Today’s the day. Tonight’s game will decide whether the Reds finish April with a winning record or a losing record. Truthfully, no matter which side of the line Cincinnati falls on, they’ve played some pretty bad baseball — almost exclusively — in April.

I’m going to be encouraged by that fact, however. Heck, if the Reds can be flirting with .500 after a month, as horribly as they’ve played most of the time, what’s going to happen if they start playing up to their potential?

If they want to start playing better, tonight’s a good night to start. Johnny Cueto will lead the Fightin’ Redlegs into battle against the hated St. Louis Cardinals and Brad Penny. Penny, of course, pitched 7 innings of one-run ball in his last start against the TOS Reds three weeks ago. As a matter of fact, Penny has allowed only one run in four of his last five starts against Cincinnati.

For his part, Cueto made some strides in his last start, and I’m hopeful that he’s back on his horse. Keepin’ the fingers crossed, because we need a healthy and effective Johnny Cueto to be competitive.

Here’s your game preview.

214 Responses

  1. Y-City Jim

    Cabrera-Hernandez impaired line-up tonight.

  2. Y-City Jim

    Stubbs
    Phillips
    Votto
    Rolen
    Bruce
    Cabrera
    Gomes
    Hernandez
    Cueto

    Bleck!!!

  3. Y-City Jim

    If he does it, he’s the perfect #2. Since he doesn’t, he isn’t.

  4. BigRedMike

    Not a good end to the top of the 1st.

    Can Cueto keep his pitch count down to get to the 6th inning tonight?

  5. mike

    @BigRedMike: that was my 1st thought as well. Penny has been brutal to RH. .390 OPS against vs RH. .789 OPS vs LH.

  6. Brent Miller

    @Y-City Jim: I just think he needs some time back in that spot and hopefully he’ll check his ego at the door over being moved. He really angered me with his lack of focus in Houston though.

  7. The Mad Hatter

    Cardinal announcer believe Hernandez is the Reds offensive catcher.

  8. MrSaturdayNite

    Oh, so that’s what it takes to retire Pujols: Superhuman defense.

  9. Y-City Jim

    @The Mad Hatter: Obviously they lost their stat sheet though I guess they might be half right. He sure isn’t their defensive catcher.

  10. eastcoast redsfan

    Good 1st — 15 pitches … 0’s across the board

  11. BigRedMike


    mike:

    @BigRedMike: that was my 1st thought as well. Penny has been brutal to RH. .390 OPS against vs RH. .789 OPS vs LH.

    Reply

    It is interesting, it seems that Dusty usually goes for the RH vs LH or LH vs RH matchup.

  12. Y-City Jim

    15-pitch inning. Keep that up and he should be good for seven innings.

  13. MrSaturdayNite

    @The Mad Hatter: Well, he’s not the defensive catcher. There has to be some reason DB keeps playing him, right. Right? 🙄

  14. The Mad Hatter

    I want to see this professional at bat from OC.

  15. MrSaturdayNite

    This is kind of like Jay Bruce from the first week he came up.

  16. BigRedMike

    Bruce is locked in. Going the other way.

  17. Y-City Jim

    I am sick of hearing Cabrera referred to as a RBI guy.

  18. The Mad Hatter

    He advanced to runner but he’s still terrible.

  19. BigRedMike

    At least he got Bruce to third.

  20. The Mad Hatter

    I want instant replay on that one.

  21. Y-City Jim

    Mark Berry solidifies his record as being one of the most idiotic 3B coaches in MLB.

  22. BigRedMike

    Come on, Hernandez is clutch. 😉

  23. al

    looked safe to me, but it wasn’t very deep.

    that’s two chances blown. not great against the first place team in the division.

  24. Jason1972


    Y-City Jim:

    I am sick of hearing Cabrera referred to as a RBI guy.

    Reply

    Wasn’t he one of the leading MLB SS in RBI last year?

  25. The Mad Hatter

    He would have gotten the same treatment as Hanigan last night and either pitched around or IBB>

  26. Y-City Jim

    Ball was too shallow for my liking. If it was Stubbs then yes send him. Terrible AB by Gomes as well.

  27. MrSaturdayNite

    @Y-City Jim: I’ve heard tell that Berry’s next in line after DB gets canned. 😐

  28. The Mad Hatter

    I love the camera angle directly behind the pitcher. Gives a better view without the distortion.

  29. eastcoast redsfan

    Im listening to radio — Fay says Dickerson has a broken bone in his hand — will probably be out a while

  30. Jason1972

    With Heisey getting the call up, I am really interested in seeing how he performs.

  31. Brent Miller

    It wasn’t a bad play. The guy had to make a running catch, then set his feet and throw. Who knew he’d throw a dart? It was aggressive play and I can live with that.

  32. The Mad Hatter

    @eastcoast redsfan: I hope they start giving regular at bats to Heisey, otherwise why bring him up. He can’t hit worse than Gomes right now and I bet you might see a better LF as well with solid baserunning.

  33. MrSaturdayNite

    Is that a giant Hardee’s sign on the stadium? I miss Hardee’s…

  34. Jason1972


    MrSaturdayNite:

    Is that a giant Hardee’s sign on the stadium? I miss Hardee’s…

    Reply

    I believe there are still Hardee’s south of Lexington.

  35. Jason1972


    al:

    Heisey can play center, Dorn can’t.

    Reply

    Is the thinking that he is still going to be a 4th OF?

  36. MrSaturdayNite

    So Nix is the only lefty on the bench now? I’m not a “The Book” devotee, but that seems wrong.

  37. The Mad Hatter

    If Heisey is the 4th or 5th OF to Gomes and Nix in LF, this organization needs a slap. Dusty probably has to let him marinate a day or two before getting him a game.

  38. eastcoast redsfan

    I live in Virginia …. Hardee’s everywhere here — I stop a few times a week for breakfast

  39. MrSaturdayNite

    They closed all of them down here in Cincinnati. Same with Denny’s.

  40. The Mad Hatter

    @Jason1972: I would play him four out of six games. There is no reason to have him here and let Gomes (and his career year contract) and Nix play consistently in front of him. I can’t see him putting up worse numbers and I think you get better defense and baserunning.

  41. al

    I would agree that there’s no reason to have Heisey up here if he isn’t going to play… except that Dickerson is hurt. That’s the reason.

    Gomes is the starting RH LF, has been since day one. But they weren’t going to play a man down against the Cards.

    You need someone to back up Stubbs, so who else?

    On another note, Cueto’s dealing tonight, I hope he can get out of this.

  42. Jason1972


    MrSaturdayNite:

    They closed all of them down here in Cincinnati. Same with Denny’s.

    Reply

    We still have a Roy Rogers though!

  43. al

    Cueto’s throwing almost all fastballs. 95-96. I think he could get Holliday with a slider here.

  44. MrSaturdayNite

    Does that go on the Cabrera-meter?

  45. Matt B.

    I couldn’t really tell since the play was zoomed out, but does Janish get that ball? It didn’t seem like Cabrera was that far from it, but then again, I couldn’t tell with certainty because of the camera angle.

  46. mike

    @Matt B.: STL FSN didn’t show a good shot of Cabrera’s “defense” so it was hard to tell but it looked like he touched it. In other words I think Janish gets that.

  47. hoosierdad

    You’ll have to come over to Southern Indiana. We have a couple of Hardees still and a Denny’s! Sadly though, no Roy Rogers, ever!


    MrSaturdayNite:

    They closed all of them down here in Cincinnati. Same with Denny’s.
    Reply

  48. al

    Let’s get something going here reds. Come right back and get those runs so Cueto knows he doesn’t fell like he’s got to pitch a no-no from here on out.

    Also, the cardinal announcers just said “smooze” instead of “schmooze.” Like 5 times in a minute.

  49. MrSaturdayNite

    @hoosierdad: I always stop at the Shelbyville Denny’s on the way to the in-laws in Chicago.

  50. al

    The reds do not seem to want to win this game. Bruce needs to pick everyone up here.

  51. MrSaturdayNite

    The reds baserunning is in a state of Misery. (pun intended)

  52. Matt B.

    If the Reds don’t want to come out of this game with a loss, they better even the score or take the lead in the next couple innings, considering the weather.

  53. mike

    I’ve only said it a million times but I love the Votto-Rolen-Bruce 3-4-5
    I’m confident with runner(s) on with those 3 coming up. ONE of them will get it done

  54. al

    I hate Cabrera.

    And that’s the reds 3rd GIDP in 4 innings.

  55. Barnes

    Where earlier in the year Bruce was hitting right at the fielders, those are dropping in now. Hitting line drives like he has lately, gotta like his chances. BABIP works itself out over time, and he’d been “unluckly” going back to last year.

  56. al

    Heard thunder in the last inning. This game might not be going for too much longer.

  57. MrSaturdayNite

    Now, that’s a defensive inning.

  58. al

    MAN! That’s the 4th ball to the track in center.

  59. MrSaturdayNite

    @al: Those balls go to right or left and it’s a totally different game.

  60. al

    And that’s probably going to be that. The game’s official, I can’t imagine they’re going to let it go too much farther.

  61. Y-City Jim

    @al: Caught a few minutes of the Cardinals announcers. No Jack Bucks among them.

  62. Y-City Jim

    Does MLB allow players to be struck by lightning?

  63. Y-City Jim

    I must have smell-o-vision. I swear I can smell the rain.

    Atta boy, Johnny!!!

  64. eastcoast redsfan

    Reds need a run quick 😯

  65. al

    Well, their letting the game go a little longer. I’m not sure why since they’ve put out a severe weather warning.

    It would be great to see a jack though, to tie this thing. Heart of the order here, with one more shot.

  66. MrSaturdayNite

    Votto shakes off the rain and says “HA! I used to play in Canada.”

  67. eastcoast redsfan

    I think this will be the Reds last chance — doubt it will go another full inning

  68. The Mad Hatter

    My man crush increases with every at bat.

  69. Y-City Jim

    I guess Bruce isn’t over matched by Cardinal pitching any more.

  70. mike

    I think I saw a TEAM for a second!!!
    did you see Votto on second. “hey jay, jay, lets go!!” before Bruce came to bat. Then Votto gave him props after crossing the plate.

    I think they were trying to pitch around Bruce but he made a mistake and left the ball over the plate

  71. Y-City Jim

    Come on, Mr. Clutch RBI SS Whiz Man

  72. al

    And Bruce has his average up to .266. That’s downright respectable.

    Also, what pitch was Cabrera swinging at there? That was over his head.

  73. The Mad Hatter

    The pitch in the dirt was ball 7

  74. Steve

    St. Louis radio announcers say Cabrera hurt his hand noticeably checking his swing early in that AB. Was having trouble with it the rest of the AB.

  75. al

    C’mon Gomer. Let’s get this one time.

  76. mike

    @al: with a .500+ it sure is. I think his OPS is over .800 now. Only Hanigan, Votto, Rolen and Janish have over an .800 OPS on this team

  77. MrSaturdayNite

    Bad pitch to swing at. Better lucky than good. Gomes hits the rare visiting team walk-off homer here.

  78. al

    Brad Penny is mid meltdown on the mound. Can’t find the zone, keeps complaining about the wet balls.

  79. Matt B.

    Now this is some legit clutch hitting.

  80. Y-City Jim

    Now continue the hit parade, Mr. Clutch Automatic RBI C Man

  81. The Mad Hatter

    Gomes is batting around .400 with RISP. The new Mr. Clutch.
    SSS

  82. Barnes

    This lightning is getting out of hand. Better call this thing now before somebody gets fried. Think of the children in the stands.

  83. MrSaturdayNite

    Penny wants to go home. He needs a nap.

  84. al

    Man, with how Penny is pitching, I’d tell Cueto not to swing until he has two strikes on him.

  85. MrSaturdayNite

    If Cueto gets struck by lightning, can we blame it on Dusty for leaving him out there in the storm?

  86. al

    Are they going to try to get another half inning in? The thunder and lightning is right on top of them.

  87. vanwilder8

    Why not pinch hit there? There’s even odds that you won’t send Cueto back out again

  88. MrSaturdayNite

    There’s the tarp. Come on, we don’t need to finish this game, do we?

  89. MrSaturdayNite

    I did call Albert Pujols the Zeus of the baseball gods earlier today…

  90. The Mad Hatter

    @vanwilder8: I didn’t understand that either. With the weather isn’t that situation like and 8th or 9th inning.

  91. Y-City Jim

    You know the stadium might be safe with the arch next door. Wonder how many times a year that thing gets zapped?

  92. Greg Dafler

    @vanwilder8: Exactly my thoughts while watching the game. The radar was not in their favor, it was pouring, why not pinch-hit there to try to play add-on?

  93. Y-City Jim

    @mike: I’m not picky.

    Dusty being hit by lightning would be an interesting Photoshop pic.

  94. Y-City Jim

    @Y-City Jim: Found the answer.

    Has the Arch been hit by lightning?
    The Arch has a series of lightning rods on the top which are grounded directly into bedrock, with a perfectly insulated interior. It is able to withstand hundreds of lightning bolts which hit it each year.

  95. al

    Sounds like it’s going to be a suspended game that they’ll pick up tomorrow.

  96. Truman48

    Is this game likely to continue. Anyone hear any projections?

  97. MrSaturdayNite

    @Y-City Jim: I was trying to look that up, but all i got was hundreds of times per year. I was hoping for some specific numbers

  98. MrSaturdayNite

    Time to go to work. Here’s hoping the game gets handed to the good guys.

  99. Steve Price

    One of those rules I’m not certain about….do they call the game or suspend the game?

    If they call the game official and stop it, the top of the sixth inning is erased and the Reds lose, 2-1. Both teams are given an equal number of times at bat.

    I dozed off…did the announcers address this during the game?

  100. al

    That was the old rule. The new rule is that they pick the game up tomorrow.

  101. Barnes

    weather.com says it’s not letting up till 2am. With the 6th inning still not completed, the game would be suspended instead of final. Then pick up where they left off, Reds 3-2 bottom of the 6th, before tomorrow’s game.

  102. Barnes

    It’d be for the best that they wait till tomorrow to finish, lest Dusty be tempted to put Cueto back in there tonight.

  103. mike

    @Barnes: no doubt. Dusty would throw Cueto back out there…..destroy his arm and lose the game. The good news is the weather will stop his insanity for at least 12 years!

  104. renbutler

    As of 11:30 ET, still planning on going tonight, weather permitting.

  105. Barnes

    They’re still waiting it out I guess. 700wlw still talking Reds and giving updates. Weather.com shows the stuff is letting up in a half hour or so. Anybody know what the St. Louis curfew is? The MLB rule book says that factors in to whether or not they restart tonight.

  106. TC

    Weather is improving. Light rain, clearing skies in about 15 minutes. Then another short, light rain in about 45 minutes.

  107. jdarts

    I can’t believe they’re finishing this game. P.S. That Lakers-Thunder series was phenomenal.

  108. Barnes

    Good grief. That Pujols guy could fall out of bed and hit.

  109. Chad Dotson

    Just watched Junior Griffey beat the shift for an infield single to lead off the bottom of the 10th…then a pinch runner emerged from the dugout. That made me sad.

  110. Chad Dotson

    I don’t know if I will be able to do a recap tonight. Only 2/3 of the game complete.

  111. Barnes

    The strikezone has been expanded for the duration of tonight’s game.

  112. Barnes

    @Chad Dotson: You catch that on an MLB Tonight live look-in? Love the MLB Network, good stuff. MLB.tv, on the other hand, I can’t deal with the blackout rules, just asinine.

  113. Barnes

    Wily veteran pick off move from Clutch and Range.

  114. Barnes


    Barnes:

    The strikezone has been expanded for the duration of tonight’s game.

    Reply

    Only when the Cardinals are pitching.

  115. Chad Dotson

    @Barnes: No, flipped over to the game on the Extra Innings package on Directv. Agree re: MLB Network and MLB.tv.

    This is the first year in a while that I didn’t get MLB.tv. Of course, I have this ipad now, and with the MLB app, I’m considering getting it again, despite the ludicrous blackout rules.

  116. newtonrm

    I guess Carlos Fisher is destined for the Janish fate

  117. Barnes

    I’m good with watching the FSN broadcasts, hitting mute, and firing up the MLB At Bat/Gameday and listening to Marty call the game. No blackouts for the radio.

  118. newtonrm

    Guess Dusty is going to be forced to pay that hand after all

  119. Barnes

    “Say, Nick, how about not throwing those meatballs up there.”

    “Oh yeah, I forgot.”

  120. newtonrm

    Hi, I’m Ramon Hernandez, I can’t keep runners in check

  121. Barnes

    This would be Coco’s fourth day in a row, and 5th out the last 6 days.

  122. eastcoast redsfan

    Once he got that strikeout … seemed like it gave him some confidence

  123. Chad Dotson

    This is the exact situation where CoCo has been awful in his career…so far, so good.

  124. Chris Garber

    1 for 20. Of course he gets a double.

  125. eastcoast redsfan

    Reds stole one ….. but I’ll take it – a little skill … a little luck.

  126. Chris Garber

    Wow. Great work by both corner guys there.