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Red Reposter - Blue Monday

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Indians sweep Reds
The world might not have ended this weekend, but it isn't exactly Morning in Reds Country either.  Thanks to another Edinson Volquez implosion and five hits from Asdrubal Cabrera, the Indians finished off the sweep yesterday.  Volquez's hold on a rotation spot sounds shaky.  Said Dusty Baker: "We're mulling that around now. Last time, he was a lot better. This outing, he didn't start off well again. We've got discuss what to do."   Cleveland hadn't won a series over Cincinnati since May 2007

Volquez: "We’ve got to score some runs" 
As noted in the fanpost, Edinson made some curious comments after Sunday's game: "Everybody has to step up. Start to score some runs. In the last five games, how many runs have we scored? Like 13? That’s not the way we were playing last year. We’re better than that."  Really, Edinson?  Between the PEDs issue and terrible control, and now his disparagement of the league's highest scoring offense, I'm starting to think Edinson has the proverbial million-dollar arm with a ten-cent head.  Reaction from the Reds blogosphere is unsurprisingly critical:

Redleg Nation - An educated guess: Edinson Volquez to AAA or to the disabled list. Matt Maloney to the majors. Maloney or Sam LeCure will get the start when Volquez’s spot comes up again.
Chris Sabo's Goggles -  I hope you enjoyed those 2+ months that the Reds bestowed the "Ace" title upon you, because just like your abilities to get out Major League hitters — it’s gone.
Blog Red Machine - To me it was apparent that Volquez could have cared less if he was out on the mound or not.

Struggling Gomes sits in Sunday's finale
Mired in another slump after he looked to have possibly shaken off the cobwebs in Chicago, Jonny Gomes did not start yesterday. On Saturday, Gomes was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts during Saturday's 2-1 loss to Cleveland. Fred Lewis, who played left field on Saturday, DH'd for the Reds on Sunday.  Gomes continues to have a statistically odd year.  He's walking at the highest rate of his career, but he's also not hitting the ball with any authority, evidenced by a 11% line drive rate and BABIP of .183. 

Sheldon - Alonso making strong case for callup
Reds fans looking for a LF alternative need look no farther than Louisville. Yonder Alonso has been hitting them way over in the minor leagues, and Mark Sheldon advocates for his call-up:
One has to wonder if [Alonso] could soon force the club's hand for a promotion, especially as it searches for production in left field. General manager Walt Jocketty is watching Louisville play in Norfolk this weekend. Alonso entered Saturday batting .333 with a .398 on-base percentage in 38 games. The lefty slugger has five home runs and 22 RBIs and came in batting .405 (17-for-42) over his previous 10 games. With Joey Votto blocking him from his primary position at first base, Alonso has been getting most of his playing time in left field and has made 23 starts there.  
** With Todd Frazier's promotion, this could be mooted if they plan to use him in the outfield.

Chapman to begin rehab assignment today with Louisville
Chapman will throw an inning today and then two innings on Thursday, if he looks good. He threw a bullpen session and long tossed on Friday without issue. Pitching coach Bryan Price is also working with Aroldis on his mechanics.

Things don't look to get any easier in Philadelphia this week
In the four game series starting tonight, the Reds will face off against Cole Hamels, Vance Worley, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee.  While they get to skip Roy Oswalt, I'd much rather they skip Hamels, who is 6-0 with a 1.07 ERA in 50.2 innings against Cincinnati. And that doesn't count the shutout he threw in the LDS.  The Reds are also catching Philly just in time for the return Chase Utley, who is likely to be activated before today’s game.  Utley has finished a rehab assignment after spending the whole year on the DL due to right patellar tendinitis. The Good Phight is overjoyed with Chase Utley's return.  As they should be - the Phillies are 12th in scoring this year after placing in the top 2 for the past several years.  SweetSpot Blog estimates that a healthy Utley could add another four or five wins for the Phillies this year, based on his bat alone.

The Knobler Blog - 3 to Watch: The Halladay (and Wood) edition
Wednesday's matchup will pit Halladay against Travis Wood, who've had some memorable duels in the past:  When Roy Halladay threw nine shutout innings against the Reds last July, he didn't get a win -- because of Travis Wood. When Halladay threw his playoff no-hitter against the Reds last October, the guy who came closest to getting a hit was Travis Wood. So how perfect is it that when Halladay goes against the Reds on Wednesday night, for the first time since that playoff no-hitter, his mound opponent that night will be . . . Travis Wood?

Thank you for Smoking
Since we could all use a little good news and laughter after the past week, Sister Daedalus waxes nostalgic on the St. Louis Sweep with photos, popular music, and pictoral renditions of game action and behind-the-scenes shenanigans. The picture regarding Chris Carpenter's mound complaint almost made me spit out my coffee.  Excellent stuff.

Baker did not meet with the media before Sunday's game,
which according to Fay is the first time he hasn't done so as the Reds' manager.  It's not a huge deal, but I can see why Baker had a tough time when the shit hit the fan while managing in a large market.

Whack Reds - Fox 19 Interview with Bronson Arroyo
Bronson gives an entertaining recount of lifting weights as an 8 year-old and the story of his hair.

MLBN names Game Six of '75 WS the 'Greatest Game'
Last night, MLBN concluded its series of the top games of all time with game with my favorite Reds loss.  Fred Lynn and Johnny Bench watched and provided commentary with Bob Costas and Tom Verducci.  Said Costas:  "Bench ... is a natural performer with tremendous insight, and he peppered (his analysis) with anecdotes and entertaining asides."  Apparently Bench shares a story about Clay Kirby warming up that hadn't been told before, but I didn't catch that part and can't speak to its significance.