Aaron Harang goes back to the mound, seeking to get his first win and push the Reds over .500 for the first time this season. The Cubs will counter with Carlos Zambrano, who is 4-1 with a 1.23 ERA in his last five starts against the Reds.

Today’s lineup:

Drew Stubbs CF
Orlando Cabrera SS
Joey Votto 1B
Brandon Phillips 2B
Jay Bruce RF
Juan Francisco 3B (uh-oh)
Chris Dickerson LF
Ryan Hanigan C
Aaron Harang P

Here’s your game preview; discuss the game here!

127 Responses

  1. Y-City Jim

    Least Dusty could do is have Janish in there to shore up that left side.

  2. The Mad Hatter

    I’m starting to think that Dusty is attempting to give Harang an ulcer. Gotta love this whole pitching and defense thing.

  3. VTNReds

    Glad to see Hanigan behind the dish. And I love the fact that Zambrano’s ERA is 54, vs. Harang’s 5.4.

  4. lukeukcrazy

    Juan Fransisco starting… Interesting…

  5. GRF

    The left side of that infield is terrifying.

    • lukeukcrazy

      The left side of that infield is terrifying

      You’re right because because OC had 35 errors lat year and Juan had 45 errors.

  6. GRF

    CF leading off, SS second, Hanigan hitting eighth. No pattern here.

  7. VTNReds

    Hanigan deserves a lot more respect.

  8. Jason

    Now THAT is sparkling HD, FSN Ohio. I’m very interested in seeing Francisco at the hot corner today and at the plate.

  9. Greg Dafler

    Scott Rolen has only started at 3B once for Cincinnati with Aaron Harang on the mound. Opening Day 2010.

  10. lukeukcrazy

    Fransisco is starting because the Reds wanted to give him a start before he got called down to Louisville.

  11. KYRedsFan

    Just when you thought the defense couldn’t possibly get any worse….

  12. Jason

    Nicely done, Aaron. I’m sure you’ll be aces today and go 8 strong frames only to see our lineup score 1 or 2 runs for you as per usual. You can’t tell me that hasn’t gotten in his head after the last 3 years. He has to be in bottom 10 of run support over the last few seasons.

  13. The Mad Hatter

    The offensive juggernaut continues.

  14. Chris Garber

    Last night’s Dusty-O-Meter, brought to you from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida:

    Overall, it was a pretty easy, by-the-book night for the Reds’ manager. Essentially, he made two real choices on the night. One I disliked (for long-term purposes); one I liked (a little bit).

    Leaving Homer in for to pitch the 5th, having already thrown 96 pitches on a cold night in April. -0.5
    Putting in Janish to PR and play SS in the 9th. +0.25
    GAME SCORE: -0.25 (Season score -0.25)

    For the record, we’re awarding no credit/demerit for:
    Bringing Owings in – that’s his role.
    Leaving him in – he was pitching well.
    Having Dickerson bunt – totally “by the book.”

  15. KYRedsFan

    It’s all part of the game plan just wait until the 9th.

  16. The Mad Hatter

    Harang’s control is much better today than it was on Opening Day. He really looks in complete command of each pitch.

  17. The Mad Hatter

    Love Hanigan coming through with 2 outs.

  18. Jason

    Way to be, Hanny! Good call, Cowboy. Almost as spot on as your “smallball” comment last night.

  19. Y-City Jim

    Hey, Dusty! Hanigan with the RBI.

  20. GRF

    I know there is concern about the overall catching depth in our system, but I think Hanigan could be a very solid regular catcher if given the chance.

  21. mike

    @GRF: lets see, one of the best defensive catchers in the game and gets on base.

    • GRF

      @GRF: lets see, one of the best defensive catchers in the game and gets on base.

      Yeah, but he is not clutch 😀

      Seriously, I am not sure if he can stay healthy enough to be the primary guy, but I would love to see him play enough to find out with Hernandez serving as the caddy, rather than the other way around.

  22. Truman48

    My wife just said, “Remember when they (Reds) traded away that old guy (stormy,”

    Is be pitching for anyone this year?

  23. Truman48

    Man I can’t type. Is Stormy pitching for anyone this year?

  24. Jason

    BP!! Getting some Runs for Harang! Yes!

  25. Y-City Jim

    Is there anything better than a Red going deep against Zambrano?

  26. Mike Martz

    I am really feeling good about this season! :mrgreen:

  27. Truman48

    A lot of whining there by Cubbies.

  28. Truman48

    Too much worrying about that runner. Pitching so well until the last two hitters.

  29. The Mad Hatter

    Big at bat here for Stubbs.

  30. GRF

    Gamecast made that last pitch look like it burrowed in from underground…

  31. Truman48

    That’s called the gopher pitch. Very difficult to hit.

  32. Truman48

    Harang has only given up three hits, 6 K’s, 0 Walks. But two home runs.

  33. Truman48

    Their defense has been excellent.

  34. Phill

    I’d love to see another Coors Light Cold Hard Blast this inning!

    I’d settle for walks and singles though….at the very least a Zambrano meltdown would be sweet.

  35. GRF

    I am curious to see how the Voto steal attempt will be scored in the Dusty-O-Meter tonight.

  36. pinson343

    Harang looks good today. On the other hand, while we’ve talked about his weak run support over the last 2 years, he’s also had trouble holding leads.

    And his bane has been the long ball.

  37. pinson343

    Did the Votto steal attempt look like it could be a broken hit and run ?
    With all the DPs that BP grounds into, a hit and run would make sense.

  38. Phill

    I’d hope it was a broken hit and run. He didn’t have a chance at that one.

  39. Truman48

    It must have been a missed sign. Or perhaps he went on his own. CZ is very tough to run on. A straight steal by Votto didn’t make any sense.

    Nice work by AH lulling DLee to sleep and then making the pickoff kill.

    • Steve Price

      It must have been a missed sign. Or perhaps he went on his own. CZ is very tough to run on. A straight steal by Votto didn’t make any sense.

      Wasn’t Votto sick last night? And, he’s stealing today?

  40. Truman48

    The Cubs announcers just said Francisco is listed at 6-2 180 lbs. What do you all think about 180 lbs?

    • Steve Price

      Francisco is listed at 6-2 180 lbs. What do you all think about 180 lbs

      That was probably his weight when the Reds signed him…in 2004

      Funniest size comment I’ve seen/heard in a while…

      Dave Concepcion was so skinny as a Red (6-2, 155)…but, isn’t so thin anymore…

      Pete Rose’s comment: “Davey ate Venezuela”

  41. KYRedsFan

    Wow Francisco looked bad in that last AB.

  42. Steve Price

    Bill James, in his new book, says the Reds team has a conspiracy against Harang…

    1) in last two years, Reds are 23-32 when Harang starts. He’s 12-31 himself; in his no decisions, the Reds are 11-1.

    2) Run support: 2009 was 3.42. 2008: 3.52

    3) According to Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2010: Reds had .659 defensive efficiency ration behind Harang in 2009, the lowest of any pitcher with at least 162 IP last year….that means 34% of batted balls against Harang went as hits.

  43. al

    has harang thrown one pitch inside this game?

    he’s looked good for the most part, but if you’re going to concede half the plate, there’s only so much you can do against good hitters.

    seems like dusty or the pitching coach need to call a few pitches from the dugout.

  44. Steve Price

    Also….Harang had third lowest ground ball to fly ball ratio last year (minimum 162 IP)….ratio was .84…

    More fly balls than ground balls leads to more home runs allowed.

    If a starting pitcher is to be dealt at trade deadline time, I’m starting to see who it should be…(that is between Harang and Arroyo)

    • KYRedsFan

      Why is Cairo pinch-hitting?

      Well you see it’s simple really…um..yea, ok I got nothing

  45. lukeukcrazy

    Harang with 8K and Zambrano with 9K. talk about a pitcher’s duel.

  46. al

    why bring in authur rhodes to face three righties?

  47. lukeukcrazy

    Zambrano strikes out the side. talk about bad offense.

  48. Phill

    I’m pretty sure that’s why Arthur Rhodes is a LOOGY.

  49. Truman48

    Al: That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  50. al

    i give rhodes credit for being more than a loogy (as opposed to herrera). he can get righties out when he needs to.

    that said, if you know you have a bunch of righties coming up, why not fire up masset or ondrusek? isn’t that sort of the point of having them?

    baker has lost me again. i thought he was obsessed with the lefty / righty matchups. isn’t that why phillips bats 4th?

  51. al

    $10 says phillips swings from his heels here

  52. KYRedsFan

    Baker is dead to me at this point. I’m counting down the days until he is gone from Cincinnati.

  53. al

    let’s do this jay! he’s gotten robbed so many times this year.

  54. Steve Price

    Okay…Bruce is up against a lefty….career OPS 592 versus lefties….

    He has to start producing…or start platooning…

  55. The Mad Hatter

    Why wasn’t BP trying to steal second in that situation? He gets his 20 SB’s every year but how many of them actually mean something?

    • Truman48

      I’m tired of listening to these Cubs announcers! Can’t be as annoying as the 15,000 Cubs fans in GABP today though.

    • Steve Price

      Why wasn’t BP trying to steal second in that situation? He gets his 20 SB’s every year but how many of them actually mean something?

      I’m not certain how much speed BP really has…I think he’s good at reading when he won’t be challenged and takes the free base….but, I don’t know if he’s fast enough to challenge a base being down one run…

  56. lukeukcrazy

    not looking good, they’re having their A defensive series.

    • Steve Price

      Bruce has the worst luck.

      If he keeps hitting they will fall; I just want him hitting against lefties.

      He’s been about our worst hitter against lefthanded pitchers for two consecutive years…

  57. mike

    I really am starting to feel sorry for Bruce
    He has crushed 4-5 pitches this year just right at someone or that someone makes a great play on him.

  58. The Mad Hatter

    I mention this because I heard someone talking about the time of games on the radio but when an umpire refuses to call a strike on the outside corner the entire game, yes it’s consistent but come on expand the strike zone a little bit.

  59. Steve Price

    did marty just say “young Masset?”

    Masset is 28…it’s all perspective…I wonder if Marty would have thought Masset was young back in 1976…when only Norman (33), Billingham (33), and Borbon (29) would have been older. Even “grizzled” Gary Nolan was 28 that year

  60. al

    boom goes the rynomite.

    you do not run on ryan hannigan.

  61. lukeukcrazy

    Mar,ol throws wild work the count

  62. Truman48

    Francisco has looked awful today! 4 K’s today unbelievable.

  63. al

    well, francisco made a good case for getting sent down tomorrow right there.

    he swung at a ton of terrible pitches today.

  64. KYRedsFan

    I don’t care if you have big power or not you actually have to make contact with the baseball.

  65. The Mad Hatter

    Only the Reds can’t work a walk off Marmol. You can tell a patience approach is taught from the manager on down. 🙄

    • Steve Price

      Only the Reds can’t work a walk off Marmol. You can tell a patience approach is taught from the manager on down.

      Yes, I believe it was the Cubs’ whose walk rate and OBP jumped like 35-40 points the year after Dusty left….and it was that much higher the year before he arrived in chicago

  66. KYRedsFan

    They could have bounced the ball to the plate and Francisco was swinging.

  67. Truman48

    Marmol looked like he had great stuff today.

  68. al

    marmol threw 3 pitches that would have been called strikes that inning.

    the reds offense has about the worst game plan at the plate of any team i’ve ever seen. i don’t know if that’s the players, the manager, the hitting coach or all of the above. but it doesn’t look good.

  69. Truman48

    KYReds: Francisco does not look ready. I agree. I think he was going to swing at whatever was thrown to him. I would say that is a glaring weakness.

  70. The Mad Hatter

    @al: It wasn’t like Fransisco has a history of striking out and poor plate discipline.

    • Chad Dotson

      The Reds have only 9 BB on the season and have a sub-.300 team OBP
      The Reds won the only game they had more than 2 BB

      That’s hilarious.

  71. Y-City Jim

    @pinson343:

    It will eventually change. He just needs to keep doing what he is doing.

  72. Steve Price

    Nix pinch hits for Hanigan…Hanigan is an OBP guy…wouldn’t it have been better Hanigan to bat and Nix to pinch hit for pitcher? May be Rolen was on deck? Was Nix a better choice than Hanigan?

  73. Steve Price

    Hanigan career OBP vs righties: .375 with .711 OPS
    Nix career OBP vs righties: .285 with .730 OPS…

    There’s more to it than on which side they stand at the plate

  74. pinson343

    Marmol has great stuff, you have to take pitches. Dickerson took a couple, other than that the 9th inning (Francisco and Nix) was just pathetic.

  75. pinson343

    @Steve Price: Marmol is even tougher on righties than lefties, with that slider of his. Nonetheless, I wanted to see Hanigan bat, because he can take pitches and draw a walk.

  76. al

    well, with two outs, i think they were hoping nix could hit one out there. i don’t know how much help it would have been for hannigan to get on there, someone needed to put a charge into the ball.

    nix was a good choice there imo.

  77. pinson343

    And this isn’t just an academic argument: after Marmol issues a walk, he tends to implode. We still had a chance in the 9th, even with 2 outs.

  78. pinson343

    @al: I see your point, but last year, in 74 innings, Marmol allowed 65 walks and only 2 HRs. Working walks is the way to beat him, not praying for a HR.

  79. mike

    a couple of #s

    the last Reds to SO 4 times in a game while getting only 4 plate appearances

    Votto did it twice in 2008, 9/10/2008 and 6/8/2008
    Janish also did it in 2008 against Boston

    no Red did that last year

    The Reds have only 9 BB on the season and have a sub-.300 team OBP
    The Reds won the only game they had more than 2 BB

  80. BigRedMike

    “The Reds have only 9 BB on the season and have a sub-.300 team OBP”

    This is not a good thing. I hope this team pitches well all season long.

  81. Dust Ball

    Were there a swarm of bees at the plate in the bottom of the ninth or what in the heck were the Reds swinging at? Marmol, like he always is, was all over the place and the Reds went hacking. Most of the pitches never entered the strike zone. That’s just bad coaching by Crusty and Brooke Jacoby, IMO, two guys that have to go. A new hitting coach is a must.

    I know Bruce has had some bad luck and I like him, but 1-for-18 to start a season is pretty pitiful. He has more Ks in his career than hits, nearly 3 times more Ks than walks. He’s been around long enough with over 200 games played, it’s time to start seeing some progress. You can’t keep penciling him the lineup if this continues for the next week. The heart of the lineup (Votto, Phillips, Bruce and Rolen) has combined for 4 RBI and 3 times as many strikeouts.

    • mike

      I know Bruce has had some bad luck and I like him, but 1-for-18 to start a season is pretty pitiful.

      pretty bad yes…but we are talking about a little less than 1 week
      not including today’s games
      Hunter Pence 1 for 16
      Mark Teixeira 0 for 16
      Carlos Lee 2 for 15
      Johnny Damon 2 for 18
      David Ortiz 2 for 14
      Brandon Phillips 2 for 14
      Bobby Abreu 4 for 20
      Scott Rolen 2 for 15
      ARod 3 for 19

      and the list goes on and on. There are 60 players already this season with at least 15 plate appearances and an OPS BELOW 70! This IS the definition of small sample. 2 or Bruce’s hard hit balls fall and he’s out hitting a LOT of all-stars

      • Steve Price

        original quote; know Bruce has had some bad luck and I like him, but 1-for-18 to start a season is pretty pitiful. response: pretty bad yes…but we are talking about a little less than 1 week

        But that was only half the quote…here’s the rest…:
        I know Bruce has had some bad luck and I like him, but 1-for-18 to start a season is pretty pitiful. He has more Ks in his career than hits, nearly 3 times more Ks than walks. He’s been around long enough with over 200 games played, it’s time to start seeing some progress. You can’t keep penciling him the lineup if this continues for the next week.

        That’s for his career…not just one week…I think it’s time, too, to perform as I said in my posting…

  82. GRF

    Now I really can’t wait to see what the Dusty-O-Meter has to say. Bringing in Rhodes to face 3 RH, Nix hitting for Hanigan (who Dusty just does not seem to trust for some reason), Cairo pinch hitting, the Votto steal (which I only saw on the computer, and acknowledge may have been a busted hit and run), the overall approach at the plate the last 3 innings.

    Not our best day.

  83. Dust Ball

    Why is Cairo on this team? If he keeps getting at-bats, OUCH. Dusty seems to trust him more than Hannigan, who I think has great potential. And Dusty’s use of the bullpen, besides Owings, has been little league at best.

  84. Titanic Struggle Recap | Redleg Nation

    […] –As noted in the game thread, the Reds have only 9 BB on the season and have a sub-.300 team OBP. They won the only game they had more than 2 BB. I can’t believe this team’s collective patience has gotten worse. That’s the influence of Dusty Baker at work, folks. […]

  85. Greg Dafler

    @Steve Price: One week? You would only give Bruce a leash of one more week? He’s been hitting the ball well/hard. He drew a walk today with no strikeouts on a day that the team K’d 13 times (none of those K’s belonging to a pitcher.) His BABIP is .083.

    Jay Bruce is going to be alright.