Astros take two of three in Cincinnati sayanora series
The Reds finished a forgettable week with a listless loss to Houston. Johnny Cueto had his shortest outing of the year, and the offense mustered just five hits. Combined with the improbable blown save by Aroldis Chapman on Friday and dropping two of three to sub-.500 Philadelphia, it was certainly a week to forget. Hopefully the Reds are just getting their slump out of the way before October.
Tony Cingrani's debut provided one of the few bright spots yesterday
Tony "Tony Tony" Cingrani threw three terrific innings in his major league debut, and it felt good. The rookie struck out 5 and walked none. The lone blemish was a Tyler Greene solo HR. Said Tony: "I hit my spots for the most part. I just left one pitch up, and that was a change-up he hit for a home run. Other than that, it was good." It was a memorable weekend for youth, as Didi Gregorius and Henry Rodriguez notched their first major league hits.
The Pirates sail into town for three starting tonight
Coming off an embarrassing sweep to the Cubs, Pittsburgh now stands 2.5 back of St. Louis for the second Wild Card spot. If Pittsburgh fighting for their playoff chances isn't spicy enough for you, then perhaps Pittsburgh literally fighting does the trick. There may be lingering bad blood due to Chapman's "to.the.chin" beaning of Andrew McCutchen in the prior series. Said manager Clint Hurdle after that series: "We'll keep things in mind, sometimes accidents happen, coincidences happen that make you go, 'Huh?' We'll prepare for the next time we see them."
- Mat Latos will take on Wandy Rodriguez in tonight's contest. I don't care what the splits say, Jay Bruce has XBHs in 8 of his last 9 games. He needs to start.
Meso in Dusty's doghouse?
Hal reports that the now third-string catcher is saying all the right things, but that the Golem can't help but betray a sadness tone to his voice. Meso: "Let's face it, I haven't been playing great and I can see that. My swing hasn't been good all year and that's what I worked on. I'm just trying to get it back to where it was." Dusty: "What did you expect him to say. He wasn't there (Louisville) very long, so I don't know. The other guy (Navarro) is playing pretty good. "There is always the back-up quarterback story, right?" There was some talk in the game thread yesterday that Dusty is punishing Mesoraco, but this sounds to me like Dusty is exhibiting his standard sensitivity to fan and media questions.
C-ing Red maps Drew Stubbs plate appearances
This is a really interesting, graphical way of looking at PAs. Most fans and even sabermetricians look at stats that simply show the result of a PA. But a PA is a sequence, and the end result is heavily influenced by all of the preceding outcomes. When Stubbs has two strikes, 'mache posits that he may be better off "leaving the bat on his shoulders." For the converse of Stubbs, here's the post on Ryan Hanigan.
- Better Off Red shares a Barry Bonds story
Hey, I thought this Bonds guy was supposed to be a jerk? Jamie recounts his meeting with the Pirates-era Bonds. Goes to show you that judging a ballplayer by his relationship with the media is pretty worthless.
Is BP's Gold Glove in doubt?
Thanks to a reversed error call last week, Chicago's Darwin Barney is closing in on 120 games at the keystone without an error. He's got superlative ratings from the advanced metrics as well. Brandon Phillips is coming off two straight Gold Gloves and is having another fine year, but I wonder if Barney's streak will give him enough attention to overcome Dat Dude.
- Nats over the Reds, even without Strasburg?
Stephen Strasburg made his final start of the season for the Nationals on Friday night. Dunno if you heard, but the Nationals had a plan to limit the young ace's innings this year. Anyways, I'll take the Reds front four over Washington's in a playoff series. Different story if we're talking about the uneven bars.