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The Reds Woooo Man

Woooo is Us

It may have started in Pittsburgh, but Cincinnati is catching “Wooooo” (or is it a “howl?“) fever.

It all started in the late innings of Monday night’s 14 inning victory over the Pirates at GABP, but not everyone in Reds Country is embracing the trend. We can understand. It’s not exactly original and kinda annoying, but dangit, we’re having fun here! Let’s embrace the “Wooooo!” and roll on into the postseason.

Giddyup!

10-game win streak > 5-game losing streak

Fear not, Reds fans. You win ten games in a row and 15 of 16 so that it doesn’t kill you to lose five in a row. Would the Reds prefer to avoid a five-game losing skid? Of course. But they’ve got a 2.5-game lead in the Central through Game 112 of the season. If I’d told you exactly three weeks ago – when the Reds had a .5 game lead – that their lead would be 2.5 games on Aug. 9, you’d take it, right?

Some glass-half-full observations from tonight:

• 3 hits from Brandon Phillips, who had had just one in 11 at-bats since returning from injury. With BP hitting and Votto almost back, I’m keeping the faith.

• Gotta love another lead-off home run from Zack Cozart in the 1st. The crazy and tough-to-swallow stat about Cozart home runs: Of his 15 career home runs (two in 2011, and 13 this season), do you know how many have come with runners on base? One (6/3/12 in Houston off Jordan Lyles). I know solo home runs are to be expected from a lead-off batter, but it’s pretty nuts that 14 of his 15 career homers have been solo shots.

• Granted, it WAS the John Morrell Hot Dog Play of the Game. But the 6-3-5 double play – where Cozart threw out Soriano at first and then Cairo gunned out Rizzo at third (with a perfect tag by Frazier) was very impressive.

• Also pretty was Mesoraco’s grab right next to the dugout, with the ball just barely in play on David DeJesus’ foul out in the 6th.

Welsh’s “Huh?” remark of the game:

As we’ve said before, we are Chris Welsh fans and we enjoy the analysis and insight he provides during the broadcast despite his questionable fashion sense. That said, about 2 to 5 times each game, he says something that makes us respond with either “Huh?” or “Wha?” Tonight, Welsh suggested that Mesoraco could’ve used the concussion he sustained against the Padres as a defense to explain why he went berserk and bumped umpire Chad Fairchild, resulting in his suspension. Really?

It is worth pointing out that Welsh was right on the money in his praise of Xavier Paul for taking as he led off against Carlos Marmol in the ninth and delivering a great at-bat that resulted in an infield single. Facing Marmol, I’m not sure why on earth you WOULDN’T take until you got a strike, especially with that strike zone as tight as it was. (Cozart, therefore, also deserves praise for his four-pitch walk against Marmol with two outs in the ninth.)

Bill Bray: Card collecting enthusiast

Bill Bray autographed 2006 Topps '52

Bill Bray autographed 2006 Topps '52

Bill Bray was already among our favorite Reds, but he definitely elevated himself even higher on our list Thursday evening.

Bray was on 700 WLW with Lance McAlister; the two had the following exchange toward the end of the interview in the second hour of Lance’s sports talk show.

Lance: You know what I bought last week? I bought my first baseball card pack of the year.

BB: Topps 2012?

Lance: You know how much a pack of Topps 2012 cost?

BB: You know, I bought a few packs a couple weeks ago … I want to say $1.99.

Lance: I got them for $2.19. … $2.19! They were a quarter when I was a kid! How do they expect kids to collect cards these days, Bill Bray?!

BB: With help of their parents. (laugh) Inflation. … 1987 was the first year I can remember collecting baseball cards. They were 35 cents a pack.

Lance: Did I hear right? Were Topps representatives in the clubhouse today? Were they around the complex?

BB: They were. Matter of fact I had lunch with one of them today.

Lance: Did they give you like packs to open?

BB: Yeah, we cracked a box of Topps Series 1, at the field. And then when I went out to lunch, he surprised me with a box of Bowman Sterling.

Lance: Awwww, that is suh-weet!

BB: Yeah, it’s awesome. I mean I was stoked. I just opened them up a little while ago. I’m gonna put pictures on my Facebook page. It was awesome. I pulled some sweet cards. I’m pumped.

Lance: Did you get yourself?

BB: No, no I don’t have a card currently, I don’t think.

Lance: How do you not? I thought everyboday had a card! Or do you have to agree to allow them to have you in their set?

BB: You know, we sign a contract yearly with them. And it’s up to them whether they produce a card or not.

Lance: Well if Topps doesn’t do a card of you, I’m not buying any more cards from Topps!

BB: Well put that in writing …

Lance: When you opened packs today, if you get like Joey Votto or Brandon Phillips, do you like walk over to their locker and say, “Look, I got you!”

BB: You know I did throw a card down today and I said, “Look, it’s Devin Mesoraco’s rookie card.” And he wasn’t in the locker room at the time. But yeah, it’s pretty cool, you know, when you’re cracking a pack and you pull a guy you know, a guy you play with. I have yet to pull my own card though.

Bray has talked about cards on Twitter as well (but we know not all are Twitter-inclined, which is why this was worthy of a blog post). He is a solid Twitter follow, though – @B_line45.

Just want to make sure …

… that we’re not the only ones thinking there’s a good chance that next Monday (Jan. 9) it will be announced that former Reds great Barry Larkin will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, as he deserves.

Over the weekend, MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” panel talked about some of the possible inductees and why they will or won’t be part of the upcoming class and didn’t even mention Larkin. I assume that’s because they’re presuming he’ll get in based on his percentage from last year and they just wanted to discuss some guys who are iffy or might sneak in this year.

Also, I visited the Hall of Fame’s official site – baseballhall.org – and there’s a huge ad on the site for Sports Travel and Tours, which offers packages for the induction weekend July 20-22. Curious about what they were offering, I clicked on the ad, which took me to sportstravelandtours.com. Right at the top, it has “Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY, Friday, July 20, 2012 to Sunday, July 22, 2012,” followed by this:

2012 Possible Inductees include: Ron Santo, Javy Lopez, Tim Salmon, Ruben Sierra, Bernie Williams

Javy Lopez, Tim Salmon and Ruben Sierra?? Really? C’mon. As John Erardi points out, Larkin will be the only name submitted on a lot of ballots this year. Santo was already voted in posthumously last month by the Veterans Committee, but how are you not going to include Larkin in that short list of possible inductees? Fail.

Walk off

Drew Stubbs is about to get mobbed at home plate after hitting a walk-off home run to beat the Brave 4-3

Drew Stubbs is about to get mobbed at home plate after hitting a walk-off home run to beat the Brave 4-3

That was fun. We’ve got some photos to post from the ESPN Baseball Tonight set, if you haven’t seen enough already everywhere else. Stay tuned.

UPDATE! We’ve finally posted some photos from that night. Enjoy!

Reds Classic Rewind: 6/6/10

I took in Fox Sports Ohio’s replay of the Reds’ 5-4 win against the Nationals from Sun., June 6 and came away with the following observations:

Why it was particularly appropriate that FSN Ohio aired this particular replay on 2/3/11:

Laynce Nix played a significant role in the win. He didn’t have the go-ahead home run in the 9th or the go-ahead RBI single in the 10th, but Nix would’ve been neck-and-neck with Bronson Arroyo for third in MVP votes for this game. In case you missed it, the Washington Nationals (of course) announced Thursday afternoon that they agreed to terms with Nix on a minor-league contract that includes a Spring Training invitation. Well, as a matter of fact, the Reds probably don’t win this big game on 6/6/10 if not for Nix, who delivered three hits and made a stellar diving catch in left field in the 5th inning. Godspeed, Mr. Nix. When this coming June rolls around and Fred Lewis is hitting .240 with 2 home runs, we’ll think of you. (I’m kidding, Fred Lewis, no disrespect, best of luck and welcome aboard.) As an aside, did you know Nix ended up hitting .291 with 4 homers in 165 at-bats in 2010? Based on his 2009 numbers (.239/15/46), I’d bet anything most Reds fans would take the over in guessing how many homers he had in 2010, and the under in batting average. I digress …

Why this win against the Nats was so important:

Reds ended their 6-game homestand .500 (after they had lost 2 of 3 in St. Louis), instead of 2-4. If they had lost, they would’ve ended up losing the season series to a team that ended up 69-93. And if they had lost, they also would’ve ended up with a losing record in June (for what it’s worth). Instead, September was their only losing month of the regular season. And they survived a Cordero implosion, which is a rarity (there were only 3 other games he “blew” in 2010 that the Reds won).

What I didn’t remember that watching the replay made me remember:

• Ohio native and former UD star Craig Stammen allowed just 1 earned run on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings just weeks before being demoted to the bullpen.

• Tyler Clippard, who had pitched a scoreless 8th and struck out Nix to start the 9th, was lifted in favor of Matt Capps, which might have made sense against any team OTHER than the Reds. In Washington’s defense, Capps was the NL leader in saves at the time with 18, so Jim Riggleman’s move wasn’t exactly a head-scratcher. BUT Capps had given up runs in 6 of 9 appearances entering Sunday’s game and ENTERED the game (obviously it got much worse DURING this appearance) with a 6.33 ERA in 30 career appearances against the Reds.

• Scott Rolen’s exciting 9th-inning pinch-hit home run was preceded by HUGE back-to-back doubles by Drew Stubbs and Jonny Gomes (his of the pinch-hit variety).

• One pitch before Rolen’s homer, he checked his swing with two strikes, and many in the crowd disagreed with the result of the appeal to first.

• Chris Welsh said, “How ’bout this Reds ball club!” at least three times.

• During the bottom of the 9th, Paul Keels (who, by the way, we wish a continued strong recovery from the abdominal surgery he had in last Fall and who we wish no ill-will in mentioning this minor goof-up) referred to former Red Bob Wickman. Former quite a few teams, Voice o’ the Buckeyes, but never a Red.

• Mike Morse, who had the quietest .289, 15-homer season (in just 266 at-bats) in recent memory – and, in 2010, had 5 RBIs (on a double and a triple) in just 3 ABs against the Reds – was the one who tied it against Cordero in the bottom of the 9th.

• Miguel Batista (who, by the way, has played for even more teams than Bob Wickman) – who had been ejected the night before for hitting Brandon Phillips in retaliation for perceived showmanship – was the one who gave up Stubbs’ go-ahead single in the 10th.

• Former Red Adam Dunn, who had struck out three times in four at-bats that day, would have hit in the bottom of the 10th against Nick Masset if he had not been lifted in the 9th for defensive replacement Adam Kennedy. Dunn, in case you were wondering, is hitting .182 with 2 homers and 5 RBIs in 55 career at-bats against the Reds.

Hope contract extensions, Renteria and Fred Lewis provided sufficient offseason excitement for you

First and foremost, congrats to Joey Votto. He deserves what he’s getting. I personally don’t have any interest in speculating as to whether he’s going to leave after three years. Just looking forward to watching him hopefully beat out Pujols for the MVP – or, better yet, beat out Jay Bruce for the MVP – for years to come.

What I wish I could speculate about is what the Reds could possibly get in return for Yonder Alonso. Let’s face it, the guy has serious talent, but it’s reportedly not as an outfielder. His days with the Reds are numbered. Or at least they should be if the Reds are serious about winning relatively soon.

So what could a player like Alonso bring, starting with who can make this team significantly better who isn’t too expensive.

I tried to find three experienced MLB players who earned less than $2 million last season, could be involved in a trade for Alonso and could fill a need for the Reds. Who aren’t arbitration eligible. Couldn’t find any. (I excluded starting pitching because I don’t see that as a need right now with their depth, despite the fact that you can never have enough, right?) Define “a need,” first of all. I think the Reds, frankly, would tell you that their only pressing needs at this point are dealing with the three unsigned arbitration-eligible players (Cueto, Volquez and Bray). The only question marks they had (SS and LF) are in better shape – possibly – with the additions of Renteria and Lewis and maybe Hermida. The Reds just aren’t going to trade for Justin Upton or Nelson Cruz or even Angel Pagan. I just don’t think it’s going to happen. They’ll keep Alonso as an insurance policy and pinch-hitter for at least another year, then maybe deal him for someone coming off a big year. Or maybe at the All-Star break, best case scenario.

And actually – if they’re going to keep Alonso – I would rather see the Reds have him playing every day in Louisville and putting up big numbers so that hopefully other teams express interest.

I would be stunned if the major excitement of the offseason isn’t already behind us: extensions for Bruce and Votto and bringing in a couple of guys who are going to hit .260 with 10 home runs between them.

One take about the shortstop NON-controversy

Plenty of Edgar Renteria discussion on Twitter today, and the story has gone from Renteria reportedly telling ESPNdeportes.com that he’ll be the Reds’ new full-time shortstop to Dusty telling John Fay there’s no controversy here and both guys will play.

From Fay’s blog post:

While Renteria reportedly told ESPNdeportes.com that he’s the Reds ‘full-time’ shortstop, Baker wasn’t willing to commit to that. Asked if he considered Renteria or Paul Janish the starter, Baker said:

“I don’t know. We don’t have a quarterback controversy at short. Everybody plays on my team. They’re both going to play. Janish is younger. Edgar is more experienced. Janish deserves a chance to be my shortstop.”

“You’ve got to have two shortstops,” he said. “Both are capable.”

I like that Dusty said what he said, out of respect for Janish. It’s easy enough for Dusty to say this because, quite frankly, one guy could stink it up during the spring and the other guy could hit .500 and the decision is made for him. It’s almost a “We’ll cross that bridge …” answer on Dusty’s part that doesn’t alienate anyone (except maybe Renteria, just a little, for jumping to the conclusion that he’ll be the starter). And the fact of the matter is Dusty really doesn’t need to commit to one guy or the other right now. And he IS right: Both guys WILL play if they’re healthy. He doesn’t say how much both guys will play, and he doesn’t need to.

I’d guess the Reds probably wish Renteria wouldn’t have said anything about being the full-time shortstop. It makes you wonder whether they told him he’ll be the starter but asked him not to say anything. It’s more likely that they told him he’ll have a shot at starting or the job is his to lose, which, like I said, is pretty much the case.

No Hall for Barry or Cobra

Dave Parker and Barry Larkin
It seems like anymore the BBWAA Hall of Fame results are decided well in advance of today. Writers resolve to vote for guys for whom others make a big push – and it’s often the guys who came close but missed the year before, which is what happened with Goose Gossage in 2008 and Jim Rice in 2009. This year, Bert Blyleven, in particular, wasn’t going to be denied. He came so close last year (5 votes shy) he’s running out of time and the consensus is how can you keep him out with that many strikeouts. And Roberto Alomar was right there last year as well, just 8 votes shy. And his numbers clearly merit Hall of Fame enshrinement in his second year on the ballot.

Everything I read beforehand said to expect a modest bump for Barry Larkin – who got 51.6 percent of the vote last year, his first on the ballot – but that he’ll likely have to wait another year. And sure enough, Barry finished third with 62.1 percent. So while I was very disappointed, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. Hopefully next year.

Was Barry deserving of getting in on his first or second ballot? Absolutely. No question. But Larkin’s not the only one who got robbed. I don’t see any reason why Jeff Bagwell shouldn’t have gotten in as a first-timer. Is it really fair to assume a guy was juicing when there’s no proof, no failed drug test, no one who has ever said he saw him use steroids? C’mon. And you can’t argue with those numbers. Tyler Kepner wrote a great column, by the way, about how Bagwell’s rejection presumes guilt over innocence, and how sad that is.

Also on the ballot were former Reds Dave Parker, Bret Boone, Lenny Harris and Benito Santiago. We’ve previously made it clear that Parker deserves to be in the Hall, and in case you missed it, John Erardi wrote a strong piece just recently to that effect. Worth a read if you haven’t already. We say give Cobra his due. (He only got 15.3 percent.) Finished in the top 5 in MVP voting in five different seasons (and got robbed in 1985). One of the most feared hitters of both the late ’70s and mid ’80s. No reason he shouldn’t be in.

Blyleven and Alomar will join general manager Pat Gillick – elected by a post-expansion Veterans Committee last month – for the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown on July 24.

Meanwhile, consolation for Larkin fans? There’s a tricky, 15-question Larkin quiz that just got posted earlier this week on Cincinnati.Com. Enjoy.

The MVP

Joey Votto - 2010 NL MVP

Joey Votto - 2010 NL MVP

These Kids, they’re alright

The Comeback Kids: Cincinnati Reds—2010 Championship Season
If you’re itching to relive the Reds 2010 season at Redsfest, but just can’t stand the wait, get yer fanny down to the Reds Hall of Fame tomorrow night (11/18) for the release of The Comeback Kids. Authors Mark Schmetzer and Joe Jacobs will be on-hand to sign copies and dish about their freshly printed book. And we mean fresh… it’s actually being printed that day. BAM!

Reds broadcaster and left-handed craftsman Chris Welsh – who wrote the book’s forward – will also be there, so you know it’s going to be a jam.

The Comeback Kids tells the remarkable story of the 2010 National League Central Division Champion Reds and their first postseason appearance since 1995. The full-color book features more than 100 photos and provides a month-by-month look back at the season.

We’re excited about the book, not only to look back at a fun 2010 season, but also that friend of OMGreds, Aaron Doster has a gaggle of photos featured in it. Can’t wait to see ‘em!

For more information about the even, check out RedsMuseum.org.

‘Headed for trouble’

I read this article from the San Mateo County Times and now I’m all freakin’ out that my 5-year-old son, who is in kindergarten, might be giving teachers and classmates the impression that he has an allegiance to a gang, given that we often send him to school in Reds gear. From the story:

According to various websites, Cincinnati Reds memorabilia is the second-most gang-affiliated sportswear.

Uh oh. Reading further …

Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and Oakland Raiders clothing, bandannas and other accessories have distinct meaning to gangs in the Bay Area. If your family does not root for these teams but their logos are being worn excessively by your teens or tweens, they could be headed for trouble. Even if they have no interest in gangs, it’s possible they could be mistaken for a gang member.

Great, so when my boy becomes a teen or tween, he has to stop wearing Reds garb? Am I going to have to have a talk with him? “Sorry, pal, I can’t let you wear Reds logos anymore because of the risk involved. But I got you a couple of nice Billings Mustangs shirts on clearance at MLB.com so that any of your friends who are aware that the Mustangs are a short-season affiliate of the Reds realize that you still love your team.”

Ouch

You’ve got to feel for Jay Bruce. What an awful feeling. What a horrible way to lose the lead and for things to fall apart.

I have to agree with the broadcast team that it’s much more painful to lose the way the Reds did tonight than the no-hitter. The Reds had a 4-0 lead! Phillips was raking. They were scoring runs. Arroyo was dealing. Wha happen! The Reds were so close to turning things around after Game 1 and heading to Cincinnati tied at 1 that they could taste it. Now they’re on the ropes. They can win Game 3. And I don’t buy that the series is over just because they’ll have to face Halladay again. But it’s going to be a lot tougher than it would’ve been if they’d have taken care of their lead.

Analysis follows. This post might not be as long, though, as our post from the other night because I played a drinking game during tonight’s game where I had to drink every time Brian or Joe referred to Halladay’s no-hitter. (And I had to chug each time they showed the new Beyond Baseball promo.) So I got pretty lethargic as the evening progressed.

• Why can’t someone tell Dusty to appeal to third after Utley missed the bag. I never understood why someone can’t let Dusty know. Dusty said after the game that he didn’t see it and didn’t find out until it was too late, but isn’t there someone on the bench who’s supposed to keep an eye on that? I know it has to be quick and it’s not like football where a coach in the booth can tell the head coach to challenge a call, but it’s frustrating. Different game if Utley’s run doesn’t count and there’s an out there.

Haha, wouldn’t you know as I type this I’m watching Chris Welsh during the FSO post-game show … his words … “I think the one thing though that you can look at, and wonder and scratch your head about, is that why in the world didn’t somebody in that dugout see that Chase Utley missed third base. I mean, if you’re sitting there live, somebody has to have the assignment, just like in the umpiring crew, somebody’s got the assignment to watch the ball, somebody else has got the assignment to make sure that the runners tag up on time or that they actually tag the bags. Well somebody on that coaching staff should’ve been looking at third base because Chase Utley missed that third base by a long shot. And had they been able to go back and appeal that, his run would’ve been out, and I think the way I’ve got it figured, they don’t score in that inning. So it was a very unfortunate turn of events right there but I think some of those could’ve been prevented with a little more due diligence.”

AP photo shows Utley was out

• I’d love to see Chase Utley sliding into second from at least two other angles. John Kiesewetter praised TBS’ cameras but I’m pretty sure we only got to see that replay twice. HUGE call. And it was VERY close … he honestly looked out to me on the throw from Rolen to Phillips.

• I can only think of one time – before the game started, actually – Joe Simpson annoyed me, which is a credit to him. “It’s hard to imagine anybody pitching better than Halladay pitched a couple of nights ago but Roy Oswalt is certainly capable.” C’mon, Joe.

• Simpson was right about one thing: Phillips’ home run was “exactly what the Reds needed.” That’s got to be one of the biggest home runs ever to lead off a playoff game. After getting no-hit.

• Great eye by Stubbs – another guy not necessarily known for great plate discipline – on ball four in the 2nd inning. Solid job he did breaking up the double play on the ball Utley threw away too, allowing Nix to score.

• Huge hit by Cabrera after Phillips led off the inning with a hit. These two really set the table in the 3rd; what a huge squandered opportunity to work on increasing that lead. It was really a shame Votto, Rolen and Nix all failed to come through and do some damage in that inning.

• Phillips on Oswalt (during a quick soundbite they showed): “Hit his mistakes, because he makes a lot of mistakes.” Nice. He doesn’t really mince words, does he.

• Rolen was getting around pretty gingerly in the 3rd, when he struck out for the fourth time in his fifth at-bat of the series. He’s clearly not 100 percent. I realize he wants to play, he deserves to play, he contributed A LOT to the Reds’ push for the postseason. I hate to say it, but he’s not doing the Reds any good if he’s dealing with some pretty nagging pain. Cairo isn’t going to strike out 5 times in 7 at-bats like Rolen has.

• It stinks because Bruce actually had a nice game with the exception of the ball he lost. He friggin’ tattooed that home run ball to lead off the 4th. He had a great throw after Victor Ino took him back to the warning track, putting a scare into Carlos Ruiz trying to double him up at first. And he did a good job laying off that close pitch by Lidge with two strikes to draw a walk to lead off the 9th.

• Bronson did a great job getting that huge double play ball after walking Howard and giving up the hit to Werth. Good damage control in the 5th too by getting Howard after he allowed the 2-out, 2-RBI hit by Utley. He did a great job getting ahead and striking him out.

• I take it back, I got annoyed by the broadcast team one other time. Anderson saying Janish entering the game for Cabrera “could be a tough blow for Cincinnati.” Simpson chiming in with Janish is “not as good an offensive player.” Hmmm. Cabrera hit .263 with 4 homers and 42 RBI in 494 at-bats during the regular season. Janish hit .260 with 5 homers and 25 RBI in 200 at-bats. It doesn’t appear that there’s as much of a difference offensively as they make it out to be.

• Kinda funny that the Phillies followed suit by looking to a young guy (Domonic Brown) with the first pinch-hit appearance of the series (Juan Francisco was our first pinch-hitter in Game 1)

instead of a seasoned vet.

• The Reds sure are having a tough time getting the third out in this series. Four out of the Phils’ five hits in Game 1 came with 2 outs. Utley’s hit in the 5th – 2 outs. Ondrusek walked in the run in the 6th with 2 outs. All of that crap in the 7th (except for Utley’s HBP that didn’t hit him) happened with 1 out, but there would’ve been 2 outs if they would’ve called Utley out at 2nd (or if someone would’ve caught that he missed 3rd).

• Hey, annoying lady in the blue shirt waving your towel trying to distract Nick Masset on every pitch he throws: Please stop.

• Reds only had one hit from the 6th inning on. They had two walks, but one of those guys (Stubbs) got picked off.

Suggested Onion headline

How about something like, “MLB awards Phillies a second win for Halladay’s no-no.” Kinda feels like some people – from SI’s Jon Heyman to casual Reds fans on Facebook saying they’ve lost faith – have completely given up on the Reds after ONE GAME.

Impressive feat, no doubt. Also not the end of the world as far as the Reds are concerned. Did anyone think the Reds would win both of the first two games in Philly? Very few, I would imagine. Did Reds fans hope the team could earn a split of the first two games so that they could come to Cincinnati with a chance to win the series here? Sure. Which they still have a chance to do, against a guy (“Little Roy”) who was once dominant against the Reds but hasn’t beaten us since ’08. And is the series even over if the Phils take Game 2? Not as far as I can tell. I’m pretty sure it’s best 3 out of 5.

Anyway, the only other problem I had with Heyman’s column was his suggestion that Cabrera was the only one to complain about Hirschbeck’s strike zone. He may have been the only one to complain verbally AFTER the game. I think it was pretty clear that Rolen had a problem with strike three in the 5th (as I mentioned last night) … he might not have whined about it afterward because he’s a professional and he’s ready to give Halladay his due and move on like the rest of us.

Everyone’s entitled to have a bad day or a bad night, right? It looks especially bad when the opposing pitcher is having a great night. The Reds will get ‘em going in Game 2, and hopefully it’s enough to tie the series at 1. Or maybe they’ll shoot for winning the final three games of the series, even if they do have to face Halladay again. I bet they won’t forfeit the game if they do; sure they got no-hit, but they also pounded him once during the regular season (he gave up a season-high 13 hits in Cincinnati on June 30). Anything can happen.

Oh, no

Dang, why couldn’t we have faced Jamie Moyer or Joe Blanton or something.

Well, the losing end of the second no-hitter in postseason history isn’t where we wanted to be after Game 1. But it is just one loss and hopefully we can beat Roy Oswalt – who started 23-1 against the Reds but hasn’t won against the Reds since 2008 and was 0-2 against the Reds this season (though you wouldn’t know it by reading this story and, yes, I know, he hasn’t faced us yet as a Phillie) – to earn a split in Philly and come back to Cincinnati tied at a game apiece. Just gotta shake it off; some guys have to go into Game 2 hoping to get some better at-bats than they got and realize they’re facing a different pitcher in Game 2 who (going out on a limb here) isn’t going to no-hit them.

Some (mostly painful) Game 1 observations:

• First, the silver lining. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again … this Travis Wood kid is just cool as a cucumber. Now that’s not to say he wouldn’t have had some nerves going (like Volquez did) if he’d have started the game instead, but he was just mowing them down and keeping the Reds in the game (well, if the Reds had brought their bats).

Wood got out of Volquez’s jam in the 2nd and sat down Ryan Howard on three pitches to start the 3rd. Struck out Jayson Werth twice. 3 1/3 innings, and all he allowed was a two-out double to Raul Ibanez (followed by an intentional walk of Carlos Ruiz). Got a bunch of fly outs (including one that scared me a little) and looked very sharp. Could this guy start Game 5 (back in Philly)? He obviously doesn’t mind pitching there. You may recall he took a perfect game into the 9th in Philly, throwing 9 scoreless innings against the aforementioned Halladay in just his third Major League start on July 10, allowing just one hit and striking out 8 (but failed to get the victory because Halladay also pitched 9 shutout innings). In fact, I was a little annoyed that it wasn’t mentioned (apologies if it was and I was letting the dog out or something) during tonight’s broadcast … something like Wood has now pitched 12 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings at Citizens Bank Park.

Ondrusek did a nice job settling down and getting three outs after he airmailed that throw way over Votto’s head. And he and Bray took care of business in the 7th. STRONG work by all three guys (Wood, Ondrusek and Bray). And don’t think the Phils weren’t trying to tack on a few insurance runs after they chased Volquez.

• Speaking of the TBS broadcast, Brian Anderson did a decent job (though I’m not sure how Werth can have “the key at-bat” in a 3-run inning just by seeing 9 pitches and getting out … I’d say even the walk by Ruiz was a more key at-bat in that inning than Werth’s, let alone the RBI hits that followed), but I can already tell Joe Simpson is going to get on my nerves. Saying the Halladay pitch to Cabrera in the first was strike three (pshhh). And I don’t know why I get so annoyed when people say Scott Rolen got traded for Edwin Encarnacion. (I remember there being two pitchers – Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart – involved as well.) But I expected Simpson to sound very impressed with the Phillies throughout this series considering he’s much more familiar (as a Braves announcer) with them.

• Volquez’s crucial mistakes: Letting Vic Torino steal that base on him in the first. That was a huge jump he got. Walking Carlos Ruiz in the 2nd with two outs KILLED him too. He kinda regained his composure – after getting behind 3-0 to Rollins just after Ruiz, Valdez and Halladay got on with two outs – but then walked Rollins too before facing Vic Torino. Wheels are off at that point. All with two outs. What a shame.

• That was a great play by Jonny Gomes, though, to keep the ball in front of him on Halladay’s RBI single. Nice effort; if that ball gets past him it’s another run and Halladay advances too (not that that run and Halladay didn’t go on to score shortly thereafter, but on a night like tonight it’s worth applauding every small thing the Reds did right).

• When Volquez was exiting in the 2nd, did anyone else say, “WTF, is it raining??” That was kinda out of nowhere.

• Phils had four of their five hits with 2 outs. Ouch.

• Strike 3 call on Rolen for the first out in the 5th was garbage. But Rolen struck out two other times. It’s gotta be pretty deflating to see a veteran leader like Rolen who is usually a tougher out and doesn’t strike out much (especially for the 20-homerun guy he was this year) whiff in all three at-bats.

• GREAT patience by Bruce (of all people, right?) to become the Reds’ first (and only) baserunner with the walk in the 5th inning. He looked at a couple of very close pitches the Bruce we’ve known would’ve hacked at. (And again, we’re making mention of everything the Reds did right. While we’re at it, we should point out that Rolen, despite striking out in every at-bat, had a pair of nice defensive plays.)

• Stubbs got a great pitch to hit with a 1-1 count in the next at-bat (after Bruce), and he knew it.

• I was kinda surprised Juan Francisco was the pinch-hitter in the 6th instead of Heisey (a righty who hits righties well and has proven himself as a pinch-hitter) or maybe Nix. That being said, Francisco contributed the closest thing to a hit aside from Wood’s liner to Jayson Werth in his only at-bat.

• Cabrera had a nice at-bat leading off the 7th – at least fouling off some pitches – though he may have swung at ball four.

• Gomes and Stubbs didn’t even have a chance against him in the 8th. Stubbs looked particularly bad in his strikeout.

• Miguel Cairo was a good call by Dusty. Cairo is EXACTLY the type of guy you expect to break up a no-hitter. He had 11 at-bats against Halladay, had seen him plenty of times. Right idea, skip.

Chasin’ a Dream

Darth Votto

Joey, I am your father. Together, we will rule the NL Central


OMGreds hopped down to the Reds Rally on the Square today to cheer on our Reds as they head off to Philly. Not much to say other than it was pretty much the awesome. Big thanks to the Reds and the folks at My Fountain Square for giving Cincinnati the opportunity to give some love to our team in person.

We’ve posted a photo gallery from today. Go check it out.

Chili Forever

Chili Forever, Cheesesteaks Never. BEAT PHILLY!
The Reds Hall of Fame and Museum have this little number on sale right now at their gift shop. These Wild Man Walker inspired t-shirts are priced to move at $10 – can’t beat that at all.

Chuck D is nuts

But you knew this right? Here’s the self-proclaimed #1 Reds fan, king of the GABP Power Stacks, Chuck D, dancing to some Ricky Martin during Saturday’s game.

Video by friend of OMGreds, @Aherr44.

You can follow Chuck D, #1 Reds Fan on Twitter at @ChuckD1redsfan

Are you Reds Rally Ready?

Go Reds
Well, you should be.

Get your booty down to Fountain Square tomorrow afternoon (Monday, October 4) and cheer on your Reds as they are putting on “Reds Rally on the Square” from 2 to 6 p.m.

The entire Reds team and coaching staff will be on hand around 3:30 p.m. then will travel to Philadelphia for first two games of the National League Division Series.

“This is a unique opportunity for Reds fans to send off their team as we take the first step in the 2010 Postseason,” said Bob Castellini. “It’s sure to be an exciting experience for our fans, and we want to show our players, coaches and staff that all of Reds Country is behind them as they begin their playoff run.”

Not only will you get to cheer on your 2010 NL Central Champs, but there will also be plenty of food, drinks and live music from Funky G and the Groove Machine. Gapper, Mr. Redlegs and Rosie Red along with the John Morrell Reds Rally Pack will be joining in the fun.

We hope to play a little hooky tomorrow afternoon and head down to the square. Hope to see you there.

For those who would not like to attend the pep rally, a study hall will be held in room 103 A.

Fail

To Whom It May Concern:

The Kid Rock ‘Watch the MLB Postseason on TBS’ promo I just saw during the Bengals-Browns game needs to be killed, or at least re-edited. Albert Pujols is in there, and it doesn’t look like the Cardinals are going to be in the playoffs. Thanks-

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