After thirteen years of
service including seven NL Central titles, two national league
championships, and one World Series Championship; Walt Jocketty was fired
from the Cardinals organization on October 3, 2007 by team owner Bill
DeWitt. The two-time MLB Executive of the Year ('00 and '04) was responsible
for seven straight winning seasons and two 100+ win seasons in 2004 and
2005. During his time in St. Louis, Jocketty made many transactions that
enabled such success:
1996-Aquired Dennis Eckersley from the Oakland A's. Finished season
88-74 and won the NL Central. Lost to Braves in NLCS 4-3.
1997-Traded Dmitri Young to the Reds for Jeff Brantley and acquired
Mark McGuire from the A's for three players. McGuire spent the next 5 years
in St. Louis hitting 220 homeruns and driving in 473 runs. Team finished
1998-Acquired Edgar Renteria from the Marlins for Braden Looper and
two others. Team finished third (83-79), but Renteria would spend the next
six years as the Cardinals' shortstop (.290AVG, 451RBI, 973H, 497R).
2000-Finished first in the NL Central (95-67) after adding Jim
Edmonds, Mike Timlin, Jason Christiansen, Will Clark, and Steve Kline. The
only notable player traded away was Jack Wilson. Jim Edmonds hit 241
homeruns and drove in 713 while averaging .285 during eight season with the
Cardinals. Lost to Mets 4-1 in NLCS.
2001-Lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 in LDS after claiming first
in the NL Central (93-69) for the second year in a row. Acquiring Woody
Williams from the Padres for Ray Lankford and cash on August 2nd, helped
propel the Cards into the postseason. During his four years in St. Louis,
Williams posted a 45-22 record and a 3.53 ERA in 92 starts.
2002-Traded away Bud Smith, Placido Palanco, and Coco Crisp in
separate deals. In return the Cardinals received Chuck Finley, Jeff Fassero,
Jamey Wright, and Scott Rolen. St. Louis won their division once again
(97-65), but were defeated by the Giants 4-1 in the NLCS. Scott Rolen played
661 games for the Redbirds hitting 111 homers and driving in 453 runs over
the next six seasons.
2004-Won 105 games. En route to a World Series appearance (lost to
boston 4-0) Jocketty acquired Tony Womack, Brian Hunter, Roger Cedeno, and
Larry Walker. Gave up Dan Haren, Chris Naverson, and Jason Ryan among
2005-Defending NL Champs won 100 games and finished first in the NL
Central, but lost to the Astros 4-2 in the NLCS.
2006-In the month of July, Jocketty traded for Jeff Weaver, Ronnie
Belliard, and Jorge Sosa. Cardinals finished first in the NL Central (83-78)
and defeated the Detroit Tigers 4-1 in the World Series.
After bringing St. Louis their first World Championship since 1982,
Jocketty's 2007 Cardinal team finished in third place and he was fired after
On January 11, 2008 Walt Jocketty was hired by the Cincinnati Reds as a
Special Advisor. On April 23, 2008 he replaced Wayne Krivsky as General
Manager of the Reds. Walt quickly began assembling the team that we know
2008-Ken Griffey Jr. (and cash) traded to the White Sox for Nick
Masset and Danny Richar. Adam Dunn (and cash) traded to Arizona for Dallas
Buck, Micah Owings, and Wilkin Castillo. Ryan Freel and two others traded to
the Orioles for Ramon Hernandez. Masset, Owings, and Hernandez are all
currently on the Reds' big league roster.
2009-Acquired Drew Sutton for Jeff Keppinger, Corky Miller for Norris
Hopper, and Wladimir Balentien for Robert Manuel. At the '09 trade deadline
Jocketty shipped off Jerry Hairston Jr. to the Yankees and traded Josh
Roenicke, Edwin Encarnacion, and Zach Stewart for Scott Rolen. Dumped the
salaries of David Weathers (Brewers) and Alex Gonzolez (Red Sox).
Walt Jocketty has also added free agents such as Jonny Gomes, Laynce Nix,
and Arthur Rhodes during his quick stint in Cincinnati. The selections of
Mike Leake and Yonder Alonso in the MLB draft along with the obvious signing
of Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman prove that Jocketty's baseball
intelligence is elite.
If you decide to do nothing before August 1 we will trust your decision, Mr.
Jocketty. Your record stands alone as proof that you will attain victory in
the Queen City.
On Monday, Bronson Arroyo pitched eight innings of three-hit baseball
against the Milwaukee Brewers. With the score tied at two a piece during the
bottom of the eighth inning and after allowing only two earned runs while
striking out five, Arroyo made a huge mistake. With a 1-2 count, Jim Edmonds
crushed Arroyo's next offering, but hooked the ball foul. Edmonds then hit
Arroyo's next pitch to right-center field for his eighth homerun of the
season and placed the Brewers permanently ahead of the Reds
3-2. The Reds loss to the Brewers on Monday gave them an even .500 (6-6)
record since the All-Star break and placed them one game behind the St.
Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.
"You have past history in your head with somebody, so I
wanted to go up and in and he hits it out of the park with some hook on it
so he's obviously getting around pretty quick,"
"I thought he'd be sitting soft and away. I didn't think he'd get to the
ball on the inner half if I threw it anywhere close. It was a good four-seam
fastball on the inner half. He won the game that time."
Edinson Volquez made his third start for the Reds this season on Tuesday.
Throwing 95 pitches in just 3.2 innings Volquez allowed four runs, six hits,
walked four, and struck out three. Despite Volquez struggling for his second
straight start, the Reds offense and bullpen came through.
"I still have a
problem with my mechanics,"
"My arm is good. My speed is very good. I just can't put it together with my
mechanics. I'm going to start working with Bryan in the next couple of days
to see if we can fix it. I have to step up and throw strikes and we need to
Reds' relievers (Ondrusek, Bray, Smith, and Fisher) combined for 5.1
scoreless innings, struck out six, and allowed just three hits. Logan
Ondrusek received his second major league win as he worked 2.1 innings (0H,
3K). Compiling a season-high 19 hits against Brewers pitching, the Reds
offense was dominant. Scott Rolen, Brandon Phillips, and Joey Votto each had
four hits. It was only the
third time during the past fifty years the Reds have had three players
with four or more hits in the same game. The Reds
defeated the Brewers 12-4.
"It's a shame that Volquez wasn't able to stick around and get the 'W'
Joey Votto said.
"But it was the hitters' game today. It was a good day for all of us. Three
and four-hit games are rare. When you get them all in a bunch, that usually
means good things for us."
The Cincinnati Reds secured a series win against the Brewers and a
successful 4-2 road-trip with another
destruction of Milwaukee on Wednesday. During the Reds' five-run sixth
inning, Brandon Phillips belted a 450-foot grand slam hitting Bernie
Brewer's yellow slide in center field and Jonny Gomes notched his 300th
career RBI. After the Reds gave starter Travis Wood a 5-2 lead in the sixth
inning, he left the game after allowing two runs on five hits and striking
out six in five innings. The Reds' bullpen (Smith, Rhodes, Masset, Cordero)
was once again lights out pitching four innings of scoreless three-hit
baseball. Along with elegant relief, the Reds scored five more runs during
the eighth inning, and guaranteed Travis Wood (1-1) his
first major league victory as they
defeated the Brewers 10-2. Joey Votto belted his league-leading 26th
homerun during the eighth inning. The blast stabilized a new career-high (4
in '07, 24 in '08, and 25 in '09) for the young left-hander.
"Everybody did their job," said Reds' manager Dusty Baker.
Currently tied with the Cardinals for first-place in the NL Central, the
Reds will take Thursday off before facing the Atlanta Braves for a quick
three-game home stand at Great American Ballpark over the weekend.
FRIDAY (WSL Long Haul Bombers):
Johnny Cueto (10-2, 3.18) vs. Kris Medlen (6-2, 3.57) at 7:10pm
The Cincinnati Reds franchise has had several versatile players over the
years. Players who could play several different positions contributing to
the team concept. Cincinnati Reds players such as Lenny Harris, Bip Roberts,
Chris Stynes, and Ryan Freel come to mind. They could play in the outfield
as well as in the infield. It all depended on what the team required them to
do. It sure does help out the skipper of a major league team to have that
sort of flexibility on their twenty-five man roster. One former Cincinnati
Red helped out his respective skippers more often than any other major
leaguer in the history of the game.
Robinson says, "You gotta' know this;" Cincinnati native, Peter Edward Rose,
is the only player in major league history to have played more than 500
games at five different positions. Over the course of his 24 year career,
Charlie Hustle played 628 games at second base. He won the Rookie of the
Year award manning second base in 1963. Pete also played in right field for
595 games. He won his only two Gold Gloves as a right fielder in 1969 and
1970. Rose then moved to left field in the early stages of the Big Red
Machine era for 671 games. He won his only National League Most Valuable
Player Award in 1973 as a left fielder. In order to make room for a young
George Foster, Pete jumped back into the infield as a third baseman for his
manager Sparky Anderson. The Hit King played 634 games at third while
helping solidify back to back World Series championships in 1975 and 1976.
Mr. Red then moved on to Philadelphia as a free agent. Since the Phillies
already had a young superstar third baseman, Michael Jack Schmidt, Pete
began another journey. This time it was at first base. Pete led the Phillies
to their first World Series title as a first sacker in 1980. He went on to
end his career as a first baseman playing 939 games there for Philadelphia,
Montreal, and back again in Cincinnati where he was eventually to be crowned
as the "Hit King."
All of this versatility made me wonder; "Have there been any players who
have won MVP awards at two different positions?" After extensive research, I
found out that it had actually happened. Not just one player, but three
players had won an MVP award two different years while playing two different
positions. All three guys ended up in the Hall of Fame. Two American
Leaguers and one National Leaguer. In order to get you started on your
journey to find out who these great ball players are, I will drop a little
hint: The most recent American Leaguer to accomplish this feat played for a
team which is now a National League team. Please enjoy the pursuit of
Baseball knowledge as much as I did.
After taking a couple months off (Mike
was placed on the 60-Day disabled list), Whack Reds Radio is back just in
time to discuss the Reds' first 100 games of the 2010 season. Dan from
OMGREDS.com was kind
enough to put down his helmet sundae just long enough for us to ask him
fourteen memorable questions. Covering topics such as the MLB trade
deadline, bobbleheads, Dusty Baker, and Dan's obsession with Sam LeCure;
Episode six of Whack Reds Radio is a dandy.
On Monday, the Reds
will visit Miller Park in Milwaukee for the first time this season. The
Brewers (47-53) and Reds (55-45) have met only once this year and it
occurred at GABP (May 17-18). During a quick two-game series in which the
Reds won both, Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey combined for fourteen innings,
allowed three earned runs on eleven hits, and struck out eleven. Since the
All-Star break almost two weeks ago, the Reds have gone 6-4 against the
Rockies, Nationals, and Astros and failed to lose a series. The Reds entered
the break one game ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central. Despite a
seven-game winning streak to begin the second-half, and winning eight of
their last eleven games, the Cardinals remain only 1/2 a game ahead of the
Reds going into Monday. The Brewers are coming off a three game sweep of the
Washington Nationals and have gone 7-4 since the All-Star break, but allowed
38 runs during their four loses.
In 2009, the Reds finished 8-7 against the Brewers and five of their eight
victories were on the road. The Reds won their first series against
Milwaukee at Miller Park (April 13-15) and split a two-game series (May 6-7)
at GABP. The Reds were swept during three games in Milwaukee during May
29-31 and lost their fourth series against the Brew Crew in Cincinnati. The
two teams split a four-game series (July 16-19) in Ohio before the Reds
returned the previous sweep, winning three straight (the first two in extra
innings), during August 25-27. Prior to July 25 last season, the two teams
played all but one series against each other. After playing each other just
twice this season, The Reds and Brewers will face-off twelve more times
(7.26-28, 8.30-9.1, 9.20-22, and 10.1-3) before Cincinnati's regular-season
ends on October 3rd.
Bronson Arroyo (10-5, 4.26) will face Randy Wolf (7-9, 5.20) at 8:10pm on
Monday. In sixteen career starts against the Reds, Wolf is 9-2 with a 4.73
earned run average. Wolf held Cincinnati hitters to a .225 average during
104.1 innings while striking out 114 and walking 21. Bronson Arroyo has
started against the Brewers 17 times during his career and has lost to them
six times while winning nine and posting a 3.80 ERA. He has held opposing
Brewers to a .256 average, but allowed 17 homeruns during 109 innings
pitched (one every 6.4 innings). Arroyo is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA lifetime at
On Tuesday, Edinson Volquez (1-1, 7.56) will make his third start of the
season for the Reds against Yovani Gallardo (9-4, 2.45) at 8:10pm. Coming
off a rough
July 22 outing in which he allowed six earned runs in just 2.1 innings,
Volquez will look to rebound against a Brewer ball club that has taken him
deep five times in 22.2 innings during their brief history. Despite a 6.35
ERA and allowing 17 runs on 27 hits against the Brewers in four career
starts, Volquez has a 2-1 record. Within the NL Central, only the Brewers
(.290) and Pirates (.241) own career averages above .200 against Volquez.
Yovani Gallardo has started six games against the Reds during his four-year
career and also owns a 2-1 record against his division rival. Gallardo's ERA
against Cincinnati is 3.50 and he has struck out thirty batters, while
walking 22, in 36 innings of work.
Game three will feature rookie left-hander Travis Wood (0-1, 2.76) against
Chris Naverson (8-6, 5.93) at 2:10pm on Wednesday. Naverson has never
started a game against the Reds, but in two career appearances totaling four
innings Naverson allowed four hits and one run while striking out three.
Travis Wood will be making his first career start against the Brewers and is
still in search of his first major league victory.
DISSECTING THE REDS'
Jay Bruce has played in every one of the Reds 95 games this season. With 67
regular season games left, Bruce is on pace to easily surpass his previous
games played totals from his first two seasons in the majors. In fact, Bruce
has played just six fewer games (101) than he did last season and thirteen
fewer (108) than he did during his 2008 rookie campaign.
So far in 2010, many of Bruce's numbers already exceed those of his previous
seasons. In 339 at-bats this season, Bruce has a career-high (and counting)
in doubles (21), triples (4), stolen bases (5), and has just one less walk
(37) than he did in all of 2009 and four more than in 2008. He is currently
sitting on a .329 OBP and a .257 batting average. Both higher than at
season's end in '08 (.314OBP .254AVG) and '09 (.303OBP .223AVG). Bruce has
already passed his 2009 hit total (77) by ten, in six fewer at-bats. In some
aspects, Bruce is improving. Be that as it may, there are many statistical
categories in which Bruce is not.
During Bruce's rookie season in 2008 he notched 413 at-bats. With 105 hits
Bruce drove in 52 runs, scored a career-high 63 runs, and hit 21 homers. In
2009, Bruce had 77 hits in 345 at-bats and posted career-highs in homers
(22) and runs batted in (58). Jay Bruce is the only Red besides Frank
Robinson to hit 20 or more home runs during each of his first two seasons.
Plate discipline was still developing in '08 as Bruce struck out 27% of the
time, but he dramatically decreased his strikeout rate to 21% in '09. Bruce
also increased his slugging percentage from .453 in '08 to .470 in '09. Not
Although Bruce has advanced in certain departments this season, the 23
year-old has failed miserably in others. In his 339 at-bats this season,
Bruce has just 37 runs batted in and 10 home runs. Extremely weak even for a
high-caliber defensive outfielder. His 89 strikeouts (26%) are consistent to
his rookie year struggles and his slugging percentage (.431) has dropped 9%
from last season. Bruce is hitting just .205 with runners in scoring
position this year and despite a hot June (.307AVG, 12RBI), has failed to go
deep and has drove in just one run in the month of July while posting an
awful .130 average. He drove in his only run of July during the fifth inning
of Tuesday night's
8-7 win over the Washington Nationals.
Here's where it gets interesting. Twenty-eight of Bruce's 37 RBI this season
have came during Cincinnati victories. So did 80% of his doubles, 75% of his
triples, 60% of his homers, and 62% of his walks. His batting average is
.146 when the Reds lose and .348 when they win.
Producing seven of his ten homers during the situation, Bruce appears to
like the first two pitches of each at-bat averaging .386 when attempting at
the first and .339 when hacking at the second. Bruce's most productive count
is 0-1 where he's drove in 18 runs, hit ten doubles, and belted half of his
Jay Bruce's bat could provide an already potent offense with a surge into
the post season. Like Edinson Volquez, Bruce could bring blockbuster-trade
value to the Reds' second half without Walt Jocketty having to lift a
finger. If the Reds continue to win, and Mr. Bruce can avoid deep pitch
counts, his recent struggles should disintegrate. Bruuuuuuuce!!!!
Bronson Arroyo (10-4, 3.96) will face Stephen Strasburg (4-2, 2.03) and the
Washington Nationals at 7:10pm on Wednesday.
Jay Bruce went 2-5 during the Reds'
8-5 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, scored a run, and
raised his average to .259 on the season. Wednesday was Bruce's first
multi-hit game since July 1.
The Cincinnati Reds are currently celebrating the anniversary of their 1990
World Series title. I have several fond memories of that Wire to Wire
season. I received World Series tickets for my 16th birthday that year;
Aisle 330, row 26, seat 114. The extra inning dramatic heroics of Billy
Bates and Joe Oliver in game two stick out profoundly. Anyway, I decided to
look up some stats from that magical season and in doing so I stumbled
across a great "You gotta' know this."
I looked up to see who led the Reds in runs batted in that year. I had a
good idea who it was and sure enough, it was Eric "44 magnum" Davis. He led
the team with 86 ribbies that season, but I was a little surprised that it
was such a low number. I looked up the National League RBI leader of the
season to compare it to Eric's team leading total. A third baseman from the
San Francisco Giants, Matt Williams, led the league with 122. That is 36
more than Eric "The Red" had. Here is the interesting part of this adventure
through the record books. Matt Williams was the third consecutive Giant to
lead the league in RBI.
First baseman, Will Clark, led the league with 109 in 1988. Left fielder and
ex-Red Kevin Mitchell paced the league with 125 during his MVP campaign of
1989. Then, Matt Williams accomplished the feat in 1990. Three different
players from the same franchise led the league in runs batted in for three
consecutive seasons. I considered that to be very rare, so I dug a little
deeper to see just how rare it actually was.
The runs batted in leader for each league has been tallied since the season
of 1900. The only other team to do what the Giants had done in the National
League during '88-'90 was The New York Yankees of the American League back
in the 1920's. In fact, a New York Yankee led the league in runs batted in
seven times from 1920 to 1929 (the Cincinnati Reds of the Big Red Machine
era accomplished this 6 times during the seventies).
In 1925 outfielder, Bob Meusel, led the American League with 138. In 1926,
The Great Babe Ruth responded with 145 of his own ribbies to lead the
circuit. The "Murderers Row" of the 1927 Yankees were led by the beloved Lou
Gehrig. He paced the junior circuit with an astounding total of 175 runs
batted in that season. A former Cincinnati Red and Bearcat, Miller Huggins,
skippered those great Yankee teams. Huggins is in the Baseball Hall of Fame
in Cooperstown and is credited with creating the great Yankee lore with a
little help from the "Babe" and the "Iron Horse"...of course!
So, you gotta' know this: Since 1900 it has only happened twice. Three
consecutive years; three different team-mates led their respective leagues
in runs batted in. Another dazzler is on its way and just as our current
Reds have to do, I gotta' keep diggin' deeper.
If it weren't for Carlos Ruiz hitting a double to lead off the ninth inning
for the Phillies on July 10, Travis would have had a shot at a perfect game.
Instead, Travis pitched nine innings of one-hit scoreless ball and received
a no-decision as the Reds lost to the Phillies 1-0 in eleven innings. In
fact, the Reds have been defeated 1-0 five times so far this season and it
has happened three times in their last five games (July 10-11 and July 18).
Travis Wood has pitched for the Reds in two of their 1-0 losses.
On Sunday, Wood went scoreless through five innings against the Rockies.
Chris Iannetta scored the game's only run with a two-out solo home run in
the sixth inning off Wood. His day was over after retiring Clint Barnes to
end the sixth and left trailing the Rockies 1-0. During his six inning of
work, Wood allowed just one earned run off three hits and struck out four.
The Reds' bullpen (Masset, Rhodes, Ondrusek, and Bray) did their job as they
hurled three scoreless innings, but the
offense was stale as Wood received his first major league loss in his
four career starts.
Travis Wood was drafted directly out of Bryant High School in Arkansas by
the Cincinnati Reds in the sixtieth round of the 2005 MLB Draft. After
beginning his minor league career in '05 between the GCL Reds and the
Billings Mustangs, Wood went 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in eleven starts (14G).
Holding opposing batters to a .166 average, Wood struck out 67 in just 47.2
innings. He would begin 2006 in Dayton.
While playing with the Dragons the entire 2006 season, Wood put up very
impressive numbers. In his 27 starts, Wood compiled a 10-5 record along with
a 3.66 ERA. He struck out 133 batters in 140 innings and held them to a .215
average. During his final four starts of 2006, Wood allowed just two runs in
26 innings while striking out 14.
After two consequential seasons in '05 and '06, Wood suffered setbacks for
most of the '07 and '08 seasons. He spent most of 2007 on the disabled list
(July 10-Sptember 14). Prior to his stint on the DL, Wood struggled while
playing for the Sarasota Reds going 3-2 in 12 starts. While posting a 4.86
ERA, he allowed 49 hits and 27 walks in 46.1 innings. He began the 2008
season back in Sarasota, but only lasted for nine starts (3-4). His 2.70 ERA
and opposing .222 average quickly got him promoted to Double-A Chattanooga
where he once again found conflict. In 17 starts for the Lookouts, Wood went
4-9 with a 7.09 ERA and allowed 91 hits in his 80 innings of work. He began
2009 back in Double-A, but would quickly make his way up the minor league
ladder and into a Reds' uniform.
In 2009, Wood composed the most notable statistics of his young career.
The lefty went 9-3 in his 19 starts for the Mudhens and held hitters to a
.189 average while posting a 1.21 ERA. In 119 innings Wood struck out 103
batters, walked only 37, and allowed just 16 earned runs on 78 hits. He
started his final eight games of 2009 at Louisville after a promotion. In
48.2 innings, Wood went 4-3 and posted 3.14 ERA while striking out 32
On June 30, 2010 the Cincinnati Reds signed Wood to a one-year $400,000
contract. Wood was one of the last players cut from the Reds' roster
entering the 2010 season as
battled Mike "Godzilla" Leake for the final spot in the starting
rotation. Leake (1-0, 3.00 ERA) beat out Wood (1-1, 3.50) during spring
training, but Travis would find himself in the majors soon enough after
going 5-6 (98IP, 83H, 34ER, 97K) in 15 starts for the Bats in 2010.
Travis Wood was called up from Triple-A Louisville to the Cincinnati Reds on
June 30, 2010. Replacing Danny Ray Herrera on the Reds' roster, Wood made
his major league debut on July 1 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Wood pitched seven innings of two-hit ball during the Reds 3-2 victory over
the Cubs, but received the first of three no-decisions during his first
three major league starts.
Aside from Wood's second career start against the Mets (which was on three
days rest due to Aaron Harang back problems that led to his current stint on
the disabled list), he has pitched brilliantly. In 26.2 innings pitched,
Wood has allowed only six earned runs on twelve hits and has struck out 23
batters while walking just nine. Half of his total hits and earned runs were
from his start in New York (4.2IP, 3ER, 6H). That day, he deserved to lose.
His no-decision debut in which the Reds won with Jordan Smith receiving the
win, was understandable. But his last two starts demand victory. During his
no-hit flirtation in Philadelphia on July 10, and his six innings of
three-hit ball against Colorado on Sunday, Wood pitched fifteen innings and
allowed just one run on four hits. He struck out fourteen batters while only
walking four, but the Reds' offense came up empty for the rookie
left-hander. The Reds were shutout during both attempts and Travis Wood
(0-1, 2.03) remains winless. Inexcusable.
The Reds will begin a four game series against the Washington Nationals
(40-52) on Monday. The last-place Nationals will bring Stephen Strasburg
(4-2, 2.03) to the table on Wednesday against Bronson Arroyo (10-4, 3.96).
Falling a 1/2 game behind the St. Louis Cardinals after they
swept the Dodgers in a four-game series, the Reds will send Johnny Cueto
(8-2, 3.42) to the mound against Washington's J.D. Martin (1-4, 3.35) Monday
at 7:10pm attempting to reclaim first-place in the NL Central.
It took the Reds
114 games to notch their 50th win last season on August 13 and it placed
them fourteen games below the .500 mark. While owning first place in the NL
Central, the Reds won their 50th game of this season against the Colorado
Rockies on Friday night
in front of 37,188 eager Reds fans. Unlike 2009, the Reds accomplished
fifty wins only 91 games into the season and the .500 mark is nine games
Searching for their first postseason berth since a one-game playoff against
the Mets in 1999, and their first winning season since 2000 (85-77), the
Reds will determine their own "dustiny" during the final 71 games of 2010.
With the anticipated return of Edinson Volquez to their rotation against the
Rockies on Saturday and 56% of their season behind them, the Reds will have
the easiest remaining schedule according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The
combined won-lost record of the Reds' outstanding opponents is a .464
percentage and the Cardinals .473 percentage is the second easiest in
baseball. The Baltimore Orioles are currently 28 games behind the New York
Yankees and own last place in the NL East. Their .541 won-lost percentage of
future competitors is the toughest in the league. Ouch.
Going into Friday the Reds led the National League in hitting (.272), runs
scored (437), RBI (423), and shared the top NL spot in defense (.990) with
the Padres. Their pitching ERA (4.19) was ranked 11th in the NL.
Along with the Reds' 50th win on Friday night in between MC Hammer concerts,
Bronson Arroyo received his tenth. Arroyo pitched seven innings and allowed
two runs on five hits. Arroyo's counterpart Jason Hammel struck out a
career-high ten batters during his outing (7IP, 8H) for the Rockies, but
allowed all three of the Reds' earned runs and received the loss (7-4).
Brandon Phillips snapped a 1-19 skid by going 3-4 with two runs scored and
Orlando Cabrera went 2-4 as he drove in Phillips both times he reached.
“I really felt the crowd was what helped win this game,”
“Maybe they came to see the Reds, maybe they came to see MC Hammer. It
doesn’t matter, because they were out there.”
Arthur Rhodes entered Friday's game during the eighth inning after Arroyo
allowed two runners to reach base without recording an out. Rhodes walked
Ryan Spilborghs to load the bases, but retired Dexter Fowler on a pop-out
and struck out Jonathan Herrera and Carlos Gonzales
to end the inning. Francisco Cordero closed out the game receiving his
25th save as the Reds
defeated the Rockies 3-2.
Edinson Volquez (0-0,
0.00) will face Jorge De La Rosa (3-1, 4.94) and the Rockies at 7:10pm on
EDINSON VOLQUEZ RETURNS TO CINCINNATI'S ROTATION ON SATURDAY
7.15.10 BY:MEH GUESS WHO'S BACK?
EDINSON VOLQUEZ RETURNS TO CINCINNATI'S ROTATION ON SATURDAY
After four days off
surrounding the 2010 MLB All-Star Game, the Cincinnati Reds will begin the
second-half of their season on Friday night against the Colorado Rockies
(49-39, 2nd place in the NL West). During their previous 21 duels, the Reds
have only won five games. Bronson Arroyo (9-4, 4.04)
will pitch for the Reds on Friday. In his last five starts Arroyo has
gone 4-1, allowed eight runs on 25 hits, and struck out eleven batters
during 35 innings of work. Against the Colorado Rockies, Arroyo is 1-2 with
a 3.98 ERA. When given six or more days of rest, Arroyo is 9-10 with a 4.10
ERA. Hopefully, Arroyo can kick off the second-half of the season with a
victory for the Reds and continue his excellence throughout the rest of the
season and into the post.
After Arroyo and Jason Hammel (7-3, 4.08) face off on Friday night (MC
Hammer concert before and after the game), Edinson Volquez will make his
2010 MLB debut against Jorge De La Rosa (3-1, 4.94) on Saturday (Chris
Sabo bobblehead night). Following 2009 Tommy John surgery and after
serving 50-day suspension, Volquez went 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA in four games
for the Louisville Bats. During 23 innings for the Bats, Volquez allowed
five earned runs on eleven hits and struck out 21 batters while walking only
eight. The 2008 All-Star and 17 game winner's 98mph+ fastball will be a
massive addition to the Reds rotation. During his 41 career starts with the
Reds, Volquez is 21-8 with a 3.44 ERA.
Volquez pitched six innings and allowed just one run during his 2010 debut
against the Rockies. Volquez threw 96 pitches and struck out nine batters
during the Reds' 8-1 victory in front of 41,300 fans.
The Reds have not yet decided on their starter for Sunday's game against
Aaron Cook and the Rockies, but will luckily not have to face the 2010
All-Star Ubaldo Jiminez (15-1, 2.20) during the series. Jimizez's start for
the National League during Tuesday's All-Star game took him out of
consideration for this weekend's series. I'm sure he was reluctant to face
the NL's most productive offense and receive his second loss of the season
anyway, so good for him.
Another small move to inexpensively improve the Reds depth at Triple-A was
made by Walt Jocketty on Thursday. Right-handed reliever Russ Springer
signed a minor league deal. Springer has not pitched at any professional
level during 2010, but brings 17 major league seasons (36-45, 4.52) worth of
experience along with him. Converted to a reliever in 1996 by the Phillies,
Springer has played for nine MLB teams including the St. Louis Cardinals
('03, '07-'08) under Mr. Jocketty.
“I had him before and he can still pitch,” Jocketty said.
Along with Arthur Rhodes, the 41 year-old Springer will add veteran
leadership to the Reds bullpen. Nick Masset, Jordan Smith, Logan Ondrusek,
and many other young Cincinnati relievers could flourish under Springer's
direction. While in Louisville, Springer could also provide assistance to
Aroldis Chapman. Walt Jocketty doesn't plan on moving Travis Wood or Matt
Maloney to the bullpen just yet, and until Chapman can get himself together
(0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in the Bats' pen) he will not wearing a Reds uniform.
The signing of Springer is not the Reds' answer to their bullpen problems,
but merely a bolster from the past. I can only wonder since
Baseball-Reference doesn't list player's fluent languages (lazy
bastards); Does Russ Springer speak Spanish?