The Weekend Take

-While it would see the Cincinnati Reds came out a bit flat in a 12-4 loss on Memorial Day yesterday, they played extremely well over the weekend. I’m not pissed about a 2-0 loss on Sunday in 10 innings either–a rare game at GABP in which no home run is hit. Saturday will always be remembered as the Jay Bruce air show off Brian Moehler. Friday was Johnny Gomes nearly hitting for the cycle, coming only a double shy. One has to wonder, what does Mike Leake have to do to get a win?
I’m not that pissed about yesterday’s loss. We’re still in first place. Just don’t get swept in St. Louis. That’s all I care about right now. Then we don’t have to see these suckers again for a few months. The Cardinals have been worse against teams other then the Reds then we have been in the same situation. I like our chances, I really do. I don’t want to go toe to toe with St. Louis for the division. We’ll get out played, out hit, out pitched, and out managed. Can the other teams in the NL do that as proficiently against us as the Cardinals can? I don’t think they can. And if they can’t we’ll win this division.
-We’ll have more on this later today, but we’re a little bit unhappy with Joey Votto. With so many Reds fans, this guy is untouchable in terms of criticism. He isn’t above it, and he deserves it today. On this blog, he’ll get some.
Buster Olney’s Twitter gives us some really good information. People might want to know how or why Ubaldo Jimenez is so dominant right now. Olney lets us in on a reason why: “Jimenez’s fastball averaged nine inches of horizontal movement on Monday, six inches of vertical movement. And he’s throwing 97-100 mph.”

People, do we have any idea what this looks like? Wow. And I thought Chris Carpenter was tough to hit on MLB the Show 10.

Olney also gives us a glimpse of what ticket prices will be like on StubHub as the Stephen Strasburg debut arrives.

For all the people who call him Buster Yankee, he’s got some pretty good baseball nuggets.

-I had a feeling that the only team in baseball who’d give Dontrelle Willis a shot at recycling himeslf would be the Florida Marlins. I just had a feeling. Maybe this sells a dozen more tickets if he ever makes it to the show with them. The magic is gone in that left arm.

-I thought the Memorial Day hats that most big league teams wore was a really nice touch. Especially the Reds’ white with the road grey. It was just sweet. Reminded me of the year Barry Larkin went 30/30. If you didn’t catch a look, here’s a photo gallery.

-I played some horseshoes out in the back yard yesterday during the rain delay. I haven’t played since I was a kid, and I didn’t win a game. But I might have fallen back in love with the game. So simple, yet so complex. Nothing to do with baseball. Yet it’s similar. I went into a slump. There’s not a whole lot of technique you can change up; so when in doubt, you change sides. I threw some good ‘shoes. I might have had 5 or 6 ringers in four games.

-In another potpourri note, I had my best game ever of MLB the Show 10 last night. My girlfriend didn’t want to hear about it so you all get to.

I open a series with the Cardinals who are in first, and my Reds are in last place. Opening on the mound is Edison Volquez vs. Chris Carpenter. Carpenter is 6-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 50 K’s. I call my buddy who plays with me and tell him I’m going to beat Carpenter and hang his first loss on him.

Sure enough, Carp lives up to the billing. He is as unhittable as anyone I’ve faced in my franchise thus far. I mean, he’s on. The Cardinals get a 1st inning home run from Albert Pujols into the left field bullpen (similar to the one he hit off of Harang on Opening Day), and another one to left on a change-up from David Freese a few innings later.

I pull Volquez after only five for a pinch hitter, trying to mount any semblance of a rally off Carpenter that I can. I honestly felt like Dusty Baker on one of those days you’re in your dugout and there’s just only so many things you can do when Carpenter or an ace-type guy has his best stuff. I’m trying everything. I’m laying off any pitch other then a fastball. I’m trying to fight pitches off. I’m just trying to get a base runner. Nothing is working. He’s mowing guys down left and right. I notch only two measly singles off him up the middle from Rolen and Cabrera.

And then, it happened.

He hits Scott Rolen to put him on first base. It’s the 7th inning and I’m still trailing 2-0. Laynce Nix, hitting all of around .128 at the beginning of the game comes to the plate with 2 K’s already. He’s looked bad. I guess fastball down and in and sure enough Carpenter gives it to me thank God. It catches too much of the plate and Nix hits a towering drive into the moon deck to tie the game at 2. I was thrilled. I was sweating too. Carpenter exits in a 2-2 game and my bullpen would hold. Bottom of the 8th inning I get a couple on and a weak single up the middle by Rolen gives me a 3-2 lead. In the top of the 9th Cordero comes on, allows a lead-off single to Pujols and then strikes out the side for the save and the dramatic win.

Hopefully it’s a season changer. That game is so real that it literally will make you feel like a big league manager at times. Don’t buy it if you’re a baseball junkie like I am.