Are you telling me that the winner of tonight’s Reds-Cardinals game will be in first place in the NL Central? That can’t be possible, can it?

It’s a fact. This could be a fun weekend, especially with all the festivities.

Then there’s this, from C. Trent: “Not to be a buzzkill, but #Reds are 19-15 after 34 games and .5 out of first. In 2009, 20-14 tied for first after 34 games.”

C. Trent should keep his facts to himself. 🙂

At any rate, it should be a fun game. Here’s your game preview; I expect a wild game thread out of you guys.

241 Responses

  1. CarolinaReds

    I’m looking at the line up and have to ask Dusty…why in the world is the righty Heisey on the bench and the lefty Bruce in the line up with a LHP with an era of 1.18??

  2. wanderinredsfan

    @CarolinaReds: Because Heisey isn’t anywhere near the hitter of Bruce. This team goes as far as Bruce and Votto take them this year, both lefties.

  3. Chad Dotson

    Not to defend Dusty, but Bruce is the better player. I love Heisey, but Bruce SHOULD be in the lineup.

  4. The Mad Hatter

    I know I’ve read in a few places it’s wrong to be excited about Reds/Cards in May but gosh darnit I’m excited for this game.

  5. BJ Ruble

    @CarolinaReds: Bruce has drastically improved his hitting vs. LHP this year. The last year and a half, I would have said give him the day off, but the way he is swinging, no way he comes out of the lineup.

  6. BJ Ruble

    Hey, any of you guys see the same Pirates lineup that the Reds held to 1 run, scored double digits against the Cubs today…It was great!

    • renbutler

      Hey, any of you guys see the same Pirates lineup that the Reds held to 1 run, scored double digits against the Cubs today…It was great!

      And there was another old-fashioned Zambrano meltdown. Doesn’t get any better than that!

  7. Steve

    Agree with BJR, Bruce has increased his game vs. LHP and we need his bat (and glove) in the lineup.

  8. Furniture City Red

    @CarolinaReds: Bruce is THE right fielder for the Reds. As already pointed out- Votto , Bruce, and I’d add Phillips and Rolen will determine how well the Reds do this year offensively. Baker is right to play Bruce.

  9. BJ Ruble

    @renbutler: Sad to say, but Sweet Lou might be the next manager to go…that team is struggling awfully bad right now.

  10. Furniture City Red

    @The Mad Hatter: I’ve been looking forward to this game/series all day. It’s NEVER wrong to be excited about a baseball game…especially when your team is playing well AND first place is on the line.

  11. Furniture City Red

    Who’s your ‘Most Hated’ team? Most Reds fans will probably say the Cubs, which is understandable. For me it’s the Cardinals….

    As a goof I wish someone would give the Cardinals Pitcher a baseball just covered in mud. I mean caked on there about a quarter inch thick and tell him they were just trying to keep Larussa and Duncan from bitching about the lack of mud. 😈

  12. BJ Ruble

    @Furniture City Red: It’s funny because if you asked me that 15-20 years ago I would have said the Dodgers without even thinking twice about it. Now, I would have to say the Cubs, just for the shear fact of their annoying fans. I can respect many Cards fans way more than Cubs fans.

  13. preach

    Pujohls will always get the benefit of the doubt on close pitches.

  14. The Mad Hatter

    That’s crap, should’ve been strike 3

  15. BJ Ruble

    Colby Rasmus is quickly becoming my least favorite player, for some reason the Reds can never get that guy out for anything!

  16. Steve

    Marty’s microphone sounds like it’s 20 feet away from him.

    Good job for Harang to work out of that jam.

  17. BJ Ruble

    Well, I feel a little bit better now…Let’s go knock this guy around a little bit!

  18. preach

    @BJ Ruble: That’s the way I felt about Bill Hall for a while. Couldn’t hit against anyone else, but the Reds made him look like he was heading to Cooperstown.

  19. CarolinaReds

    Let’s see what Bruce can do…I say he gets out…sorry

  20. CarolinaReds

    Bruce is the better player but I disagree with Dusty…it’s about winning. Just my opinion. Hope I didn’t Jinx Bruce

  21. Steve

    Marty loves him the fielding percentage stats. He goes on and on and on about how the Reds are #1 in the NL and #3 overall in FP.

    Of course we don’t fare so well with more advanced stats. We’re #18 in MLB, #10 in the NL (even behind the stupid Cubs) using UZR.

  22. CarolinaReds

    One improvement FOR SURE is the reds defense this year!! 3 gold glovers on the left side of the infield!! 😮

  23. CarolinaReds

    Where is Y-city at? I haven’t been here in a while

  24. preach

    OK, I know I’m biased, but it sure looks like Harang is not getting the same strike zone Garcia is.

  25. BJ Ruble

    I really don’t like Skip either…he seems to do a lot of scoring against the Reds also.

  26. earl

    The Reds defense is way, way improved over the gloves of stone the Reds had out there a couple of years ago. Criminy they were absolutely terrible in 2007 & 2008 on defense. I seem to remember some article saying they were about one of the worse defensive clubs ever in 2007.

    Scott Rolen may not pick it like he used to, but I really don’t miss Eddie throwing the ball across from third. The more simple the play the more often you had to bite your lip when Encarnacion would throw the ball. Weird thing was that Edwin would sometimes make the mind blowing play, then totally shank the throw on something simple.

  27. Furniture City Red

    got HD?…I don’t. Direct TV.

  28. al

    that’s two that ludwick has put past cabrera, one to each side.

  29. CarolinaReds

    Did I say the Reds defense was improved? 😳

  30. Furniture City Red

    @preach: I was thinking the same thing…He’s not giving Harang anything on the corners.

    • Barnes

      @preach: I was thinking the same thing…He’s not giving Harang anything on the corners.

      We’ll check this out after they get the data loaded in. There’s a feature that lets you see if a pitcher’s getting squeezed that game compared to the other team.

      http://brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/pfx.php

  31. Steve

    Reds see 8 pitches in the second inning and 9 pitches in the third. At this rate we’re going to see Garcia all nine innings.

  32. Glenn

    left handed pitchers who are sneakey fast always give the Reds fits…especially if it’s the first time they’ve seen him.

  33. Steve

    Looks like he’s calling the same strike zone for both pitchers, dammit.

  34. al

    not a good day for crappy harang to show up.

  35. Barnes

    Put Harang in San Diego, Seattle’s cavernous stadiums and I bet he wins a Cy Young. Fly ball pitcher in GABP, you get this crap.

    • preach

      Thom’s an idiot

      Reminds me of the advice I give my ministers: “Don’t expound on things you don’t understand.”

  36. The Mad Hatter

    Scientific debate on sun fields, predominant wind, direction of the stadium and other things by Thom and Chris, really what it comes down to is RF is just small

  37. Y-City Jim

    Just like we often have Good Bronson vs. Bad Bronson or Good Homer vs. Bad Homer, it seems as if we have Good Reds vs. Bad Reds. Tonight thus far it’s Bad Reds.

  38. Barnes

    Allright boys, let’s figure out this here Garcia kid and get some hits and some runs!

  39. Y-City Jim

    Hanigan beating out a ball that Hernandez would have been throw out by ten feet on.

  40. Barnes

    There’s our OBP machine! Put him on second Harangatang.

  41. Y-City Jim

    Wow! That was one pathetic bunt attempt.

  42. Steve

    Should we be pinch hitting here for Harang? He’s thrown 87 pitches, so probably just one more inning pitching. We’re four runs down, and bunting is playing for one run against a (so far) tough pitcher.

  43. The Mad Hatter

    You could see that DP a mile away. The middle of the order needs to get it started next inning.

  44. Y-City Jim

    Garcia is at 69 pitches. Good for at least two more innings.

  45. Steve

    Given the way Harang was pitching, I definitely would have pinch hit for him. He’s not pitching horribly, but not that great, either. The bullpen is fresh, having not thrown in three days. Why not pinch hit for him and give us a shot at this Garcia guy.

  46. Y-City Jim

    @Steve: What do you mean? Cabrera is a RBI machine. 😀

  47. al

    @Barnes: agreed. it’s nights like these that i hate our stadium and wish that we had constructed one with respectable dimensions. both HR would have been caught if the walls were 5 ft back.

  48. preach

    a flair, infield hit, walk, error. Yeah, we are knocking the snot out of this guy, huh?

  49. Y-City Jim

    @Steve: Cairo could have given us a veteran batting effort there.

  50. Y-City Jim

    @al: The fences aren’t that short. The ball just carries, likely due to the openness in seating in the outfield. Riverfront (almost identical dimensions) didn’t have this issue until the partial teardown of the outfield because the field was down inside that saucer. Architects can create some interesting designs but they aren’t always real geniuses at physics. A physics expert could have predicted the HR friendless of this ballpark in warm weather.

  51. al

    i just don’t believe that this kid is this good. can we get a couple of hits here?

    dave duncan is starting to drive me insane.

  52. Y-City Jim

    @preach: The guy is a flat out pitching macine. Nice compact delivery.

  53. Y-City Jim

    Watching the Bruce attempted catch of the HR replay. I love Jay Bruce. He expects so much of himself. To use a popular baseball saying, “You can’t teach that.”

  54. al

    the reds need to start getting some wall scrapers.

  55. Y-City Jim

    We are finally putting some airborne on this guy. Just not airborne enough.

  56. Y-City Jim

    So much for airborne? Now we can’t even put wood on the ball.

  57. Steve

    Seriously, if Harang was only going to pitch one more inning, why in the world don’t we pinch hit for him down 4-0 in the sixth inning? How many chances to score a few runs does Baker think we are going to have? It’s just part of Baker’s player-friendly philosophy of giving Harang a chance to get a win.

  58. Y-City Jim

    Jimmy Walker played one of the best characters on TV?

  59. De_Here

    someone make Thom shut up…”Jimmy Walker was on the Jefferson’s”….awful awful awful

  60. preach

    I guess it’s in honor of Civil Rights weekend. THIS is why I turn the volume off so often.

  61. Y-City Jim

    This game really stinks when the conversation turns toward some really crappy television shows of yesteryear.

    • Barnes

      So he is mortal.

      Pujols, not Dyyynoooomite.

  62. Steve

    I’ve got the TV sound off. Why are they showing all the old photos from those old TV shows?

  63. Furniture City Red

    Thom makes me sooo thankful for the mute button. Seriously, several times a game I gotta shut him up – Since obviously he doesn’t know when to on his own………I think he’s getting worse also.

  64. mike

    @Y-City Jim: with Arroyo I agree (and all pitchers to some extent. “my slider wasn’t really working today”) but with Harang and the Reds it has MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more to do with who we are playing. When we play the Pirates our pitchers are aces…when we Play a smart/good team our pitchers are pedestrian.

  65. Furniture City Red

    Don’t the Cardinals have a crappy bull pen? We need to get this guy out of the game.

  66. Steve

    THAT was a bomb from Stubbs!!!

    First one Garcia has given up all year.

  67. Furniture City Red

    Thats my Boy !! STUBBS!!!!

  68. earl

    Stubbs CRUSHED that one. Cards pitcher was mad at himself before Stubbs hit it.

  69. Steve

    That Cabrera-run that was on base for Pujol’s home run is coming back in play.

  70. earl

    C’mon Tony, give this guy a shot to pull a Big Z and totally come unraveled on the mound. You know that is what Dusty would do.

  71. The Mad Hatter

    Garcia is tired. Now get into this bullpen and get back into the game.

  72. Y-City Jim

    @preach: Discussing of television shows that stereotyped African-Americans would be their way of recognizing civil rights weekend.

  73. Y-City Jim

    @Steve: It was interesting looking at the replay. All those accusations that Stubbs is looking up every time he swings were dispelled on that HR. Stubbs really was locked in.

  74. The Mad Hatter

    Another veteran at bat from Cairo 🙄

  75. mike

    just read (Red?) the ultimate Reds killer, maybe the biggest Reds killer of all-time is willing to waive his no trade clause. Yup…Houston is willing to deal Oswalt and he is willing to go. hmm..I know this team is deep when it comes to starting pitching but imagine Oswalt as our ace.

    Oswalt
    Chapman
    Leake
    Cueto
    Lecure/Wood/Lehr/Carlos/Rosario

  76. Steve

    Cairo has a veteran approach, for sure.

    I remember earlier in the year when Marty and Thom were agreeing on the radio broadcast that “there are a lot of hitters in the Reds dugout who would really improve if they paid attention to the way Cairo approaches the plate.”

    Cairo, in 28 AB doesn’t have a walk this year.

    That shouldn’t surprise anyone. In 47 AB last year for the Phillies he had ZERO walks.

    This guy would only have a job on a team like the Reds where the manager and apparently the GM don’t value walks and on base percentage.

    Cairo sure isn’t clogging the bases, just like Baker wants.

  77. mike

    @Barnes: Pujols has been VERY mortal this year

    I posted these #s last week but I find this facinating

    Player A: .316/.413/.564 with above average defense
    Player B: .265/.383/.453 with above average defense
    Player C: .309/.408/.569 with above average defense
    Player D: .254/.374/.385 below average defense

    not A and C are superstar level with B being all-star level and D having a bad year

    they are
    Pujols
    Gonzalez
    Votto
    Fielder

    right now only 1 1B in baseball is having a better season that Votto and that’s not Pujols, it’s Morneau

  78. Steve

    2 of Cairo’s 4 hits didn’t get past the pitcher’s mound.

  79. earl

    Ouch, that would probably have stung.

  80. Jason1972

    If that’s true about LaRussa and the Cards whining about Carlos Lee, thne that is too funny. LaRussa cries about something every time he comes into Cincinnati. What was it last year, they were rubbing the balls down wrong? What a big crybaby.

  81. mike

    I’m somewhat shocked how much Lincoln has turned around his season

    since Lincoln’s 1st two games of the season (which were just horrible) he’s been lights out.

    9 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 base runners, .419 OPS against and only allowing 1 of 6 IR to score

  82. earl

    Lincoln’s curve isn’t dead on consistent, but he will throw some the drop off the table.

  83. mike

    a catcher running against Hanigan?? That’s funny and shows that not only does Reds management not know how good Hanigan is but other teams don’t know either

  84. BJ Ruble

    @Steve: The only value Cairo has is that he doesn’t complain about sitting at the end of the bench. Other than that he is junk. I have no use for him, he can’t hit, can’t get on base, and doesn’t play good defense at any position that well.

  85. Y-City Jim

    @BJ Ruble: Ironically he is complaining now since the HP ump tossed him.

  86. earl

    Looked it up quick on Baseball Reference and Joey V. is 0-2 vs. Trevor Miller.

    This means Mr. Vottomatic is DUE!

  87. mike

    @BJ Ruble: and he’s cheap 🙂
    The Reds are spending $500,000 to really only play as if they have 24 players. No different than the last couple years when they carried 3 catchers. This team is cheap

  88. Y-City Jim

    HP ump has it out for the Reds tonight.

  89. earl

    You can go get a beer, as LaRussa will change pitchers. The dude is like king of the LOOGY. He used to use Ray King the same way.

  90. Y-City Jim

    The Reds hitters are really frustrated by the strike calls tonight.

  91. nvilleredsfan

    I’ve been watching the whole game on TV and you can clearly see that Cards pitchers are getting way better calls from the homeplate ump. How are you supposed to come back when you have to be defensive at every AB? Harang wasn’t great but he was getting squeezed by the ump as well.

  92. BigRedMike

    Why do home team fans boo when a hitter on their team is hit in the bottom of the the 8th by a slow breaking ball when base runners are needed?

    Big AB here for Rolen.

  93. BJ Ruble

    @mike: Yeah, but other guys like Sutton are cheap too.

    As far as the three catchers, I didn’t like it, but I’d much rather have the Latin Love Machine at the end of the bench to pitch hit than Cairo.

  94. CarolinaReds

    Yep, LaRuss…pretty good manager.

  95. mike

    @al: I thought about Volquez but didn’t look it up. Is he a free agent after this season?

  96. CarolinaReds

    Look at the bright side at least you’re not an orioles fan…Corey Patterson is batting .500 this year and is 3-3 tonight with a walk!!

  97. Y-City Jim

    Phillips always plays with a flair.

  98. earl

    Darnell McDonald is playing a bunch for the Red Sox too.

  99. renbutler

    Win or lose, let’s just not go quietly.

  100. CarolinaReds

    Rhodes is something else considering he’s about 42 years old. Guy must exercise quite a bit.

  101. earl

    Jonny Gomes might not be that great, but he is going to give you all he’s got. That was a good at bat, he actually worked the count pretty well.

  102. mike

    @CarolinaReds: The Reds, in their ENTIRE HISTORY have only had 1 reliever other than Rhodes over the age of 40 who has had an ERA better than league average. That was Mercker

    not Quinn, Stanton, Tekulve, Hammond or Cormier did that and weren’t even close

  103. earl

    At least they got one home and didn’t double it up…

  104. Y-City Jim

    The Reds have their “legs” on base. Use them!!!

  105. CarolinaReds

    This might be where having Hanigan at the bottom of the line up might be a good idea Dusty!

  106. Y-City Jim

    Wow! I’m glad the Reds have already spent Cairo. 😀

  107. earl

    They are really making Franklin work, how many pitches has he thrown now?

  108. mike

    Hanigan pushing his average nearer to .400!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGAIN!!!!!!!

    I remember when hitting .400 was a big deal

  109. The Mad Hatter

    You gotta be kidding me. This idea of clutch is crazy but here we go.

  110. The Mad Hatter

    That DP is on Dusty. Just beyond me why Nix isn’t there.

  111. earl

    I was just thinking right before it happened how Hernandez is a ‘bit’ on the slow side, hope he doesn’t hit into a DP.

  112. Steve

    Well, the Hernandez gambit didn’t work very well. How about using Heisey or Nix there? Less DP chance, for sure.

  113. De_Here

    Ramon Hernandez…YOU…ARE…MY…HERO

    sigh

  114. BigRedMike

    It was a classic Dusty move, pinch run for the catcher and PH a catcher. If you PH with Nix, Hernandez can still catch.

  115. BJ Ruble

    WHY!??? Why would you bat Hernandez in that situation? That is terrible, he has little to no chance to hit a HR, little to no chance for an extra base hit, and a high chance at a DP. Heisey or Nix should have been batting right there. THAT is ALL on Dusty Baker!

  116. Y-City Jim

    Nix – LHed, faster, closer to 1B, more power

    Hernandez – RHed, slow, further from 1B, little power

    Decision – Hernandez

  117. CarolinaReds

    Dusty just can’t seem to make good decisions when it’s on the line. I can’t imagine what his rationale was for that?

    🙄

  118. mike

    hmmm your catcher instead of a LH bat with a chance to win the game?
    Franklin vs RH .484 OPS
    Franklin vs LH .700 OPS (with a .300 BA)

  119. BigRedMike

    I would rather see Heisey hit than Hernandez, but, he is Mr Clutch according to Dusty.

  120. Steve

    Hate to beat a dead horse here, but the next time you get into an argument about the importance of defense and Orlando Cabrera’s lack of it, you can point to tonight as one of several games where it directly made a difference.

  121. Y-City Jim

    I hope someone has the balls to ask Dusty what his rationale was there.

    • Steve

      I hope someone has the balls to ask Dusty what his rationale was there.

      I wouldn’t hold your breath. The beat reporters who cover the Reds are total wimps about that stuff.

  122. BJ Ruble

    Sickening! The bullpen pitches their butts off to keep it close, the lineup gets it within striking distance and the manager takes the chance to win the game away from the team. Sickening!

  123. mike

    and Dusty went for the win when all he needed to extend the game was a single to tie it up.

  124. BJ Ruble

    @Y-City Jim: Dusty will spew some crap about how Hernandez is clutch, etc… like he always does. I want to hear him say, I screwed up tonight…

  125. nvilleredsfan

    That was one of the dumbest Dusty moves in recent memory. Not only was Hernandez 3 for 21 against Franklin, but he’s slow. How about working the count, when Franklin was spinning up breaking balls? How about Nix as a pinch hitter? I don’t get it…

  126. Reds03

    You guys are idiots. If Ramon gets a hit you’re praising Dusty. He’s been hot and hit into a DP. Franklin made a good pitch.

    • nvilleredsfan

      You guys are idiots. If Ramon gets a hit you’re praising Dusty. He’s been hot and hit into a DP. Franklin made a good pitch.

      Apparently, we are all idiots… glad someone told me, or I would have never known.

    • The Mad Hatter

      You guys are idiots. If Ramon gets a hit you’re praising Dusty. He’s been hot and hit into a DP. Franklin made a good pitch.

      Actually I wouldn’t be praising him, I’d be wondering how he lucked into that one. Nix was the proper choice in every dimension of decision making.

  127. wanderinredsfan

    More importantly, Why didn’t Hernandez take a pitch or two? I’m sure that Stubbs and Heisey would be given a free pass to take the bases on indifference. If not, I would have tried for the double steal. There were two outs to give.

    Furthermore, Why not try for the bunt and let Cabrera drive them in?

    Ugghh!!!!

  128. mike

    @Reds03: we are idiots? I question the move if it works and I question it if he fails. And thanks for the props genius

  129. earl

    It was still an odd move. Nix has a walk off homer as a pinch hitter this season, so you can go that way if you want to get into clutchitude.

  130. Barnes

    If the fastest man on the planet steals second base, he scores on Hanigan’s single, and it’s tied.

  131. earl

    I have to give my buddy credit for coming up with that one, but we are still laughing about it a couple of years later.

  132. The Mad Hatter

    I address this complaint at Dusty and not at Lance Nix but if your one and only left handed bat on the bench isn’t good enough to bring in against any RHP maybe you should do something about it. On the other hand if you refuse to play him maybe management should do something about you.

  133. Dust Ball

    Jeez, didn’t see that scenario happening with Hernandez at the dish. I was banging my head against the wall when Dusty trotted Hernandez out of the dugout and not Lanyce. That was all-time dumb. If Ramon would’ve hit a walk-off tater all the way to Kentucky, I still would’ve said it was stupid.

  134. mike

    @The Mad Hatter: I slightly agree but I think might be digging too far into the situation. A L/R split is NOT just about the hitter it’s also about who they are facing. I’ve seen Dusty go with a L/R split when the pitcher is actually BETTER again getting out the opposite hitting hitter. In this case Franklin gets RH hitters out at a MUCH higher clip than LH hitters. I think you gotta go with that and use whatever lefty you have available even if they are of the Patterson/Bako/Tucker/Taylor ilk

  135. crypticphrasing

    I bet this is Dusty’s rationale: I was going to have to bring in Hernandez anyway because I pinch ran for Hanigan. Hernandez is one of our RBI guys. He also might say he was saving Nix in case the game went into extras.

    Those are all lame, if that’s what he says. Win or tie the game in the ninth. Worry about later innings later. This was a game where the manager didn’t give the team the best chance to win.

  136. Y-City Jim

    What is all the secrecy behind Nix not being available?

  137. mike

    @Y-City Jim: are you hearing Nix wasn’t available on radio/tv? curious. If he wasn’t then we can all lay off Dusty (for today) 🙂

  138. The Mad Hatter

    @Y-City Jim: Just read that too. I haven’t seen the reason but I think it’s odd if Nix is the only lefty on the bench and nothing was done about it heading into this series.

  139. JoJo

    even if Nix is available, Hernandez is the right choice there for one reason…. He is a better hitter… Nix is batting like .175 and Hernandez is above .280. Why are you guys even arguing about this nonsense? He’s faster and closer to 1st? Has more power? blah blah blah… The dude (NIX) can’t hit..I don’t love Dusty either but come on you guys have to have enough sense to know that not everything he does is wrong.