The Reds close out a miserable August in style, with a day/night doubleheader against Pittsburgh today. Game one is this afternoon, then the teams will hook up again at 7:10 pm.

Kip Wells pitches the first game; Johnny Cueto will throw in the nightcap. Am I the only one who wishes the Reds would just shut Cueto down for the year? Why pitch him in these meaningless games?

Oh well, Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty know more than I do.

Discuss both games here. (Game 1 lineup below the fold.)

Drew Stubbs cf
Drew Sutton 2b
Joey Votto 1b
Scott Rolen 3b
Jonny Gomes rf
Wladimir Balentien lf
Adam Rosales ss
Kip Wells p

119 Responses

  1. Glenn

    Now there’s a rock-em sock-em lineup if I ever saw one.

  2. preach

    Going only with a lineup of 8 today. Couldn’t be any worse than it’s been.

  3. Bill Lack

    I’d leave Wells in for 9, no matter what…why not? And yes, I also wish they’d shut Cueto down for the year…what’s the point?

  4. GregD

    The lineup has Tatum hitting 8th. The Enquirer has omitted that in this lineup.

    The Enquirer is also reporting that the original lineup had Nix in RF instead of Gomes. Nix has been scratched with his on-going neck injury.

  5. Steve Price

    Still don’t know how it’s figured, but Francisco Cordero’s “tired” closer rating is even higher than it was before the weekend….from Bill James online.

    injury alert–ineffectiveness alert—Paul Janish on the mound alert…

  6. Jess

    I no longer care if the Reds win. The only thing I care about is if it hurts my fantasy team! 🙁 That’s so sad.

  7. preach

    You have to wonder how Rolen feels after looking over next to him and seeing Rosales and Sutton instead of Janish and Phillips. Hope he stretched out well today.

  8. Steve

    First lead off homer for the Reds all year.

  9. Rob

    Dusty still seems to think that a middle infielder MUST bat 2nd every single game. Not sure what the reasoning is behind that, but most things Dusty does doesn’t have much reasoning.

  10. Jimmy

    Wow! I did not know that was the first lead off homer all year.

  11. doktor

    I really like that verson of how not to clog the bases, much better than WT method. go stubbs. 😀

  12. renbutler

    When I saw the sparse crowd, I was wondering if everybody there was family of the players.

    Turns out I might have been right. 😀

  13. David

    It’s funny… I looked at the size of the crowd and thought there’s no place I’d rather be. Cincinnati has turned into a God awful baseball town. Rather watch the 4-11-1 Bengals I guess.

  14. Matt WI

    Brantley’s calling this game like it’s the middle of the second game and he’s bored from being at the park all day. Oh wait, he always calls it like that.

  15. Jimmy

    Veteran leadership puts us in the lead.

  16. Jimmy

    David, I think Cincy appears to be a horrible baseball town. I watch the games on Direct TV, and see full and enthusiastic crowds at St. Louis, Milwaukee and Chicago. Heck, even Pittsburgh gets better crowds. But, could it be overall disgust with the ownership and management that has fans so turned off just as much as the poor record?

  17. Travis G.

    We’ll see how the trade looks a couple years from now, but I really, really enjoy watching Scott Rolen play the game. He’s even kind of intimidating when he’s just manning his position, waiting for the pitch.

  18. Matt WI

    And legitimatley, it’s a double header on a Monday afternoon after many kids have probably started school. Plus it’s the Pirates in a game that means nothing, except that neither team is mathematically eliminated yet. So that plus general apathy thanks to a decade of losing leaves only the truly faithful.

  19. mike

    OK THIS IS HUGE!!!

    THE REDS LEADOFF HITTERS HAS SCORED 2 RUNS IN A GAME!!!!!!

    in the last two years, while we’ve dealt with Dusty’s absolutely HORRIBLE lineups and mostly with Patterson and Taveras the Reds leadoff hitters has scored 2 or more runs in a game only 22 times. 22 times in 2 years??????????

    today is #23

    Taveras did it 7 times
    Hairston 6
    Dickerson 3
    Bruce twice
    Freel once
    Patterson 3 times

    The Reds are 19-3 in those games

    In the same times span, 2008-2009, in the NL, there are 9 individual players who have accomplished this more than ALL THE REDS LEADOFF HITTERS COMBINED
    Schumaker, Rollins, McClouth, Soriano, Reyes, Bourn, Weeks, H Ramirez, and F Lopez

  20. shane

    and he’s batting .283 and Encarnacion is on the DL again

  21. mike

    on the stadium being empty and the Cincinnati area not being a baseball town

    The Reds are 24th in baseball in average attendance per game
    The Reds are 21st in baseball in % of stadium filled per game

    The Yanks and Dodgers are close to drawing DOUBLE what the Reds do

    TB and Florida are the only places that are worse baseball towns. I saw that because their attendance is either worse or the same yet their teams are good and exciting to watch. The Reds, even if they finished above .500 this year are not exciting and have a roster full of players they scraped off the bottom of the barrel.

  22. Jello

    “I can’t stand Rolen”

    Agreed, guys that know how to play the game well don’t belong on this team.

  23. Jimmy

    Travis G, I am listening to the game, but I like listening to Rolen play. If he brings a little attitude to the team, maybe that is what they meant by veteran leadership. Maybe he could be a player manager. Maybe Reds will play .500 ball next year and we are looking at the standings in August. A man has to dream.

  24. JerBear

    Boy what a lineup! There is a little hope with Frazier playing well in the minors. I’m guessing he would go to left field, but I don’t really know.

    I don’t think Dusty is a good manager, but man he doesn’t have much to work with. Girardi on the Yankees got Burnett, Sabathia, and Texiera during the offseason. Dusty got Taveras, Rhodes, and like Hairston Jr…who the Yankees end up trading for to play on their bench.

    Again, I think Dusty is not a good manager, but it’s more about the lack of players the organization has developed or signed then the manager.

  25. Travis G.

    Funny tweet from ctrent: Give it up for the GABP scoreboard crew — show a guy in his own section, play Eric Carmen’s ‘All By Myself’ #Reds

  26. Mark in CC

    If Cueto is healthy then he needs to pitch. He pitched very little in Winter Ball as well as the WBC, somewhere around 15 innings and he only has 137 innings this season. If he is going to start working his way towards 200 then he isn’t going to get there taking September off.

  27. Eddie

    Jimmy #18, you named a bunch of teams who are still in the race this year and have won in the past couple of years unlike the Reds.
    All it takes is some winning, I mean look at the Bengals they had a winning record for 1 season and had a sold out stadium for what 5 years.

  28. Eddie

    Ugh, Stubbs played that ball Willy Taveras like. Either make the play or keep the guy at 2nd by playing it off the wall.

  29. Rob

    I don’t care if Rolen is a butt-hole as long as he plays the game well. That’s all that should matter anyway.

    Comparing Football and Baseball isn’t even close…the Reds play over 80 games at home and the Bengals play 8. The Reds would have to do some MAJOR winning with post season appearances to garner much interest from fans. They are getting worse each year, which means the attendance will continually be worse. The best thing that can happen is that Castellini is forced to sell the franchise because of lack of income. I would LOVE to see that, seeing as his pocket book is closed and doesn’t plan on bringing anything worth attendance to Cincinnati.

  30. Rob

    On another side note, the Giants just signed Brad Penny because they apparently want to get to the post season this year. I CAN’T BELIEVE TEAMS ACTUALLY DO THAT? Sign players that will HELP them win?! How unheard of!!

  31. shane

    Now that’s just not fair, the Reds did the same thing once!

  32. Eddie

    If you want a baseball comparison then look at the Brewers. A couple of years ago they weren’t getting anywhere near the attendance they get now and nothing changed except for they started winning.
    Cincinnati is about winning, look at any sport around here. UC football starts winning and attendance goes way up…UC basketball starts losing and attendance goes down.

  33. Steve Price

    Marty just said that Baker had said neither Cordero nor Burton would pitch in either game today.

  34. nick in va

    13,051 for today’s titanic struggle. I wonder how many are really there.

  35. mike

    Eddie I think the Brewers comparison is a good one mainly because the Brewers are not in one of the massive markets which is similar to the Reds

    and it’s not like the Brewers have won that much but a little winning goes a LONG ways with attendance. Well unless you are in Florida. I’m not sure why baseball doesn’t draw in Florida.

    In the last 10 years
    the Brewers have had 3 winning seasons and 1 playoff appearance
    the Reds have had 2 winning seasons (in 1999 and 2000) and no playoff appearances

    the Brewers are 9th in overall attendance this season way, way ahead of the Reds

    but you only have to go back to 2004 when the Reds were only a couple years removed from a winning season and the Brewers stunk and the Reds had larger overall attendance than the Brewers

  36. GRF

    Mike and Eddie I think that is a great point. One playoff season to give people a little hope can have a huge impact. The constant year after year futility is what drains the attendance away.

  37. Travis G.

    According to Nate Silver’s analysis, a playoff appearance is worth $30 million to a team.

  38. Chris Garber

    History shows that a playoff season pays dividends the NEXT year, but if your team immediately turns back into a pumpkin, the fans quickly stop showing up. (Granted, the Marlins are really the only test case for that point, although they’ve done it twice).

  39. Matt WI

    To note, there is a very live and enticing atmosphere at Brewer games. Tailgating before, a very comfortable stadium… it’s really a “thing to do.” They’ve got great young talent in Braun and Fielder. Add a pinch of winning, and you have fans.

  40. mike

    Chris I’m not sure the Marlins are the only test case

    it would be interesting to look at some other teams that have fairly quick turned back into pumpkins even if they didn’t do it in the season immediately following a playoff appearance. Like SD or Arizona (I’m sure there are a few others)

  41. Steve Price

    didn’t the same thing happen with the Reds in 1999-2000? It seemed that ticket sales took a while to grow in 1999, started well in 2000, but faded as soon went along?

  42. nick in va

    Did the Cowboy call the wild pitch?

  43. Beroader

    I’ll take the win how ever we can get them. Good base running on Darnell’s part to advance to 3rd on the fly out and then make it home on the wild pitch. It’s the little things.

  44. Matt WI

    Havoc indeed. A win is a win is a win. Especially when you’re trying to avoid the basement of the division.

  45. Steve Price

    How’s this for havoc in the Reds’ clubhouse right now…

    They’re excited about the win…

    And someone’s getting the news about being sent to the minors between games to make room for Cueto on the roster…

  46. Chris Garber

    Mike, the Padres and Diamondbacks were good teams for at least a few years before falling off. Phoenix won 100 and 85 games the 2 years before winning the WS. The Padres won the division twice in a row, then won 89 games (but blew a lead to the Rockies in ’06).

    The Marlins essentially went from garbage to WS champs to garbage.

    I’m not saying those teams aren’t relevant – just wasn’t what I had in mind.

  47. RC

    From what I’ve heard, The Rays certainly haven’t enjoyed as much of an attendance boost as they’d hoped for coming off a World Series appearance. And they didn’t unload a lot of higher priced talent in the offseason, unlike the Marlins’ usual MO.

  48. Chris Garber

    Steve P: The radio guys were talking about this the other day — can whomever’s sent down be recalled tomorrow? Brantley was suggesting they could be optioned to Billings, whose season is done, and then recalled tomorrow.

  49. GRF

    Steve, that truly stinks. Wish they could have avoided that somehow, or at least let them now ahead of time even if they did not disclose it publicly.

  50. Steve Price

    There’s got to be some sort of rule…I was thinking they couldn’t come back for ten days unless it was to replace an injured player; don’t know what happens when season is over.

    This happened to Brandon Larson a few years ago. He had been sent down, and the Reds “recalled” him and he was driving from Louisville to Cincinnati when they called him by cell and told he had to wait 10 days. He drove back to Louisville–I was at the Bats game and was there when he arrived in street clothes…and signed autographs.

  51. Eddie

    What if it was McDonald?
    Hey buddy, thanks for getting that key hit and scoring the winning run. Oh yeah by the way you’re being optioned down…

  52. Steve Price

    Reds attendance:

    1997: 3rd in division, attendance: 1.78 million
    1998: 4th in division, $1.79 million
    1999: 1st, 2.06 million
    2000: 2nd, 2.57 million
    2001: 5th, 1.87 million
    2002: 3rd (but only 78-84), 1.85 million
    2003: 5th, 2.35 million (new ballpark)

  53. GregD

    They (Marty & Jeff) were talking about during Saturday’s game. Jeff said that he thinks a player sent to Louisville would have to wait 10 days, but a player sent to a team whose season ends today or tomorrow could come back to the Reds after that affiliate’s season is over. I seem to recall the Reds doing this in the past (sending a MLBer to A-ball for a day) but I can’t recall the details.

  54. Steve Price

    And, hey, nice upper deck home run the other day….say it was your first big league homer and your brother never hit one? Think of the stories you can tell your grandkids…

  55. GregD

    Why wouldn’t it be Maloney? Marty & Jeff on Saturday seemed to be completely unaware of who it might be. I’ve suspected since I took a look at rotations on Friday that it would likely be Maloney, unless they are keeping Maloney in the rotation and returning Wells to the bullpen. Jocketty’s comments about Sept callups and the AAA playoffs would lead you to think Maloney would be sent back down. We’ll find out soon enough….

  56. Eddie

    There is also a day off on Thursday so yeah GregD you are probably right. It’s probably Maloney

  57. GregD

    Since starting the season 2 for 17 (.118avg)
    Stubbs is batting 11 for 39 (.282avg)

  58. RiverCity Redleg

    Maloney would make sense to me.. Didn’t Burton get sent down this year and immediately called back? I don’t think he actually even made it to Louisville.

  59. preach

    You overlook the obvious difference between the Brewers and the Reds: The sausage race.

  60. GregD

    Yes. I don’t even know if Burton made it out of town. I believe it was when Massett hit the DL.

  61. GregD

    John Fay made a comment pre-game that the Reds may add a relief pitcher in between games, in addition to Cueto.

    – It depended on how many relievers were used in game 1

    He now has a new note up that Ramon Ramirez AND Kevin Barker are in the house. No moves have been announced yet

    …Nix hitting the DL?

  62. GregD

    Here’s my guess:

    – Nix to DL
    – Maloney optioned to AAA
    – Burton optioned to Sarasota (or a Reds affiliate whose season is ending today)

    – Activate Cueto, Barker, and Ramirez

  63. Travis G.

    Per Rob Butcher, a whole flurry of moves:

    Following this afternoon’s game, the Reds reinstated from the 15-day disabled list RHP Johnny Cueto (inflammation, right shoulder); recalled from Class AAA Louisville IF Kevin Barker and RHP Ramon Ramirez (#58); placed on the 15-day disabled list OF Laynce Nix (bulging cervical disc); optioned to Class AA Carolina LHP Matt Maloney; optioned to Class A Sarasota RHP Carlos Fisher.

  64. preach

    Is there any word from Kremcheck about Nix yet, or do we have to wait until he sees a doctor?

  65. GregD

    Fisher works, too.

    Is the list of available bullpen arms:
    Ramirez
    Owings
    Herrera

    Massett & Rhodes two games in a row (including today’s game 1)
    Cordero a lot last week (and yesterday) and Burton 2 innings yesterday.

    Plus Cueto on a pitch count (assuming he can make it that far.)

  66. GregD

    2-for-1

    COME ON BACK: Following today’s game, the Reds announced that tickets from this afternoon’s contest will be honored for this evening’s nightcap.

  67. Jimmy

    Matt WI #45 captured how I feel when I watch the Brewers broadcasts. The game seems like a nice party, one adults and kids can attend, and have a good time. Hokey stuff like fans cooking food for the announcer. I would love to see a game there and listen to Uecker announce the game over the radio.

  68. Drew Nelson

    Personally speaking, I like seeing two Drew’s in the Reds lineup……

  69. mike

    GredD interesting #s concerning Stubbs start and the way he’s been hitting since
    would love to know his OBP during those two time periods

    Other early (remember, super small sample size) #s on how Stubbs has done

    Stubbs is only swinging at 18% of pitches outside the strike zone. Which is amazing
    This might be related to him getting called out on SO watching the called 3rd strike. In other words he’s being slightly too selective, if there is such a thing. Hanigan is the only Reds with any # of PA that swings at fewer pitches outside the strikezone

    Stubbs, to my surprise is also making contact 81% of the time he does swing

    Stubbs’s defense has been stellar. I’ve seen him somewhat misplay 2 balls off the wall but other than that his range, to my eye, seems amazing. His early UZR/150 (again remember the small sample) is fantastic putting him at about the same defensive level in CF as Janish is at SS but not as good as Dickerson has been in CF or Bruce in RF. To help put this in perspective Dickerson in CF and Bruce in RF were both among the top 2-3 defenders in baseball at their positions

    I think it’s interesting to note who have been the Reds most valuable players so far this season.

    WAR
    2.6 Votto
    2.4 Harang
    2.2 Phillips
    1.8 Dickerson
    1.2 Nix
    1.1 Cueto
    1.0 Bruce and Cordero
    .9 Hanigan

  70. WORLD

    The Reds beat the sad sack Pirates on a wild pitch. Don’t get too excited.

    In order for this organization to start to regain their lost pride, they need to chart a path for the World Series.

    You are not going to get thee with journeymen. And that’s what the Reds have in abundance right now.

  71. al

    over his last 8 starts, janish is hitting 343/395/600. talk about seeing the ball well.

  72. ty

    we should play an afternoon game everyday, just to get the bats warmed up

  73. mike

    WOW! Those #s for Janish are insane
    SS’s don’t hit ANYWHERE NEAR that

    If Janish could have over a .330 OBP for the season I’d be happy if he was our every day SS

    Not sure he capable but this current hot streak makes me wonder. He’s 26 and never had regular playing time in the bigs. Could we catch his peak the next two years?

    I know I know it’s hard to get super excited about a week of great hitting but we have little to hope for here in Reds-land

  74. al

    I never hope for guys to do too much better than their minor league averages in the bigs, though it does happen from time to time. janish hit .261 .351 .382 in 5 years in the minors, and that’s a passable 7th hitter i think.

    if he can put up those numbers, and the reds can get enough bodies to make him the 7 hitter, then we may be in business.

  75. Kyle

    I’d be happy if Janish could go .240/.330 and Stubbs could hit .260/.350 next year. I think I’m leaning more and more toward the idea of seeing the Reds put out the best defensive club possible and seeing what happens.

  76. wanderinredsfan

    Al, that’s more than passable for a SS with Janish’s glove. If he performs above a .250/.330/.350 level in the bigs, then he should be the Reds SS, indefinetely.

  77. mike

    I’ll take a .351 OBP and great defense at SS batting second

    Hell, I’ll take a .330 OBP

    2009 NL average OBP
    .343 average #2 hitter
    .331 average player
    .326 average SS
    .316 Hairston Jr (most common Red to hit #2 this season)
    .311 average Red
    .302 average Red #2 hitter
    .288 average Red SS
    .258 Gonzo

  78. Steve

    Great play by Rolen. It’s really wonderful watching he and Janish playing the left side of the IF. Has to be the best defensive combination in the league. Heard someone say this weekend that Rolen was on course to win another Gold Glove this year in the AL.

  79. Steve

    Mike: great stats, provides a great context.

  80. wanderinredsfan

    Cueto’s performing well-enough thus far, but I’m a little concerned about his decreased velocity. His fastball hasn’t been clocked past 93 yet, and is hovering right around 91. This is a couple of ticks slower than his earlier performances where he was averaging 93-94 and lighting it up to 96 when needed. I guess it’s to be expected, but still hate to see it dip.

  81. REDS1

    2,000 fans in game one! 2000 fans!!!?

  82. REDS1

    By the end of the year I think the Fort Wayne Tincaps will be outdrawing Cincinnati.

  83. Kyle

    I really hope Cueto doesn’t throw 100+ pitches tonight. He is getting good results thus far.

  84. Steve

    Gameday has Cueto consistently at 93 and a few at 94.

  85. Steve

    Pettitte no-hitting the Orioles through 5 innings.

    Another hit for Janish!

  86. REDS1

    Chris really wanted to give that one to Phillips. It was CLEARLY foul.

  87. wanderinredsfan

    Steve, I only noticed one pitch at 94 and that was after I posted. He is consistently getting to 93, but he’s averaging around 91-92, with a lot of fastballs clocked at 90. Not the Cueto of earlier this season….agree?

  88. wanderinredsfan

    After further review of Cueto’s velocity:
    one pitch at 94, quite a few fastballs clocked at 88-89, with an average fastball 91-92. He didn’t have a problem reaching 93, but didn’t throw one that fast past the 4th inning.

  89. GRF

    Masset pitching in both games? Been awhile since I have seen that, not that there seems to be much choice.

  90. earl

    I have to say this is one of the better defensive infields that the Reds have put together in a long, long time.

    Why didn’t they give this Barker guy some at bats back when Votto was out?

  91. GRF

    Like many oither here, I hope Janish can hit just enough to let his glove play. Would not take all that much.

  92. ty

    i think it’s safe to say stubbs is seeing the ball well right now

  93. Steve

    # of HR for Stubbs today: 2
    # of HR for Taveras all year: 1

  94. RedinFla

    What did they say?? First twin-bill sweep since 1999? First sweep of Pittsburgh since 1976…
    that’s something to smile about :clown:

  95. Steve

    Cueto’s velocity might have been down a bit, but only a small amount. Here are some average pitch speeds for his four-seam fastball from a few previous games:

    4/22 (Cubs) – 92.35
    5/3 (Pirates) – 91.88
    6/3 (Cards) – 93.26
    7/25 (Cubs) – 91.89
    8/10 (Cards) – 92.61
    8/31 (Pirates) – 91.10 (tonight)

  96. RedinFla

    Votto was 0-for 9 on the day…:?:

  97. wanderinredsfan

    Cueto was fairly consistent with his fastball, but he didn’t dial it up past 93 but once today. He usually touched 96 quite often during earlier games. BTW, Where are you getting his averages from? Did you perform the computations yourself, or is there a stats-site that documents the average velocity?

  98. GRF

    Did Cordero really pitch again? Are we trying to blow his arm out?

  99. mike

    earl Re: your comment about the Reds infield defense

    I think it goes even further than that and I posted this in the game thread a few games ago
    I honestly think this lineup could be one of the best defensive lineups in Reds history

    Stubbs – CF
    Hanigan – C
    Votto – 1B
    Rolen – 3B
    Bruce – RF
    Phillips – 2B
    Nix – LF
    Janish – SS

    Stubbs, Hanigan, Rolen, Bruce, Phillips and Janish would all be among the best at their positions defensively. Nix is well above average.

    Votto would be the only weak link

  100. wanderinredsfan

    Mike, put Dickerson in LF over Nix and I think your argument becomes a little more convincing. Of course, with that line-up, it becomes glaringly obvious who the worst fielder on that team would be. Conversely, he’s currently our best offensive player, so I say keep him on first.

  101. RiverCity Redleg

    #105 Earl, Exactly! I was screaming for a Barker call-up the whole time Votto was out.

  102. Rob

    Yeah, I really don’t understand what people see in Nix. The guy’s OBP sucks, and he strikes out a ton. It’s like a Willy Taveras with power…oh, so a Corey Patterson clone? I’ll take Gomes offense of Nix’s anyday. Neither’s defense is to be proud of. Which is why they belong in LF.