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Red Reposter - Homer's ill y Yad

Pitching face less frightening too.
Pitching face less frightening too.

2.81 - Homer Bailey's ERA against teams with record below .500 in 2011

5.44 - Homer Bailey's ERA against teams with record above .500 in 2011

Bailey at home within the familiar 100 mile radius of his birthplace
Mark Sheldon reports that Homer has a 0.60 ERA in two starts at Minute Maid this season. Although it's probably the 0.86 ERA against the Astros that does the heavy lifting. Even I have a 1.24 ERA against them this year. I'm of the opinion that this season marks progress for Homer, though it's unclear how much progress or how late it is in his career as a Reds starting pitcher. His walk rate is the lowest its ever been in the majors, while his lowest single-season ERA/WHIP line over his highest season IP total is within reach, especially considering that his FIP, xFIP and SIERA are all below his ERA. But his injuries, suspiciously-low K-rate and inability to do better than feast on the dregs on the NL are all confounding. Homer remains a mystery wrapped in a boar-skinned pelt, but it's hard to imagine who would replace him in the rotation next season in the absence of a trade.  Aroldis Chapman, meanwhile, feels right at home everywhere right now.

I guess Yadier Molina does like bumping into things
Cardinals beat the Crew in extras. Baseball Nation runs down the details of the details of the Reds' brilliant plan to turn their rivals against each other. To my own horror, I found myself rooting for the Cardinals for the first time in ever. The Brewers' and Pirates' losses put the Reds at one game back. Of third place.

Dusty Baker talks bullpen usage/armchair managing with John Fay
This fact speaks volumes: Bill Bray, Ondrusek and Nick Masset are in the top seven in the National League in appearances. The 'pen has been in overages since May due to extra inning games and starter meltdowns, so I don't blame Baker for trying to scrounge up innings from his starters, especially if they're facing the bottom of an order. But there have clearly been instances when pitchers - reliever or starters - are clearly gassed or completely ineffective. Cordero in Milwaukee and Homer's last start spring to mind. And if the bullpen needed a reliever's reliever, they should have acquired one for the "stretch run."

Rolen will be re-examined, won't return from DL Friday breaks this sad, but incredibly unsurprising revelation.

UPDATE: Per Mark Sheldon, Rolen underwent arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder today and is due to miss 4-6 weeks.

Joey Votto/Josh Hamilton duel MVP Bobblehead exists
They did technically both play from the Bats in '07, so this is a shrewd trinket-marketing move. Though I'm not sure I need a visible reminder that they could have both been on the same major league team too.

TheBatsSignal sits down with Eric Davis
Meanwhile, I'll be talking to this baseball card. "How are you, Eric? Isn't it so clever that someone called you Eric the Red? No? You found the reference to a Norse cheiftan and explorer oblique? I agree."