Tag Archives: Zach Cozart

Reds Split a Doubleheader in a long Night of Baseball

Joey+Votto

[Box Score - Game One]
[Box Score - Game Two]

The Reds played 18 innings of baseball yesterday, and I made sure to see all of them. Nothing especially great happened in the second game after another big win in the first. The Reds left 12 men on base and squandered opportunities all (late) night long.

In the first game, the Reds rolled to another victory with Devin Mesoraco, Shin-soo Choo, and Zach Cozart all going yard. Cozart had four hits in the game and Tony Cingrani did his thing to improve to 4-1.

It would have been a huge boost to the Reds to win two games in one day yesterday, and again with every opportunity in the world to truly get on a roll, the 2013 Reds did what they have done so often this season. They teased and they teased and they teased some more.

When I returned home from my buddy’s house and pulled in my driveway it was almost 2:30 AM and the Reds had let me down. My wife had texted just minutes earlier that she was locking the door if I didn’t come home immediately. Times are good when it’s summer, and you’re 30, and there’s late-night baseball on.

A PERFECT Summer Night at Great American Ball Park

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[Box Score]

[Cincinnati.com]

Last night was a fun game that I attended with some guys from work, and it featured a little bit of something for everyone. The highlight of the night was this majestic opposite-field blast from Jay Bruce, his 13th home run on the season:

And that wasn’t the only long ball we saw. Zach Cozart and Todd Frazier had upper deck jobs (I missed Frazier’s because I was grabbing a beer for my buddy) and Joey Votto snuck one out the other way.

I also loved Starling Marte’s unreal catch to rob Brandon Phillips of extra bases – at least – you could say I ‘appreciated’ it.

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I’ve never really taken a shot of the Great American Insurance building behind the park. Here it is in all of it’s glory.

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Bruce warming up before the start of an inning. And I think the kid on the right field line who warms him up every inning *might* be the nephew of Walt Jocketty or Bob Castellini. Something is up with this kid. He throws worse than a woman. He is scared to death of the ball. Anything thrown his way where Bruce puts anything on the ball and the kid looks like he wants to run out of the way and allow a fan to take the brunt of it. He short-hopped Bruce multiple times. He is a special brand of hideous.

You are a big league team; and that’s the best you can do with a ball boy? Something is rotten in Denmark with this.

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Here’s Andrew McCutchen. Love watching the guy play. He did his thing with a couple of line drives for base hits, and took his usual bean ball to the middle of the back later in the game.

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“Strikeouts for LaRosa’s” is new at the ball park this year. It’s a deal where you get a free small LaRosa’s pizza when Reds pitchers strike out 11 hitters or more in a game. The Reds didn’t give anyone strikeout pizza last night but that’s okay because I’m on a diet and LaRosa’s is kind of overrated. It’s like the Cincinnati equivalent of Donato’s.

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We had fourth-row seats out in right field behind our version of The Mick. It was a great night for a ballgame. I’ve sat in a lot worse then mid-80 degree heat and all night the weather stayed clear.

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And any perfect night at the park is capped off with Aroldis Chapman coming into the game throwing 99 MPH heat, and ended with him striking out a hitter with a 101 MPH fastball. He also threw inside on Neil Walker before striking him out in absolutely demeaning fashion.

Game 70, 2013: Reds 5, Brewers 1

Jay+Bruce+HR12

[Box Score]

[Cincinnati.com]

Let’s start the post with the most glorious part of the day: Jay Bruce’s 443-foot moonshot. It was his 12th home run of the season. It came off a 3-0 count from Wily Peralta. Bruce had himself a nice little weekend. A walk-off home run on Friday night. A 2 for 3 day with a walk in a game where no one on the Reds hit on Saturday. And then this bomb today. When Bruce is going like he is going right now, it’s a good idea to just let him go. I would like to know whether or not the call to let him green light on 3 and 0 came from Dusty or from Bruce himself. Either way, I said to myself when he was in that count that it was a perfect time to let him try and hit one into the sun deck. By the time I finished the thought, the ball was ricocheting off the facade of the entrance way to a section of the ball park that few home runs are hit.

And we go back to the thought we had coming home from work Friday while sitting in traffic:

When Jay Bruce is at home, and he’s facing fastball dependent right-handed pitching, AND that opposing team happens to be the Brewers; something good is bound to happen. And it did this weekend.

We’ve still got some time until the All-Star break, and Bruce has an opportunity to play his way into a spot if he can just stay hot. The average sits at .283, with 12 homers and a quiet 47 RBI. He’s having a nice little season that with a few breaks could end up a career year.

But let’s not make this all about Jay Bruce. Zach Cozart and Joey Votto added two hits each. Johnny Cueto had the most Cueto outing ever. He improved to 4-0 on the season, allowing only one run while striking out three and walking no one in six innings. The Reds moved to 42-28 on father’s day, and gained a game in the NL Central standings on the Cardinals. They’re 2.5 back, and something tells me they’re not going to go away this year.

Game 28, 2012: Reds put it all together in 6-1 win over Brewers

[Box Score]

[Cincinnati.com] [Mark Sheldon] [Redleg Nation]

This was one of the most complete efforts on the year so far for the Reds. It probably starts with Bunny Arroyo’s fine outing on the mound. He somehow struck out nine Brewers, allowed only the mammoth home run to Ryan Braun and walked just one. He’s now 2-1 on the season with a 2.75 ERA. The Reds starters are getting it done, between Bunny’s fine effort and what Mat Latos did on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

The Reds pounded out another ten hits last night, with a lot of the damage coming in that big 4th inning. This is either the first time they’ve been a couple games over .500 this season, or it sure feels like it. It’s really no time to relax even though they’ve taken four of five and 11 of 16 games. This is the time to keep the foot on the gas and make a run.

How about Bruce’s monster home run last night? That was the longest home run I’ve ever seen him hit. He ran it with humility and didn’t show up Marco Estrada, but that thing traveled to Kenosha, WI. Couple of hits for Brandon Phillips, couple of hits for Ryan Hanigan, Zach Cozart homered; everyone really contributed.

Homer Bailey and Yovani Gallardo I’m a little worried about tonight.

Highlights:

Bruce hits a MONSTER 442-foot home run (9)

Bunny Arroyo was magnificent

Welcome back, Miguel Cairo

Zach Cozart solo bomb (3) ties the game

Joey Votto RBI Double gives the Reds the lead

Ryan Braun goes yard off Bronson Arroyo early, his 9th

Potpourri:

-Jay Bruce’s home run is worth checking out Hit Tracker for the first time this year if you haven’t.

-Behind Atlanta’s Michael Bourn, Bruce has the second longest active hitting streak in baseball now at 10 games. He’s gone 15 of 37, for a .405 average. He’s slugging 1.027 during the life of the streak. He’s got six homers, 12 RBI, and ten runs during it. Bruce had two 12-game hitting streaks as a rookie.

-Check out my buddy Dave here with Sal Fasano, on “What it takes to be a great catcher”. I remember when Jeff Pearlman told me that Fasano was one of the best pro-athletes he had ever met in terms of humility and just being a great human being. Great work on this Dave.

-Ended up owing my wife a trip to UDF for ice-cream when the Reds had that big inning. Where’s the Peach!?!?

Game 25, 2012: Sister Christian Oh the Time Has Come

[Box Score]

[Cincinnati.com]

The Reds got a little bit of everything you want to see in a 6-1 Friday night win at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, and Zach Cozart all homered. The rest of the guys added five additional extra-base hits. Johnny Cueto went the distance to improve to 4-0 on the season, striking out four and walking no one.

The Cardinals lost to the Astros last night 5-4 in Houston. Now the Reds have a chance to get a couple games above the .500 mark and begin a winning-streak on Cinco De Mayo Saturday. What more could you ask for? They must win at all costs today whether that win come ugly or pretty like last evening. The Reds just have to keep rolling.

Highlights:

Bruce homers to right field (8)

Cozart & Stubbs go back-to-back

Brandon Phillips RBI single

Cueto’s sparkling outing

Ryan Hanigan RBI double

Potpourri:

It’s Cinco De Mayo. It’s a great holiday. In honor of the day that Adam Dunn always seemed to hit bombs on, we present to you the only batter walk-up song that Dunn used during his time in Cincinnati: a little Night Ranger. And maybe, just maybe; Dunn will go deep today in Detroit.

Game 24, 2012: Cubs fail to play for 27 outs

[Box Score]

[Cincinnati.com] [Mark Sheldon]

Frustrate you as they may, and they were frustrating for eight long innings with Ryan Dempster on the hill; there’s one thing you can say about the Reds. This group will force you to play for 27 outs, and if you don’t they’ll send you home losers.

The Reds entered the ninth inning trailing by a score of 3-0. They had just three hits on the day until that point. And then Carlos Marmol gave them the air supply they desperately needed.

He walked Willie Harris to lead off the ninth, which was a bad idea since Harris hasn’t collected a base-hit all season thus far. Joey Votto followed with a walk of his own. Brandon Phillips hit a ground ball to Ian Stewart, and the usually sound defense of the Cubs imploded. Stewart booted the ball and Harris scored. Jay Bruce followed with a sharp single. Ryan Ludwick walked to make it 3-2. Devin Mesoraco hit into a double play but the game was tied at 3-3.

The Reds found a way to win it in the 10th on a sacrifice fly by Scott Rolen that scored Zach Cozart. What should have been a 4-4 homestand became a 5-3 homestand. The Reds were back to .500 and the Cardinals which gave them renewed life.

The Reds knack for the comeback just might be their best quality. They had absolutely nothing yesterday and they still found a way to beat the opposition.

Highlights:

Homer Bailey’s 4th quality start in five outings

Starlin Castro’s first dinger of the year

Zach Cozart’s great diving stop

Rolen’s sac-fly to win it

Potpourri:

  • This was the first time in MLB history that two starting pitchers shared a birthday on the day of the game started. Bailey is now 26, while Dempter is 35.
  • I’m now getting old enough that I can remember games a full decade ago. Ten years ago to the day the Reds lost a game 6-1 in San Francisco. Their lineup went Larkin, Juan Encarnacion, Sean Casey, Dunn, Aaron Boone, Todd Walker, Austin Kearns, Corky Miller, and Jose Rijo started on the mound.
  • A decade ago to the day, Adam Dunn had 25 career home runs. Dunn now has 372 as of last evening, including this monster home run last night off Cleveland’s Dan Wheeler.

Game 21, 2012: Reds make it a Perfect Saturday at the Ball Park

[Box Score]

[Cincinnati.com] [Better Off Red] [Mark Sheldon]

Couple of random take home points about yesterday’s game, which was one of my favorite Reds games I’ve been to:

  1. It was the best game that Jay Bruce has had that I’ve been to, if you’re not counting his MLB debut. The home run was a bomb. The defensive double-play assist. The double down the line. Four RBI’s. Huge day for Bruce.
  2. Johnny Cueto was dominant, and working quickly. The game was just 2 hours, 23 minutes. He went seven shutout innings and after the first he never really was under any type of duress.
  3. Zach Cozart made the play of the year–probably the finest play I’ve seen made live at a game. From the seat of his pants. Check out that play HERE.
  4. We got to see Aroldis Chapman pitch. He struck out Chris Snyder with a 99 MPH fastball to end the game.
  5. The Reds wore the red jerseys for the rare Saturday, 4:00 PM start home game. I like the 4:00 PM start quite a bit I think. I like 1:00 PM Saturday home games more, but the Reds seem to do it once a year, tops.
  6. We saw the same guy in the crowd catch two consecutive foul balls in this one. Never seen that before.
  7. This game came during Mike Trout’s return to the big leagues and prior to watching Bryce Harper’s MLB debut later on in the night.
  8. The drive to Cincinnati seems a lot shorter after driving to Wrigleyville last weekend.
  9. I appreciate Logan Ondrusek almost beyond words. It’s great having a guy with that kind of stuff in our bullpen.
  10. [blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/DiamondHoggers/status/196269480123441153"]
  11. This was one of the best Saturday’s I’ve ever spent at the park. It reminded me so much of this April 27, 2002 game I was on hand for. It’s funny because I didn’t realize it was about 10 years to the day.
  12. I got to the ballpark and somehow the batteries in my camera died. All the pictures below are off my iPhone.

Game 17, 2012: This is the Mat Latos We Were Searching For

[Box Score]

[Cincinnati.com] [Bay City Ball] [Mercury News] [The Splash]

Now this is the Mat Latos we traded for.

If the Reds get this Latos to show up more often than not this season, it’s pretty self-explanatory what’s going to happen. The Reds can be a monster.

I didn’t think the Reds had a chance in Hell last night when I saw Matt Cain was pitching.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/DiamondHoggers/status/194804991859499009"]

But I was wrong. I felt like the Reds had three key at-bats in the bottom of the first-inning that were game altering. Zach Cozart opened the game up with a 10-pitch showdown against Cain, and although he flew out to short; the Reds had opened up Cain for head shots with a few nice early body blows from their lead-off hitter. I’ll say it again, these are the type of at-bats that win you ballgames at the onset.

Drew Stubbs doubled, and after Joey Votto struck out Brandon Phillips had another battling type at-bat that resulted in a two-run home run. The Reds were off to the races and a bonus came later in the inning because Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen got Matt Cain to throw even more pitches.

It’s impossible to get these professional at-bats game in and game out. But picked a good pitcher to do this against. You don’t need these kind of at-bats to beat the Barry Zito’s of the world or the Randy Wells’. Matt Cain doesn’t make that first inning mistake to Phillips that landed in the Cincinnati bullpen unless you grind on him like the Reds did. Notice that he settled in and was basically unscathed for the rest of his outing.

The Reds great perseverance in their at-bats also still called for a couple of big pitches by Mat Latos. With the bases juiced, he lured the red-hot Nate Schierholtz to ground out with the bases loaded. That opened the door for the Reds to shoot up the San Francisco Giants like the Alamo.

Great start to a homestand.

Highlights:

Bark in the Park last night in Cincinnati – (Sorry we didn’t make it this time, Bentley)

Phillips two-run home run

Bruce bases-loaded double

Retaliation for Votto being plunked?

Latos’ strong outing

Reds avoid Cardinals sweep

[Box Score]

[Cincinnati.com]

I didn’t get to see the first business day special of the year, because I was doing business. The Reds avoided getting swept by their division rivals after getting in a 3-0 hole thanks to a Jon Jay home run off Johnny Cueto.

Cueto didn’t have his best stuff it seemed, but he kept the Reds in the game over the course of five toughly contested innings. He did play the role of stopper, not allowing anything beyond the three runs the Cardinals were able to muster early against him.

I knew this type of game was coming from Joey Votto. Call it the first signature game of the Votto $225 million dollar contract era, but Votto doubled a couple of times and singled a couple of times, and his average rose to the mid-.300’s. What’s crazy to think about is if he’s going right his average won’t dip below .300 again this season.

It seemed that Votto and Wilson Valdez, Zach Cozart and Drew Stubbs willed the Reds back into this one; along with phenomenal efforts in the bullpen from Jose Arredondo and Aroldis Chapman.

The Reds evened their record at 3-3 after six games, two behind St. Louis and one behind Milwaukee. There’s a long ways to go but things could have been a lot worse on the first homestand.

The Reds now head to Washington for another afternoon delight today followed by three more on the Weekend with the Nationals. The best news is probably that the Reds will miss Stephen Strasburg’s turn in the rotation.

Highlights

Chapman’s dominating appearance

Heisey’s walk-off single

 

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

Reds split doubleheader with Yankees

[Box Score - Game 1] [Box Score - Game 2]

The doubleheader with the New York Yankees wasn’t quite everything I wanted it to be and then some. The Brewers and Cardinals lost, so with a pair of wins the Reds had the rare chance to pick up 1.5 games on both of those teams. It didn’t happen.

Joey Votto and Jay Bruce picked up 2 hits combined in a full day of action. The Reds are playing such a frustrating brand of baseball right now.

To be honest, this group is stale on me. This group isn’t doing much for me. They need some overhauling. Walt needs to go out and add some power bats with some pop. I’m in favor of bringing up Zach Cozart from Louisville today to play some shortstop. But the Reds have got to trim the fat. They just have to.

Bruce and Votto have got to start compiling some numbers. This season is salting away. The Reds are one up and one down’ing me to death. Something has to give, I can’t be in limbo all summer. I’m not enjoying the ride as much as I did last year. I don’t need a pennant race for this to be enjoyable, I’ve decided.

Major props to Chris Heisey in the nightcap of the doubleheader, a game in which he hit three home runs to left field from the leadoff spot. I like Heisey a lot. I think he’s just about good enough to play every day. This game reminded me a lot of Jay Bruce’s 3 home run masterpiece last year against the Cubs.

Aside from Heisey’s big day, I love the way Johnny Cueto is throwing the baseball. I think the Reds are close to having a stopper, a bonafide #1. At least, as close as they’ve been in a long time to having a true shutdown guy. Cueto has been the brightest spot on this Reds squad this year. The one guy who you would have a hard time saying anything negative about. His ERA is down to 1.63 now. You just have to hope that he continues to stay consistent. Obviously, he’ll have an outing or two where he’s not as sharp. But if he can stay consistent he can really be the catalyst that leads this whole staff and pitches the Reds right into position to take a playoff spot.