Tag Archives: Francisco Cordero

Long Live Drew Stubbs

Anyone who has spent time following the Reds since 2010 knows the immense frustration and hopelessness that Drew Stubbs has provided us with. The roller coaster ride really settled this year and the thought was no longer about Stubbs not reaching the supposed superstardom some scouts saw possible when he was drafted in the 1st round out of Texas.

Reds fans simply wondered if this guy was going to be DFA’d, benched, or worse; continue to play regularly and end up hitting .210 for year.

I’m not sure if Drew Stubbs has collected two bigger hits than the two he’s had in the 9th inning the last two nights off his former teammate Francisco Cordero. Stubbs is a microcosm of what makes the 2012 Reds so great: they get it done ugly at times but they more often than not get it done.

Even if Stubbs never develops into the All-Star that so many of my friends who like the Reds thought he would be (my buddy who coaches regularly refers to Stubbs as a “high-ass”. It’s a coaching term.) he’s provided us with a few clutch moments in situations of high drama. That’s an ingredient that every championship caliber team needs.

My expectations with Stubbs became tampered long ago after I had seen him wave through three pitches quicker than I could fetch ice cubes for my drink. But I still think the guy can be a key cog in the wheel of the 2012 Reds, which is all we really need him for anyways.

Francisco Cordero heads North of the Border

The man logged 150 saves for the Cincinnati Reds after many in baseball thought he was done. He’ll be 37 years old this season. Today, three-time All-Star Francisco “Coco” Cordero signed a one year, $4.5 million dollar contract with the Toronto Blue Jays in a move that bolsters their bullpen to one of the top pens in the American League.

Last season the Blue Jays had a stable of guys to pick from to close out ballgames. None of those guys were very good. They’ve re-stocked the cupboard with Cordero, Darren Oliver, Jason Frasor, Casey Janssen, and Sergio Santos this offseason.

While Santos is the big horse in the pen that figures to get the bulk of save opportunities, a baseball season is long and at some point the temptation to see what Cordero does in a save situation will be there. There’s likely to be a stretch of games in which Santos falters and Cordero gets an opportunity.

And that’s when Blue Jays fans will receive the feeling of horrifying dread that only a Coco Cordero blown save opportunity can evoke. Toronto, you have fun. He’s now your problem.

Reds offering Francisco Cordero one year, not two

Cincinnati Reds MLB.com beat writer Mark Sheldon recently let us know that the Reds are looking at a one year contract with an option year for closer Francisco (Coco) Cordero.

This is what GM Walt Jocketty had to say about it:

“We’re looking at one year or one year with an option,” Jocketty said. “That’s all it could be, right now — one year guaranteed.”

This is positive news depending how you want to look at it. If you’re like me you view Cordero as the guy who probably threw away the Reds season just before the All-Star break in that series in Milwaukee. He’s the guy who is responsible for your late-night obscenities, broken remote controls, and hard returns to your office on Monday mornings.

“Coco” does not discriminate. He can blow any save, on any of the seven calendar days of the week. When your team is firing on all cylinders, he can come out and be up to his absolute worst.

That said, if 2012 is your ‘all-in’ year you’re going to need a dependable arm at the back of the bullpen that can save a lot of games and get the last three tough outs for you while you file away 95 wins in the left column. At this point, I don’t know if Cordero can be that guy but the closer market is thin–Ryan Madson is the only other credible name out there. To have a season of Cordero playing for a contract isn’t entirely bad. The Reds have all the leverage in these negotiations I would think, and they’ll be able to land Cordero for an amount he deserves. If you can save and scrimp on your closer for this season, that’s more money you’ll be able to throw at a left fielder or reserve when the time comes.

If we were betting men, and we are; we would wager that Cordero will be back blowing games for the Reds and being the causation of you breaking your remotes and wanting to kick your pets next summer.

Going down fighting

 

Nice 2-1 win this afternoon for the Redlegs down at Great American Ball Park on a cool and perfect weathered getaway day.

You cannot help but recognize the fact that this is the way this team was built to operate. Playing sound defense, getting a few timely hits from guys in the middle of the order, and getting great starting pitching.

Johnny Cueto goes 7 shutout innings striking out 9 for the win, Aroldis Chapman adds a scoreless 8th for the hold, and Coco Cordero waltzes out to give up a bomb but narrowly hang on in the ninth.

They’ve won two 1-run ballgames in a row now. Things are getting weird. Win the next 8 games and we’ll climb back in this thing. Yes, I am hopeless.

Diamond Hoggers Classic Rock Song of the Game:

‘Since You’re Gone’ by our all-time favorite rock band, The Cars. It doesn’t get any better than this.

The Pendelum Swings in Milwaukee

What a tough, gut-wrenching weekend to be Cincinnati Reds fan.

You had the huge win on Saturday night sandwiched in between two huge losses on Friday and Sunday that were the sole result of Francisco Cordero taking a save-situation and blowing the game solely on his own.

It’s hard because the Reds were hovering around .500 and could have headed into the break a salvageable 1 or 2 games out of first place and with a lot of life. They could have headed in over .500, and they outplayed the division leader in a series once again. But Coco Cordero entered ballgames that his team worked 9 innings to build a lead and earn a win and he single-handedly took the ‘W’ out of the win column and gave his team two disheartening losses.

The Reds got a huge home run (and game) out of Jay Bruce on Saturday or they might have been swept altogether.

This All-Star break couldn’t have came at a better time. I’ll end this post with something that gave me a little hope even after yesterday’s game evaporated in the bottom of the 9th. Something that tells me that they still think they can do this thing:

 

The Reds find a way to Big Game James and the Rays

[Box Score]

[Cincinnati.com] [Rays Index]

Reds fans might just look back on Ryan Hanigan’s 3-run home run off James Shields in the fourth frame of yesterday’s game as being one of the biggest hits of the year for the Reds.

Yesterday’s win was a big, big win on the heels of a very tough heartbreaking loss. And taking two out of three on the road from a very good ballclub was no short order for the Reds. Coupled with the Brewers 5-2 loss in the Bronx, the win allowed the Reds to pull within 2 and 1/2 games of first place in the National League Central.

I knew this would be a tough win for the Reds. James Shields was on his game. He struck out 10 different Reds hitters, or not actually. Four of those times, Jay Bruce was the culprit. It was his first Golden Sombrero of memory, and he’ll be getting christened sometime soon by our friends over at The Golden Sombrero.

Freddy Lewis had a huge hit in this one, a line drive single to left field that scored Johnny Gomes and the run that would stand up to be the winning run.

Francisco Cordero entered the game in the bottom of the 9th and locked down things for his 16th save. Cordero has been remarkably solid this season–minus that night in Philadelphia that Ryan Howard hit a ball that still hasn’t landed and the Reds ended up losing in 19.

The Reds come home for a very big series at home against the Cleveland Indians with a chance to once again make some hay. It’s time to make a move in the standings and build some momentum before the All-Star break.

Game 57, 2011: Reds 4, Brewers 3

[Box Score]

[Cincinnati.com] [Brew Crew Ball]

Observations:

This was my favorite win of the year, and it was the biggest win of the year for the Reds in my opinion.

I watched the entire game, and as I watched I was completely astonished that the Reds were going to fall below .500 and they were really going to drop another game on the Cardinals (St. Louis was up on Tim Lincecum and the Giants at the time). Instead, the Reds leaned on a couple of heroes to help them gain a game on the Cardinals, and the night turned superb with a 4-3 victory that saw them take the series from the Brewers and gain a game on the Cardinals.

Shaun Marcum shut the Reds down for for the first two thirds of the ballgame. The Reds had two hits when Joey Votto singled in the 7th and Jay Bruce hit a home run into the Reds bullpen. I knew then that the Reds would have a shot in this thing, but I figured that they would have to do it off the Brewers closer in the bottom of the 9th, and that made me nervous because John Axford has been pitching so well.

In the 8th inning with the Brewers clinging to a 3-2 lead, Brandon Phillips got nailed with a pitch by Kameron Loe, and the next batter Joey Votto hit a Ruthian-type blast off the batter’s eye in centerfield that would give the Reds a 4-3 lead that you knew they wouldn’t let go of.

The crowd of 22 thousand plus was into the game all night and they were rewarded for their faith in the Reds. The Reds weren’t quite dead yet, a hand arose from the ground of the grave that has been dug for them for the past few weeks. Again on this night, there was life for the 2010 NL Central Champions and they’ve got room to keep fighting for a while.

Top Plays:

Jay Bruce homers off Shaun Marcum (17) to break up the shutout

Joey Votto orders a Venti! Extra foam!

Drew Stubbs can track it down in center

Cordero’s 300th lock down of his career

Potpourri:

-Coco Cordero became the 22nd man in baseball history to post 300 saves. How hard is it to believe that he is the active leader behind Mariano Rivera? When people get on Cordero, you realize he’s about as dependable as it gets.

-If you’re a Reds fan and you’re reading this post, or just a baseball fan; get your butt over to the All Star Ballot and vote for Jay Bruce to go to the MLB All Star Game 25 times.

Diamond Hoggers Song of the Game:
You only get one chance for Crowded House ‘Something So Strong’ and the time on that chance falls in July of 1987. Coincidentally two months before that, Eric Davis was murdering every National League pitcher much like young Bruce of the present day, minus the Crowded House. Enjoy this one!

Game 41, 2011: Reds 7, Cubs 4

Last night felt like a night in which the Reds luck was going to run out a little bit, but they scored seven runs in the 6th inning and showed why Carlos Zambrano is no longer worth giving away starts and innings on any fantasy baseball team. The win was the Reds fourth in a row at home.

With the win, the Cincinnati Reds of 2011 are now one game better than the 2010 Reds were at this point.

Homer Bailey fought through tough mound conditions, loading the bases in the 1st inning with walks, and overall not having his best stuff. It’s the type of game where in the past, he would have lost. Bailey is a lot more cerebral on the mound this year and it shows. He knows when he needs a strikeout. He knows when he has to throw a ground ball. He knows when he can afford to give up a fly ball. Carlos Pena touched him up for a long one to make it 4-0 Cubs, but it was Bailey’s ability to limit damage in spots that allowed the Reds to hang around and come back and win this one.

[Cincinnati.com] [Box Score]

A lot was made after the game of Johnny Gomes being knocked down by Chicago reliever Marcus Mateo and then getting off the dirt two pitches later to fly one into the seats in right center field. It would definitely be big for Johnny Gomes to get going and be a run producer in the lineup for the Reds which has to be why Dusty Baker is giving the veteran so much rope when it would be easy to go to Chris Heisey as the everyday left fielder or a platoon of Gomes, Heisey and Fred Lewis.

Jay Bruce had his second multi-hit game in a row. He started 0 for 2 off Zambrano but then singled and doubled, scored and run and drove in his 13th run of the month.

The big moment of the game for me was when Scott Rolen hit a ball hard and back into left field and Alfonso Soriano had his almost daily ‘woopsies’ out in left-field. The misplay allowed the Reds to take the lead, and they wouldn’t look back.

Bailey improves to 3-0 for the first time in his career. This is success that really has the chance to be sustained. Bailey is pitching really well, and he’s on a truly good team. A team that; as they did in this game, can dig him out of small holes should he lack stuff on certain nights.

Clearly, the Reds are surging right now since getting pitching back from injury like Bailey and Johnny Cueto. The lineup continues to score at a consistent clip. Francisco Cordero locked down his 8th save in pitching in his 4th straight 9th inning.

Top Plays:

Stubbs throws a seed to nail Alfonso Soriano at home plate

Johnny Gomes goes oppo-long ball

Another big hit for Joey Votto (RBI single)
Potpourri:

You want proof that I’m cursed in fantasy baseball? Here’s a screen grab of my box score from my 10-team keeper roto-league last night. This is the night that officially put me on tilt:

What the shot doesn’t include is sub-par outings from Tim Lincecum, Josh Johnson, and a blown save by Jordan Walden. The 1 for 28 actually grew to 1 for 31 last night before Mike Stanton added another hit and Jason Kubel got a mercy single late in Seattle. I ended up 3 for 39.

Game 32, 2011: Reds 5, Cubs 4

[Box Score]

[ESPN Chicago]

The Reds have won their third game in a row, their first winning streak since beginning 5-0.

The Reds are riding the wave of Jay Bruce’s recent hot streak. The Reds are proving what we thought would be the case, they’re going as Jay Bruce goes. And when he gets hot and the confidence is riding high, you rarely can find a way to consistently get him out and the home runs come in bunches. The blast yesterday at Wrigley was a 3-run bomb to right field the put the Reds ahead to stay.

The Reds got a big lift out of their bullpen yesterday after Edinson Volquez gave up four runs. Sam Lecure, Nick Masset, and Francisco Cordero combined to go the rest of the distance scoreless–Cordero earning his 5th save and lowering his ERA to 1.29. It’s been so far so good for Coco; and that’s a great thing because entering the season many Reds fans thought he was going to be the Achilles for this ballclub.

The Reds play today on FOX Saturday baseball, never a bad thing. And even though I don’t like the Cubbies, there aren’t many better Saturday ballgames to watch then one that takes place at Wrigley Field.

Top Plays:

Jay Bruce, Garza slider up in the zone, right field seats

With Coco Cordero, it’s never easy

Votto’s RBI single ends up being the difference

Potpourri:

-I hate my homeowners association too.

-Happy Saturday everyone.

Game 2, 2011: Reds 4, Brewers 2

[Box Score]
[Cincinnati.com]

Observations:

I actually took this one in with Mike from The Sombrero, nice quick ballgame. Travis Wood was doing what he seemingly always does, right? Just painting the outside corner, allowing some contact but nothing substantial or hard, and even striking a few guys out. You look up in the 8th inning and the opposition has a run and two hits.

Big lift early in the game with Scott Rolen hitting the two pointer to put the Reds up. Shawn Marcum had some problems all night with his control (he walked Johnny Gomes three times), and he left one up in the zone but hittable to Scotty Rolen.

The Reds didn’t get an abundance of offense but they had enough. Let’s not forget that Drew Stubbs went 2 for 3 with a triple, RBI and stolen base. Playing real good ball to start the season that Stubbsy. Votto and Hanigan added singles. Masset came in out of the pen in the 8th and looked like we need Nick Masset to look. I made the comment to Mike from the Sombrero that if they’re not going to use Chapman in a set-up role every night he should have been groomed to start this year.

Cordero came in for the 9th inning and he did pretty much what he always does. Left a few balls down the middle, gave up a few hits, but in the end he locked it down. Reds, 2-0 to start the year for the first time since 2005. And now I’m greedy and want more than a few to start the year. I want to be the talk of all of baseball with the start we jump out to.

Star of the Game:

Travis Wood. The hillbilly just keeps getting it done. He worked a game just a hair over 2 and 1/2 hours in front of a crowd of 37,967 on ‘Opening Night’. He’s got ice water in his veins and fits into this team perfectly. He could be these Reds Tom Browning, which if you think back to Mr. Perfect in his prime is a pretty big shot in the arm with some of the other big ‘names’ that are part of this pitching staff. I don’t just like Wood, I love the damn guy; and in 109.2 career innings pitched his career WHIP is now 1.04; which is nothing short of phenomenal.

I didn’t start out a believer, but the guy is legitimate. Sky is the limit and be glad he wasn’t the throw in for a bat, or someone else.

Top Plays:

Bruce’s sick catch by the wall in foul territory

Edgar Renteria snuffs out a rally with a great stop and a 6-4-3

Rolen 2-run bomb for a 2-0 lead

Potpourri:

*It’s Wrestlemania 27 tonight. I’m predicting high drama from John Cena and The Rock; as well as Alberto Del Rio to get the strap.

*Watched Player to be named later with The Sombrero yesterday. Pretty good baseball documentary if you haven’t seen it with a starring role from Marco Scutaro.

*I’m exhausted from 2 Opening Days in 2 days. And it’s the week for me to get my taxes together. Ugh.