Break out the brooms Reds fans! Your Cincinnati Reds look for their first sweep of the season and look to do so on the West Coast in San Francisco. All it will take is the Reds winning this evening’s game against the Giants. Homer Bailey will be assigned the task to defeat the Giants and Tim Hudson.

More important than the possibility of a sweep is the Reds have the chance to draw even with the Cardinals in the standings today with a win and a Cardinals loss. Ladies and Gentleman, this is shaping up to be a fun and exciting second half of the season.

Brayan Peña catching for Devin Mesoraco in a day game after night game. Mesoraco had caught the previous six games.

Discuss the game here.

1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
4. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
5. Jay Bruce (L) RF
6. Brayan Pena (S) C
7. Skip Schumaker (L) LF
8. Zack Cozart (R) SS
9. Homer Bailey (R) P

203 Responses

  1. Steve Mancuso

    Brewers down 4-0, second inning.

  2. doublenohitter

    Big question for me is what’s wrong with Joey Votto? I see a guy out there that looks like Joey Votto, has his jersey on but it isn’t him.
    It is kind of like Tiger Woods. I see a guy playing golf that looks like Tiger Woods but he sure doesn’t play like him.
    I miss Joey Votto.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Just a wild guess but I’m thinking it might have something to do with his lower limb(s).

    • mwvohio

      Some clarification here please. Was this just a throw-away comment or what? Are you wanting him to be 2010 Votto? That year was pretty clearly an outlier. 2012 Votto? What Votto is it that you don’t recognize. To me the 2014 Votto is exactly like all the other Vottos just his stats aren’t there yet due to time missed and lingering injuries.

      He has the same approach. He has the same fantastic OBP. He’s a little slower but speed was never his game so I see no relevance there. His defense overall is actually a tick better than it has been the last couple years.

      • docmike

        That’s just it. 2014 is not the 2010 or 2012 Votto because of lingering injuries. And because of that injury, he may never be that hitter again.

        It’s not his fault though. He’s not become lazy, arrogant, or anything like that. It’s a bad knee injury that may never be fully healthy the rest of his playing days. Nothing Mr. Votto can do about that. He just has to do the best he can with what his body allows him to, and I believe he is.

      • mwvohio

        2010 Votto was a mirage. That’s the Votto everyone implies we aren’t getting lately (the last 3? years) when in fact that Votto was simply the same guy who happened to hit his fly balls 5 feet further on average and enough of them went out of the yard to get people excited. The 2011/2012 Votto is much closer to the baseline.

        2014 Votto is pretty much that same guy, only behind a bit due to time missed. His average will come right back up towards .300+ like always unless he gets re-injured. He’s still going to have a monster OBP and he’s still going to have one of the best eyes in the league while in the box.

      • docmike

        I’m not bashing Votto at all. But I believe that had he not gotten injured, the 2012 Votto is the one we would have seen these last couple years. Anyone can see that he is not the same player he was pre-injury.

        In life, you play the hand you are dealt. Not fair, but that’s the way it is.

    • docmike

      Even though it’s through no fault of his own, I don’t think you’ll ever see that Joey Votto ever again. Knee injuries can be cruel when the rob a player of what made him an elite hitter.

      • George Mirones

        Last night JV showed what he has. The walk was his knowledge of strike zone and the double was his experience as a hitter. He swung off his front (Right) leg. He will not be 2010 ever again but I will take 2013 “lite”. The other teams still respect him but are becoming aware of the holes on his swing.

  3. charlottencredsfan

    Like Pena catching Homer. If it works, I’d do the same his next start. Mes can catch JC then and Pena can be Homer’s catcher.

    • doublenohitter

      Maybe it will be the thing that kickstarts Bailey in to a string of great starts. If he gets it going, how good is this rotation?
      Bailey is the only one I worry about right now.

      • mwvohio

        Bailey is really the only one you worry about? I think Latos has looked shakey, Mike has had a few meh starts this month before his last two good ones and I keep wondering if/when Simon will turn back into a pumpkin.

        We have a great rotation but there are also plenty of question marks.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Not really – I think concern for Homer is justified. Denying reality is never a good thing,; we need HB to be a lot better then he’s been. But you know what? Today is the beginning of the rest of the season. Go get ’em, Mr. Bailey!

      • ToddAlmighty

        Not worried about Latos. He’d been knocking off the rust and has still pitched two really good games out of three. 6 IP/0 ER and 7 IP/1 ER. Had that one bad start, but his ERA is still below 3.

        If you’re a FIP fan (which I am not), then you can be comforted that Latos’ FIP is 3.10 right now, the exact same as it was last year, compared to Bailey’s jump from 3.31 last year to 4.15 this year.

  4. Steve Checkosky

    Pitches-Strikes over the past 5 days.

    5 Days 6/28 6/27 6/26 6/25 6/24
    Chapman 70-44 31-19 9-6 10-7 20-12
    LeCure 41-24 10-7 31-17
    Broxton 18-14 9-7 11-7
    Diaz 38-26 23-15 15-11
    Hoover 11-7 11-7
    Ondrusek 0-0
    Contreras 0-0
    Parra 0-0

    Homer needs 7+ innings today. LeCure, Hoover and Ondrusek are available. Contreras and Parra if we are behind. Broxton will close if we are ahead.

    Jumbo has been throwing strikes. But not likely to be used tonight.

    • ToddAlmighty

      I don’t know, Contreras looked fairly impressive when he pitched his one inning. I’d give him a chance over a middle inning instead of Ondrusek.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Not to mention that Bryan opted for Jumbo to pitch the final inning of a hard-fought & much needed victory last night. Except for the defensive indifference, Jumbo had another good appearance last night. I have no problem with Jumbo and Contreras getting a crack at some higher priority opportunities rather than the guys who have simply stunk up the joint for the 1st half of the season.

  5. charlottencredsfan

    Rockies look to be falling apart in the 4th: 4-1 lead but 2nd & 3rd with no one out.

    • Steve Checkosky

      8-2 Bottom of the 5th.

      I believe the Brewers will be in it in September. Along with St Louis and the Reds. They will regress some. But they are a good team. Still more worried about the Cardinals.

  6. Steve Checkosky

    Oh well. It was formatted when I posted it. Any thoughts as to formatting a table?

  7. mwvohio

    Back to Charlotte since I can’t reply to that string again.. I didn’t mean that there shouldn’t be concern over Bailey, just that saying he’s the only concern seems odd to me. Bailey is a guy who is under-performing so I expect some (not enough at this point, but still some) regression back to the mean. The same though will probably happen to Simon, he’s way over his head right now.

    Latos is full of question marks because of his late start and recent injuries. Mike and Cueto are the ones we can count on the most I think, particularly Mike because he has no real injury history.

    On the positive side our offense has been really shaping up. We now have 4 well above-average hitters (Frazier, Mez, Votto, Bruce) mixed in with some average to slightly above average guys (BP, Ludwick, Billy) and the role-player guys (Cozart, Pena, meh to the bench) on any given night. That is a lineup that can wear a pitcher out.

    Exciting second half indeed.

    • charlottencredsfan

      With Simon, I really have no concerns. The mechanics, stuff and composure are all there. This could certainly change but right now, I’m not feeling it. In other words, I don’t think the guy is over his head let alone “way over his head”. Latos was nearing the mid 90’s his last start and all else looks good with him, 2 of 3 starts have been excellent.

      Homer can absolutely, no doubt get it done but that is not the same as getting it done. Might be pitching to Pena will be what the doctor ordered.

      • George Mirones

        My last comments about Billy H. You will be pleased.

        Some real world comparison;

        Choo 2014 -TEXAS
        Games 75 AB 267, SB 3, AVG. .255, OPS .763, wRC+ 113, WAR .06 BABIP .316, BsR .8

        Hamilton 2014 – REDS
        Games 75, AB 295, SB 34, AVG. .282, OPS .717, wRC+ 97, WAR 2.9, BABIP .330, BsR 4.7

      • mwvohio

        Yep, so far Billy is having an outstanding year and Choo is having a down year.

        OBP-

        Choo: .374
        Billy: .314

        That’s why walks are so important. Choo is slumping hard with the bat but he’s still getting the job done because his other skills don’t slump. If and when Billy adds the walks to his game, he is going to be outstanding.

      • Steve Checkosky

        Never expected that! Glad we didn’t break the bank to re-sign Choo. Perhaps WJ knows what he is doing after all.

      • Steve Checkosky

        Billy’s OBP this year:

        April .280
        May .301
        June .355

        Looks like progress!

  8. Shchi Cossack

    I don’t mind a day of for Mesoraco today after catching 6 straight games, getting pretty beat up behind the plate and Hudson pitching for the Giants. I do not want to see more of the ‘personal catcher’ senario, just the occasional day off for Mesoraco. I hope that the Reds can work Mesoraco into another defensive position during the off season to keep his bat in the lineup and give him some time off behind the plate. I know he’s young, high-strung & wants to play every game, but the Reds need his bat in the lineup for several years and planning ahead pays dividends down the road.

    • ToddAlmighty

      This. My only question is, first base? Do they move Votto to LF on days Mesoraco needs to play somewhere other than C? I know they normally move catchers to 1B because it’s less movement/less taxing on the legs, which is generally what you’re resting on a catcher.

    • charlottencredsfan

      I only like “personal catchers” when it works and the alternative doesn’t. If there is an issue between Mes and Homer, why fight it? What value can be derived?

      • ToddAlmighty

        What always confused me was.. if there was an issue between the guy you see as your catcher of the future that you have three years of team control on, and the guy who you hope will become an Ace who is a free agent.. why keep both?

        You have a pitcher who has a 4.67 ERA at home and a 3.92 ERA on the road in his career… who hates throwing to the guy who you think will be your catcher of the present and future. Why sign that pitcher to big money? It’s not like they didn’t have other talented pitchers who could use that money who don’t mind throwing to our future (and possibly present) All-Star catcher and who pitch well in GABP.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Well, Mes can’t catch everyday so if HB is effective with Pena I don’t see an issue.

      • hof13

        Agree with this, and I hate the personal catcher idea normally.

  9. doublenohitter

    I’m not sure why the Reds continue to use George Grande. Dude is awful. He just said “It’s Bailey vs Hudson, Bailey vs Hudson” … at Candlestick…the new Candlestick.

  10. Shchi Cossack

    Wow!!! Looks like Lucroy just made a 6-base throwing error, scoring 3 runs in the top of the 5th inning. The Rox are taking it to the Brew Crew today…8-2 headed into the bottom of the 5th.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Whoops, 2 errors on the play…Ramirez and Lucroy.

  11. eric nyc

    Sheesh. I barely had time to get a beer from the fridge and the inning was over.

    • mwvohio

      Hudson had them out in front pretty badly, hopefully they relax the second time through.

    • ToddAlmighty

      Well… at least that inning was 9 pitches. 50% improvement!

  12. NWOhioRedFan

    Anybody know when Mr. Positive will be back on the TV broadcast? Listening to George is beginning to get old, really quick.

    • mwvohio

      Casey only does games in Pittsburgh I think. I just choose to assume nobody wants more of Thom.

  13. eric nyc

    Broadcasters just said “You have to give Aroldis Chapman credit, he came in last night and gave the team what they needed.” What on earth? I mean yeah, he didn’t LOSE the game, but he still blew the save and made it a lot harder.

    • ToddAlmighty

      Ah, but what they really needed was an extra innings game. Their batting stats were suffering until then. If Chapman came in and got the save, they’d have only scored 2 runs. Team rankings would suffer. Instead you gave Heisey a triple, Cozart a double, a bunch of people some RBI.

      Just what they needed. *Cough*

  14. ToddAlmighty

    Schumaker and Cozart’s ABs right now just combined for more pitches than the first two innings combined. Wow.

    • Redgamer

      While he does not walk, he can drive in runs. I think the first month the reds messed him up with forcing him to slap at the ball. His stance now looks more like a hitter, standing upright. Look back, he was open legged and crouching.

  15. ToddAlmighty

    Hamilton has been a lot better offensively than I would have thought he was capable of. I just hope he cuts down on the caught stealing now and he’ll be something great.

    • ProspectCincy

      Agree. But if you think about it, he’s been caught stealing 11 times this season.

      4 of them were on pickoffs
      3 of them he was actually safe
      4 of them he was actually “caught stealing”.

      I’m OK with that considering he’s facing pitchers for the first time, almost every-time. Once he has a feel for pickoff moves and has been in this league a little while longer, they’ll be no stopping him (if his bat can continue to excel)

      • Redgamer

        The pure caught stealing is fine, as long as over 80 percent. The killer is being picked off when we just need a runner out there and there is no added value for a big lead or to steal. See last night.

  16. Redgamer

    In the last month, billy has to have the best average with runners at second and 2 outs!

  17. mwvohio

    Bailey crushing people early on again. Come on Homer, take that kind of performance into the 7th.

  18. George Mirones

    Could it “good” Homer is here today or is it he doesn’t have a big enough lead to let the Giants score?

    • charlottencredsfan

      Here is where you keep an eye on Homer – handling adversity. Go Homer!

  19. Redgamer

    Shin Soo Choo last year had a 4.5 total WAR. Hamilton in not yet half a year has a 2.3. Basically, billy has entirely replaced Choo, not taking anything away from Choo and the ridiculous year he had that was miscast in CF. Imagine is we had Billy in center last year and Choo in left. Ahh to dream.

    • George Mirones

      How about this guy next him in 2015;
      Michael Brantley – Cleveland Indians
      Birthdate: 5/15/1987 (27 y, 1 m, 11 d) Bats/Throws: L/L Height/Weight: 6-2/200 Position: OF
      • $25m / 4 Years (2014 – 2017) + 1 Option Years (Edit)
      o signed by Cleveland Indians on 2/10/2014 (Avoided Arbitration)
      o 2014: $1.5M, 2015: $5M, 2016: $6.5M, 2017: $7.5M
      Results MLB
      2012 MLB PA 609, Rbi 60, Avg. .288, wRC+ 106, WAR 2.7
      2013 MLB PA 611, Rbi 73, Avg. .284, wRC+ 104, WAR 1.7
      2014 MLB PA 320, Rbi 53, Avg. .325, wRC+ 162, WAR 2.9

      2008 AA wRC+ 127, Avg. .319, BABIP .332
      2010 AAA wRC+ 127, Avg. .319 BABIP .312
      2014 MLB wRC+ 162, Avg. .325 BABIP .331

  20. George Mirones

    Got to give the Giants credit they moved the LFer over a few steps toward the line with JV up. Votto stayed in the box and is barely lifting his right leg while choked way up on the bat.

    • docmike

      I cracked up when I saw you abbreviated LFer. Imagine if instead of center field, it was called “middle field”.

  21. docmike

    4-pitch walk to the .239 hitting leadoff man is very curious.

  22. docmike

    This game is clipping right along. We’ve played a little over an hour, and we are halfway over.

    • eric nyc

      That was a ball. But he didn’t do himself any favors by ducking down as the pitch went by. Helped Pena’s frame job and made him look like he was purposefully trying to shrink his strike zone.

  23. mwvohio

    I kind of get the impression if Homer got to play in this park for half the year his numbers would be a bit silly.

  24. eric nyc

    51 pitches through 5. Faced the minimum so far…

  25. docmike

    Homer with 52 pitches through 5 innings. Complete game maybe?

  26. Chris

    Boche comes out of the dugout more than most managers.

  27. mwvohio

    Votto definitely feeling that quad injury, mercy. Guy looks like he could use a crutch today.

  28. docmike

    Now 62 pitches through 6 innings. Should be able to go the distance easily, just as long as we don’t have to pinch-hit for him.

    Hopefully we can get him another run or two to work with.

  29. Chris

    Oooh – the last Reds four game sweep in San Francisco? May 1972.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Willie Mays was on that team.

    • eric nyc

      Hamilton would have scored on that ball standing up. That double he hit in the 3rd almost hit the same gap.

  30. VaRedsFan

    3 bags for Pena! cash it in with 2 outs

    • docmike

      Hope they do. He’s got us beating it into the ground to the tune of 14 groundouts.

      • docmike

        Actually he just made the last out of the 6th inning. He won’t be pinch-hit for a while. Boo.

  31. Chris

    Cards and Brewers currently losing. 🙂

    • docmike

      The way Hudson has us all tied up, we may not get any more runs today. Hope Homer can make it stand up.

  32. Chris

    Not liking this Pence at bat. Bad feeling brewing.

  33. docmike

    These next 4 hitters (Pence, Posey, Panda, Morse) are the toughest part of their order. Need to get through this stretch without any issues.

  34. Chris

    Posey scares me. Much like Will Clark scared me.

  35. VaRedsFan

    Professional hitter….Buster Posey

  36. eric nyc

    Dammit…Last guy in the lineup that he really needed to get by.

  37. charlottencredsfan

    At least it was a clean hit. Finish them off HB!

  38. docmike

    That’s ok. He’s still in good shape if he can get Panda.

  39. Chris

    So how will Bailey’s emotions hold up now?

  40. hof13

    I was hoping Giant’s fans would be treated to 2 no hitters in a week.

  41. charlottencredsfan

    Taking care of bidness!

  42. VaRedsFan

    Nice Bailey…got Morse on 3 pitches

  43. eric nyc

    That Pence AB took it out of him. Way to come back, though. Have to imagine the only thing harder than carrying a no hitter is carrying a no hitter with a 1 run lead…

  44. mwvohio

    This is why I love Homer though.. guy has made an ordinary game where I’d be worrying about holding a 1 run lead into something memorable. I was rooting so hard for him that inning.

  45. RedAlert

    How bout some hot sauce from Homer !

  46. renbutler

    You know it’s a pretty good day for the Reds when:

    On Gameday, the Reds’ video highlights are Schumaker’s leaping catch and Hamilton’s RBI double.

    The Giants’ video highlights are Update on Belt’s Rehab, Lasseter Attends Pixar Day, and Giants Fans on Trampoline.

    I am not making this up.

  47. hof13

    Good news is, two clean innings and Posey doesn’t bat again.

  48. eric nyc

    If Schumacher gets on do you think about hitting for Homer now that the no hitter is gone?

  49. eric nyc

    There is the most annoying little kid sitting fight next to the FSO microphone. Just shrieking the whole game…

  50. RedAlert

    Last thing I want to see is Obdrusuck and Parra warming up in the pen –

    • RedAlert

      Rather see nobody warming than either one of those 2

  51. VaRedsFan

    Homer sees Parra and Ondrusek warming, and BEARS DOWN! 1-2-3

  52. eric nyc

    Smelling a CGSO. Come on Homer. Let’s give him some cushion.

  53. Vicferrari

    Would be a big plus to give the entire bullpen the night off, Homer probably has 30 more pitches as he goes for the CG shutout, hopefully he will not need them and we next see Posey in October

  54. RedAlert

    Come on – need to add on here !

  55. eric nyc

    Joey really looks like his knee is bothering him…

    • Ed Lambert

      I have been waiting for someone else to say something cause I see it too. Very noticeable limp. Even at the plate he’s losing his balance when he swings.

  56. VaRedsFan

    bad balk call…but i’ll take it

  57. Dale Pearl

    Niely done V man. Nicely done. Why couldnt the Reds play like this when we faced them in the playoffs?

  58. VaRedsFan

    Another 9th inning rbi by Phillips….ho hum

  59. VaRedsFan

    tacking on!!! never hurts…way to go Pena

  60. eric nyc

    Looks like Homer is coming out anyway? Broxton still warming up and Homer wearing a sweatshirt in the dugout. Welch seems to think he’s done.

    • eric nyc

      And as soon as I say that Jim Day reports he’s going back out.

  61. mwvohio

    I’m not sure how to keep implying that the Giants are being like the Cubs so I’m just going to say that the Reds are up 4-0 versus the Cubs West now.

  62. charlottencredsfan

    Giants are falling apart before our very eyes. Very un-Giant like.

  63. VaRedsFan

    Cozart’s out on the replay…but we’ll take another run

      • VaRedsFan

        well since it’s not a force did the runner cross plate before the 3rd out?

  64. eric nyc

    Don’t know why they didn’t try a squeeze bunt with Homer at the plate.

  65. eric nyc

    Looks like Pena could have scored the run if he had hustled down the line instead of looking back at the play at 2nd. Should have known it wasn’t a force play as soon as it went to 1B off the bat.

  66. eric nyc

    Wow. How did Cozart get to that ball?

  67. Kyle Farmer

    I love Brayan Pena but it is just an inexcusable lack of hustle to not score on that double play. Just a lack of effort.

    • renbutler

      Should he really be able to make it home faster than Cozart can make it to second?

  68. renbutler

    I really wanted at least that one more run in the top of the 9th. Am I just greedy?

  69. VaRedsFan

    Giants have never been in a 4 game series at PNC

  70. charlottencredsfan

    Well what do you guys say, Pena catches Homer his next start?

    • Dale Pearl

      Not sure Price will go by that but heck yeah. Either the Giants didnt show uo or Homer had his best game of the season.

    • vegastypo

      no kiddin’. Had to win five straight games to gain one game on the Brewers. Now the Cardinals … that’s a different story!!!

  71. charlottencredsfan

    Homer, Homer, Homer!!!

    Dynamite game for HB and the series for the Reds!! Masterful.

  72. Steve Checkosky

    Reds and WLBs tied! After Homer’s masterpiece I switched to the LA feed and enjoyed Vin Scully describe the Cards ineptitude. What an afternoon!