Some people just never get it

Anyone can have a momentary lack of focus or lapse in judgement.  Admit your mistake, learn from it and do everything in your power not to let it happen again.  When the same mental (and easily preventable) mistake is made over and over again, it becomes a glaring reality that the person in question either lacks the brain power to comprehend a simple concept or they simply just don’t give a ****.
Last night, Brandon Phillips crushed a home run off the left field foul pole in the bottom of the first inning.  He thought he had another dinger in the third when he hit a high fly ball to deep left-center field.  That ball hit the fence and bounced away from the outfielders.  If he would have been running hard out of the box, Phillips would have easily had a triple.  But he wasn’t, and had to stop at second.
The next batter, Joey Votto, followed with a fly ball to left that would have scored someone with decent speed.  Phillips has great speed…when he wants to use it.
The Reds ended up losing the game by one run.
“Probably, yeah,” Dusty Baker said when asked about the play. “It looked like, at first, he thought it might have been gone. Then he started running probably halfway, but it was a little too late at that time.”
Phillips also was the first player out of the clubhouse after the game and did not speak to reporters.
We have heard all this before.  There were several instances last season where Phillips wasn’t hustling.  He was even benched for a game after ignoring a take sign on a 3-0 pitch.
Baker and Phillips have discussed this issue.  Baker has expressed his displeasure through the media.  Obviously, neither has worked.
The next time this happens, call timeout after the play and pull him off the field immediately.  Make him make the walk to the dugout with his teammates staring at him.  Let the crowd boo him as he takes a walk of shame across the diamond.
Phillips is one the most physically gifted players on the team.  It makes me sick to see someone so talented, yet so clueless.
I have said it before and I will say it again.  Anybody can hustle, but not everybody does.  However, everyone on this Reds team seems to hustle and play extremely hard.
Except one.
Welcome to Reds Country

Mets give Reds a taste of their own medicine

The Reds did it again last night.  Trailing by two in the bottom of the eighth inning, Joey Votto and Scott Rolen hit back-to-back home runs to tie the game.  It looked like the battlin’ Redlegs were going to pull out another comeback victory.  However, the Mets had other ideas.
Francisco Cordero gave up a bomb to Rod Barajas in the ninth to give the Mets the lead back at 5-4.  The Reds went quietly in the bottom of the ninth to give Francisco Rodriguez his fourth save.
Carlos Fisher pitched a scoreless inning, striking out the side.
Brandon Phillips also had a home run.  Don’t worry, I am going to address the situation in a separate post later this morning.
The final game of the series is today at 12:35 and will feature Jon Niese (1-1, 3.10) against Johnny Cueto (1-1, 5.33).
Welcome to Reds Country

Rolen leads Reds to win in 10

The Reds started the first road trip of the season with an extra-innings victory over the Florida Marlins last night.  Scott Rolen led the way with two home runs and a run-scoring single that gave his team the lead in the 10th inning.  Orlando Cabrera also went deep for the Reds, his second homer of the season.
One of the most encouraging things about last night was how the Reds manufactured the go-ahead run.  Joey Votto led off the 10th with a walk and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Phillips.  Rolen then took a slider the opposite way for a single that allowed Votto to score.
Johnny Cueto started for the Reds and was shaky, but left with a lead after five innings.  The win went to Nick Masset (2-0) and Francisco Cordero picked up his third save.

Tracking the Tater Trots

There is a website that times every home run trot, appropriately named Tater Trot Tracker.  I have no idea how accurate the times are, but it is an interesting and neat idea nonetheless.  The statistics are based on home runs hit this season.
Not surprisingly, Adam Rosales is near the top of the list.  Rosales, currently with Oakland, holds third and fourth place for the quickest trips around the bases.  The top two sports belong to David DeJesus and Stephen Drew, who both hit inside-the-park home runs.  Aubrey Huff hit an inside-the-park home run, but was still slower than Rosales.
Scott Rolen and Joey Votto also appear on the “Quickest Trot” list.  Rolen is ranked ninth for the home run he hit on Opening Day.  Votto is 10th for the dinger he hit on Apr. 21.
Another former Red, Alex Gonzalez, currently holds the top spot on the “Slowest Trot” list.  He took almost 30 seconds to round the bases on Apr. 21.  That is just begging to get plunked.

Homer in 11th Nixes the Mets

The Reds beat the Mets 3-2 last night in 11 innings, but the game really should have never gotten to that point.  Two errors, one each by Drew Stubbs and Orlando Cabrera, helped the Mets get on the board.
Stubbs led off the game for the Reds with a long home run to left-center.  In the second inning, Ike Davis hit a liner to center that Stubbs misplayed and resulted in a two-base error.  Jeff Francoeur made the Reds pay with an RBI single.
The Reds took the lead back in the fifth when Joey Votto singled in Mike Leake.  However, another defensive miscue would allow the Mets to tie the game again.  When Luis Castillo attempted to steal second base in the sixth inning, Ramon Hernandez made a good throw that Cabrera missed.  Cabrera was charged with an error and Castillo scored on a Jose Reyes double.
The Reds pitching staff was outstanding.  Leake allowed four hits and two runs (one earned) in six innings.  He walked one and struck out four, including Jason Bay and David Wright after the Reyes double in the sixth.  The bullpen was just as good, combining for five innings of four-hit, shutout baseball.  Nick Masset (3-1) pitched the final two innings and showed some nasty breaking stuff.
Laynce Nix was the offensive hero for the Reds.  Pinch-hitting for Masset in the bottom of the 11th, Nix launched a high fly ball that just cleared the right field wall and landed in the first row of seats for a walkoff home run.  It was his first homer of the season.
Everyone loves a win for the battlin’ Redlegs!

One game that means so much (but not really)

After sweeping the Astros and taking the first game of the series against the Cardinals, the Reds had their five-game winning streak snapped today. Homer Bailey turned in his best outing of the season, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. The Cardinals scored three runs in the eighth inning, all with two out. There would be no comeback this time as St. Louis held on for the 6-3 victory.
Tomorrow marks the conclusion of the series and the road trip. If we think logically, the Reds have had a successful trip no matter what happens tomorrow. However, we are fans who blog and don’t have to think logically should we choose not to.
A loss would mean the Reds lose the series and be a game under .500 for the season. It would also make for a disappointing trip back to Cincinnati. A victory would mean the Reds take back-to-back series against division opponents.
It will be a rematch of the Opening Day starters. Aaron Harang (1-3, 7.16) will oppose Chris Carpenter (3-0, 3.48).

Reds complete sweep in Houston

A strong start from Bronson Arroyo combined with home runs from Joey Votto and Jay Bruce propelled the Reds to a 4-2 victory and series sweep over the Astros.  The win also allowed the Reds to get back to the .500 mark (11-11) and have a chance to close out April with a winning record.
Arroyo cruised through the first six innings before giving up two runs in the seventh and turning the game over to the bullpen.  The trio of Daniel Ray Herrera, Mike Lincoln and Francisco Cordero combined for 2.1 innings of shutout baseball.  Arroyo (1-2) was credited with his first victory of the season after allowing just six hits and two runs.  He walked three and struck out seven.  Cordero earned his eighth save with a scoreless ninth.
The Reds offense has definitely been showing signs of coming around.  Drew Stubbs, who entered the game in the second inning after Chris Dickerson hurt his wrist, had two hits and scored two runs.  Brandon Phillips, Laynce Nix and Bruce each had two hits as well.
Remember the debacle last Saturday?  The Reds haven’t lost since.  It just reiterates the fact that the baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint.