The Redlegs go for the sweep today at Great American Ballpark. Everyone’s favorite punching bag, Eric Milton, returns to the team to make his first start of the season. He’ll face Pittsburgh’s Zach Duke, who is an impressive young hurler.

If you’re like me, you’ll be spending time with family today, but try to sneak away to comment in the game thread. The Reds are still in the pennant race!

About The Author

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at

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97 Responses

  1. Tom

    Looking forward to catching my first Reds game on the tube today. I’ll check back in here during commercials.

    I just hope Milton can surprise us all and throw a half decent game.

  2. Chad

    Please, Milton, five innings and three earned runs is all I’m asking. That’s not much.

  3. Chad

    I hope so, too, Tom. What a boost that would be to end the week.

  4. Chad

    Ryan Freel CF
    Brandon Phillips 2B
    Adam Dunn LF
    Edwin Encarnacion 3B
    Ken Griffey Jr. RF
    Jeff Conine 1B
    Alex Gonzalez SS
    David Ross C
    Eric Milton P

  5. Chad

    Freddy Sanchez 2B
    Jack Wilson SS
    Jason Bay LF
    Adam LaRoche 1B
    Ronny Paulino C
    Xavier Nady CF
    Brad Eldred RF
    Jose Bautista 3B
    Zach Duke P

  6. Tom

    Looks like the same old Reds. Shoddy defense, hitting bullets off of Milton, Freel thrown out, Dunn Ks.

    Baily makes his first AAA start for Louisville at 6:15 tonight.

  7. Tom

    Woohoo! Milton tosses a laser free 2nd.

    Time to warm up the bats.

  8. DevilsAdvocate

    Tuning in a little late, things look fine so far. Spring stats are meaningless! And it’s his contract year, after all.

    I sure want Milton to have success. He can do it.

  9. Tom

    Not klunk off a hard hat in the OF bleachers yet. Milton looks to be changing speeds and spotting the ball well today also. Threw a few nice looking slow curves to K LaRoche that last inning. Hope this performance by Milton can hold up for 2 or 3 more innings.

  10. DevilsAdvocate

    Nice pitch. called strike 3 to LaRoche.

    Maybe low expectations will turn in Milton’s favor, fan-relation-wise.

  11. DevilsAdvocate

    Say, does anyone know if Mario Soto spent time with the Reds this spring? Or if he’s doing any minor-league coaching during the year? I don’t remember hearing anything, and last year he was credited with helping out Milton and Elizardo Ramirez early in the year, before leaving for home in S. America.

  12. Tom

    Yeah, a couple of good outings would go a long way toward turning the public opinion.

  13. Chad

    There is the first run. Let’s stop the inning before they get more, Milton.

  14. Tom

    Wow, I’m impressed, he pitched out of that. Even the ball that Eldred hit for a 2B to knock the run in, he had to go down low to dig that slow curve out. Eldred has some serious power, 2 summers ago I saw him hit 3 HR in a game at AAA Indy, just up from AA, and two of them went out to right.

  15. Michael

    Hopefully Milton can get three more outs…five innings is all we need from him…

  16. DevilsAdvocate

    Is RedsOnRadio advertising time sold by the thousand? Still the first week, and I’m already sick to death of hearing that hiphop-era ad. I’m avoiding that product out of spite.

  17. Tom

    I’m a Coke guy anyway, but now, due to that hip-hopera ad, I’ll now be an iced tea guy at restuarants selling only Pepsi products.

  18. Tom

    Should Narron be playing hot hand with Phillips/Gonzalez at the top of the order since he seems intent on having a bad hitter up there to break up the left handed hitters?

  19. Michael

    sigh…Milton, Milton, Milton…maybe 3 more outs was asking too much…

  20. DevilsAdvocate

    okay, there’s the homer. And now we’re looking to keep it to three runs in five IP.

    3-0 Pirates.

  21. Michael

    just get one more out, Milton…then you’re done…

  22. DevilsAdvocate

    A quality start is still in reach.

    And, still doing better than Harang yesterday. Difference is the Reds’ cold bats.

  23. Bill

    Tom, there are too many bad hitters in this lineup…and I’m becoming more concerned about Phillips and Ross being more like the hiters they looked like in Sept. than the hitters they looked like in the first half.

  24. Tom

    Milton is only at 80 pitches, if his spot in the order doesn’t come up this inning, they’ll try to eke out one more inning from him. Come on big rally!

  25. Chad

    We really need to get the bats warmed up.

  26. Michael

    Castro might be in the lineup tomorrow replacing Phillips for his…um, bat…

  27. Tom

    Your’e right Bill, the offense is the big question mark. This is a good start…. for Milton. 🙂

  28. DevilsAdvocate

    MLB gameday has added an “options” button way up in the top right corner, which allows users to switch off the 3-d gimmick for the pitch locations, and to go with “less” animation (which turns off the sloooooow scroll on the incoming pitch info).

    For me, those two things go a long way towards making the new gameday tolerable.

  29. Bill

    I still like the idea of trying to get Bowden to take him…for anything.

  30. Bill

    There are about 15 guys that have a legitimaate chance to win the Masters today, assuming Woods continues to struggle.

  31. Tom

    Dang it! I out away from getting a quality start from Milton. Still, not all that terrible from him with his lousy spring and coming of the DL.

  32. DevilsAdvocate

    That’s unfortunate. Milton debuts with a 6.35 ERA.

  33. Bill

    Come on, Tom…the DL was a ruse and his spring is what he’s like. He threw teh way he’s thrown for 2 years…he stinks. The media will try to spin it otherwise (Chris already was), but he has to go.

  34. DevilsAdvocate

    Whoop, there it is – Milton threw better the first couple times through the lineup, not so great the third, and got knocked out when he saw Sanchez the fourth time.

  35. Tom

    I don’t necessarily like Milton, but he was definitely much improved last season over his first season. What was he, something like a 4.80 ERA late in the season before he hurt his arm and very unwisely went back out there and got bombed and raised his ERA by .5 in a single outing. Let the media spin it how they want. He was much improved last season, and was an acceptable 4th/5th starter until he was hurt late in the year. Now his salary is another issue. 🙂

  36. DevilsAdvocate

    Just 82 pitches for Duke through 6.

  37. DevilsAdvocate

    The unstoppable Victor Santos is in! With the bullpen’s 0.00 ERA on the line!

  38. Bill

    Tom, his ERA was over 5 from the end of June ’til the end of the season, other than for 2 starts in early September.

  39. Bill

    So, yes…it was better than the year before, but there is no way that a 5.00 ERA should be acceptable for someone that got 25+ starts.

  40. Michael

    hopefully the offense can do something now…they afterall, not Milton, are most to blame if the Reds lose today…

  41. DevilsAdvocate

    Well, this looks better. Single by Dunn, double by EdE. 2 runners in scoring position, nobody out…for Griffey. Time for his bat to come alive.

  42. DevilsAdvocate

    That’s too bad – Griffey hits it off the left-field wall and is held to a single. Thought it was out, I guess.

    But, runs! two of them! And Duke is out – I wonder what the Pirates’ bullpen looks like this year without Mike Gonzalez.

  43. Tom

    Rotation Slots ERA Range
    NL #1 Starters = 6.01

    Milton after 09/12 start = 4.85
    Milton after pitching injured on 9/17 = 5.19

    He was pretty close to a league average pitcher last season before he unwisely took the mound 09/17.

    Certainly he is still not acceptable for a 8M+/yr pitcher.

    But since he is going to be out there 25+ times again this season since he makes 8M+, I’m hoping for the 5.00 ERA version of Milton rather than the 6.00 ERA version.

  44. Tom

    Ooops the rotation slot numbers didn’t paste right, wanted to show:

    Rot Slot ERA Range
    #3 NL 4.32 – 4.91
    #4 NL 4.92 – 6.00

  45. Pete

    Why did Junior jog to first? Ridiculous. He obviously thought is was out, but c’mon!

  46. DevilsAdvocate

    Castro with the power! Suddenly a 1-run game, 4-3 Pirates.

  47. Tom

    Way to go Griffey and Castro, one run game. Finally the bats show up.

  48. DevilsAdvocate

    There goes the third catcher – so Hatteberg will be the emergency C for the next three innings.

  49. Bill

    But for all of July and August, his ERA was above 5.00…and he wasn’t the #5 starter. I’d rather cut him and hope for something better out of Livingston, Santos, Saarools, or something else. They might improve, he’s not going to..and I’m not in favor of accepting a 5 ERA

  50. Tom

    I too would cut bait with Milton and try one those guys and hope for something good. But I still think you’ll be hard pressed to get much better than a 5.00 ERA from that bunch.

  51. Bill

    True, but they might improve…Milton is not going to improve and some of these other guys might be with them next year, Milton won’t.

  52. DevilsAdvocate

    No more 0.00 ERA, solo shot by Eldred. 5-3 Pirates.

  53. Chad

    Narron should have carried 4 catchers! What if there’s an injury!

  54. Tom

    Yep, better chance for improvement, at much better cost. At least we got that to look forward to next season.

  55. Tom

    That looked just like 2 of those 3 dingers Eldred hit in Indy two years back. He’s a very big strong boy like Dunn.

  56. Chad

    Chris Welsh: “The more you see (Brandon Phillips) play, the more he reminds you of Pokey Reese.”


    I like Chris, but he actually intended that as a compliment.

  57. Bill

    course, next season, they’ll be looking to replace Milton and Lohse.

  58. Tom

    We know Baily will be filling one of those spots. Maybe Santos or Saarlos will step up to fill the other.

  59. Chad

    They’ll probably sign Curt Schilling for next season.

  60. Chad

    Something I’ve thought about: has anyone ever seen Edwin Encarnacion say a word on the field? He’s the silent assassin.

  61. Chad

    I’ll be surprised if Cueto is a starter in the majors.

  62. Bill

    He’s been very effective as a starter in the minors…he’s small (thin), but might fill out some.

  63. DevilsAdvocate

    Marty: “Bret Boone was flat-out the best fielding second baseman I ever saw…until Pokey Reese came along.”

    Say what you will about his bat, but he was one of the very few guys who could legitimately make up for it in the field.

  64. Chad

    I just think, you know the way these baseball guys think. They’ll see Cueto as a reliever because of his size and that’s where he’ll end up. Forget about his performance as a starter.

    Just a guess.

  65. Chad

    Double for Dunn. That’s a 2-4 day for him. He continues to hit.

  66. Bill

    Intersting blurb on Ramon Geronimo (23 year old) relief pitcher for the Dragons. Last year in the VSL he had 27 saves in 29 appearances and allowed just 3 runs all season, and didn’t allow an earned run until his last appearance. Allowed 2 or fewer hits in 28 of his 29 appearances.

  67. Chad

    Sorry, DA…Pokey may have been the best defensive 2B I’ve ever seen…but no way in the world did that make up for his terrible bat, in my opinion. He was awful.

    If Phillips equals Pokey in the field, great. If he equals Pokey overall, we’re in trouble.

  68. Bill

    Another guy that sounds interesting is Juan Francisco (19 year old) 3B…looking forward to seeing him. Not like we’ve got many 3B prospects in the system.

  69. Bill

    Venezualan Summer League, but I was wrong, he was in the Dominican Summer League.

  70. Chad

    Speaking of Chris Welsh, by the way, he’s struggling today.

    Did you hear him say earlier (when Milton was being taken out) that “If the Reds had put up 8 runs on the scoreboard, this would have been a good start for Milton.”


  71. Chad

    Wonder what level of players he was playing against?

  72. Bill

    Yeah, I heard that…he’s a pitcher’s announcer, no doubt about that.

  73. Bill

    I’m interested in seeing how it is when Chris works with Thom…

  74. DevilsAdvocate

    Ha, that’s a funny from Welsh. The Reds would have a rotation full of All-Stars if they scored ten runs a game.

  75. Chad

    Should be good, I would think. I like both those guys.

  76. Tom

    I hope they get to the pitchers spot, I want to see Hamilton bat.

  77. DevilsAdvocate

    Meanwhile, the Reds need 3 in the ninth to tie.

  78. Chad

    Conine now, followed by Gonzalez. I’m not optimistic.

  79. Bill

    Gonzalez will be in the #2 spot before long…at least against LHP.

  80. Chad

    Two away. Our hopes now rest on Alex Gonzalez.

    The best thing you can say about him as a hitter is…he sure can pick it in the field!

  81. DevilsAdvocate

    So much for that. 6-3 final.

  82. Chad

    Oh well. Reds win each of the first two series’, and that’s a good thing.

    I’ll be around here later to follow Homer Bailey’s start, if anyone else wants to join in.

  83. Justin

    I have seen enough. Saaraloos please.