Mike Leake leads this staff in strike outs
which speaks more to the tribulations of the team's big K artists than to any difference in approach from the little fella. Edinson Volquez struck out many while with the team, but he walked nearly as many. Homer Bailey has been hurt quite a bit and can't find his out pitch. Johnny Cueto is now a ground ball maven, but would likely have the lead himself had he not missed a month. So that leaves Leake as the default fireman. He'll face the Cubs today in what could likely be his last start of the season.
Also, Coco has 30 saves on the season and 17 of them have been recorded with a perfect inning. It's gonna be really interesting to see how the Reds handle his sitch this offseason.
Devin Mesoraco was, as expected, nothing by professional in his assessment of his first major league game
"It was good," Mesoraco said. "It was fun to be back with Dontrelle (Willis) again. I wasn't nervous at all. Dontrelle was a guy I'd worked with in the past and a guy who you know what's going to do. We had a good game plan. He threw the ball well. There was no way he deserved to lose. We made some mistakes that one inning (the fifth), myself included. That's the way it goes sometimes. In one-run games like that, you can't give a team extra outs."
It sounds like The Golem will get a number of starts this month, which is good news. I have nothing against Ramon Hernandez, other than the fact that he has no place on this team next year, but he has no place on this team next year.
Also of note, Drew Stubbs made an obvious and critical mistake in the 3rd inning yesterday, getting doubled off second base on a Joey Votto flyball. Many suspected that Stubbs had just forgotten that there was only one out at the time, but "He knew how many outs there were," Baker said. "He was going off how the ball sounded off the bat." The wind was brutal at Wrigley yesterday (note Yonder Alonso's misplayed flyball in LF) and what Stubbs assumed was a screaming extra-base hit turned into a routine flyball. Oh well.
Chris Sabo's Goggles revels in the series win against the Cardinals
At the onset the Cardinals still had incredibly optimistic designs on getting back into the NL Central race. With the Reds taking two of three and the Brewers sweeping the Astros, those designs have been altered into a grotesque visage of scorn, sneering westward towards the Gateway City with middle fingers turned upward.
Hippeaux at It's About the Money asks "Is WAR the new RBI?"
He articulates what many of us have long suspected are the weaknesses of the WunderStat, namely the variability of UZR (especially in the outfield), it's inability to properly value versatility, and it's apparent disdain for middle-of-the-order power hitters. It's a fantastic and illuminating read, and I highly recommend it.
RedLegs Baseball bemoans the trappings of complacency
The takeaway is that the Brewers were aggressive in improving their team (adding nearly 10 WAR with trades) and the Reds were not (the Jonny Gomes trade is the lone roster move of semi-importance they've made in the last 10months). He finishes it off with a cynical Camus quote, which is really the only kind of Camus quote: "Albert Camus once wrote "I sometimes think of what future historians will say of us. A single sentence will suffice for modern man: He fornicated and read the papers." I wonder if future historians will look back at the 2011 Reds and find that once again a single sentence will suffice: "They did nothing and read the standings.""
In case you hadn't heard
former Reds prospect Zach Stewart took a perfect game into the 8th last night against the Twins. The Rolen/Stewart trade has been hotly debated 'round these parts since the day it was made, and I know I'm in the minority in still thinking it wasn't a very good trade. Though it seems to have worked out pretty well for our Reds (Rolen had a good year last year and lead the team to the playoffs, of course), I still think it is bad in principle to give up valuable pitching prospects for an old, injury-prone 3B who hadn't had a good season in a few years. The Old Man definitely surprised us, but it's bad form to count on surprises.