From Superman to The Joker; yesterday’s magnificent performance yields to Eric Milton’s return to the mound at Great American Ballpark. Hide the women and children.

Okay, all joking aside, I’m fairly interested to see what Milton does today. He gets a really bad rap in the Nation, and much of that rap is deserved, but Milton had some extended stretches last year of adequate pitching. With Matt Belisle and Kyle Lohse pitching well, all we need is for Milton to somehow figure out how to be league average. A league average fifth starter is like icing on the cake.

So, I haven’t given up hope on the old guy…yet.

That said, the Brew Crew has given us fits over the last couple of seasons, and they have a pretty good team this year. So I’d like to win this one. Adam Dunn is supposed to be back in the lineup, and we may need his offense.

Keep those fingers crossed, and discuss the game here.

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 chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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269 Responses

  1. RagTag

    Lineups:

    For the homestanding Redlegs…

    Freel CF
    Phillips 2B
    Dunn LF
    Conine 1B
    Griffey RF
    Encarnacion 3B
    Castro SS
    Ross C
    Milton P

    Castro, Ross, and Milton at the bottom. That’s gonna be ugly.

  2. RagTag

    And now for the Brewers, who I agree always seem to give us fits.

    Weeks 2B
    Hardy SS
    Fielder 1B
    FEAR BILL Hall CF
    Estrada C
    Mench LF
    Hart RF
    Graffanino 3B
    Capuano P

  3. CeeKeR

    Good to see Dunn back in the lineup. It was interesting to note that the Reds team average isn’t quite the worst in all of baseball, going into today, I believe they were 3rd worst!

  4. Chris

    I’m reading that offense is down across baseball, which means that our hitters might not be quite as bad as they look. Of course, it also means that our pitchers aren’t as good as they’ve looked.

  5. Chris

    No deer commercial!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I actually just get to use the service I paid $120 for (actually, Cox Cable paid $90 and I paid $30 to upgrade), without watching an ad first.

  6. Chris

    MLB.tv has added a Pac-Man-as-a-baseball style screensaver between innings. I wonder if they cleared the rights to that first.

  7. Brian

    The Reds are batting .226 this season. Oakland is at .224, with the ChiSox at .222.

  8. Dave Massey

    So only the worst BA in the National League . . . whew!

  9. Jimmy James

    And F’in Bill Hall hits one a country mile on the first pitch…just foul.

  10. Chris

    Milton opening with one right down the shoot to Hall. No worries, that guy can’t hit in GABP. ๐Ÿ˜•

  11. RagTag

    Looks like a tiny crowd. Can’t imagine why…a weeknight against the Brewers with Eric Milton pitching. Sounds like there should be standing room only there.

  12. Jimmy James

    So the deer commercial is really gone?

  13. Chris

    It’s gone for me.

    Still around: The cymbal and (presumably) breaking glass sound effects on foul balls at Reds games. Ti-red.

  14. Jimmy James

    Wild pitch, runner in scoring position.

  15. Chris

    Pretty lazy by Ross on that ball. Milton bounced the changeup, but it’s Prince Fielder, for goodness sakes.

  16. Bill

    I didn’t think that catch by Freel was anything special, he just midjudged it and then fell down…despite what Jeff Brantley says…

  17. Chad

    What are you talking about, Chris? That breaking glass sound effect is hilarious.

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Chris

    Hall fouls off the 407th pitch this AB.

  19. Jimmy James

    It takes Milton 11 pitches to walk Bill Hall. I can’t believe Hall reached base.

  20. Chris

    …and Milton misses badly for ball 4.

  21. The Mad Hatter

    11 pitches thanks Bill Hall

  22. Dave Massey

    How come Milton doesn’t have more sponsorships? I can’t believe that Pepto Bismal, Rolaids, Maalox, or Pepcid AC couldn’t use a good spokesman.

  23. RagTag

    How many pitches has Milton thrown this inning?

  24. Chris

    Milton is nibbling, and he’s always bad when he’s nibbling.

  25. Jimmy James

    Thom said 26 pitches for Milton, with a 2-2 count on Estrada.

  26. Chris

    Oh you have GOT to be effing kidding me. This is a Hall of Famer???

  27. Jimmy James

    Not good, Griffey, not good. E9.

  28. Chris

    Thom not ranting about it. He must’ve calmed down over the weekend.

  29. Jimmy James

    You’re right, Chris, Griffey isn’t a Hall of Famer. ๐Ÿ™„

  30. RagTag

    Goes full to the next hitter. Milton is due for a short night.

  31. Chad

    So, what was the damage? How many pitches did Milton end up throwing?

  32. The Mad Hatter

    34 pitches, I hope Saarloos is ready for an early apperance.

  33. Bill

    I’ll tell you, the way this team is hitting, they damn sure can’t afford to give away runs…especially when Uncle Miltie is pitching.

  34. Chris

    Sure, he’s a HOFer. But he wasn’t looking like it on that play. Pitchers look better shagging balls in BP.

  35. Chad

    What are you talking about, Bill? Milton is pitching fine. He hasn’t even given up an earned run yet.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. RagTag

    Hasn’t Capuano had some success against the Reds?

  37. Chris

    I’d cut Griffey more slack for the position change if he’d stopped pouting enough to get some work in RF during spring training.

  38. Chad

    Way to swing at the first pitch, Freel!

    I’m getting very tired of him doing that, especially to start the game.

  39. Bill

    Sorry, I must have been crazyed…And Freel swings at the first pitch.

  40. Chris

    Freel helping the cause. Milton throws 400 pitches in the top of the first – could probably use a breaher. Freel up there hacking at the first pitch.

  41. RagTag

    Was Junior pouting? I’m not saying he wasn’t, I just don’t remember any controversy at all from him over the position change.

  42. Chris

    Phillips drilled that one. He’s the Bizarro Bill Hall (batting over .400 vs. MIL).

  43. Chad

    Phillips hit that ball very hard. Good.

  44. Jimmy James

    I agree, guys…I’m tired of Freel’s hack-tastic ways on the first pitch of his ABs.

  45. Chad

    Of course, Thom points it out when Dunn swings at the first pitch. “Hacking” and “Dunn” aren’t usually put together.

  46. The Mad Hatter

    You would think that after watching their pitcher throw a bunch of pitches the first two guys would show a little patience and give him a rest in the dugout

  47. RagTag

    Capuano is scared to death of Phillips.

  48. Chris

    Anyone click on my Freel link in #14. I’m really proud of that one. :mrgreen:

  49. Jimmy James

    Dunn strikes out.

    I know it’s early, but has anyone compared Dunn’s K totals with last year’s numbers?

  50. Chad

    I thought Conine had one there. Not a very good first inning, guys and gals.

  51. RagTag

    Yeah, I clicked on that, Chris. Very appropriate.

  52. Randy

    Closing in on 70 comments, and the second inning hasn’t started yet. Wow.

  53. Chad

    Did FSN just put up a graphic showing the Reds as having the best bullpen in the league?

    It’s bizarro-world.

  54. The Mad Hatter

    Freel last 7 days:
    15 AB’s, .200, .294, .200 1 CS, 5K’s

  55. Jimmy James

    Milton goes to a full count with the first hitter in the second inning…and here are a couple of two-strike fouls. Geez, he’s throwing a lot of pitches.

  56. Jimmy James

    And the umpire gave Milton a HUGE break. That was ball 4. Hart is right to be mad.

  57. Chad

    That doesn’t sound like youth baseball like I used to play…

    …by which, I mean very bad youth baseball.

  58. Jimmy James

    Full count on the second hitter of the inning, too.

  59. The Mad Hatter

    I’d almost guess Miltie’s had a full count on nearly every batter

  60. Chad

    Sorry if the site acts funky tonight. The server is screwy.

    If anyone has any suggestions for a hosting provider, I’m all ears. I’m tired of the outages on my current one.

  61. Bill

    Dayton’s up 6-1 in the 6th, ..Logan’s struggling again tonight 0-2 with a walk…
    Sarasota’s up early.

  62. RagTag

    This is the hackingest team I’ve ever seen.

    Should we blame Brook Jacoby for this team’s lack of patience? It’s infecting guys like Edwin, too.

  63. Matt

    Thom and cowboy keep talking about Milton not having a put-away pitch.

    It does seem like they are fouling off a HUGE number of pitches

  64. Bill

    I heard today that Gonzalez’s son needs surgery..now, if you had his money, would you have your son having surgery in Venz or in the US?

  65. Chris

    Brantley: “What a bonus to have a guy like Juan Castro to step in…. Not many teams have a guy who can do the things Juan Castro can do, and who has the presence that he has in the clubhouse.”

  66. Chad

    David Ross hits one almost far enough.

  67. Matt

    Wow.. Hart has made two outstanding plays

  68. Matt

    Bill, I would choose venezuala isn’t free healthcare always better?

  69. The Mad Hatter

    Well at least Ross hit the ball, out of the infield and everything

  70. Chad

    Glass half full: that’s the hardest hit ball Ross has had all year.

  71. Chad

    Yeah, I’m home but don’t have icq turned on.

  72. Matt

    Thom’s sob stories are getting very old

    I will take him over goober grande, but jeez…does everything have to be a freakin’ drama.

  73. Jimmy James

    Well, there’s the first dinger of the night against Milton.

  74. Matt

    Did you know Vin Scully almost slit his wrist, and had to start seeing a psychologist when the Dodgers let Castro go?

  75. Chris

    Milton w/ another HR while ahead in the count.

  76. Chad

    Chris–

    You know that the Tracy Jones mouth-breathers on WLW will be VERY happy with the reduced Ks, even if it is at the expense of the walks.

  77. Bill

    And some folks will say, well, he’s doing better b/c he’s not striking out as much…no matter what else.

  78. Matt

    his walk rate is still good…just not ruthian…

  79. Jimmy James

    Ugh, a Tracy Jones reference. What an idiot.

    Did you know he “played the game”?

  80. CeeKeR

    Ugh, this weather is messing with my MLB.tv feed (at least, that’s what I blame it on…)

    Not sure if tonight will be worth the frustration anyhow ๐Ÿ˜•

  81. Dave Massey

    The bats will come alive, Reds faithful. We just need to get Jobu on the phone, and we can start the hit parade.

  82. Chad

    Jones is the worst thing I’ve ever heard on radio. He’s just awful. I can’t believe WLW still employs him.

    If he had gotten a job calling Reds games on radio or television (he was rumored to be a candidate), I would refuse to watch/listen. He’s that bad.

  83. Chad

    Gotta go help get the kids ready for bed. I’ll be back later.

    Don’t burn the place down while I’m gone.

  84. Matt

    don’t you like people who call RBI ribeye steaks?

  85. Chad

    And try not to discuss Tracy Jones too much while I’m gone. The server will crash again.

  86. Matt

    I love upstate PA, the most exciting interstates in the country

  87. Jimmy James

    The Reds need some ribeye steaks tonight. Don’t hold your breath, though.

  88. CeeKeR

    haha – I drive those wonderful roads everyday… Actually, I love them in the fall, but winter (and now spring)…not so nice!

  89. Matt

    the only exciting thing about thier offense are slow grounders to third…ugh

  90. Matt

    I live in Cincy and my inlaws are in Poughkeepsie, NY, so we go through there every now and again….heading to cooperstown in June….we’ll be through there again

  91. RagTag

    This game isn’t unfolding very well.

    Fortunately, Estrada helps the cause by hacking at the first pitch in the 4th.

  92. RagTag

    Three pitches, two outs for Milton. Thanks, Brewers.

  93. Michael

    How long is Narron going to continue with the “let’s start Ross so we don’t shatter his confidence game”?

  94. Jimmy James

    I saw that quote from Milton, Michael. Pretty lame.

  95. Matt

    Gosling tossing a shutout in Louisville through 4

  96. Nathan

    dunn, griffey up next inning, lets see if they can do anything.

  97. Jimmy James

    Part of the offense is in Washington, DC, Nathan.

  98. CeeKeR

    Ah, that’s a long trip…. There’s just no “good” way to get to Cooperstown, which is a shame…

  99. Nathan

    that philly cheesesteak looks good ๐Ÿ˜†

  100. RagTag

    Bill, don’t you go to Dayton games? I was just reading today’s DOTF, and they have a bunch of decent prospects there, don’t they?

  101. Matt

    pelland tossing shutout in Chattanooga

  102. Nathan

    what i dont know is what we got for the offense. . .or better yet what it helped

  103. Randy

    Capuano went to Duke. Yet another reason to hate him.

  104. Randy

    Capuano went to Duke. Yet another reason to hate him.

  105. Michael

    Funny how national tv analysts can be so ignorant about the teams. After the first week of the season, ESPN analyst Steve Phillips picked the Reds as his surprise team so far. He said that there was no doubt that the Reds would score runs with their offense, the pitching however was what surprised him. What an idiot!

  106. Jimmy James

    Double by Dunn.

    Crappy baserunning by Dunn.

    Good baserunning by Conine.

  107. Bill

    I’ve got partial season tix…my first game was snowed out, we got Wednesday and Saturday..most of the guys from last year’s Billings team are in Dayton.

  108. RagTag

    This team’s “hitting” just sucks. Just flat-out sucks.

  109. RagTag

    Well, Dayton has some good young kids, it appears. Impressive group.

  110. Bill

    I’m looking forward to seeing this Francisco kid playing 3B…and the pitching has been very good.

  111. Jimmy James

    Here’s a good time for Edwin E to come out of his slump.

  112. Bill

    They’re winning again tonight…they haven’t lost yet.

  113. Matt

    there wasn’t much dunn could do there…he was smart enough to stay in the rundown long enough to get Conine to 2nd

  114. Randy

    Encarnacion needs a good nickname for us to use here.

    He also needs a clue at the plate.

  115. Matt

    something for the dunn haters to hate more,,,something for the dunn lovers to love

  116. Bill

    Carlos Fisher’s throwing a gem at Sarasota tonight…5IP 0R 2H 5K…

  117. Jeff Gentil

    Is it possible to sit Phillips, EE, Ross, and Freel without bringing up half of the Louisville roster?? Good GOD these guys are brutal and they’re killing me!

  118. Bill

    EE is struggling, but he ain’t alone…Ross, Phillips aren’t exactly burning it up either. And Phillips keeps hitting at the top of the lineup.

  119. Matt

    Louisville is lite on hitting….Votto is the only true prospect and he is struggling so far

  120. Jeff Gentil

    Why bunt, Rickie? Go yard again!

  121. Matt

    problem is who else can you put at the top…the whole freakin’ lineup is suckin

  122. Matt

    This is what the mouth breathers wanted…great defense, little ball…yippfreakinyee

  123. Nathan

    here we go again to see if they cant finally prove they can still hit

  124. The Mad Hatter

    Milton may not be very efficient tonight but at least he has kept it close. If only the offense would wake up, emerge, hit the ball, get a key hit

  125. Matt

    Logan Parker has 17 abs at Dayton..1 hit and a .353 OBA…now that is patience.

  126. The Mad Hatter

    This is inning should be exciting Castro, Ross and a PH? or will Narron leave Miltie in 1 inning too long like usual

  127. Matt

    Castro hit that ball to deep 2nd base.

  128. LouisvilleJohn

    The Reds have scored only 1 run in the last 20+ innings. Our bats are dead

  129. Michael

    good thing Narron is maintaining Ross’ confidence by starting him…

  130. Bill

    “a great year”….the season is 2 weeks old. I’m not saying he won’t stink…but lets not go crazy.

  131. Bill

    Dragons win again 8-4…think that makes them 7-0 with 3 snowouts and 1 rain out.

  132. Nathan

    i know bill but he sure is not doing anything so far

  133. Nathan

    is this the inning milton gives up all the runs?

  134. Matt

    stubbs, francisco, and valaika all hit at dayton

    Dayton always has a lot of choices to write about

  135. Jimmy James

    Milton made it into the 6th. I wouldn’t have guessed that after that first inning.

    Of course, he gives up a big hit to start the inning, but still…

  136. Michael

    good thing Narron feels so confident in our offense that he’s willing to throw away an out and allow Milton (97 pitches) to bat…

  137. Nathan

    narron stood up and said no more, thank god

  138. Bill

    This Francisco kid is a switch hitter…Heisey had a good night tonight, Louswma’s been hitting also.

  139. Jimmy James

    And here comes Victor Santos.

    For the first time ever, Narron isn’t leaving a starter in for two batters more than he should.

  140. Nathan

    I like Victor Santos, what do you guys think?

  141. Bill

    I’d take this from Milton though…get me into the 6th and give up 2-3 runs…that I can handle from my #5…but it’s probably unreasonable to expect.

  142. River Otter

    I noticed that Ross actually has a lower OBP than batting average. How is that possible?

  143. RagTag

    I like Santos, too, but I’m afraid he’s due to come back to earth in a big way soon.

  144. Randy

    Oh no. Bill Hall is up with a runner in scoring position.

  145. Jimmy James

    Oh, I thought the ump was going to call that one strike three!

  146. RagTag

    Hahaha….they get Fielder caught up in a Dunn-like rundown…but Hall can’t advance!!!

  147. RagTag

    And there’s one that’s crushed by Estrade….thank goodness they only had one runner, on first.

  148. Jimmy James

    Popped up Mench on the first pitch. What a terrible piece of hitting, with one out and two runners in scoring position.

  149. RagTag

    Mench looked like one of our hitters there.

  150. Bill

    Thom was just talking about the Reds bullpen in ’64….Bill Henry had an ERA+ of 417. (37G – 52 IP)

  151. Bill

    Matt, Heisey and Stubbs have hit in every game for the Dragons.

  152. Chad

    While getting the kids ready for bed, I got to listen to some of the radio broadcast. Good to hear the Ol’ Lefthander.

  153. RagTag

    This “pitching and defense” thing is working well, isn’t it?

    Whether it works or not in the end, I think we’re going to have some frustrating nights watching this anemic offense struggle.

  154. RagTag

    Top of the order. It’s the only chance we have of pushing a couple across … at least there’s some distance in the order right now between us and Castro/Ross suckitude.

  155. Randy

    E6. Runner aboard with no outs.

    And Thom is hammering Freel about his hacking ways. That’s good to hear.

  156. Jimmy James

    And, of course, Phillips hacks at the first pitch….at least he hit it hard!

  157. Matt

    no pressure dunn, you are the only hitter in the lineup

  158. Brian

    River, Ross’ OBP is .077 because he has two hits in 24 ABs (before tonight), but he also has two sac flies, which is part of the equation for OBP.

  159. RagTag

    Hah, that’s true, isn’t it, Matt?

  160. Jimmy James

    I love him, but I know Dunn is going to strike out here.

  161. Jimmy James

    Not a K!

    Bases loaded with no outs, and Michael Wuertz isn’t within miles of the stadium. They have to score here.

  162. CeeKeR

    Let’s go Reds… Please please please have some offense. I cannot take another bases loaded no runs….

  163. RagTag

    Hit your 9th grand salami, Conine!!!!!

  164. Bill

    I agree with Brantley, that’s one of the worse calls I’ve ever seen. Takes ’em right out of the inning.

  165. Brandon

    the reds just got royally screwed..plain and simple

  166. Brian

    I’m following on MLB.com. What happened there?

  167. Dave Massey

    Conine had a broken bat line drive to shallow center — Rickie Weeks tipped it with his glove but didn’t catch it. One run scores, but the 2nd base ump called a Infield Fly Rule. Conine called out after the fact.

  168. Brandon

    conine hit a soft broken bat line drive and they didnt catch it and they called conine out on an infield fly

  169. River Otter

    I’m also following on MLB.

    I see Griffey continued with tonight’s hack attack.

  170. Go Lightning!

    How do the runners move up on an infield fly call? Was the ball dropped?

  171. Brandon

    it’s safe to say they got screwed there..encarnacion’s double would have had conine on third with 1 out and castro’s fly ball could have scored him..oh well

  172. LouisvilleJohn

    Awesome, three runs in. We can win this ball game.

  173. Abner

    Well. We salvaged that inning, but this team usually has one big outburst, then back to nothing again. They have 3 more chances to prove me wrong.

  174. Michael

    Over their last 3 games, the Reds have now scored in 3 of their last 33 innings!!!

    Woohoo!!!

  175. LouisvilleJohn

    You must be referring to the 6 run outburst in Chicago

  176. LouisvilleJohn

    Crap, two runs on with no outs on Coffey. I think he can still get out of this.

  177. CeeKeR

    If the Reds hold the Brewers scoreless this inning, I think that’ll be enough momentum for them to win this one…

  178. The Mad Hatter

    you gotta be kidding me come on guys keep it close

  179. RagTag

    I’m so mad about that infield fly call, I can barely see straight. That was just awful, and it completely screwed the Reds’ chances of tying.

    Not that it matters the way Coffey is throwing gas on this fire.

  180. Chad

    Bases loaded, no outs, Bill Hall at the plate.

    Welcome to your worst nightmare.

  181. Jeff Gentil

    well that’ll do it. night night

  182. LouisvilleJohn

    Boy was I wrong. I think it is over now. Coffey’s ERA just balooned.

  183. RagTag

    Think we can score 9 runs?

    This week, I mean. Can we score 9 runs this week?

  184. Michael

    Look at the bright side – our pitchers will be very motivated this season…pitch a shut out and hope for at least a tie!

  185. Jimmy James

    What was the error there, I didn’t see it. Was it on a throw?

  186. LouisvilleJohn

    EE bobbled it, he didn’t field it properly.

  187. River Otter

    Me too. What a waste of a decent outing by Milton.

  188. Justin

    Milton and decent. It could happen. I fear it is to late though. MB will get things back on track tomorrow.

  189. Y-City Jim

    I suppose you can call it a decent outing. 99 pitches over five innings is unacceptable though.

  190. LouisvilleJohn

    Lets not get on Milton for throwing 99 pitches. Coffey is the one that blew..

    7 runs in the 9th? It could happen…I wish.

  191. LouisvilleJohn

    Ross got a hit!!! His third of the season!! WooHoo

  192. Abner

    7, maybe not, but I’ll take 6 – and there’s 2 right now. Wow. Josh Hamilton.

  193. LouisvilleJohn

    Hamilton smacks one out of the park…..Maybe there are some bright spots tonight.

  194. Y-City Jim

    I agree that Coffey blew major chunks but you asking for trouble when your starter can only give you five innings.

    2 down, five to go!!

  195. Y-City Jim

    Thom Brennaman loves Josh Hamilton.

  196. Y-City Jim

    Will anything equal that pounding that Claussen took from Milwaukee last year? Man! That was brutal!

  197. LouisvilleJohn

    Thom has man love for Josh.

    I am still a little skeptical. His minor league stats are not strong.

    Lets put this one behind us and start Josh tomorrow in CF.

  198. Chris

    Pathetic result, but a lot of positives tonight, actually:

    – Say what you want about a pitch count, but Milton did as good as you can expect from your #5. The bullpen was rested, and has no excuse for melting down.

    – EE came through with a big hit, breaking out of his slump.

    – Three hits for Dunn, including a good AB and a single up the middle in a throwaway AB in the 9th – good “greedy” hitting, ala Pete Rose or Tony Gwynn.

    – Nice outing by Countlangus. A good find by Krivsky.

    – It’s early, but I’m close to believing that Jeff Conine has something left in the tank. Another kudo to Krivsky.

    – Hamilton. Just Hamilton.

    All that said, this team needs to find some offense, and quick. This is no surprise – and Krivsky should’ve been prepared for the possibility that Ross wouldn’t hit.

  199. CeeKeR

    Chris: I like the positives, and I think you are correct on most of them. Dunn has been impressive to me for the most part this season, and I truly want to believe that EE, Ross, and Phillips are going to come around (biggest doubts about Ross, but with 3 catchers, one of them has to be able to hit right?)

    Get ’em tomorrow boys.

  200. Justin

    Seasdon is still young yet. Got to get the kinks out of the bats still. We will wake up eventually. Milton, I guess it was more of an acceptable outing. Needs toget his act together better placed pitches would be nice start.

  201. DevilsAdvocate

    I’m unable to tune into the games for a few days, and have to read about them the next morning…but looks like Bill F#&%ing Hall did it again.