Friday, September 30, 2011

A Timeline of the Reds' Season

To help put a recap on the past six months of Reds baseball, here are the key highlights (good & bad) from the Cincy's 2011 campaign in chronological order:

31st - An over-capacity crowd at GABP watches on Opening Day as Ramon Hernandez's two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth sends the Reds to a 7-6 walk-off victory over the Brewers.

6th - Cincy picks up a 12-4 home win over Houston to start the year at 5-0. The team looks well on their way to capturing a second straight division title.
12th - The team explodes for six runs in the top of the 11th en route to an 8-2 extra-inning victory in San Diego.
18th - In the first true hiccup of the season, the Redlegs lose three out of four in a series against the Pirates at home.
30th - Edgar Renteria's pinch-hit, RBI single in the 10th gives his team a 4-3 comeback win over the visiting Marlins.

13th - Joey Votto's two-out, run-scoring single in the bottom of the 10th helps propel his club past rival St. Louis 6-5 in walk-off fashion.
15th - The Reds nearly blow a seven-run lead, but hold on to complete the sweep over the Cardinals in a 9-7 victory. Tempers flare after the last out is recorded as the two teams exchange words on the field and from the dugout.
17th - Dusty Baker's squad reels off their fifth win in a row by defeating the Cubs at home by a tally of 7-5. The Reds are eight games over .500 (25-17) and hold a 1.5 game lead over St. Louis for first place.
23rd - Things are looking grim for Cincinnati after the ball club suffers their sixth consecutive defeat -- a 10-4 drubbing at Philadelphia.
25th - In a grueling, 19-inning contest that lasts well into the night at Citizens Bank Park, the team falls 5-4 to the Phillies. It marks the eighth defeat in the past nine games for the Reds.
28th - The tired and weary club loses a heartbreaker in Atlanta -- a 7-6 loss in 12 innings.

Disappointing Season Comes Up Short

The Reds organization and all of us fans likely had high expectations for the Reds to repeat in 2011 as the National League Central Champions, but it was a dream which came well short of becoming a reality. It was mostly the same cast of characters in 2011 as it was in 2010, but most of them did not live up to the expectations. The purpose of this post is not to scold the Reds for what they didn't do, but rather simply to point out what could have been, and what could lie ahead for this young, talented team.

-The Reds as a team lost 33 one run games, which was the most in the major leagues. You can't define coming up short any better way than losing by just one run.
-Contributing to many of those one run losses were 22 blown saves, which means the Reds were in a position to win several more games before being let down by the bullpen. The only major league team to make the playoffs with more blown saves was St. Louis (26), but let's not talk about that.
-Perhaps one of the more heartbreaking individual moments was on September 6th when Mike Leake came one out short of his first career shutout, when the Cubs Bryan LaHair hit a two-run home run to tie the game in the ninth. Leake did finish nine innings in the affair.
-If that wasn't enough heartbreak over one player, we also had to endure Johnny Cueto missing out on a chance at the ERA title by just six innings, or basically one quality start, due to injury. He finished with 156 IP of the 162 needed to qualify, with an ERA of 2.31. Clayton Kershaw finished at 2.28, so who knows what could have happened.
-Bronson Arroyo missed 200 IP by just one inning, which ended his streak of six straight seasons with at least 200 innings.
-The Reds had three pitchers finish one short of 10 wins. Homer Bailey, Arroyo, and Cueto all ended up with nine wins on the season.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Reds '11 Season By The Numbers

Here's a look at the Reds' 2011 season by the numbers -- a season that saw them finish third in the division with a 79-83 overall record.

0 - Number of homers Paul Janish hit in 336 at-bats.
3 - Homers hit by Chris Heisey on 6/22 vs NYY.
5 - Team's longest winning streak (3/31-4/6 & 5/13-5/17).
6 - Team's longest losing streak (5/18-5/23).
9 - Number of times they were shutout.
10 - Number of walk-off wins.
12 - Number of losses in Interleague play (most in NL).
12 - Number of wins for Mike Leake (led team).
19 - Number of innings played vs. PHI on 5/25.
25 - Total days spent in first place.
32 - Total homers hit by Jay Bruce (career-high).
33 - Number of one-run losses (most in MLB).
37 - Number of saves by Francisco Cordero.
40 - Number of comeback wins.
46 - Homers allowed by Bronson Arroyo (franchise record)
76 - Opening day payroll in millions.
110 - Number of times Joey Votto walked (led league).
199 - Innings pitched by Bronson Arroyo (led team).
205 - Number of times Drew Stubbs K'd (3rd most MLB history).
300 - Brandon Phillips' average (career high).
347 - Numbers of fans to see Reds @ Marlins on 8/24.

Big Thanks from the Redlegs Review Crew

From all of us at Redlegs Review, we would like to extend our genuine appreciation to everyone for letting us be a part of your Reds baseball experience this season. It has truly been a pleasure getting the chance to interact with you guys in our first full season covering the team and we hope to continue to do so in the coming years.

We know the 2011 season didn't quite live up to the expectations we all thought or hoped it would, but nonetheless the year brought us another chapter of good times and good Reds memories.

We encourage you to stop by the site all off-season to keep yourself up-to-date on the latest happenings, rumblings and other interesting tidbits regarding the Redlegs.

If you haven't already, you can follow the blog on Twitter @Redlegs_Review or on Facebook by "liking" our fan page here.

Also, you can follow the people who play a role in writing this blog on Twitter @RedlegsWriter, @willpower36 or myself @jimmiadair.

Thanks again for reading and as always, Go Reds!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Good, Bad & Notables from Season Finale

This photo tells you all you need to know
about the Reds' 2011 season.
Cincinnati (79-83) put the finishing touches on a disappointing season Wednesday afternoon, falling to the Mets (77-85) 3-0 at Citi Field. It was obvious that both teams already had their minds on the off-season as the game was over in a speedy 2 hours and 15 minutes.

The loss means the Redlegs have now finished with a losing record for the 10th time in the past 11 years.

Here's the good, the bad and the notables from the season finale:

The Good:
-Edinson Volquez put together a quality start by limiting New York to three runs and six hits over seven frames. The right-hander walked one and struckout five.
-The defense committed no errors.
-Drew Stubbs made four trips to the plate and didn't strikeout once.
-Reds fans are finally put out of their misery after an under-achieving season.

The Bad:

Relive the Clinch #Bruuuuuce

One year ago today Jay #Bruuuuuce and the Reds won the NL Central in dramatic fashion. Oh how a year can change so much. Enjoy!

Redlegs Squeeze Out Win in Extras

Francisco Cordero locked down his 37th save of the year
 The Reds (79-82) outlasted the host Mets (76-85) 5-4 in 13 innings at Citi Field on Tuesday. The win for Dusty Baker's club ensured their first road series win since taking two out of three at St. Louis earlier this month.

Here's the good, the bad, the notables and the Hard Hat winner from Tuesday.

The Good:
-The much-maligned Paul Janish each had a pair of singles.
-Drew Stubbs fell a homer shy of the cycle. He also walked and laid down a successful squeeze bunt to plate the go-ahead run in the 13th.
-Jay Bruce launched his 32nd homer of the year (a 2-run shot), doubled and singled.
-Joey Votto took one step closer to a 30/100 season by delivering a solo homer. The reigning MVP now has 103 RBI for the year.
-Bronson Arroyo gutted out eight innings of 9-hit, 4-run ball.
-Juan Francisco smoked a clutch double in the ninth to help tie the game at 4-4.
-The Reds improve to 12-5 in extra inning games this season.

The Bad:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

GIANT Edition of Quotes & Notes: Phillips, Cordero & More

As the season draws to an anti-climatic end for the Redlegs, plenty of reflections on 2011, outlooks for 2012, contract negotiations, and general notes are busting at the seams. Here's a rundown on everything to help catch you up:

- Walt Jocketty and Brandon Phillips' agents met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss extending the second basemen's contract beyond 2012. Here's what Jocketty had to say after the meeting: “It went fine. We had talked a little bit in the past. It was more a kind of guidelines of what we’re trying to do. Once the season is over, we’ll talk again. We kind of stated our position and they stated theirs. We’ll see if we can come up with a middle ground somewhere. If nothing, like we did with Bronson [Arroyo], we’ll exercise the option and keep working on it.”
@DatDudeBP is hitting .299
with 18 HR & 82 RBI in '11

- Phillips, who has a $12 million team option for next season, had this to say afterward: “I’m glad they at least talked. It makes me feel better, even though it took them to second last game of the season. It is what it is. As long as they talk, it makes me feel. I’m hopeful that they get something done....This is where I want to be. The Reds gave me a second chance. I took advantage of it. I’m hopeful that they’ll show me they want me to here. I’m not try to break the bank. I just want to like the other second basemen in this game. That’s all I can really ask for. I feel like I’m one the best second baseman in the game. I want to at least get seen like that and paid for it also.”

Quotes from Reyes, Heisey & More

  • Chris Heisey on his 18 homers in just 217 at-bats in 2011: "I'm happy with that. I wouldn't have expected it coming into the year. I never was a home run hitter until this year, really. I couldn't really tell you why I'm hitting home runs now."
  • Jose Reyes on over-running second base in the eighth and being tagged out: "I went too far. I should have stayed there. I already was in scoring position. I don't care about batting titles right now because we lost the game and I made a mistake running the bases and that cost us the game."
  • Francisco Cordero on moving into sole possession of second place on the Reds' all-time saves list: "It's amazing. Like I said before, it's unbelievable. It shows that I'm doing my job the right way. I've got a lot of lineups this year because I've been passing a lot of people. It's nice. I mean, every time I see a lineup in my locker it tells me that something good happened that night."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Heisey Propels Reds to Victory

Fueled by a big offensive night from Chris Heisey, the visiting Reds (78-82) sacked the host Mets (76-84) 6-5 before 28,651 fans at Citi Park. It was the first victory in five tries for Cincy against New York this season.

Here's the good, the bad, the notables and the Hard Hat winner from Monday:

The Good:
-Heisey came through with three hits including a 3-run homer (18th of season) in the seventh to give the Reds a 6-3 advantage.
-The Reds win a one-run ball game.
-The Reds win on Monday for the first time in 13 weeks. They had previously been 0-9 since a win at Tampa Bay on June 27th.
-Dave Sappelt walked, scored once, and had an RBI-single. He also laid down a sac bunt.
-Every starter in the lineup had at least one hit with the exception of Homer Bailey.

The Bad:

D-Train on first win, Phillips' contract update, & More

  • Dontrelle Willis on picking up his first win of the season on Sunday: "The guys really battled for me today. They knew it was my last start and the way I pitched poorly the last start I wanted to finish the season with confidence. We went out there and played a good game."
  • On the shortstop position being Zack Cozart's job to lose: “It was his,” Dusty Baker said. “He looked good. He looked very good. You don’t pay too much attention to short runs. At least I don’t. He’s going to have every opportunity. When a guy gets the opportunity, it’s up to him. Of all the young guys who have come up, he looks the most ready to play winning baseball in all phases of the game.”
  • Pirates' reliever Daniel Moskos on allowing a two-run double to Willis: "He's one of the better, if not the best, hitting pitchers in the league...But that being said, he is still a pitcher. No knock on him, he can still handle the bat. But I need to make a better pitch. I left a slider up after I got ahead. He did some damage with it."
  • According to Mark Sheldon of, GM Walt Jocketty is to meet with Brandon Phillips'

Sunday, September 25, 2011

D-Train gets back on winning track as Reds plunder Pirates

Two, long overdue occurences happened at PNC Park on Sunday: Dontrelle Willis earned his much-deserved first win of the season (1-6) and Cincinnati (77-82) defeated the Pirates (71-88) by a score of 5-4.

Here's the good, the bad, the notables and the Hard Hat winner from the game:

The Good:
-The Reds win a one-run game.
-The Reds avoided being swept by the Pirates.
-The baseball gods finally blessed Willis with his first victory in over a year. The left-hander tossed six innings of 3-hit, 3-run ball while striking out six. He also helped himself at the plate by ripping two hits including a two-run double in the sixth.
-Brandon Phillips reached base three times (two via walk), scored a run and drove in a run.
-Jay Bruce and Chris Heisey picked up a coule of hits a piece.
-Cincy outhit Pittsburgh 11-4.

The Bad:

Quotes from Saturday: Harrision, Wood & More

  • Cincinnati native & Pirates rookie 3B Josh Harrison on his 4-hit night on Saturday:  "I'm more worried about trying to prove I belong in the big leagues. I knew I had a chance at the cycle, but I also know the odds were against it because I'm not a big power hitter....I really wasn't a big Reds' fan growing up. I didn't have a favorite team. I was just a baseball fan."
  • Dusty Baker on Joey Votto becoming the first Red with back-to-back 100-RBI seasons since Dave Parker in 1985-86: "You always want to see your players achieve goals, but the main thing is to win and we haven't won nearly enough this year."
  • Travis Wood on his outing on Saturday: "Last start of the season, I really wanted to finish strong. It didn't happen that way. I was falling behind some guys. They were fouling some pitches off. I was never able to put it together tonight."
  • X-rays were negative on Todd Frazier's left hand after the rookie was plunked with a 97 MPH fastball from Joel Hanrahan on Friday. "I put my pinky over the knob, so [the ball] kind of squished it. I thought right away it was broken," Frazier said. "I couldn't feel it for a while. It was shaking and it was the [momentary] kind of thing. I blew up right away and I was like, 'Oh no.' But now we're good. I've been [hit] in the hand numerous times. It's crazy. I haven't had one break, knock on wood."
  • The Redlegs will try and avoid getting swept on Sunday as they march out Dontrelle Willis (0-6, 5.04 ERA) to faceoff against James McDonald (9-9, 4.28 ERA).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Video: Presidential Race Heating up in DC

Yes, it's late September and many teams have no chance at the postseason, but that didn't stop Jayson Werth and the Nationals from having a little fun during their game on Saturday.

In our non-Reds related video of the week, check out this hilarious 30-second clip of Werth and members of the Washington 'pen impeding on the President's Race at Nationals Park:

Buccos Cruise Past Cincy Behind Lincoln

It was Deja Vu at PNC Park on Saturday as the Pirates (71-87) edged out the visiting Reds (76-82) 4-3 -- just as they did on Friday. Starter Brad Lincoln helped propel the Bucs to victory after limiting Cincinnati to two runs over five frames of work.

Here's the good, the bad and the notables from Saturday's affair:

The Good:
-Brandon Phillips clubbed two doubles (37), a single and scored a run. He has eight hits in his last three games to help boost his average back over .300 (.301).
-Joey Votto pounded out two doubles (40) and drove in a pair of runs (101).
-Juan Francisco had two doubles as well.
-The bullpen shutout the Buccos over a combined 5.33 IP.

The Bad:

Quotes & Notes: Castellini, Baker & More

  • Joel Hanrahan on forcing in the game-tying run in the ninth: "It was one of those days I didn't have my good stuff, so you try to find a way to make it work. It's a full count there, and I think I hit my first guy of the year there. Baseball's a funny game."
  • Edinson Volquez on his start on Friday: "I felt good. We didn't win, but that's part of the game. A lot of things happen during a game, but I was happy to be back out here and pitch some innings."
  • Club owner Bob Castellini on extending GM Walt Jocketty's contract thru 2014: “Since he’s been here, Walt has vastly improved our baseball operations within the organization. You can’t develop a winning tradition without stability. Walt and his staff are doing good things here. We want to keep that momentum going.”

Friday, September 23, 2011

VIDEO: A Pandemonious Pickle at PNC

A crazy sequence of events unfolded in the fifth inning of Friday's Reds/Pirates game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

Watch as the players, coaches, fans, announcers and even the umpires try to make sense of the chaos caused by this routine grounder by Drew Stubbs:

Chance at A Winning Season is Lost in Defeat

Cincinnati (76-81) rallied to tie the game in the ninth, but Ryan Ludwick's walkoff single in the bottom of the inning capped a 4-3 victory for host Pittsburgh (70-87). The loss by the Redlegs dashed any hopes of finishing the season with a winning record -- although a .500 record still remains a possibility.

Here's the good, the bad and the notables from Friday's contest at PNC Park:

The Good:
-Brandon Phillips reached base three times and scored a run out of the leadoff spot. He now has five hits in his last two games.
-Todd Frazier and Paul Janish added a pair of singles each. Frazier also took a hit-by-pitch to force in the game-tying run with two outs in the ninth.
-Drew Stubbs swiped his 39th and 40th bags of the season. He becomes the first Red since Deion Sanders in 1997 with 40 or more stolen bases in a single season (Sanders had 57 in '97).
-Aroldis Chapman pitched two scoreless innings without allowing a walk or hit.

The Bad:

Top 10 Brandon Phillips Web Gems of '11

Brandon Phillips already has two Rawlings Gold Glove Awards to his credit and after flashing some major leather once again in 2011, you might as well mail him his third. For your viewing entertainment, here are video clips of the second basemen's Top 10 defensive plays of this season:

#10 - Over-the-shoulder madness (9/16 vs MIL)

#9 - Layin' out (8/3 @ HOU)

New Farm Club: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

The Carolina Mudcats franchise is being moved and renamed, which means the Pensacola Blue Wahoos have received final approval from Major League Baseball and are now poised to become the new Double-A affiliate for the Reds. This has been in the works for a couple years now. Pensacola will begin play in April 2012 at Community Maritime Park, which is still under construction and will serve as a multi-purpose sports complex for the surrounding area. The Blue Wahoos, which was the name picked through a contest held by Wendy's apparently, will still play in the Southern Leauge and will open play at home on April 5th against the Montgomery Biscuits.

Minor league baseball can get confusing, so IF you were wondering, the Carolina Mudcats, in name only, will remain as they will join the Carolina League as a Class-A Advanced team with the Cleveland Indians organization. Basically, "Carolina Mudcats" will still be used, but this new Class-A Advanced team with have no historical affiliation with the Reds other than how they came into existence. Got it? Good. Let's move on.

I have not found any indications of what the Blue Wahoos logo will be, but as soon as I do, you will know. Hopefully it's better than this one. Until then, you can visit their website by clicking on their name above. It appears to be under construction a little bit as well probably until they approve a logo. You can also follow them on twitter at @BlueWahoosBBall for all the latest news.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Photos of the Reds' 2011 Season

 Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips & Jay Bruce during All-Star weekend
Ramon Hernandez's walkoff homer on Opening Day
Phillips is exuberant after his walkoff homer versus STL on 7/15
Chris Heisey gets a standing ovation after his
3-homer game against the Yankees in June

What is Dat Dude worth?

Brandon Phillips was probably just trying to get a rise out of people when he tweeted, "Got a lot on my mind! Can't believe that today 'MIGHT' be the last time I may be wearing a @Reds jersey playing at #GABP," last night before the Reds' final 2011 home game. The only way that would be true is if the Reds didn't pick up his 2012 option, or if he pulled a Carson Palmer.

However, it's widely understood that Walt Jocketty will probably pick up the 2012 $12 million option on the gold glove, all-star, tweeting machine at second base. What is more alarming is that Phillips has also been quoted as saying it would be a "slap in the face" if he didn't receive a long term extension and there would be no "homeboy hookup" for the Reds to lock him up. You can see full quotes here. Phillips wants to be paid what he is worth, and I'd say that is a fairly decent amount, one maybe too high for the Reds' payroll to absorb.

So, let's take a look at what @DatDudeBP might be worth. How do you measure worth though? It's a tough question, but for a contract situation such as this, it's a safe bet to look at how Phillips compares to his MLB counterparts in stats and compensation, as well as another factor I deem important which is how much the fans love him.

Let me set you up first with his career numbers (when this was written) with the Reds. Phillips owns a .279 average, .330 on-base percentage, with 124 HR, 485 RBI, and 133 steals. He was a 30/30 guy in 2007, a 20/20 guy in 2008 and 2009, a two-time All-Star in 2010 and 2011, and won the Golden Glove in '08 and '10. In 2011, his stat line is .297, .348, 18 HR, 81 RBI, and 12 SB.

Behind Enemy Lines: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates have taken a massive nosedive since the All-Star Break. Entering the break Pittsburgh was just one game out of first place, now their 22 games off the pace after posting a dismal 22-43 record since then.

As the Pirates steer their proverbial ship toward their 19th consecutive losing season, the Reds still have ambitions to avoid such a disaster. For Cincinnati to finish the year with a winning record they must win each of their six remaining games -- which means a sweep in the Steel City this weekend is a must.

The 3-game series gets underway Friday night with first pitch slated for 7:05 PM ET.

Here's the full breakdown on those Buccos:

Season record: 69-87 (T-4th in NL Central/22 GB)
Season record vs Reds: 8-4
Home record: 34-44
Last 10 games: 3-7
Manager: Clint Hurdle (1st season, 69-87)
2011 payroll: $45.63 million (27th in MLB)
Home park: PNC Park (2001-Present)
Established: 1882 (under the name "Alleghenys")

Notable MLB statistical ranks:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Arroyo, Phillips on His Future as A Red, & More

As an ode to the Reds playing their final home game of the season on Wednesday, I thought the above picture would be a nice, lasting farewell for the long offseason that waits ahead. However, the Reds still have six games on the road to go, so here are some notes and quotes for you all to mull over:
  • Brandon Phillips on possibly playing his last home game in Cincinnati (The team holds a $12 million option for his services for 2012.):“I couldn’t sleep last night. I didn’t go to sleep until like 5 in the morning. I’m surprised I got some hits today. You never know your future. They could not pick my option up and I could become a free agent. That was an option. It was a sad night for last night. I couldn’t sleep. I remember the way (Aaron)Harang was acting. He was crying and stuff. I wasn’t crying. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a sensitive individual. But the thing is you never know this game. It’s a business.”
  • When asked if he'd be willing to take a hometown discount Phillips answered: “No bueno. This is my last contract. There’s no homeboy hookup. That ain’t going to work. I want to be paid what I’m worth.”
  • However, GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Phillips WILL indeed be back next season. It's still unclear at this point whether or not the club will opt for the '12 option or a long-term extension.
  • Let it be known though that Phillips isn't too thrilled with the idea of the team just picking up

Arroyo, Reds Blank Houston 2-0

Bronson Arroyo was in cruise control
during his outing on Wednesday
The Reds (76-80) wrapped up a series win over the Astros (53-102) on Wednesday with a 2-0 victory in the last home game of the season. Although much-maligned for the better part of 2011, Bronson Arroyo turned in a stellar outing for his club in this one.

Here's the good, the bad, the notables and the Hard Hat recipient for the intra-division clash:

The Good:
-Arroyo notched his ninth win of the year after tossing a complete-game, six-hit, shutout -- and needed only 91 pitches (64 strikes) to do so.
-Brandon Phillips smacked three singles to raise his average to .297. He also scored a run.
-Miguel Cairo blasted a solo homer in the bottom of the second -- his 8th of '11.
-The Redlegs turned three double plays defensively.
-The boys in the 'pen got a much-appreciated day off.

The Bad:

Quotes & Notes: Bailey, Phillips & More

  • On Drew Stubbs' high strikeout total (200): “It’s something he has to work on in the winter,” Dusty Baker said. “We’ll give him a plan. You don’t sit him down to prevent. You’ve got to play through it. It’s been tough on him for the last month to six weeks.”
  • Baker on Homer Bailey's outing on Tuesday: "He did everything tonight. He fielded and got three hits. We needed him to go deep in the game with our bullpen situation."
  • Bailey on next season and staying healthy: "My No. 1 priority for next year is to stay healthy. I know some of the injuries I've gone through probably couldn't have been helped. Nonetheless, they happened. If you look at how many wins-per-start I've had the last couple of years, if you get a full season in there, they're always right around 15. That's what really upsets me the most. If I could go out there, get the 30-35 starts, get the numbers, I'll be right around to 14, 16-17 wins a year. But these are the cards I've been dealt."
  • Brandon Phillips on the much-needed victory: "It feels good, especially struggling against the Brewers like that. When you play against [the Astros], you have to stay hungry and try to go out there and do your job."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bailey Brilliant in Reds' 6-4 Win

Bailey grounded the Astros on Tuesday
The Reds (75-80) snapped a 4-game losing skid on Tuesday by slipping by the visiting Astros (53-101) 6-4 at Great American Ball Park. Homer Bailey stole the show on the mound, and at the plate, en route to earning his ninth victory of the year.

Here's the good, the bad, the notables and the Hard Hat recipient for the season's last home game under the GABP lights:

The Good:
-The Redlegs win a one-run game.
-Bailey. The Texas native allowed just two runs on six hits through seven innings of work. He also showed his team's struggling offense a thing or two at the dish as evidenced by his 3 for 3 peformance.
-Not to be outdone by a pitcher, Jay Bruce sprayed three singles around the yard and drove in two.
-Dave Sappelt and Juan Francisco collected two hits a piece.
-Devin Mesoraco kicked off the scoring with a two-run blast in the second -- number two of his big league career.
-Brandon Phillips crushed his sixth homer in eight games to give Cincy a two-run lead in the eighth. The Gold Glove second basemen has 18 for the season now.
-Every starter had at least one hit with the exception of Drew Stubbs.

The Bad:

Quotes & Notes: Alonso, Wood & More

  • Yonder Alonso on his right ankle injury he suffered August 5th in Chicago: “We’re doing everything possible. I’m here very early getting treatment. It’s something I’m dealing with, playing through it, not saying much to anybody. It’s part of the game. There’s really not much left of the season. You’ve got to go with it. I’m not going to say anything. God knows there are a bunch of guys nicked up."
  • Houston's Matt Downs on his eventual game-winning homer in the eighth on Monday: "I don't know if I thrive in those situations, but I like them. You can turn the game around with one at-bat. It felt great. "It was one of those at-bats where he left something out over the plate and I put the (bathead) through it."
  • Dusty Baker on Monday's 3-2 loss to the 'Stros: "We made some mistakes. We missed some

Monday, September 19, 2011

Houston We Have A Problem, Reds Lose

Todd Frazier & the Reds couldn't get past the 'Stros on Monday
Cincinnati (74-80) played host to the team with the worst record in MLB on Monday, and naturally they lost. The Astros (53-100) edged out the Redlegs by a tally of 3-2 as Dusty Baker's offense was stymied again.

Here's the good, the long list of bad, and the notables regarding the rainy affair:

The Good:
-Travis Wood pitched well filling in for Dontrelle Willis -- who was scratched for the second straight game. Wood tossed five innings of no-run, 4-hit ball and also laid down a beautiful sac bunt.
-Brandon Phillips slugged his 17th jack of the year to leadoff the home half of the first. It was his fifth homer in the past week.
-Drew Stubbs picked up his 38th stolen base of '11. He's aiming to become the first Red with 40+ SB in a season since Deion Sanders swiped 56 in 1997.
-Ramon Hernandez reached base in all three plate appearances. The 36-year old singled and reached twice via walk.

The Bad:
-Another one-run defeat. That makes 31 of 'em on the year.

Relive 2010's Playoff Clinch

Okay, so let's face it -- there's not a whole lot to look forward to here in the last 10 days of the season. The Reds are out of playoff contention and are about to host the last-place Astros for the final home series of 2011.

But there is one thing Cincinnati fans can relish in, and that's reliving the excitement of the 2010 campaign. Here's a short clip to help bring back those bubbly feelings of last season. Enjoy!

Votto and #Bruuuuuce on the Brink

At this point in the season, you just have to find something to root for and why not Jay Bruce and Joey Votto? They currently have a chance to do something for the Reds that hasn't been done in 34 years, and that is to have two players get at least 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in for the season. The last time that happened in Cincinnati was 1977 when George Foster went for 52 HR and 149 RBIs, coupled with the man who is newly immortalized in statue form, Johnny Bench, who had 31 HR, and 109 RBIs. That year the Reds finished 88-74, good for second place in the National League West standings, 10 games behind the Dodgers.

Of course the record is a bit different this year with the Reds currently at 74-79, 16 games back of the Brewers in the Central and poised for a third place finish. However, Bruce and Votto have got a shot to repeat the feat that Foster and Bench accomplished in '77. There are nine games left: three vs. the Astros in Great American Ball Park, starting tonight at 7:10pm, three in Pittsburgh, and three in New York against the Mets to close the season. Votto (28 HR, 98 RBIs) seems like he will reach the mark with ease, needing just two homers and two RBIs to get there. Bruce (31 HR, 92 RBIs) is more of a long shot, although he already has 31 HR. Thing is, he needs eight more RBIs with just nine games to do so and that's no easy task. So while the season will shortly end on September 28th, perhaps Reds' fans can take comfort in rooting for Bruce and Votto to reach the 30/100 plateau.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quotes & Notes: Maloney, Mesoraco & More

  • Dusty Baker on the series versus the Brewers: "It was a frustrating weekend. They beat us up pretty good. We helped them some, but they hit a lot of balls over the wall. They got every kind of hit and everything went their way. We had two hits in each of the last two games and that certainly isn’t conducive to winning.”
  • Matt Maloney on making an emergency start on Sunday: "I found out an hour and a half before the game. I don't blame any of the outing on it. My bullpen was good. My stuff was good. I just got my butt kicked, plain and simple. They got some bleeders, sure, but they count as much as a line drive. I just have to turn the page."
  • Prince Fielder on winning on the road: "It's hard to lose when you pitch and hit. It feels better when you do it on the road. It's not easy to do it on the road. It gives you extra confidence. We know we can win at home."
  • Devin Mesoraco on the players playing out the rest of the season: "I think everybody in the

Behind Enemy Lines: Houston Astros

After getting humiliated by the front runnning Brewers over the weekend, a visit by the struggling Houston Astros may be just what the doctored ordered to heal their wounds.

Here's the full breakdown on Cincy's next opponent:

Season record: 51-100 (6th in NL Central/37.5 GB)
Road record: 23-54 (worst in MLB)
Last 10 games: 4-6
Manager: Brad Mills (2nd year, 127-184 record)
Payroll: $69.97 million (20th MLB)
Year established: 1962 (as Colt .45's)

Notable MLB statistical ranks:
Runs - T-26th (569)
HR - 29th (89)
AVG - T-9th (.259)
Steals - 12th (109)
ERA - 27th (4.42)
Saves - 30th (22)
BAA - T-24th (.264)
Errors - 24th (105)

Brewers Complete Sweep as Reds' Offense Sputters, Again

Cincy is hoisting the white flag after
this embarrassing weekend

Milwaukee (90-63) steamrolled over the host Redlegs (73-79) 8-1 to complete a clean sweep over last year's NL Central Champions. The Brewers outscored Cincinnati 24-5 over the 3-game series.

Here's the (little) good, the bad and a notable on Sunday's merciless beatdown:

The Good:
-Devin Mesoraco knocked in the team's only run with a single in the fifth.
-Juan Francisco reached base safely twice and scored a run.
-After spot starter Matt Maloney lasted only 1 2/3 innings, the bullpen limited Milwaukee hitters to only one run on three hits for the final 7 1/3 frames.
-The Reds welcome the last-place Houston Astros for the final home series of the year beginning Monday.

The Bad:
-Maloney, who was making an emergency start in place of Dontrelle Willis because of back spasms, got lit up for seven runs (six earned) and nine hits before exiting the contest after recording only five outs.
-For the second straight game, the Reds had only TWO hits.

Quotes & Notes: Volquez, Baker & More

  • Dusty Baker on "Johnny Bench Night" & the game on Saturday: “It was great prior to the game. We probably didn’t impress Johnny very much with our performance tonight...There ain’t a lot to say. They beat us up pretty good.”
  • Edinson Volquez regarding his start: "It wasn't bad. I tried to keep the game in line. I made a mistake to Betancourt. I walked one guy, then hit the next. By then, I had too many pitches."
  • Ron Roenicke on his team gearing up for the playoffs: "I think Braun is at that point in the season -- a lot of the guys are -- where they know where we're at and they're trying to turn it up a notch. It's a real good sign that maybe we're going to go on a big roll offensively."
  • Drew Stubbs tied Adam Dunn for the most strikeouts in a season in Reds history on Saturday (195).
  • Baker on Stubbs: “You look and strikeouts are up everywhere, all over the league. What does

Gallardo Fans Four in One Inning

Brewers hurler Yovani Gallardo achieved something on Saturday night that only one other pitcher in franchise history had done before -- strikeout four batters in one inning.

Watch as the 25-year old mows down Devin Mesoraco, Edinson Volquez, Brandon Phillips & Edgar Renteria in the fifth inning of his team's 10-1 romp over the host Reds.

Gallardo finished with a career-high 13 punchouts en route to picking up his 17th victory of the season, also a new career-high.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Braun, Brewers Wax Redlegs 10-1

The one lone bright spot for Cincy on Saturday was Johnny Bench
Ryan Braun continued making his case for league MVP honors as the visiting Brewers (89-63) waxed the Reds (74-78) 10-1 on "Johnny Bench night" at GABP. The Milwaukee left fielder homered, singled twice and drove in four runs in the lopsided affair.

Here's the good, the bad and the notables on Saturday's game:

The Good:
-Yonder Alonso belted his fifth homer of the season in the second.
-The Reds honored Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench before the game by unveiling a statue and renaming a portion of a street outside the stadium to "Johnny Bench Way". The legendary Bench also threw out the ceremonial first pitch to former teammate & fellow Hall of Famer Joe Morgan.
-Nearly 40,000 fans showed up to the park.

The Bad:
-Cincinnati managed only two base hits. TWO HITS! Anemic offensive performances such as this one remind me of this scene by Bob Uecker from the movie Major League. Oh the irony.
-Jay Bruce made three official visits to home plate -- all three resulted in a strikeout.
-The Drew Stubbs "K meter" continues to rise. The Reds' center fielder went down on strikes two more times to bump his total for the year to 195.
-Edinson Volquez was roughed up for five runs and six hits in his 6 2/3 innings of work.

Quotes & Notes: Arroyo, Fielder, & More

  • Bronson Arroyo regarding his below-average season: "It could be age,” he said. “It could be innings on my arm. It could be having mono in spring training. It could be a million things. You take it one day at a time. You contemplate this offseason trying to make some adjustments to get you body to rebound any way you can. I’m obviously going to have to do something to try not to duplicate this season.”
  • Dusty Baker on the Reds being officially eliminated from playoff contention: “It is what it is. You’ve still got to play. We’ve got games on schedule you’ve got to play them and play them to win."
  • Ryan Braun on becoming the 2nd player in Brewers history with 30 HR & 30 SB in a season: "I'm really proud. There's a reason it's only been done one other time in franchise history. It's a hard thing to do."
  • Prince Fielder on the outlook of clinching the division: "We'd been playing so well.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Braun, Brewers Mash Cincy Behind Flurry of Homers

Braun went deep twice in the ball game
Milwaukee (88-63) continued their march toward the playoffs on Friday, this time rolling over Cincinnati (74-77) 6-3 at Great American Ball Park. They used a barrage of five homers in doing so.

Here's the good, the bad and the notable from the intradivision contest:

The Good:
-Reigning NL MVP Joey Votto laced three singles and drove in three runs -- which now puts him a mere two RBI shy of 100 for the season.
-Brandon Phillips collected a pair of singles himself.
-Todd Frazier came off the bench and delivered a pinch-hit single in the eighth -- he would later come around to score in the inning.
-Despite the defeat the Reds still lead the season series over the Brew Crew 8-6.

The Bad:
-The loss ended a streak of five consecutive victories on Friday's.
-Bronson Arroyo allowed five runs including four homers. He's now served a MLB-leading and club--record 44 jacks in 2011.
-The Redlegs didn't draw a single base-on-balls.
-Cincy's 4-6 hitters combined to go 0 for 11 with two K's and a GIDP.
-The Reds were officially eliminated from playoff contention.

-Ryan Braun became only the second player in Brewers franchise history to accumulate 30 steals and 30 homers in a single season....the other was Tommy Harper (31 HR, 38 SB) in 1970.

Marlins' Bullpen Locks Rookie in Bathroom

An interesting and unusual prank occurred during the fifth inning of Thursday's Phillies/Marlins game at Citizens Bank Park.

Aided by the use of a field broom and four bags of sand, the Marlins' bullpen managed to lock rookie reliever Jose Ceda in the bathroom for around 13 minutes.

Check out this short one and a half minute clip that captures the mischievous act unfold in our non-Reds related video of the day:

Ceda, 24, is 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA in 14 appearances for Florida this season.

Quotes & Notes: Bruce, Cueto, Bailey & More

  • Jay Bruce on hitting his 3rd career walk-off homer on Thursday: "They've all been great. Obviously, the first two were a little better. They were in tighter situations. One was my first home run and the other was to clinch the playoffs. They're awesome. To end the game, to win, to come back, it's great."
  • Homer Bailey on the team finishing the season strong: "I think it just shows the attitude of this team. No matter how many games out of first place we are, we're not in contention. But we all have a lot pride in every game we play, regardless of what the standings are."
  • Chicago's Randy Wells on his outing: "I'm most [ticked] off because the bullpen has been used quite a bit this year. I've been on a pretty good roll and I wanted to give them a break again. I let myself down, let them down, and, I don't want to say lack of concentration or lack of focus, but lately I've been doing a good job of eliminating innings and eliminating damage. Today, I lost focus and wasn't aggressive and it cost me."
  • Johnny Cueto on whether or not he may return to pitch in '11: “I don’t know if I’ll pitch again at this point,” said Cueto through a translator.“I want to throw but it hurts and I feel sore and it is painful right now. The doctor today told me I will lose the next outing and we’ll see how it progresses to see if I can pitch one more time. I would like to have kept going the way I was pitching and I was battling for the title, but if God decides something different there is nothing you can do."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bruce's 2-Run Homer Helps Reds Win in Extras

BP & the Reds say so long to the Cubs
Jay Bruce launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th to help send the Reds past the visiting Cubs (65-85) by a score of 8-6 on Thursday.  Needless to say, the GABP crowd of 23,792 went home happy.

Here's the good, the bad, and the beneficiary of the Redlegs Review Hard Hat for Thursday's affair:

The Good:
-Bruce's walkoff slam was his 31st of the year.
-The Reds not only win the 4-game series, but the season series over the Cubs as well (11-7).
-Brandon Phillips homered for the fourth time in as many games to raise his season total to 16. The 30-year old also doubled (35), walked, and scored a couple of runs.
-After getting rocked for four runs in the top of the first, Homer Bailey settled down nicely over the next five innings. The Texan tied a season high with nine punchouts over six frames.
-Drew Stubbs smacked three singles and scored a run, while Chris Heisey picked up a pair of hits, including his 17th homer of the year in the bottom half of the fourth.
-Outside of Cordero, the Reds bullpen combined to toss four innings of no-hit, no-run ball.
-Cincinnati is now riding a modest 3-game winning streak.
-The Reds lift their record in extra innings in '11 to 11-5.

11 Oddities About Reds' Disappointing 2011 Season

Here are 11 oddities and irregularities regarding the Reds' lackluster 2011 campaign:

1) The team is three games under .500 despite having outscored opponents 690-659 (+31). They are one of only two teams in MLB who have both a non-winning record and a positive run differential, the other being the Los Angeles Dodgers (73-75, +2). The Reds' expected win-loss total when you factor in runs scored vs. runs allowed is equal to 78-71, a far cry from their current 73-76 mark.

2) Their record against the two teams above them in the standings (STL & MIL) is 17-11, while their record against the three teams below (PIT, CHC, HOU) them is 20-20. They still have three games each against the Brewers, Pirates & the Astros before season's end.

3) Cincinnati hasn't won a game played on Monday for 11 weeks now. Their last Monday victory came at Tampa Bay on June 27th -- they're 0-8 on the first day of the week since then.

4) The Redlegs finished with the second-most losses in interleague play in '11 (12) and currently boast the second-most one-run losses with 30.

5) They put together an 8-4 home record on Saturdays, but were just 4-8 in Sunday road contests.