomes at DH. That platoon lineup works for one more game, but once we lose the DH then Gomes probably plays LF vs. LHP. Who plays center vs. lefties?

    With JHJ heating up at the plate, what are the Reds plans for him after EE returns? He could platoon in LF with Nix, although that leaves Gomes bat out of the lineup, which at least for now seems unwise. He could play at SS, but we take on a brutal hit defensively. CF is already crowded.

    The impact of last night’s small strike zone was more than just a couple of pitches. (I don’t mean to exonerate Homer Bailey’s seven walks last night – when a pitcher faces a small strike zone you deal with it. In the fourth inning it wouldn’t have mattered who the umpire was, Homer was wild) If Homer gets the more-than-close calls in the first two innings, when he was just barely missing it would have positively affected his confidence AND the Indians hitters would have been less inclined to wait him out.

    I’m VERY optimistic about Homer’s future, although his next two starts before the ASG are against the Cardinals and Phillies and vs. the Dodgers after the ASG if he is still pitching. So tough, tough competition.

  19. Chris

    Homer’s splitter is the real deal. As Welsh said last night, Homer just needs to get ahead in the count so he can throw it. The strike zone was tight, but I’m going to go out on a limb and blame Hannigan for the gameplan. He just kept setting up low and away. I think he’s the one who wouldn’t challenge the hitters. (Results were good, though).

    Homer had the best velocity I’ve seen from him – ever. But the fastball is still straight as that arrow tattoo on his left forearm. If that doesn’t change, he’s going to have to be a quite different pitcher to succeed. He’s going to have to spot the fastball to set up the curve and splitter, only getting misses on the high FB like he threw to Choo.

  20. Dan

    I don’t mind Taveras playing CF vs. lefties… But more importantly, we need to be sure we’ve got Dickerson out there regularly vs. righties! He’s SO much better than Taveras! (I’m concerned that this isn’t a real change in Dusty’s lineup… more like, getting his guy Willy an occasional rest. I hope I’m wrong though.)

    Dickerson/Taveras in CF and Nix/Gomes in LF — as a strict platoon — is perfect in my opinion.

    I’d also get Gomes a spot start here and there (vs. RHP’s) in RF and 1B. I’d like him to get more AB’s than just the short end of a platoon! He’s good. I really like having him in there.

  21. jason1972

    Homer looks so close now. He just can’t seem to get the mindset down. But he keeps tantalizing us with the makings of a great starting pitcher. I still would not trade this guy if I were the Reds, his ceiling is so high if it ever all clicks for him.

  22. DennisC

    I can’t see Gomes getting any action whatsoever at 1B. Dusty will always pencil Hernandez in there on nights when Votto needs a breather.

  23. AnnapolisRed

    I would use Hairston at 3B, SS and 2B giving guys sporadic days off. You can get enough bats for him that way. Phillips could use a day off now and then too and JHJ would be OK to play there here and there.

  24. brublejr

    You guys see that Heisey got promoted to AAA? I am looking forward to see what he can do there the rest of the year.

    Homer was just off. The more starts he gets, I think the better he is going to look. He HAS to show that he is all around the strike zone to get the ML Umps to give him anything close. Last night the Indians pitchers had the same problem with the strike zone as Homer did.

    Dickerson and Janish really need to be in the lineup. Janish saves runs at SS because of his outstanding arm and very good range. Such a welcome sight from watching Gonzalez.

  25. Y-City Jim

    As we feared. Taveras back i the lead-off spot today and Hernandez catching and hitting 6th. Janish at SS though.

  26. Chad Dotson

    Annapolis, you beat me to it. When EE gets back, Dusty can still get JHJ in the lineup 4 or 5 times a week at different positions. That’s the value of a guy like JHJ.

  27. GRF

    Hannigan probably needs the day off after last night. I am going to hopr he continues to get the bulk off the playing time at catcher even with Votto back until Dusty proves otherwise, at which point we can all go nuts.

    What else can we say about Willie? Even if you are going to play him, with the DH bat him 9th.

    Going to be at the game if it is not delayed. Raining pretty steady right now.

  28. Glenn

    If Janish can be at least as productive at the plate as Gonzo and this being Gonzo’s last year under contract, we’ve probably seen the last of Gonzo in a Reds uniform. This season will be his last. He’s too expensive and not overwhelmingly productive. The cost is not justified.

  29. pinson343

    We won’t see Gonzo in a Reds uniform next year, regardless of what Janish does. If Janish fails to hit, WJ will find a new SS.

  30. pinson343

    I don’t see Dusty playing Hanigan on a regular basis, but he hopefully will play him more often. Arroyo and Homer have a preference for Hanigan.
    Dusty-think says that Hernandez speaks Spanish so he has to catch Cueto and Volquez.
    Harang is a tossup, but Dusty probably continues to go with Hernandez there.