Red Reposter's Take a Walk on the Wild Side, underwritten by the kind folks at Lou Reed Chevrolet. At Lou Reed Chevrolet, we don't really sell cars, we just make you feel like we sell cars. - 4/24/09 - The last time the Reds pitching staff gave up 10 walks in a 9-inning game before conducting yesterday's slow trot festival for the Cards. They have been relatively decent at preventing the free passes so far this year, but they can ill afford such a wild day as yesterday. Walks Will Haunt.
Dusty is very proud to see all his hard work paying off
"We were maligned last year and the year before when we were building this thing," Baker said. "People expect you to have it built, but we were in the process of building." According to Dusty, he finally has a team of "his guys" and the results speak for themselves.
I'm not sure how to explain how I feel about this. On one hand, the team is better. There is no denying that. But how much of that is on Dusty? He has done well to stick with some developing youngsters like Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, Johnny Cueto, and Joey Votto, but also stuck with some real stinkers for much longer than was necessary, like Jeff Keppinger at SS, Alex Gonzalez, Corey Patterson, Willy Taveras, and Paul Bako. So whatever dap he gets for sticking with Jay Bruce he should receive a reciprocal slap for sticking with Patterson/Taveras.
One of his most heralded moves this season was moving Stubbs out of the leadoff spot. He's really blossomed at the bottom of the order, OPSing over .950. But as Patterson, Taveras, Gonzo, and Hairston struggled at the top of the order he did nothing to rectify the situation. Of course, he would say he never had an alternative in years past, but we know better.
I think what burns me up most of all is that this is an incredibly juvenile and immature thing for a manager to say. It hearkens back to that infamous comment he made about the '08 team not being "his guys". The losses weren't his fault because the players all belonged to Krivsky. Dusty has never taken responsibility when things go wrong. Willy Taveras was the kind of player he wanted, but Taveras just didn't work out. Same thing with Patterson. But now that the team is winning, he wants to be sure we all know who the brains is behind the operation. We have all worked with a person like this. They are so quick to tell you when they succeed, but when something goes wrong they are even quicker to point the finger. I understand he is lobbying for a new contract, but if he wants to take the accolades when they win then he damn sure should take the heat for the bad times.
Team heartthrob Joey Votto should be back in the lineup this evening
He ran the bases, took batting practice, and took some ground balls yesterday and reported no ill effects. Here's the money line from Votto. When asked if he was surprised to sit out almost a week, he said "From where I was at the beginning, no. It wasn’t very good at the beginning. But I am kind of surprised it took a week. I know I said two different things there."
Jocketty, Baker, and Price had a meeting about the bullpen after yesterday's...unpleasantness
Fay doesn't think there is much that can be done right now. He sees Carlos Fisher as the most likely to be sent down, in the event that anyone is sent down. He also wonders if Mike Lincoln is feeling ok. The most logical candidates in Louisville would be Jared Burton, Logan Ondrusek, or Enerio Del Rosario, but Burton has only pitched five times, Ondrusek isn't impressing, and Del Rosario can only be brought up if someone is DL'd, since he was just sent out a few days ago. There is also the possibility of a waiver claim or a small trade. You know that's what Wayner would do.
Arthur Rhodes left Sunday's matchup with a cramp
He didn't pitch yesterday. Dusty says he has to "preserve" him, conjuring up a number of zany food metaphors. Arty has been - by far - the best pitcher in the Reds bullpen this year, and the Reds really do need to get better production from the rest of the guys if this thing is going to have any legs come September. Dusty does tend to overuse his best guys, but the guys at the back end (Lincoln, Owings, DRH) need to prove they can be trusted in higher leverage spots as well.
Hall o' Famer Hal watched the Memorial Day tilt against the Cards from his man cave
There was little about which to be excited, but he took note of Drew Stubbs' triple in the 8th: "...but how exciting is it watching Drew Stubbs run out a triple? He had one in the eighth inning Monday and the guy glides, doesn’t look as if he is running fast. But he has to show up on the glide patterns on local airport radar."
Bronson Arroyo said the first time he saw Mike Leake, he thought he looked familiar
"I saw this kid in camp who looked like he was a 12-year-old with a goatee," Arroyo, the Reds' right-hander, said with a smile. "I asked (manager) Dusty Baker who the kid was and he said he was our first-round draft pick last year. I couldn't believe he had even been in college. I didn't think he was old enough to go to college. Then when I watched him pitch, I was impressed. He reminded me exactly of myself." Rumor is that Leake took a good portion of his signing bonus, bought a boat, and named it "The Disappearing Slider".
If you haven't heard the story about Jonny Gomes and the time he kicked his heart attack's ass
he's more than willing to tell it again. On Christmas Eve in 2002, Gomes ate like 14 burritos and started feeling some heartburn. He went to bed, but was still feeling it the next day. "I have a very high pain tolerance, so my mom knew something was wrong," he said. "It was Christmas Eve. I didn't want to be the Grinch, but I said all right." After running tests, "it hit the fan," he said. "The doors fly open and in come the doctors. Then they came out with the zapper. They loaded it up and the guy is right by me getting ready for me to fall out, and he's going to light me up," Gomes said. Gomes said one of the arteries in his heart had cramped, which is very rare but can happen to anyone, even a fit athlete.
Homer Bailey felt great after throwing his first bullpen session since hitting the shelf
"Everything felt absolutely wonderful." I bet Bailey still feels jilted about hitting the DL in the first place, so he wants to make sure the Reds know exactly how he feels about it. Also from this story, Jay Bruce hit his 50th career humdinger on Saturday. Bruce wanted it as a keepsake, so he offered the man who caught it, a little league coach, an autographed ball in exchange. The coach was in attendance with his team, so Jay sent the coach 11 autographed balls, one for each of his players as well. I love what Jay does on the field, but it's stuff like this that really makes me a fan of his.
In the latest Ask Hal
Hal is asked a number of questions, a few of which he chooses to respond to.
Q Is Paul Janish just a younger version of Juan Castro? — Dan, Kettering
A Well, Janish is from Texas and Castro is from Mexico (Remember the Alamo?). But that is an interesting comparison in that both Janish and Castro are maestros of the mitt. Castro had trouble with the bat, limiting his playing time. Janish carries the same tag, but he is too young to attach that label on him. But we might not ever see if Janish can hit on an everyday basis.
With Ryan Hanigan out for the next month with a busted thumb
Ramon Hernandez is ready to take over full-time catching duties. Monie and Hanny had been splitting time almost equally behind the plate, but with Corky Miller as his backup Monie will take the vast majority of the snaps under center. "I've played every day my whole life. It's not a big deal for me," Hernandez said Sunday. "If I take care of my body, I will be all right." That emboldened part is mine, as I think it is the most important thing to consider in this situation. Monie is kind of an old man now (just ask Slyde), and I think last year was indicative of what happens when Dusty relies on him too much. Hopefully Hanigan can make it back quickly and take the pressure off.
Aaron Gleeman at Hardball Talk is eating some of his own words
He disagreed with the Reds decision to have Leake skip the minors, but his 9 quality starts in 10 tries has Gleeman changing his mind. He says he looks "like a potential No. 2 starter long term", which is precisely what I want to hear.
Hey! Look at this!
An out-of-market media outlet (a real actual newspaper, even!) is talking about the Reds! Bill Shaikin at the Baltimore Sun says the Reds will most likely be leading the NL Central at the All-Star Break. "...the Cardinals have lost Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse to the DL, so look for the Reds, who have the NL's top offense now and will add Aroldis Chapman soon."