Braves take rubber match, Reds finish road trip 2-8
Playing on ESPN last night, the Reds fell to the Braves 2-1 in a game where two home runs accounted for all the scoring. Unfortunately for the Reds, Jay Bruce's second inning shot came with the bases empty, while Martin Prado's sixth inning home run occured with one runner on. Paul Janish nearly scored in the eighth on a Brandon Phillips single to left but was called out on the tag when the umpire, perhaps momentarily perplexed that David Ross had held onto a ball thrown from the outfield, called Janish out. Baker disagreed: "I had a great angle at the end of that dugout. Clearly, clearly, it looked like he missed him. He missed him six inches to a foot. I could see it. That's what I told [the uympire]. I'm telling you, I had a great angle down at the end of the dugout. I could see." Ross, incidentally, also threw out Votto trying to steal second and picked off Janish at first. Good game for Ross the Merciless. But the bigger story from yesterday is Johnny Cueto's gem. Pitching the Reds first complete game of the year, Cueto allowed just the two runs from Prado's dinger in his eight innings. He struck out five, walked three, and induced 14 groundball outs in 116 pitches.
The Reds' reward for the grueling road trip is a homestand against the hottest team in the NL
With a shutout over the Giants yesterday, Milwaukee completed an 8-1 homestand and now stands equidistant between first-place St. Louis and the third-place Reds, who are 5 games back of the lead. But Travis Wood has quietly put together a solid month, and the Reds get to face the pedestrian Chris Narveson tonight. The Reds touched up Narveson for seven runs in two-plus on April 25.
LeCure to DL and the "perils of tweeting"
The revolving door connecting the pitching staffs of Louisville and Cincinnati spun around so fast this past week it was hard to see who was coming and going. Now on the DL is Sam LeCure, who has had difficulties warming up due to a straned forearm. LeCure gamely tweeted over the weekend that he's available, but Baker said to the media that "Now's not the time for heroism yet. He's tried to warm up a couple times. I don't know why he felt the need to tweet it in the first place. That's the perils of tweeting." Fay notes that the infamous Lou Piniella-Rob Dibble brawl in '92 broke out over a similar situation (pitcher-manager argument about availability; no tweets). Not sayin', just sayin'.
Other injury/DL/rehab notes:
- Edinson Volquez made a rehab start for Louisville on Saturday, allowing two runs from a HR on five hits, two walks, and five strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings. He'll likely make one more start for the Bats. Jocketty: "(Scout) Terry Reynolds saw him and said it’s as good as he’s seen him."
- Aroldis Chapman continues to cause concern. Yesterday he allowed four runs in 1 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out three. I know it's not even June, but this is starting to look like a lost year. He's eligible to come off the DL tomorrow but it doesn't look likely.
- LHP Tom Cochran was called up from Louisville yesterday. He throws a cutter and changeup mostly, and also a curve and slider.
- LHP Jeremy Horst made his major-league debut Saturday, allowing a Brian McCann solo shot over 2 2/3 innings. He also added an RBI single.
- Matt Maloney was transferred tot he 60-day DL.
- Mike Leake triumphantly returned to the Reds rotation on Saturday. OMGreds digs his new stirrups.
- Jocketty: "I never had a stretch like this. We put a new player on the roster everyday this week. We’ve got more players than we know what to do with. The problem is roster spots."
Jocketty may shore up the Reds' staff in the trade market
"I don’t know if we’ll make a big deal. But we certainly looking to improve. Now, we’re looking for pitching depth, which is something we didn’t think we’d had to do. In spring training, we thought it was one of the strength we had."
Ondrusek bringing the heat
What would Logan be doing if he wasn't inducing worm burners? Hal sits down with Stretch and finds out: He is thankful the Reds found him or he probably would be doing what most of the 2,000 people do in Shiner, Texas: work at the famous Shiner Bock beer brewery. "That’s my favorite beer choice, too," he said. "I grew up a mile-and-a-half from the brewery. A lot of the people from my town work there, and something always seems to be going on when you drive by it."
C-ing Red - How The Reds’ Cold Streak Is Saving Me
'Mache keeps us on the level and puts the recent roadtrip in perpsective. I know the Reds are not a losing team – I can accept that I may have overestimated our strengths first during the preseason and later, during our hot streaks; afterall, I almost always do. But we’re still a good team. We’ve seen some bad luck, maybe a little bad umpiring, and some just plain bad play – but none of these things embody any essential truth about the 2011 Cincinnati Reds.... It is comforting to know that our fortunes will change. Not as surely as the tides, which are predictable and fair, but more like the weather – which as too many Americans have experienced in recent months – can bring monumental destruction out of clear blue skies, but is not predictive of the winds we’ll see tomorrow.
Today is of course Memorial Day, and I hope everyone enjoys a day off and thanks a serviceman or woman if given the opportunity. To jch, daedalus, and any other RRs who've served - thanks. Here's a look at some Reds who've served:
Baseball in Wartime Blog: Cincinnati Reds – Players in Service During WWII
This blog names 24 Reds as having served in the miltary during World War II. The list is a cross-section of several notable players along with guys who had relatively brief careers. One name that caught my attention was Johnny Vander Meer, who not only threw consecutive no-hitters in 1938 but was also a horse for the early '40s pitching staffs, averaging throwing 759 innings from '41-'43 with a 125 ERA+ and leading the league in strikeouts each year. He enlisted with the Navy on March 3, 1944 and served at the Sampson Naval Training Center in New York. He later pitched in the Army-Navy World Series in 1945. He returned to the Reds in 1946 but wasn't as effective for the remainder of his career.
Gabe Paul, the Reds' GM from 1951-60, also served in World War II.
Paul is known for aggressively integrating African-American talent (Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson) into the Reds' system and opening relationships in Cuba that would lead to the team signing talents like Leo Cardenas and Tony Perez.
Eddie Grant played nearly three seasons with the Reds
and is one of the few players to give his life on the battlefield. Per his Wiki page: Grant was one of the first men to enlist when the United States entered World War I in April 1917, and he served as a Captain in the 77th Infantry Division. During the fierce battle of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, all of Grant's superior officers were killed or wounded, and he took command of his troops on a four-day search for the "Lost Battalion." During the search, an exploding shell killed Grant on October 5, 1918. He was the first Major League Baseball player killed in action in World War I. He was buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Lorraine, France.