Tag Archives: Heath Bell

It’s the Dawn of a New Era in Redsland Perhaps – and It’s Wasted by Aroldis Chapman

Jay Bruce hit about 900 feet worth of home runs on FOX Saturday Night.
Jay Bruce hit about 900 feet worth of home runs on FOX Saturday Night.

[Box Score]

Yeah, that’s kind of what this is reminiscent of. I should be watching 61* or Baseball by Ken Burns to celebrate this one. This should have been a celebration of the Reds biggest win of the season. This should have been the crowning post of the best week of baseball of Jay Bruce’s life.

Instead it’s going to be a little bit about Aroldis Chapman, and how he entered that bottom of the 9th in Arizona with hollow, empty eyes and no soul and plucked one from the win column and inserted it directly in the loss column for a Reds team that is fighting for a shot at the game’s Pantheon this season. And I’m listening to the drunks of Dayton and Kentucky call into 700 WLW declaring war on the bullpen and they’re 12 Budweisers deep on their porch and talking about bathing in Dusty Baker’s blood.

But lets talk about Jay Bruce’s game a little bit. I can’t believe what kind of run this guy is on. It’s truly something you don’t see in a lifetime watching baseball (Bruce’s last seven hits have all been home runs).

The first came off of Patrick Corbin, who is about as nasty right now as any lefty in the National league. It was the longest home run of Jay Bruce’s career, 473 feet. It was a Nintendo game shot. Let’s put it here for all to see.

Listen to the way the Arizona crowd bellows (don’t confuse it with a roar) when the shot caroms off the scoreboard in dead center.

That was the only scoring in the game for a while, and then Gerardo Parra snuck one out off Mike Leake to put the DBacks up 2-1 until the bottom of the 9th. I knew what was going to happen.

The second was what I feel like was a turning point in Bruce’s whole career. He knows when he hits this home run off Heath Bell in the top of the 9th that he’s better than the game right now. What he’s doing he probably fully doesn’t understand. It’s a kind of locked in that most guys don’t ever achieve even once in a career. As I’ve said many times before, there’s no book to get him out right now, and everything he hits is going to be out of the park.

He gets all of this one, and destroys Heath Bell in the process. It was as exciting of a Saturday night baseball moment as you can ask for. It got ‘Jay Bruce’ trending worldwide on twitter. Here’s the 460 foot shot:

But as the Reds did the last time Bruce came close to this hot, they squandered it. It was that magical May of 2011. He hit 12 home runs and was MLB Player of the Month that May. The Reds went 14-14 that month.

It was a moment I’ll never forget last night in Bruce’s career. But it should have been even sweeter. This is a run you don’t ever forget. Eight home runs in nine games, and he’s hit 10 since June 3rd. Jay Bruce was born to rake, we just never knew it was going to be to this extent.

Breaking News: Heath Bell should have stayed in PetCo.

Bell2 - 4.2.2013

Two years ago Heath Bell was coming off his 3rd straight 40 save season.  Then it all went to shit.  He moved this off season to Arizona presumably because he was gritty and had the right make up to play for Kirk Gibson.  Well look at what you got Arizona.  Bell came in to relieve Tony Sipp and proceeded to:

Bell - 4.2.2013

6 batters, 4 hits, 1 walk, and hey-o 1 K.  That’s…not good.  Bell was back in a set up role, so the pressure was supposed to be off him – oh wait, he needs pressure to pitch well as a “closer”.  I’m not smart so I don’t know what is wrong with Bell and apparently the Diamondbacks didn’t either.  Things could get ugly quickly for Bell out in the desert if this is the kind of performance he is going to give.

To add insult to injury, on Kozma’a home run, a male fan who was in perfect position to catch the ball jumped out of the way and his (alleged) girlfriend takes one to the upper torso or somewhere around there.  Check out Deadspin for the video.

Arizona Diamondbacks 2013 Season Preview

goldiebearjew
I am Bear Jew, hear me roar.

It wasn’t long ago that the Diamondbacks were the feel good story in all of baseball. It seemed like that 2011 team was Justin Upton and a bunch of guys, and they rolled into the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers where they came ever so close to advancing to the 2011 NLCS. The model worked as it should, a team built around a young superstar overachieved a year ahead of schedule. Bruce Springsteen was being played on the stadium organ. Good times were had by all. With some luck and decent moves, a supporting cast would be built around Justin Upton for years to come.

It would never be more than a mirage for Arizona. This offseason wasn’t about who they added, but rather the trade that sent their franchise player to Atlanta to play with his brother. The package the Dbacks received in return for Upton wasn’t all that exciting, and it’s clear that they settled for much less than they could have yielded at other points if they were so set on trading Upton.

The organization continually remarked behind closed doors that Upton wasn’t “a winning player”. Go ahead and Google it now, you won’t find any other reasons behind why Upton was dealt. That’s because there were no good reasons. It was a stupid move and even when Arizona makes it back to the postseason in another eight or so seasons, it still won’t be a good move. It didn’t have to go down this way, and the Dbacks have unofficially stuck their flag in rebuild mountain.

They traded Trevor Bauer for being a dipshit, too.

Major offseason moves:

  • Traded Justin Upton for Martin Prado and Randall Delgado
  • Signed Eric Chavez
  • Traded for Tony Campana
  • Signed Rod Barajas
  • Traded Trevor Bauer for Didi Gregorius
  • Signed Brandon McCarthy to a 2-year, $15.5 million dollar contract

After the jump we’ll take a look at the 2013 Diamondbacks projected lineup and pitching staff.

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Game 3, 2012: Reds Rise From the Dead on Easter Sunday

Jay Bruce got one off Heath Bell to tie the game at 5-5, bottom of the 9th.

[Box Score]

Cincinnati.com | Mark Sheldon | Redleg Nation | Red Reporter

This was the type of win that builds chemistry when the season is still young. It was a huge victory for the Reds, pushing the Marlins out of town when they should have lost the opening series of the season.

I returned from Easter brunch in time to see Jay Bruce hit his game tying opposite field home run off Heath Bell. Drew Stubbs added an infield single. The Reds started to pile on the pressure on Bell and the Marlins. Hanigan singled to the opposite field and Stubbs advanced to third.

I was never really concerned with this bunch. Even if they had lost today, I’m not concerned. If they lose five games in a row after this–I still have a relaxed sense that at some point the wins are coming. And when Scott Rolen pinch hit and drove a ball hard to third base, Jose Reyes couldn’t field it cleanly. Stubbs scampered home, and the Reds had themselves against a quality opponent.

Marlins exit stage left–they took a nice piece of us last night–but we let Mike Stanton come to town and didn’t surrender any bombs. Statement win on Opening Day followed by letdown loss and finished up with a character and chemistry building win on Easter Sunday.

How about Jay Bruce? He’s never gotten off to a start like this. To see him using all of the field and put a swing on a Bell fast ball on the outer half like he did was no accident–whereas last season when Bruce went the other way with a pitch it looked forced or by mistake. Bruce hit a ball that got caught in the jet stream. The swing looked a little bit like Joey Votto off first glace. The Reds don’t win today without Bruce’s game-tying blast.

Pats on the back go to Zach Cozart, Aroldis Chapman (nice ‘W’ in two scoreless innings of relief), and DatDudeBP for his 1000th hit as a Cincinnati Red.

Bring on the damn Cardinals tomorrow night and let’s get this rivalry going again. We’re going to put a whuppin’ on that ass.

Highlights:

Bruce’s 2nd home run of the season

Bruce’s game-tying shot off Heath Bell in the 9th

Rolen drives in the game-winning run

Game 11, 2011: Reds 8, Padres 2

[Box Score]

[Gaslamp Ball] [Cincinnati.com]

These Reds have more than 9 lives don’t they?

There were several instances last night where the game should have been over (thanks once again to Nick Masset for burning our bullpen and nearly losing his 3rd game on the young season) in favor of the Padres and had the Reds sitting at 7-4 entering the ever tough getaway day off the West Coast.

But the Reds didn’t quit. The special moment was in the bottom of the 9th with the game on the line, Cameron Maybin hit a ball that looked like a line shot into the right-center gap that would surely end this one. Thom Brennaman even made the point to say “and this game is over–or is it?” before Jay Bruce appeared like Superman out of nowhere to snag the line drive, dash Cameron Maybin’s hopes of celebration (pictured above) and send the game into extra innings.

The other big moment that will stick with me is the way Logan Ondrusek battled out of tough situations last night. In two different innings he had a mess to clean up, and when he struck out Nick Hundley with the bases loaded and only one out in the 10th inning, you just knew they would find a way to get out of it yet again and give themselves one more inning to win the game.

When the game ended last night just before the 2am hour here in Ohio, Dusty Baker had a look on his face that said a lot to me. His look said that he’s been around this game a long time, and there’s something special going on with his group of 25 here in 2010. He’s seen a lot of assembly’s of rosters in his time. He’s had good teams, bad teams, mediocre teams. He knows that there is a little magic surrounding a lot of talent and grit in this group. He won’t admit it, but I’m telling you the thought has crossed his mind a few times already.

Those are the types of things you think about when you’re rolling teams without anything from Jay Bruce, or when you’re seeing a Chris Heisey drive in 8 runs in his first 14 at-bats yet there is no spot for him every day because Gomes and Stubbs have collected so many big hits. Or when Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto look to be at their never before seen peak–how scary of a thought is that?

This team is dangerous.

Top Plays:

Drew Stubbs monster homer slams the door shut

Johnny Gomes saves the game with a catch

Brandon Phillips: Are you kidding me?

Reds 11th inning explosion

Potpourri:

This was the second consecutive game in which I noticed Aroldis Chapman’s velocity was down. He was 94 MPH, touching 96 that I saw, and even though he worked a 1-2-3 7th inning that saw him go strikeout (filthy slider), foul out, strike out looking on his best pitch of the night speed-wise; I’m a little concerned. We’re talking about 10 MPH on the fastball that he’s missing all of the sudden. Keep your eyes on this.

Jay Bruce *MIGHT* be starting to come out of his funk ever so slowly perhaps. The box score will read only 1 for 3, 2 runs scored; but if you watched the quality of at-bats that he had, they’re the type of at-bats that a player has when he’s about to come out of a funk. Confidence building at-bats. Working an 8-pitch walk from Heath Bell who was throwing smoke. Fouling off tough pitches from a lefty. And of course probably 2 or 3 Gold Glove quality plays in the outfield.

I watched this game until the bitter end, wide awake. The reason for this is I am sick as a dog. I don’t know if it’s a cold, or it’s a flu; but it’s some type of re-payment for staying out all night the day of Opening Day. Would I do it again if that is the cause? Absolutely.