Tag Archives: Sunday Night Baseball

Jay Bruce hits two home runs off Clayton Kershaw on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball

bruce HR 29

[Reds 3, Dodgers 2]

That was it last night – that was the game I have been waiting for out of Jay Bruce since his debut back in May of 2008.

There have been three homer games, home runs in the playoffs, and huge walk-off home runs. But last night was the most dominating showcase of Jay Bruce’s career. ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball has been where the entire baseball world pauses and convenes for three hours before starting a new week. There were some folks watching the NFL last night, but the people in the nation who love baseball were watching Jay Bruce hit his 28th and 29th home runs of the season off the closest thing the game has to Sandy Koufax. He did it to seal a sweep for the Reds at home over the Los Angeles Dodgers. When I saw Bruce’s second home run land in the right field moondeck, I knew that Reds season in 2013 had reached it’s zenith.

And there’s this: the home runs that Bruce hit off Kershaw were the first and second homers hit off the left-hander by a left-handed batter all season long.

[Bruce Home Run #28]
[Bruce Home Run #29]

Tell them Jay, tell them that the Reds think they’re the best team in baseball:

The Reds sit a game out of first, Homer Bailey threw pretty close to what I would consider to be a gem, and Bruce had his pair of national TV dingers off Clayton Kershaw. It doesn’t seem real.

And it’s nights like last night I feel bad for ever saying a terse word about Dusty Baker. He isn’t perfect, but we owe some debts of gratitude to Dusty for pulling the Reds out of baseball purgatory and giving the Reds back to back winning seasons for the first time since 1999-2000 (yes, the Reds now have 82 wins and will finish over .500).

ESPN Releases it’s Sunday Night Baseball Schedule: Honestly, it’s not worth a full post. ESPN turned around and loaded the schedule for the first-half of the season with a bunch of large market teams. The Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds, two teams who are talented and will be very competitive did not crack it one time. Yes, there are a lot of ways to watch your team if you want to see them. But it’s still nice to close out a weekend with someone other than the Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, Mets, Red Sox, Braves, White Sox or Cardinals involved. [Hardball Talk]

Thumbs up for Bryce Harper, Thumbs down for Cole Hamels

I wasn’t alone, and I didn’t like Cole Hamels throwing at Bryce Harper.

I played the game for a long time, and I know how it’s played. I know the unwritten codes, the baseball laws, the brotherhood that you can only become part of and come to understand between the white lines at any level.

But I still think Hamels’ decision to plunk Harper in between the numbers in the young superstar’s Sunday Night Baseball debut was horseshit.

“I was trying to hit him,” Hamels said. Exactly why is that? Because you didn’t like the way he wore his eye black? What the Hell were you doing at age 17 and 18, Cole?

You haven’t made a habit of throwing at other rookies you’ve faced, let alone in their first at-bat facing you. So why did you take it upon yourself to do it to Harper? Because he’s really good and he knows it? Because it’s going to be his league here in about two or three years?

There really isn’t a good reason, and you wanting to knock him down a peg doesn’t suffice.

Props to Nats GM Mike Rizzo standing up for his boy, I loved that. Props to Jordan Zimmerman for retaliating against the source himself. Props to Harper for stealing a plate and telling Hamels to shove it in 90 quick feet from third to home and then later singling him to left field.

If Hamels was still paying attention late in the 9-3 drubbing when Harper turned a bloop into a double; that’s how the game is played. For as much crap as people give the 19-year old, Harper gets it. Hamels does not.

ESPN Releases Sunday Night Baseball Schedule

Yesterday ESPN released their Sunday Night Baseball telecast schedule for the first half of the season. The Cincinnati Reds will host a mid-July contest at Great American Ballpark to give fans that rare Sunday game under the lights.

It seems as a whole ESPN tried to buck the typical ways of throwing the Yankees, Red Sox, or Cubs on every Sunday Night. This schedule features good variability between teams which is partly in response to the playoff field containing teams like the Rangers and Rays last season.

April 8 Chicago White Sox at Texas
April 15 L.A. Angels at N.Y. Yankees
April 22 Yankees at Boston
April 29 Tampa Bay at Texas
May 6 Philadelphia at Washington
May 13 Angels at Texas
May 20 St. Louis at L.A. Dodgers
May 27 Washington at Atlanta
June 3-July 1 TBD
July 8 Yankees at Boston
July 15 St. Louis at Cincinnati
July 22-Sept 23 TBD

I like what I’m seeing here. As usual we’ll be doing the Sunday Night Liveblogs here at Diamond Hoggers, so we do hope you’ll make a habit of joining us and commenting on the action or at least having a few new dick jokes we can all add to our repertoire.

Game 67, 2011: Giants 4, Reds 2

[Box Score]

[Cincinnati.com]

After 67 games, they’re treading water boys. Nothing has been settled, and there’s a ton of questions to be answered about these Cincinnati Reds, version 2011.

The fact remains that when Joey Votto and Jay Bruce aren’t doing a lot, this team simply doesn’t do much offensively.

I went into last night’s game on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball thinking that the Reds had an excellent chance to take three out of four from the Giants and trim the lead in the NL Central a little bit more. When the Reds jumped out to a 2-0 lead and were getting constant scoring threats against the inconsistent San Francisco lefty Jonathan Sanchez; I was even more sure the Reds were going to deliver on taking 3 of 4 and then head to Los Angeles to begin their run in returning to the top of the division.

I’m feeling mixed up about the Reds right now. They haven’t been under .500 all season, but they have never been more than 3 games above .500 either. They’ve got a lot of problems, too many to just list off in this post. It’s something different every night. When they plug one hole in the ship, another new leak seems to spring up.

Some might say that splitting on the road in San Francisco isn’t too bad. Especially beating Tim Lincecum on FOX Saturday Baseball. But this isn’t a great Giants team–despite how good the bullpen is and how good they are in close games–they’re bare bones right now offensively. The Reds should have swept this series and a good team like the Cardinals or Brewers would have swept or at least taken that 3 of 4 games. The Reds went the entire series without a home run, and really other than a few deep shots to left field that I saw, there was never really a threat to do so.

The Giants had the Reds in their park, and they used their park to get the Reds into playing their style of game; and it gained them a split. Think about it a little bit–especially if you were able to watch three or all four games in this series. The Reds are a team that wins via the three run homer right now; they like to blow teams out and they’re used to scoring five runs a game. They had to play a different game this past series, a manufacture game.

Now the one positive I take from this series is they got quality starting pitching. You would think that if this can continue; and I have serious doubts about it continuing, but if it can the Reds are going to be alright for the long haul of this season and it’s going to be a photo finish in the NL Central.

However, if you’re a person that had thoughts that the Reds were so much better than the Brewers or Cardinals and were going to run away with this thing now is the time where you should start to be humbled and realize you were being a homer. The Reds look to me like the type of team that could do this all season long and if they don’t get some type of shot in the arm help (cough, cough, Jose Reyes) they could actually finish 5 or 6 games out in the race at season’s end.

Sunday Night Baseball Liveblog

We’ll be doing this every week along with The Golden Sombrero and Off-Base Percentage. So if you find yourself not doing much on Sunday Nights except watching the crew at ESPN (I’m loving Orel Hershiser) and whoever is playing the final game of the week–why not join us?

And what better night to roll it out then when the Reds are trying to take 2 of 3 from the Cardinals in St. Louis? By the way, Happy Easter everyone.