Reds Shutout Bucs to End 2009 Season

I was on hand to watch the 2009 season come to a close for my hometown club and my favorite club. Jeff Karstens vs. Homer Bailey at Great American on a mostly sunny mid-60s October afternoon. It was a great day for baseball.

But I was perturbed almost from the get-go. Luis Cruz and Jason Jaramillo were carrying on a conversation with one another during the National Anthem. That is not acceptable. Not at any time. If you don’t want to observe the singing/playing of the Star Spangled Banner, then stay in the clubhouse (like what Rudy Law used to do back in the 1980s). Don’t stand on the field and converse.

Brandon Phillips continued to bash Pirate pitching. He drove in the first three Cincinnati runs with a double off the wall, a grounder and another double off the wall. After Phillips third RBI, Scott Rolen tripled past a diving Andrew McCutchen to score two more runs.

Jeff Karstens got the loss by giving up two runs in 2-1/3 IP. But it was Donnie Veal who was hit the hardest – one inning, four hits and four runs allowed.

It was 2-0 after three and 6-0 after five innings. Homer Bailey as plugging away, leaving men on base in every inning but one of his six frames of toil. Especially troubling was the fifth. Steve Pearce tripled to lead off. Andrew McCutchen walked and stole second. Two one, none out, heart of the order coming up. But, Bailey whiffed Andy LaRoche, Garrett Jones and Lastings Milledge with no damage done.

The Good

Well, I hate to see the season end. But I guess I’m glad this one is over.

McCutchen had two hits, two walks and stole twice.

The weather.

The Bad

Veal’s outing put the game out of reach.

LaRoche left five men on base.

The Rest

The Reds honored the retiring Hal McCoy (Hall of Fame sportswriter from the Dayton Daily News) and George Grande, who does play by play for Fox Sports Ohio between innings. A great moment. Love Hal McCoy. George Grande has always been solid. Trivia buffs know that Grande was the first ever anchor of Sportscenter on ESPN.

Bailey won all four of his starts against the Pirates this year, accounting for half of his 8 wins.

Brandon Phillips drove in 21 runs against Pittsburgh in 2009.

Pirates were shut out for the 17th time in 2009. This was the first time they hit double digits in hits and failed to score.

 

 

Votto’s Bat, Duke’s Arm Push Reds Over Bucs

Joey Votto stroked a two run double and hit a solo homer late in the game as the Reds took advantage of Zach Duke’s control issues to hand Pittsburgh their 98th loss of the year.

Duke went five innings and allowed five runs on six hits and five walks. He walked five hitters and two of them came around to score. Votto contributed a two run double in a three run fourth that put the Reds up 5-1.

The Pirates didn’t roll over. Delwyn Young hit a three run homer to put the score at 5-4. But Chris Bootcheck and newly recalled Anthony Clagett were each touched for tallies as the Reds pulled away.

Johnny Cueto was the winner. He allowed all four Pirate runs in six innings. He walked four and struck out six. With the the score at 7-4 and two men on, Nick Masset induced an inning ending grounder from Lastings Milledge. Francisco Cordero tossed a scoreless 9th for the win.

The Good

Young had three hits to go along with his three RBI.

LaRoche, still hitting number 2, had a double.

Andrew McCutchen stole his 20th base.

The Bad

Bad way to end an otherwise solid year for Duke.

Jason Jaramillo had a rough one. He whiffed three times, had a passed ball that allowed a run to score and hit into a double play.

The Rest

Cueto is now 6-2 in his career against Pittsburgh.

Welcome Anthony Clagett.

Brandon Moss walked three times – the first such game of his career.

Votto’s three RBI put him at 84 for the season, matching his 2008 total. His homer puts him in a tie for 10th all-time for homers hit by Canadian born players.

Reds Sweep Pirates Behind Arroyo, Votto

It was one bad inning that did in Charlie Morton. That inning was the third and the Red scored four times and collected four of their seven hits for the game. Joey Votto’s two run double did the most damage.

Morton allowed just two other hits in his seven innings of toil. But the Pirates managed only a solo jack from Lastings Milledge off of Bronson Arroyo. The ex-Bucco also lasted seven, scattering five hits and whiffing four.

The Pirates put three runners on against Francisco Cordero in the 9th, but were unable to score.

The Good

Nothing. Maybe Morton wasn’t so bad other than that one inning.

Three double plays from the defense, including an OF assist from Brandon Moss.

The Bad

The continuing saga of the pathetic offense.

The Rest

Welcome G20 summit attendees and protesters!

Arroyo moves to 4-3 in his career against Pittsburgh. He picked up his second win of 2009 with no defeats against the Pirates. This was Arroyo’s 76th win since being let go by the Pirates.

Only four pitchers have logged 200 or more innings in each of the past five years – Arroyo, Mark Buehrle, Danny Haren and Javier Vazquez. As it stand right now, the Pirates have amassed just four such pitcher seasons over the same period. I don’t want to go out on a limb, but I think it was officiallly a mistake to let him walk.

After hitting 14 homers in 587 ABs in 2008, Milledge has just three in 179 ABs in 2009.

 

 

 

 

Reds Pour it on and Clobber Buccos

Don’t even know how to start with this one. Offense – weak. Starting pitching – not sharp. Relief pitching – yuck. Defense – one error leading to an unearned run. Add it all up and you have a blow out.

Kevin Hart managed to scatter 13 outs among the 8 runs he gave up. Homer Bailey allowed just four hits and two runs in six innings. All told the Pirates managed just five hits. Joey Votto alone had four hits. Five different Reds knocked in two runs. Virgil Vasquez gave up three runs in the 9th.

The Good

Andrew McCutchen had two doubles and an outfield assist

The Bad

All the aforementioned stuff.

The Rest

Homer Bailey has six wins in 2009. Three of them are against the Pirates in the last month.

This was Votto’s fifth career four hit game. His seven hits over the last two games set a career mark for him.

Cutch’s doubles put him in the top five among MLB rookies in too many categories for me to count – runs, hits, doubles, RBI, total bases, hits, etc. It’s a close race in both leagues for Rookie of the Year. No one is having a monster year.

Hart has dropped six straight starts.

Brandon Phillips now has 17 RBIs against the Pirates in 2009.

Bucs need to go 7-5 to avoid 100 losses.

 

Pirates, Duke Implode in the 5th and Clinch Last

Through four innings, Zach Duke had allowed three hits and no runs. The Pirates had given him a 2-0 cushion, thanks in part to a solo homer from Andrew McCutchen. The Reds scored five times in the fifth, with two runs coming after two were gone. An error from Ryan Doumit on a bases loaded grounder contributed to the misery. Brandon Phillips drove in two runs with a single in the inning.

Duke was lifted for a pinch hitter. But the Reds scored more (three off of Donnie Veal in the 7th and two off of Eric Hacker in the 8th) off the Pirates bullpen to pull away. Scott Rolen contributed RBI hits in each of the Reds rallies.

Johnny Cueto picked up his 10th win with five innings. He missed his last turn with the flu. He struck out two and gave up nine hits. Duke also gave up nine hits in his five innings, but the Reds turned those knocks into five runs.

The Good

14 hits for the offense.

The Bad

Only 4 runs for the offense

The Rest

Duke falls to 3-5 in his career against Cincy. Cueto is now 5-2 against the Pirates.

Garrett Jones had his sixth three hit game of the year. Lastings Milledge had his third such game and his second in a week.

Welcome Eric Hacker. He made his ML debut. He was acquired earlier in the year from the Bombers for Romulo Sanchez.

Bucs collected double digits in hits for the first time since 8/9-11 when they did it off of St. Louis, had an off day and then did it against Colorado

Pirates need to go 7-6 the rest of the way to avoid 100 losses.

 

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Reds Sweep Pirates

Any way you look at it, this is getting uglier. The Reds swept the Pirates yesterday behind Homer Bailey and Brandon Phillips.

The Pirates, with help from long balls from Garret Jones and Brandon Moss, held a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth. Drew Stubbs homered off of Zach Duke to tie it. Rookie and recent call up Neil Walker committed a throwing error, opening the flood gates. After Joey Votto doubled, Phillips drove in a run – his third of the game – with a ground out. Darnell McDonald singled with two outs for the final tally of the inning and the game.

After that, the Cincy bullpen shut the Pirates down, striking out six of the final eight hitters. Bailey struck out eight in 6-1/3. He allowed three runs on seven hits. Overall, the Pirates were struck out 14 times. Duke gave up 9 hits and three earned runs in six innings.

The Good

Jones continues to rake.

Duke had two hits and Ryan Doumit had a pair of doubles.

The Bad

Good grief. 25 games out. A seven game losing streak.

The Rest

Two of Homer Bailey’s five wins in 2009 have come against the Pirates, both after the fire sale.

Phillips is hitting over .400 and has 13 RBI against Pittsburgh this year.

Jones now has 18 HR and 34 RBI. The record for the fewest RBI in a season with at least 20 dingers is Chris Hoiles who drove in 40 runs with 20 taters in 1992. Kevin Maas hit 21 homers in 1990 and knocked in only 41.

This was Duke’s fifth career two hit game.

Walker has started his career 0-5

Reds Rip Bucs, Morton

Not much to say about this and not much time to say it. Red catcher Craig Tatum came into this series hitting .106 on the year. He had two hits and four RBI. Charlie Morton gave up nine hits, four walks and six runs in five innings. The bullpen wasn’t much better allowing the Reds to pull away with five runs combined in the sixth and seventh innings.

Garrett Jones hit a two run homer to highlight the Pirates offense.

Rookie Justin Leher garnered the win, tossing six innings of four run baseball. Each of the Reds starting 8 had a hit and either scored a run in knocked on in.

The Good

Jones had two hits.

Lastings Milledge continues to swing a hot bat with two more hits.

The Bad

Wow – losing three straight in Cincy.

The Rest

Milledge is hitting .391 in his last 14 games.

Coming into the game Morton was 1-4 in his last seven starts with a 6.43 ERA.