A Reds Moment That Could Echo Forever

First off just let me pour out some sheer emotion. Do you know how happy it makes me to turn on the radio and to hear Thom and Marty Brennamen say during the post-game show saying that this is the biggest regular season win since 1999 for the Reds? They’re confirming what I feel. I’m not crazy.

I love this team. I love Jay freaking Bruce. I love Joey Votto. I love Coco Cordero. Hell, I even love Aaron Harang right now. The season; for the time being, has reached it’s apex. Today is a wonderful day to be a Reds fan. Today is a day in which the entire league will take notice of what this team; this team who has now won 25 games in their last at-bat and is first in the league in fielding, is doing.

Jay Bruce hit a 2-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning off Roy Halladay to give the Reds a 4-3 victory. The Reds dug out of a 3-0 hole against one of the best pitchers in the game. They’re going nuts on 700 WLW. I am on a cloud that I won’t come down from for a long time. I am as excited about the sport, the Reds, and life in general as I’ve been in a long, long time.

This is why I love baseball. This could have been last night. We lost a heartbreaker. But redemption was only a wake-up away. Little did we know. Thank you Reds.

Aaron Boone on Scott Rolen’s benefit to the Reds: “More than anything, however, I think Scott Rolen has brought the right attitude to Cincinnati’s clubhouse. He and Orlando Cabrera have drilled in a message — every single night, for every single out, their team must play hard, no-nonsense baseball. When Pokey Reese, Sean Casey, Mike Cameron, Dmitri Young and I were all relatively new to the league and playing together for the Reds, it really helped to have veteran players like Greg Vaughn, Barry Larkin, Pete Harnisch and Denny Neagle set a similar tone in the clubhouse. Larkin, the veteran Reds shortstop, took me under his wing from the outset. Guidance like that from a player who’s been there a number of years is really inspiring for someone trying to establish himself in the league. I’m sure that Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, two of the Reds’ numerous young stars, have benefited from the leadership — on and off the field — of Scott Rolen.” [ESPN]

You better be reading Better Off Red. Cincinnati Reds blog that covers everything from pre-game, post-game, to organizing All-Star voting lunches, to everything Redlegs big and small. I can honestly say that people out there are better Reds fans because of that blog. It’s a little bit like what we try to do here; except with all of MLB with a heavy Reds tilt. And to the left there, yes that is the mess of a lineup that Dusty Baker has comprised for tonight’s game. Gomes clean-up. Cairo six-hole protecting Bruce. Heisy wedged there in center field. [Better Off Red]

July 31st – Reds/Braves on FOX Saturday Baseball

I’ve been wanting to go to Cincinnati on this date, July 31st 2010 pretty much since the schedule came out so I could get my first look at the rookie phenom Jason Heyward.

I was since informed by my fiance that I cannot go to the game that day. I have been ordered to go to a couples baby shower that day and if I choose to go to the game instead; it’s the type of thing she’ll fucking cry and whine about until the point that I can’t even suffer. I’m screwed.

That said, things might be okay. I received a recent e-mail informing me that the Reds/Braves game on that date has been picked up by the FOX Network; which means we’ll get the 3:30 national spot of the week that day.

That’s beyond awesome. I’ve waited all year to watch the Reds on FOX Saturday baseball. I’ll make it a nice little Saturday. Wake up early. Get some coffee. Go give some hitting lessons. Get home from the pool just in time to catch This Week in Baseball which airs right before. Then I’ll get to settle in before the dual-sex baby shower (who ever heard of such a thing) and watch my Reds kick some ass heading into august.

Do you guys remember what happened the last time these two teams hooked up on a FOX Saturday baseball? Someone shit on Manny Acosta.

Our Standing on Stephen Strasburg as an All-Star

Last night we turned channels and saw that the Atlanta Braves were taking on Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals on ESPN. We decided to watch a few innings of this marvel of a young player. Strasburg is human, finally he got a few runs scored off of him and finally people can chill out just a little bit on the young phenom.

Personally, I think you could make the case for Strasburg being an All-Star but as we told people back when it first became a question: he can be an All-Star, but if he’s going to get there he better keep up this All-World pace that he’s begun with.

If you’re going to make it to the All-Star game in roughly half of a first half, then that’s how it needs to be done.

The guy is a show-stopper. He’s a phenom. He might be a ‘Hall of Famer in the making’ as Bobby Cox said yesterday. But unless he brings the lulls and is that much better then guys that have earned it for a full half-season, he’s not an All-Star in my mind.

People want to make the case that there aren’t 12 pitchers better then Strasburg in the NL right now. That’s bull shit don’t you think? First off, we don’t know what we have in the guy. It’s the nature of baseball fans and to a larger degree sports fans everywhere to glorify all young players. We did it with Jay Bruce. People have done it with Jason Heyward, Justin Upton. Everyone is the next great one.

Strasburg might be as well. But unless he goes on an all world pace (like, Ubaldo Jimenez-esque) for every remaining start before the All-Star Break, give me a guy like Mike Pelfrey over Strasburg any day.

I’d be willing to bet Strasburg won’t have six wins by the time the game in Anaheim rolls around. I’d also be willing to bet that some kind of horse-shit last minute vote props up on the All-Star Selection show that gives fans 24 hours to send Strasburg to the All-Star game.

The Phillies are enjoyable to beat

Rolen’s 300th
Scotty Rolen hit the 300th home run of his career. Notice that 74 of those puppies came in old Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. That home run gave the Reds a 2-0 lead in which they would add on to and not relinquish.
Cueto throwing like a Soto
The last two starts, Johnny Cueto has been an absolute stud. Last night, he didn’t strike out one batter; but rather allowed the best defensive team in the National League to make plus play after plus play behind him while only walking two. He worked through some early wildness to earn his 8th victory of the season.
The Leather
A lot of above average plays last night for the Reds and Phillies both. Jimmy Rollins took a base knock away from Jay Bruce (who else) on a ground ball hit up the middle. Orlando Cabrera made an unbelievable play. Jay Bruce made a few nice running catches. Drew Stubbs threw a guy out at 2nd base.
The Amazing Utley, not so
Chase Utley is usually very sure-handed. However, last evening it was his error on a Johnny Cueto ground ball that allowed the Reds to break the game wide open. Utley also left the game with an injury in the 9th inning.
Cardinals keep pace
Last night the Reds were looking sure to move 1 and 1/2 games up on the damn Cardinals, but the Diamondbacks did us no favors this time by pissing away a 5-3 lead in the 9th inning in a little league fashion, and losing 6-5.

Rob Neyer gives us his ‘Hidden All-Stars’ “Reds: Arthur Rhodes. Yes, another reliever. So sue us. If Tim Wakefield can get an All-Star nod (last year) for being an effective 42-year-old knuckleballer, why can’t Rhodes get some love as a 40-year-old lights-out reliever with a 0.28 ERA. I’m not usually a big fan of Lifetime Achievement Awards, but he’s got a 1.79 ERA over these past three seasons, and what’s wrong with having somebody in the bullpen to face those tough American League lefties like Justin Morneau, Robinson Cano or Josh Hamilton.” [ESPN SweetSpot]

Throwing it around

Look at some of these pitchers we’ve got around the league right now. Jimenez, Strasburg, Halladay, King Felix, Johnny Cueto (I’m grouping him in there), Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, and so forth. Hitters don’t have a chance! Today, we’ll throw you some good links and continue waiting for the 4th of July, which is the omega point of every summer.

-Jay Bruce reaches Super 2 status a year earlier then most prospects his age. [MLB Trade Rumors]
-How about an Adam Dunn to the Chicago White Sox deal? [Chicago Sun Times]
-Dustin Pedroia is out six weeks. Boo fucking hoo. Just go buy a new second baseman. [Sports Illustrated]
-The Detroit Tigers are in first place after last night’s win over Liriano and the Twins. [TigerBlog]
-The Reds took a piece of Kyle Kendrick’s ass last night. [Balls, Sticks & Stuff]
-The Atlanta Braves finally got to Stephen Strasburg last evening. [Yahoo AP]
-Can Jamie Moyer crawl to 300 wins? [Hardball Talk]
-Jason Heyward, to the DL. [USA Today Daily Pitch]

The Top 10 Reasons to Love the 2010 Reds

I didn’t write this, so I’m not going to pretend that I did. But it belongs on this blog. So here are 10 reasons to love this 2010 Reds team. I’ve got about a million more. I wish Dusty Baker had made his way into this list. Feel free to leave your own in the comments.

10. They’re red-a$$es. A quick look down the roster shows Rolen, Cabrera, Votto, Bruce, Nix, and Gomes all play the game hard and rarely have clean uniforms at the end of games. Might be more than that– I don’t know about Stubbs or Heisey. Might be the most red a$$es on one team since the St. Louis Gas House Gang.

9. The Reds own the ugliest pitching staff in baseball. Bronson Arroyo has a mullet and that weird pencil thin soul patch thing going on. Mike Leake looks like his younger brother. Johnny Cueto and Francisco Cordero are sporting those Amish chin beards so popular with… Amish men who can’t grow real beards. Sam LeCure looks like the love child of Moms Mabley and Foster Brooks. I’m pretty sure Danny Ray Herrera starred in Stand and Deliver. Logan Ondrusek looks like one half of a professional wrestling tag team and Nick Masset is his partner. And the ace of the All-Ugly Staff is Mr. Harangatang himself. Brutal.

8. Brandon Phillips is a joy to watch play in the field. He’s displayed the best range of his career and his arm is strong. Unquestionably the Gold Glove 2B in the National League. Besides, admit it– you like the little no-look shovel to short to start the 4-6-3, don’t you?

7. Bronson Arroyo’s leg kick looks oddly balletic. Every time my wife– a former dancer– sees him, she says something about how graceful he looks.

6. They don’t quit. Sure, you know all about the last at-bat wins. There’s more than that, though. It’s getting down early, but fighting back to take the lead like they did tonight. It’s getting swept in Seattle, then reeling off five (and counting?) wins in a row, sweeping Oakland and taking the first two against Clevelad. It’s getting beaten on a 9th inning dinger off Nix’s head, then coming back and dominating for a couple week stretch.

5. Logan Ondrusek and Danny Ray Herrera sit next to each other in the bullpen. If DRH sat on his lap, Ondrusek would look like a ventriloquist. THAT would be really cool to see.

4. Chris Heisey came from Messiah Bible College. Mike Leake played for the Arizona State Sun Devils. Both sides covered.

3. Arthur Rhodes has pants older than Mike Leake.

2. They’re avowed baseball rats. Joey Votto studies hitting. Jay Bruce takes extra BP. Scott Rolen takes extra BP– while games are going on. They show up early and stay late. They take infield with a purpose. Orlando Cabrera once got into a shouting match with a teammate over him standing too long while admiring his home run shot and disrespecting the game. What’s not to like there?

1. Easy answer– they’re in first place.

I have to say, I like the last reason the most. With the baseball rats being another HUGE reason.

Kicking off the Weekend back in 1st

-Reds start the weekend off with a big 10-3 victory in Cincinnati, coupled with a St. Louis loss to Zack Greinke (what goes around comes around), the Reds are now a half game in first place and have won four straight.

Drew Stubbs drove in four runs, Jay Bruce doubled twice, drove in a run on a sac fly, walked, and scored three times, and Scott Rolen homered.

-Love the green hats. Irish heritage day at the ball park is pretty cool in the fact that we get to see the green hats.

-I like the Reds chances tonight against Justin Masterson. In fact I like their chances to get a sweep this weekend if LeCure pitches decently this evening. Do you remember the Friday night back in June of 2008 that the Reds hung the first loss of his career on him? Here’s the box score from the 3-1 final that evening against the Red Sox.

-Big talk around the league is Edwin Jackson throwing 149 pitches for a no-hitter last night against the Tampa Bay Rays despite walking 8 batters. I’ll say this, the guy was throwing 95 MPH in the 9th after 140 pitches. Now we know why he was somewhat coveted.

-I’m going to a wedding in Parma, Ohio this evening. Gotta run. GO REDS. I’ll try and update the twitter later if you wanna hear my thoughts on the evening’s action. Look out though.

Dibble v. Ray Knight

You have former Nasty Boy Rob Dibble and former New York Met and Cincinnati Red Ray Knight duking it out over Stephen Strasburg–initially. The debate gets going over whether or not Strasburg threw too many strikes in his last start, a 1-0 loss in which he struck out nine.

Pretty soon viewers can see that Rob Dibble wants to make this about him; which he often tries to do.

“I got MVP of the Playoffs,”

Really dude, you’re going to play that card? Dibble is such a doucher. Just a mope on the air isn’t he? He single-handedly made me stop listening to baseball talk shows on the air. Dude, your career wasn’t much.

The argument quickly loses steam because Ray Knight is a pretty nice guy, and complements Dibble’s fastball. Dibs, you are SUCH a bad ass dude.

I’ll never forget the spring training game I attended down in Winter Haven in which Dibs threw 34 pitches, only 2 for strikes. I’ve seen Dibble pitch, the fuck does he know about mechanics and pitching? He was a thrower.

**Help Diamond Hoggers Strike Out Lung Cancer in honor of 700 WLW’s Doc Rogers. Make a donation that will go to the Lung Cancer Foundation of America HERE. If we can get in touch with Doc, we’d like to give a donation to his family instead of the Foundation**

Learning the bats of the great ones (plus Shawn Green): Pretty sweet site to waste some time during the work day learning about some famous characteristics of the players of yesteryears’ bats “Green typically applies a medium layer of tar right over the center brand. Most of his knobs have a 15. Lots of cleat marks also should be on the barrel.” [Bat Reference]

**Help Diamond Hoggers Strike Out Lung Cancer in honor of 700 WLW’s Doc Rogers. Make a donation that will go to the Lung Cancer Foundation of America HERE. If we can get in touch with Doc, we’d like to give a donation to his family instead of the Foundation**