Sunday, September 30, 2012

9th Inning Pinch Hit Homer Assures Another Losing Season for Pirates


Xavier Paul had one at bat Sunday, but it was a game changer. He was asked to come in the top of the 9th and hit for Miguel Cairo, and launched a game inning solo homer off of Joel Hanrahan. That hit allowed the Reds to take two of three in Pittsburgh, and assured a losing season for the Pirates, their 20th consecutive losing season, the longest streak in the history of American professional sports.

Johnny Cueto had a good game. Going seven innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on six hits, striking out six and walking only one. Aroldis Chapman got the save in the ninth, but got himself in some trouble, giving up one hit and walking two. He managed to hold it together, striking out two and not allowing a runner to cross the plate.

On this day in Reds history (Sept 30)


Both accounts are excerpts taken from Redleg Journal which is co-authored by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder.

September 30th, 1929 - Sidney Weil becomes the new President of the Reds.

The club's five prominent shareholders, including president C.J. McDiarmid, had feuded over several issues in the waning weeks of the 1929 season. Three shareholders - Walter Friedlander, James Orr and Maurice Pollak - were upset with McDiarmid and Lou Widrig over their plans to retain manager Jack Hendricks for another season. The club also reportedly lost over $100,000 in 1929 and 1929, and it had taken on new debt when it purchased Redland Field for $195,000. Weil, who had long considered owning the Reds, quietly bought out the stock of the three disgruntled shareholders at exhorbitantly inflated prices to gain control of the Reds. He bought the club for about twice what it was worth with the idea that it would be an enjoyable hobby.

Homer Bailey thinks the Reds are being overlooked


Homer Bailey doesn't think the Reds are getting the attention they deserve around the league. He expressed his discontent about this matter in an interview with Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay on Saturday. This coming on the heels of tossing the first no-hitter by a Reds pitcher since Tom Browning's perfect game in 1988.

“No one’s even paid attention. You don’t hear about that on ESPN. We keep hearing about The Big Red Machine. Nobody’s talking about this team, this rotation, the things we’ve done, the amount of quality starts, the innings. Four guys over 200 (innings pitched). Five guys making every start. Johnny Cueto about to go for his 20th win," said Bailey.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Quiet bats hold the Reds back


Arredondo was the first to leak a run for starter Mike Leake. 
The Reds began the game tied with the Washington Nationals for the best record in baseball but the Reds were unable to take the lead tonight, staying quiet at the plate in a slow, low-scoring game in Pittsburgh.

Mike Leake threw 86 pitches in six innings in tonight’s loss before being replaced by Jose Arredondo from the bullpen. Arredondo gave up an RBI double to Alex Presley in the bottom of the seventh inning allowing the Pirates to take the lead. Presley's RBI also ended the Reds’ streak of 21 consecutive innings without giving up a run. The Reds tried to rally back in the eighth with an RBI from Scott Rolen, but were ultimately brought down at the last minute by Andrew McCutchen’s walk-off homerun.

Video: All 27 outs of Bailey's no-no


 
A whopping 28 Pittsburgh Pirates faced Homer Bailey Friday night and not one of them managed to tally a hit (Andrew McCutchen was able to draw a base on balls in the seventh). Here's video of all 27 outs from Alex Presley's groundout in the first to Presley's popout in the ninth to seal it.
 
It's interesting to note that 3-time Gold Glove Award winner Brandon Phillips was on the receiving of the both the first and final outs. 

Video: Final out of Bailey's no-hitter


 
Here's a replay of the final out recorded by Homer Bailey during his no-hitter on Friday night. It marked the seventh no-no in Major League Baseball this season, and the first by a Red since 1988 (Tom Browning). Congrats to Bailey and his battery mate Ryan Hanigan for pulling off the rare feat!

Magic Moments Keep Piling Up for the 2012 Reds


After all the dissapointment this club has had in recent history, as a thirty year old I can say that this season is the single greatest season of baseball I've ever watched. And it all started with uncertainty in the offseason and every Reds fan believing that the sky would soon be falling.

All of Cincinnati \had one thing and one thing only on it's minds and lips after a disappointing 2011: "The Votto Window". With that window closing and closing fast ESPN, Sports Illustrated and every baseball blog and podcast told Reds fans to enjoy every one of Votto's at bats in a Reds uniform. He would soon be hoisting World Series and MVP trophies in a Dodger, Blue Jay or Yankee uniform. The Redlegs would then sink back down to battling the Pirates for the cellar of the Central and we would go back to having the Cardinals crush us. 2010 was our moment in the sun.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Homer Bailey tosses first Reds no-hitter in nearly a quarter century


The Reds (95-62) blanked the host Pittsburgh Pirates (76-81), 1-0, before a packed house at PNC Park on Friday night. The loss for the Buccos ensured their 20th straight non-winning season, which is the longest such streak in North American professional sports history. But that wasn't the biggest story of the night. That title belongs to Homer Bailey.

Homer Bailey (13-10) did something on Friday that no Reds pitcher had done in over 24 years. He pitched the entire game and did not allow a single hit to the opposition. Yes, a no-hitter indeed!

Cincinnati was able to scratch their lone run across in the top of the first thanks to a sacrifice fly by Todd Frazier and the rest, as they say, is history!

Read on for the good, bad, and notables from the historic affair:

Reds risking postseason hopes with likely playoff rotation

Latos should be pitching Game One of the playoffs.
If there’s one thing that has annoyed me and indeed many, if not most, Reds fans about the Dusty Baker era, it has been his lack of flexibility toward his roster.

We’ve seen it time and again with such notable examples as the roles (and spots in the lineup) of guys like Corey Patterson, Willy Taveras and currently Drew Stubbs remain unchanged despite their obvious detriment to the team. He seemingly always refuses to ‘think outside the box,’ to change things up until they become painfully obvious to everyone.

Reds looking to ensure another losing season for the Pirates


There's really not a lot on the line this weekend besides pride when the Reds (94-62) visit the fourth-place Pittsburgh Pirates (76-80) at PNC Park. Cincinnati has already clinched a spot in the postseason while the Pirates' chances at earning a playoff berth (pardon the pun) set sail many moons ago.

But for the sole purpose of stirring up some excitement for this 3-game set, I'm going to throw out a series storyline anyway. In fact, there is one remaining goal that the Buccos are undoubtedly trying to achieve, and that goal is to finish with a winning record for the first time since 1991.

That's right. Pittsburgh fans have endured 19 consecutive losing seasons from their club dating back to '91. For those of you keeping score at home, that's the longest such streak in North American professional sports history. The Pirates will need to win five of their last six games on the schedule to prevent that streak from reaching 20, and that will obviously include at least two wins over the Reds.

The Redlegs, on the other hand, have a chance to seal yet another year of futility for the Bucs with a series victory.

With all of this in mind, here are 10 facts regarding the series:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Another look at Thursday's walkoff triple by Dioner Navarro


The Redlegs rallied for yet another comeback, walk-off victory on Thursday in exciting fashion.

Here's another look at the game-winning play, courtesy of a clutch triple by Dioner Navarro that plated Jay Bruce. I know I'm stating the obvious, but how fun is it to be a Reds fan right now?

Reds win home finale on a Navarro walk-off triple


Bruuuuuce appears to be levitating.
With the only thing left to achieve in the regular season being the #1 seed, the Reds (94-62) looked to claim a series victory over the Brewers (80-76) in an afternoon affair, which also happened to be the last regular season home game of 2012. Don't worry though. There will be playoff baseball in the Queen City.

The recently, very reliable Mat Latos toed the rubber for Cincinnati while being opposed by rookie right-hander Wily Peralta from Milwaukee. Both pitchers were strong as the offenses stalled for both teams, with the only early breakthrough coming on a Carlos Gomez solo home run off Latos. Latos pitched well enough to earn the victory, but received zero run support in the effort.

Todd Frazier was not ready to go quietly though, hitting a game-tying solo homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. It was his first since August 21st. Jay Bruce followed him with a single before being driven in on Dioner Navarro's walk-off triple to give the Reds a 2-1 victory.

Take a gander at the good, the bad, and the notables:

Olney: Brandon Phillips is key player for the Reds

 
Hey, don't look now but the MLB postseason is just around the corner. Contending teams have scouts scouring over the opposition in preparation for a potential series with them. And one guy in particular who other clubs may want to try and keep in check is Brandon Phillips.

ESPN.com's Buster Olney recently laid out who he thought were the key players on each qualifying playoff team. He only selected one for each and Phillips was his representative for the Redlegs. Here's what he had to say about the All-Star second basemen:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Brewers keep slim hopes alive, knock off Reds

This guy had all the fun Wednesday.

Wednesday’s game meant significantly more to one team playing at Great American Ballpark…and the score reflected it. Milwaukee kept its playoff hopes alive with an 8-1 win over the Redlegs. For all the notables, read on.

Reds lineup in need of tinkering for deep run into October

Stubbs' .217 average is pretty unsightly
It's really hard to complain about a team who just clinched their division before any other in the majors. But for the sake of always striving for perfection, I'm going to complain anyway today. What's there to complain about, you may ask? How about the lineup? It's been the primary rift between Reds fans and the team all year long, so it's only natural that we address it just prior to the playoffs.

Actually, Bill Petti of FanGraphs.com beat me to the punch a couple of days ago by voicing the same concern that many others have about this Cincinnati Reds club. He worries that although the Reds boast excellent pitching, they may not have enough offensive firepower to guide them to a championship. Here's an excerpt from his post:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Marty Brennaman helps raise $275,000 for Reds Community Fund


CINCINNATI (Sept. 25, 2012) – The Reds Community Fund has announced the 8th annual CBTS Marty Brennaman Golf Classic, which took place at Belterra Casino Resort on Sept. 23-24, raised a total of $275,000 for the Reds Community Fund.

Hosted by Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, over 40 celebrities and 200 golfers participated in this year’s event that included two golf scrambles and a Sunday night dinner and concert.

Proceeds from the event support the baseball and softball-themed outreach programs of the Reds Community Fund.

Oddsmakers like Reds and Rangers in the World Series



After today, there remains only one more week of the 2012 MLB regular season. Many teams still hold at least an outside shot at winning the World Series (16), while 14 others have already been eliminated. The oddsmakers in Las Vegas are well aware of this fact, and have adjusted their outlooks accordingly.

With that in mind, here are the World Series odds for the remaining teams in contention, courtesy of Bovada.com:

10 notes about the Brewers series



The Reds (92-61) enjoyed their last off-day of the regular season on Monday, and will now turn their focus to hosting the Milwaukee Brewers (79-74) for a 3-game set beginning Tuesday night. To say this series is much more important for Milwaukee would be a vast understatement. The Brew Crew enter play on Tuesday 3.5 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild Card standings, and are badly in need of victories to keep their playoffs dreams alive. They've been red-hot in the last month having posted a 25-8 record since August 20th, but might it be a classic case of 'too little, too late'?

Cincinnati, on the other hand, clinched the division Saturday with their win over the Dodgers and can now embrace a relatively pressure-free mindset during this last week and half of the regular season. They still have a shot at overtaking the Washington Nationals for the No. 1 seed (homefield advantage), but I wouldn't expect them to pursue that endeavor too hard. Look for the Reds to try and rest up their regulars a bit before one last push toward the World Series come October.

Here are 10 notes regarding the series versus Ron Roenicke's third-place bunch:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Video: Footage, interviews from Reds celebration on Saturday


 

The Reds were poppin' bottles after their victory that clinched the NL Central on Saturday. Some of them even talked about it on camera. Here's a video clip with sound bites from:

- GM Walt Jocketty
- Brandon Phillips
- Bronson Arroyo
- Mat Latos
- Joey Votto

That's one celebration I would've liked to be a part of, it sure looked like fun.

Reds Lose to Dodgers in Prime Time, 5-3


Homer Bailey made it through 6.2 innings Sunday night, but not after giving up 2 homers and a total of 5 runs. A deficit the Reds couldn't come back from.

Clayton Kershaw seemed to have the Reds number this evening, including working himself out of a two out, bases loaded jam with 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto at the plate.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quotes from Saturday: Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips and more


The Redlegs clinched the NL Central with their shutout victory (6-0) over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday. Here's some notable quotes regarding the momentous occasion:

“He’s doing well. The report is they want to keep him just one more day, make sure everything is fine before they release him. Just another day of rest, away from you guys and this whole situation. It can be stressful, as I found out the last couple days. They’ll probably give him the OK to come home tomorrow.”
- Acting manager Chris Speier regarding the health/status of Dusty Baker

"A couple of years ago, we were a surprise. It kind of crept up on us. We didn't expect it. This year, we felt we had something to prove."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

FOX Sports Ohio to air clinch celebration special Monday night



Press release from FSOhio regarding Saturday's post-game celebration coverage...

Going into today's Reds game on FOX, the Reds magic number for clinching the NL Central was 1. FOX Sports Ohio had every intention of covering post-game celebration live if the Reds won.

When it looked as though the Reds were going to win, we promoted that we would have live celebration coverage immediately following the game.
Unfortunately just prior to air, the signal was lost out of Cincinnati. Our engineers feverishly tried to restore the transmission but they were unable to recover it.
 
We will air special on Monday at 8pm, featuring the post-game celebration. While this special cannot replace the live coverage lost this evening, we hope Reds fans will be able to enjoy the Reds clinching the Central Division.

We sincerely apologize for the disappointment and frustration this caused so many Reds fans.

Reds team shop to stay open around the clock through Sunday night



From the Reds...

CINCINNATI (Sept. 22, 2012) – The Cincinnati Reds and Great American Ball Park retail and food service partner Delaware North Companies Sportservice are extending hours of the Reds Team Shop by Majestic to help fans celebrate the team’s 2012 National League Central Division title, clinched this evening with a win over the Dodgers.

The team shop, located just outside the ballpark on Joe Nuxhall Way, will remain open all night long and is scheduled to stay open for about 32 consecutive hours, closing an hour after the Reds vs. Dodgers game ends on Sunday night.

At the team shop, fans will find the best selection of official 2012 National League Central Division Champions and authentic Reds Postseason playoff apparel, including:

Video: The final out to seal the division, victory over the Dodgers


 
 
Aroldis Chapman gets Hanley Ramirez to chop a routine grounder to Brandon Phillips with which Phillips flips to Zack Cozart and then throws onto Joey Votto for the 4-6-3 double play. Thus sealing a Reds victory over the Dodgers and clinching the NL Central title all in one pitch. Party on, Cincinnati. 

Photos from the Reds post-game celebration

Jay Bruce & Aroldis Chapman are elated with joy

The Reds earn the National League Central championship


The Cardinals managed to win in Chicago in the early afternoon, pressuring the Reds to win at home to clinch the NL Central today. Cincinnati celebrated the NL Central title as the Reds improved their record to 92-60 and the Dodgers fall to 78-73.

Reds fans across the country were able to watch Mat Latos and the Reds win the division on the nationally televised Fox broadcast. Cincinnati was strong in the field and at the plate. Stand-in skipper Chris Speier left Drew Stubbs and his .214 AVG on the bench, opting to start Chris Heisey in center field and Xavier Paul in left field. Stubbs came in as a pinch runner in the seventh inning and would take his position in centerfield, with Heisey shifting over to left, in the eighth inning. The Reds were assertive at the plate, applying pressure throughout the game to Stephen Fife and the five other pitchers the Dodgers used.

Here's the good, the bad, and the notables from tonight's clinch:

The Cincinnati Reds are National League Central Division Champions

The Reds became the first team in Major League Baseball to clinch a playoff spot on Thursday. On Saturday, they became the first team in the majors to clinch a division title as well with their 6-0 home victory over the Dodgers. It marks the Reds' second National League Central Division crown in the past three seasons and has the Queen City buzzing with hopes of a sixth World Series Championship in franchise history.

Latos has been worth the price for Reds


There were high expectations entering the 2012 season for Mat Latos. Most of those expectations were derived from the cost it took to acquire him. Many thought the Reds gave up too much for the right-hander when the team shipped four players (Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, Edinson Volquez, Brad Boxberger) for his services back in December. Others were concerned with how he would adjust to pitching in hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park as oppose to pitcher-friendly PETCO Park. And still others expressed concern about his alleged maturity issues.

As impossible as it seemed for him to live up to the lofty expectations this year, Latos has somehow managed to not only hit the mark, but go well beyond it as well. GM Walt Jocketty felt Latos was worth the price because he was confident that he could fill the no. 2 starter role that the club was so desperately missing in years past. And the former 11th round pick (2006) has done exactly that for Dusty Baker's squad in '12. He's been the missing piece to the rotation that the Reds have been searching for.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Offense sputters as Matt Kemp and Dodgers edge out Reds in extras

This guy put the clinch on hold, for now
A Cardinals loss to the Cubs earlier in the day meant that the Reds could clinch their second NL Central title in three seasons with a win over the visiting Dodgers on Friday. Unfortunately, the Reds (91-60) will have to wait at least one more day after suffering 3-1 defeat to LA (78-73) in extra innings.

There wasn't much offense in this contest, so let's skip right to the decisive inning.

Cincinnati ran into trouble in the top of the tenth when Sam LeCure hit leadoff hitter Juan Rivera. The next batter then reached when Joey Votto gambled and lost when trying to nail the lead runner at second. After a sacrifice bunt by Nick Punto and a walk issued to Mark Ellis, Sean Marshall came into the game to relieve LeCure. Marshall would do well in striking out the first batter he faced (Andre Ethier), but would allow a 2-run single to Matt Kemp to surrender the lead to Los Angeles, 3-1.

And that's how the final score would read as the Reds' record now drops to 7-7 in extra inning games.

Here is the good, the bad, and the notables from Friday's festive affair:

Reds and Dayton Dragons agree to 4-year contract extension


Press release from the Reds...

Dayton, Ohio - The Dayton Dragons and Cincinnati Reds today jointly announced a four-year extension of their Player Development Contract. The agreement guarantees the affiliation between the Dragons and Reds through the 2016 baseball season.

The Dragons have served as the Reds' Midwest League affiliate since the inception of the Dragons franchise prior to the 2000 season. To date, 57 Dragons players have advanced to the Major Leagues including 2010 National League Most Valuable Player Joey Votto, 2012 N.L. All-Star Jay Bruce, and other current members of the Reds including Johnny Cueto, Ryan Hanigan, Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart, Drew Stubbs, Chris Heisey, Homer Bailey, Logan Ondrusek, and Devin Mesoraco among others.

Of those players currently on the Reds active roster, 15 played in Dayton on their climb to the majors. In previous years, Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, Edwin Encarnacion, and Wily Mo Pena were among the players who passed through Dayton on their way to Cincinnati.

10 notes about the Dodgers series


The Reds (91-59) became the first team in Major League Baseball to clinch a playoff spot on Thursday when they completed a sweep over the Cubs. The win also trimmed their magic number to clinch the NL Central down to just two. And what better place and time to clinch it than at home at Great American Ball Park on the weekend?

One team who may have something to say about the situation is the Los Angeles Dodgers (77-73). They enter the series only three games back in the Wild Card despite having lost 10 of their previous 14 games. A couple of wins in the Queen City could be just what they need to propel them back toward the top.

With that said, here are 10 facts on the impending series against Matt Kemp and the Dodgers:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Video of Jay Bruce's division clinching homer from 2010

Fact: The Cincinnati Reds will clinch the National League Central Division by weekend's end. When and how they do it remains to be seen. Since we're on the subject of clinching, I thought it would be fun to reminisce about the last time the Redlegs were in this situation.

The date was September 28, 2010, and the opponent was the *cough* Houston Astros. The game was all knotted up at two in the bottom of the ninth when Jay Bruce stepped up to the dish to face southpaw Tim Byrdak. And that's when this memorable moment occurred:


And just for good measure, this was the scene in the locker room after the emotional victory:

Get out the brooms, folks



With today's 5-3 victory in Chicago over the Cubs, the Reds were able to:

+ Sweep the series.
+ Be the first team in MLB to clinch a playoff spot.
+ Trim their magic number to clinch the National League Central to two.
+ Allow Johnny Cueto to become the first Reds pitcher to win 18 games or more in a season since Pete Schourek in 1995.
+ Put themself in great position to clinch the Central in front of their hometown fans this weekend.

Reds sweep Cubs behind Cueto, September call-ups


Don't mess with Speier's Reds.
Cincinnati was once again without the ailing Dusty Baker, as bench coach Chris Speier filled in as manager. The Reds (91-59) were looking to sweep the Cubs (58-92) and decline their magic number again by winning their fourth game in a row, while getting ace Johnny Cueto back on track. What better way to do that then to back up Cueto offensively with a mixture of September call-ups, bench players, Todd Frazier, and Ryan Hanigan? It's probably something to get used to as the Redlegs will certainly start resting players in preparation for the postseason once they clinch the division and their seed becomes more clear.

Cueto did have a great outing, throwing six shutout innings, allowing five hits and four walks, while striking out two. His counterpart on the mound was Cubs righty Jason Berken who also threw six scoreless innings with two strikeouts, while giving up two hits. The Reds youngsters did come though with a five-run seventh inning against Manny Corpas which ultimately led the Reds to a 5-3 victory.

Here's the good, the bad, and the notables:

Dusty Baker to miss second straight game


Dusty Baker did not manage the Reds during their 5-4 extra-inning win over the Cubs Wednesday night. Instead the 63-year old was taken and kept overnight at a Chicago-area hospital. Tests have ruled out pneumonia, but Baker has been diagnosed with an irregular heart beat. More tests are slated to be run today (Thursday).

Cincinnati's skipper will not manage the team in their series finale on Thursday. Bench coach Chris Speier will handle the duties for the second straight game in his absence.

“Basically, he had a heavily feeling,” Reds trainer Paul Lessard said. “He wasn’t breathing well. We decided to look into it further. He has a history of an irregular heart beat for a while. It doesn’t really bother him. He was kind of pooh-poohing it.”

Votto, Cueto projected as top 10 players in 2013 by Perry


I know we are currently in the midst of tightly-contested playoff races around MLB, but it's never too early to look to the future, specifically 2013. CBS Sports' Dayn Perry does just that in his latest piece where he projects the top 10 hitters and pitchers for next season. Among the muddled list of 20 players is a couple of studs from the Redlegs -- Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto.

Here's what Perry had to say about the two:

Reds shrink magic number to 3 with win in extras vs. Cubs

It's been a rough second half for Stubbs, but he was the hero Wednesday.

Wait long enough and the Cubs will end up being…the Cubs. The Reds tested out that theory on Wednesday night, and though it took 11 innings, an embarrassing error in right field by David DeJesus paved the way for another Reds ‘W.’

For all of the details including the good, bad and the notable, read on....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Todd Frazier named Reds nominee for Roberto Clemente Award



The latest press release from the Reds...

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Todd Frazier was named the Cincinnati Reds 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Today marks the eleventh annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially recognize local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Frazier is one of the 30 Club finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.

The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. The Award is named for the 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

The 2012 version of the Reds bullpen is better than 1990


Ask anyone around baseball what they think the 2012 Reds' biggest strength is and I would bet you my bottom dollar that majority of them would point towards the bullpen. Cincinnati's relief staff has been good this season, really good actually. And Dave Cameron of ESPN The Magazine is one of several national writers to take notice of this fact.

Here's an excerpt from his most recent column which is slated to appear in ESPN The Magazine's October 1st "Age Issue":

Ryan Madson. Nick Masset. Bill Bray. After those three fell to injury this spring, it would've been easy to write off the Reds. After all, the Rangers and Cards showed the importance of bullpens last October. And here was a team without its closer and two of its other top relievers.

Video: Reds fans make their NL Rookie of the Year case for Todd Frazier


 

Todd Frazier has quickly become both a fan favorite and household name around Cincinnati this season, and it's easy to see why. The 25-year old rookie is earning respect from his peers, fans and coaches alike by his hustle, upbeat attitude and do-it-all performance on the field, among other things. In fact, his contributions have been so great that many are dubbing him as the favorite to win National League Rookie of the Year honors. If it were up to the "Reds Power Stack Pack" folks seen in the above video, the award would be all his.

He certainly has a good case. At the time of this post, Frazier led all NL rookies in slugging (.517) and OPS (.862), ranked second in triples (6), extra base hits (49) and RBI (62), third in homers (18) and total bases (202), and fifth in average (.284), runs (53) and on-base percentage (.345). Oh, and he also saved a man from choking in Pittsburgh earlier in the year.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bailey's Gem leads Reds to Victory


The Cincinnati Reds (89-59) traveled to Chicago Tuesday night to take on the Cubbies for the first of a three game series. Mathematically, the Redlegs have got the chance to clinch the NL Central Division here in Chicago during this series. They moved one step closer to that shaving the magic number down to 4 with a 3-1 victory in game one as Homer Bailey took the ball for the team.

The offense remained silent until the 6th inning as former Red Justin Germano walked the bases loaded. Ryan Hanigan stepped to the plate with one out and delivered in a big way as he cleared the bases with a three RBI double. That was all they would need as Homer pitched himself a gem as he bids for the fourth spot in the playoff rotation.

Let's see how it all played out with the good, the bad, and the notables:

10 facts about the Cubs series



Cincinnati (88-59) continues its forward march to clinch the NL Central with a visit to Chicago beginning on Tuesday. It's there that they will meet the fifth-place Cubs (58-89) for a trio of games in hopes of shrinking their magic number from its current total of five.

They'll face a Cubs squad who enters the series as winners of seven of their last ten, but still remains 30.0 games back of the first-place Reds.

The Reds, on the other hand, are owners of the largest division lead in baseball (11g) despite dropping two out of three against Miami over the weekend.

Here are 10 facts you need to know about the series in Chicago:

Monday, September 17, 2012

On this day in Reds history



Our friend Chris Jaffe from The Hardball Times published a post today that includes many Reds-related notes that happened on this day in history. If you've got time, head on over to his piece by following this link. Some of the Reds-related tidbits include:

+ The 20th anniversary of the infamous Rob Dibble-Lou Piniella fight in the clubhouse.
+ The Reds catch the Phillies stealing signs and then using an electrical messaging system to relay them to their third-base coach.
+ Cincinnati fires manager Rogers Hornsby.
+ Johnny Bench plays his last game at catcher.
+ Ernie Lombardi also plays in his last game.
+ Eppa Rixey allows a walk-off homer.

His post also includes many other MLB happenings on this day. Check it out.

Reds quotes from the weekend




The Reds (88-59) narrowly missed getting swept in Miami over the weekend by escaping with a 5-4 win in 11 innings on Sunday. They get a chance to rest up with an off-day on Monday before engaging in a 3-game home series with the Cubs beginning on Tuesday.

In the meantime, here are some quotes from the Marlins series:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Reds Avoid Sweep in Extras


After being shut out Friday night and taking  another loss Saturday, the Reds (88-59) finally get a win against the Miami Marlins (65-81) to avoid the sweep.

The last at bat of the game, John Buck hit a long fly ball to centerfield that certainly looked like it was going out of the park, but it didn't have enough juice, allowing Drew Stubbs to make the catch and secure the Reds' 88th win of the season.

Video: Jose Reyes sets MLB milestone



 

Jose Reyes made Major League Baseball history with this play during Saturday's affair at Marlins Park.

It wasn't known at the time, but Reyes' error marked (unofficially) the 500,000th miscue in MLB history. A dubious milestone, but a milestone nonetheless.

For the record, Reds rookie left-hander Tony Cingrani barely missed having his name attached to the feat. He committed the 499,997th gaffe just two innings prior to Reyes'.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Can Ryan Ludwick's resurrection be attributed to luck?



There's an interesting article written by Matt Klaassen on Fangraphs.com with which he asks whether or not Ryan Ludwick's bounce-back season can be attributed more to "luck" than anything else. The piece caught my eye and I thought I would share some excerpts from it, so here you go:

Perhaps the most surprising Reds overperformer has been Ryan Ludwick. After bottoming out in San Diego and Pittsburgh last year, Ludwick has hit .275/.345/.534 (132 wRC) with 25 home runs for the Reds so far in 2012. Is Ludwick (and, by extension, the Reds) just getting “lucky,” and if so, what does that even mean?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Marlins blank the Reds behind a strong outing by Turner


Friday marked the first ever visit to brand new Marlins Park for the first-place Reds (87-58). Unfortunately, their debut was one to forget as they were treated to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the host Marlins (64-81).

Marlins rookie Jacob Turner had Cincinnati hitters off balance all evening long en route to his second victory of 2012 (2-3). The right-hander limited the Reds to just two hits and a couple of walks over his 7-inning start.

Meanwhile, the Miami offense was fueled by Justin Ruggiano, Jose Reyes and Greg Dobbs who all tallied two hits a piece. One of those hits for Dobbs was of the four-base variety, his fifth of the season. That proved to be all that Turner and The Fish needed on Friday.

As always, here's a gander at the good, bad and notables from the affair:

MINOR details: 2012 recap edition - High-A Bakersfield Blaze


With the Blaze's playoff loss on Wednesday, all of the Reds minor league organizations are through with baseball for this season so it's time we finished recapping each team's season. Statistical leaders were chosen among those who played significant time. It's not limited to a certain number of ABs or IPs, really. I just picked who I thought played enough to warrant being mentioned as a stats leader. Melky Cabrera will not be included.

We continue with High-A Bakersfield.

10 facts about the Marlins series



After sweeping away the Pittsburgh Pirates in Cincinnati, the Reds (87-57) enjoyed an off-day on Thursday before marching into Miami on Friday for a weekend clash against Ozzie Guillen's Marlins (63-81). Both teams entered the regular season with high expectations, but only one has been able to live up to those so far.

That team is the front-running Reds, who currently boast the largest division lead of any team in baseball. Their magic number to clinch their second National League Central Division title in three years stands at eight with 18 games to go.

On the other hand, Miami has a disastrous campaign as evidenced by their last-place standing in the NL East. The Marlins rolled the dice this off-season and brought in a handful of pricey free agents to help open their brand new ballpark. All of which were in hopes of reinvigorating their casual fan base. Unfortunately, their investments haven't paid off as the team is perhaps the greatest disappointment in the National League this year and their attendance numbers are still well below the league average. Can they salvage what's left of their season with a good showing against the Reds? We shall see.

Here are 10 facts you should know about the series against the Fish:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Video: Phillips is a defensive wizard


 
Oh, it's just Brandon Phillips being Brandon Phillips. Both of these plays were made during Wednesday's 2-1 victory at home versus the Pirates. The 31-year old is well on his way to earning a fourth career Gold Glove Award at season's end. And with defensive gems such as these, it's easy to see why.

Reds prospects look to polish their skills in Arizona Fall League

Leading Off
The Arizona Fall League season will get under way on October 9th. This will be the 20th season for what is often called a “finishing school for prospects.” MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo gave an overview of the entire AFL in his article, but we obviously are only concerned with the Cincinnati Reds involvement in the league. Everything you need to know is below.

As of now the Reds will send six players to Arizona to be part of the roster of the Peoria Javelinas. Those six players are right-handed pitchers Drew Hayes, Curtis Partch, and Josh Ravin along with switch-hitting Billy Hamilton and lefty infielders Didi Gregorius and Donald Lutz. The other players for Peoria will come from the Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Mariners.
Don't call me skunk pig.

First, “What is a Javelina?” you might ask. Well the javelina, also known as a peccary or skunk pig, is a member of the artiodactyl suborder Suina, as are the pig family (Suidae) and possibly the hippopotamus family (Hippopotamidae). They are found in the southwestern area of North America and throughout Central and South America. They are often confused with the “razorback” hogs that roam other parts of the country, except that they don't lose to Louisiana-Monroe at football.

Second, “Who are those guys?” you wonder. You’ve definitely heard of Hamilton. He’s stolen a few bases in his career. You’ve probably heard of Gregorius because he’s on the Reds current roster as a September call-up. You might also have heard of Lutz. He’s the ball-mashing German dude (though he was born in New York) who was a teammate of Hamilton’s at A+ Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola this year. The pitchers might be a different story unless you follow the minor leagues very closely, but don't worry as we cover all the players below.

Who

Blaze season ends with a heartbreaking game-five loss

It was heartbreak for the Blaze on Wednesday night as their season came to a close with a game five loss to the Modesto Nuts. After jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead in the series, Bakersfield lost the final three games in a row to be elminated from the playoffs. The Nuts scored early and often with five runs in the bottom of the first inning and one in the second. It would be more than enough as they advanced past the Blaze with a 6-2 victory.

Check out the recap below.

Modesto 6 Bakersfield 2 (Game 5)
Blaze lose the series to the Nuts, 3-2.
James Allen (L 0-1, infinity) got knocked around early, allowing four earned runs on two hits and two walks without getting an out. Brooks Pinckard followed him and gave up two earned runs in two innings. Daniel Wolford and Kyle McMyne each threw two scoreless innings. Carlos Contreras and Blaine Howell each notched a scoreless inning.

Reds shrink magic number to eight after completing sweep of Pirates



It was a good old-fashioned pitcher’s duel in Cincinnati on Wednesday night as Homer Bailey (11-9) put together one of his better Great American Ballpark performances and put away Pittsburgh, 2-1. The win inches the Reds closer to October as their magic number continues to shrink. It now stands at just eight after St. Louis fell to San Diego, 3-2. For more details on the series finale, read on.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Reds release schedule for 2013




Major League Baseball officially announced the 2013 regular season schedule for all 30 teams on Wednesday, which includes the first game of the league season on March 31st and Interleague Play throughout the season now that each league has 15 teams.

The Reds will open the 2013 regular season with Opening Day on Monday, April 1st against the Los Angeles Angels as part of an opening homestand that includes three games against the Angels (April 1, 3 and 4) and a three-game weekend tilt with the Washington Nationals (April 5-7).

Additional highlights of the Reds’ home schedule include a pair of weekend series against the St. Louis Cardinals (June 7-9 and Aug. 2-4), a Memorial Day weekend series against the Chicago Cubs (May 24-26) and a weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers (Sept. 6-8). In addition to the Angels, the Reds’ Interleague opponents at home include the Cleveland Indians (May 27-28), Seattle Mariners (July 5-7) and Oakland Athletics (Aug. 6-7).

Other notes:

Blaze drop close game to Nuts tying series at two apiece

The Blaze lost a tight ballgame to the Nuts on Tuesday night, leaving them in a 2-2 deadlock in the series. After being up two games to none, it will now come down to a final and deciding game five to determine who advances to the next round. Hopefully the series doesn't turn out like this game did, where Bakersfield jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before the Nuts scored a run in the 4th, 6th, and 8th inning to win 3-2.

Check out the recap below.

Modesto 3 Bakersfield 2 (Game 4)
The series is tied 2-2.
Daniel Renken started and delivered five innings of one-run baseball with five strikeouts. He gave a 2-1 lead to the bullpen. Michael Dennhardt (L 0-1, 6.23) came in next and gave up two earned runs in 2.1 innings to suffer the blown save and loss. Daniel Wolford delivered 2/3 of a scoreless inning.

Reds on Twitter: A Master List



Are you new to Twitter and in search of some legitimate Reds-related accounts to follow? Or are you a seasoned veteran on the social media site and just looking for some interesting Reds people to follow? If you answered yes to both or either of those questions, you're in luck!

For your entertainment pleasure, I have done my due diligence in compiling the following master list of all Reds-related accounts I could find. The list includes both major league and minor league players, as well as former players and some other notable accounts. Enjoy.