Red Reposter "He's Got Your Number, Right Down Funky Broadway," courtesy of the National Association of Sports Commentators Special Committee on Platitudes & Jimmy Smith Appreciation: 38% (First pitch swinging percentage for Joey Votto, highest on the team for qualifying batters.)
Bonus number: 93
Baseball Reference Blog intelligently informs us that Johnny Cueto tied Dallas Braden for the season's highest "game score" (a Bill James-devised metric). Cueto was a mere hit batter and single beyond a perfect game, but gets a bump from the GameScore Accu-Computer by fanning eight (8) Pirates. Of course, the system doesn't know that the batters he faced were, in fact, Pirates, nor that Braden weaved his masterpiece against the AL East-leading Rays. If it did, the whole thing would probably start to devolve into a Dungeons and Dragons game. Johnny pitched beautifully. Hopefully, beating up on the hobos will give Cueto the confidence he needs for the next title bout against a bantamweight champion (I think I mean the St. Louis Cardinals here).
Fay shows us how last night's near-perfect game sausage was made
The following is credited: Fastballs, not overthrowing, John Stuart Mill's theory of liberty, Ramon Hernandez, emotional control and Jimmy Smith's influential techniques on the Hammond organ.
Last night also witnessed Chris Heisey's first big league home run
Heisey's big night was mostly eclipsed by Cueto's pitching performance, but the Reposter would like to offer an emphatic salute to the newest Red. Heisey is from Mechanicsburgh, PA and had a good deal of family at the game. As the game drew to a close, Heisey thought on his father, who died in 2007 of Lou Gehrig's Disease. I can only imagine the difficulty of handling a staggering mix of emotions and pressures on the major league stage, not to mention discussing it with reporters. Jamie Ramsey gives us a thorough account of Heisey's battle through adversity and the family ties that strengthen him. Aside from his still-emerging talent, Reds fans should feel privileged to root for Heisey, who exudes humility and class . I don't think it's a stretch to say this team has a strikingly good makeup and a surplus of character.
Gomes credits Jacoby, Nix for his recent resurgence
Two of the least likely candidates to be associated with hitting success, if you go by the peanut gallery here. I, for one, welcome this news with equanimity - despite Gomes' currently underwhelming slash stats. There's so direct insight into Jacoby's pedagogy, so we'll have to take Gomes' word. It's dangerous not to.
MLB Trade Rumors looks at a rosy future in which the Reds are buyers at the deadline
The Reds were buyers last year, so even in a speculative reality, it doesn't mean the team is winning. I could see a leftfielder being pursued, though the likes of Scott Podsednik and Ryan Church would hardly be an improvement over in-house personnel. MLBTR also floats the idea of a Brandon Webb rental, though this seems unlikely due to the amount of starting rotation candidates on hand. With Harang stabilizing, a mid-season pitching acquisition seems unlikely without an injury or serious meltdown.
Juan Francisco will be out 4-6 weeks after an emergency apendectomy
This team needs to stop celebrating wins by punching teammates in the appendix, if that's what they're doing.
KFFL.com looks at Homer Bailey's rebound potential, from a fantasy perspective
A soon as Bailey can start coming inside and attacking hitters again, while commanding his off-speed stuff to a good contrast against his heat, he should ride high again. Easier said than done of course, but he became dominant at the end of 2009 by doing just those things.
Bloomberg Sports asks "Is Darnell McDonald the New Garrett Jones?"
I think the answer is no, but McDonald is a great story. He deserves to soak up his moment in the sun. I can't tell whether it's selective memory, but there does seem to be an abundance of recently-cut Reds thriving on other teams.
Chuck Harmon, the first African-American player in Reds history, will attend this year's Civil Rights Game
Griffey's father, Big Red Machine member Ken Sr., wanted his children to see and learn from Harmon.
"To guys like me who know him, he's like a great-grandfather," said Junior, who played for the Reds from 2000 to 2008 and is now with the Mariners. "Everything he says -- the message is to be a better person and a better baseball player. We didn't talk about baseball a whole lot, other than when he had to barnstorm and things like that, so I got that aspect of it, but for the most part, he was there to raise his kids and raise us. That's the beauty of Chuck Sr. No matter what was going on his life, he would always make sure you were OK."
FanGraphs takes a Look at the NL Rookie Race
Heyward is the overwhelming favorite, though Mike Leake has a good chance to win the Joey Votto award. There really should be a Cy Young award for rookies.