The mighty Redlegs return home tonight to begin a homestand with the visiting Colorado Rockies. Matt Belisle takes his 3-1 record (3.45 ERA) to the mound to face someone named Jason Hirsh, who has had a pretty good season thus far (2-2, 3.41). Tonight is the start of a three game set with the Rox, after which Houston will come to town for four games.

The Reds have not been outstanding on the road, so homestands like this one are more important. The Rockies and Astros, no matter how you slice it, aren’t the cream of the crop in the National League. The Reds need to win 4 or 5 of these games at home, no question about it.

Very interesting lineup tonight for the Reds:

Scott Hatteberg 1b
Brandon Phillips 2b
Ken Griffey rf
Edwin Encarnacion 3b
Adam Dunn lf
Alex Gonzalez ss
Josh Hamilton cf
David Ross c
Matt Belisle p

I wonder if Hatteberg has ever hit leadoff in his life. I give manager Jerry Narron credit here. It takes guts to throw The Book out the window and start a slow guy with a high OBP at the top of the order. Hope it works.

Here’s the lineup for Colorado:

Taveras cf
Tulowitzki ss
Holliday lf
Helton 1b
Atkins 3b
Hawpe rf
Torrealba c
Quintanilla 2b
Hirsh p

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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171 Responses

  1. Chris

    I’d like this sort of thing better if I had any reason to believe Narron won’t scrap it tomorrow if they don’t score 7 runs. It reminds me of a Bob Boone stunt.

  2. Chris

    As for the question posed…I direct you, friends, to the incomparable Baseball-Reference.com:

    Scott Hatteberg has led off 9 times in his career. Including the 3 other times he’s subbed in to the #1 hole, his numbers are (send the kids out of the room):

    .105 .186 .184 370 OPS ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  3. Chris

    Since I’m bored, the career numbers from each starter, in that position in the batting order:

    B. Emil Phillips: .241 .276 .321 597 (173 PA in the #2 spot)

    George K. Griffey, Jr.: .293 .377 .570 947 (7905 PA)

    EE: .285 .363 .538 901 (182 PA)

    Dunn: .235 .385 .527 912 (899 PA)

    Gonzalez: .302 .362 .605 967 (47 PA)

    Hamilton: 3 PA – 0 for 2 w/ 1 BB

    Ross: .222 .295 .405 700 (470 PA)

    I don’t put much stock in any of these splits, but Griffey (duh), Dunn, EE, and Gonzalez have all hit particularly well in these batting order slots.

  4. Jared

    I think I’d like Phillips in the leadoff spot with Hatteburg behind him. Hatteburg is slow, of course, but he also seems to perform better with the pressure on and the first AB of the game isn’t exactly make-or-break. Either way, I’m sure they’ll do fine though, and I do agree that Narron would probably be better off with a more stable lineup.

    All that doesn’t mean anything, though, if the pen can’t close a game.

  5. Jared

    Bored too.. ๐Ÿ™‚ Get Phillips on with a single or walk, follow him up with Hatteburg who’s batted .316 with runners on first over his career, vs .254 with the bases empty.

  6. Lambertman

    Thom and Welsh on TV – has Welsh picked up more games than the 100 he was originally contracted for? He’s missed way fewer broadcasts than Grande has.

  7. Matt B.

    3-2 Reds after 5.

    Belisle throwing 96 mph in the 5th inning is such a great sign, like Brenaman said.

  8. Chris

    Bad decision, bad throw on the bunt by EE. Finley scores from first. I put some blame on Griffey for not backing that play up promptly/properly.

  9. Chris

    Ah yes, Todd Coffey in with the game on the line. This can only end well.

  10. davidmp2

    I’m really losing my patience with EdE. His one redeeming factor is his bat and I know it’s early but the bat isn’t there. He’s a liability right now in every area.

  11. Chris

    Intentional walk, followed by unintentional walk, and Bucky Dent calls on Coutlangus.

  12. Chris

    The rookie gets his man.

    The Reds offense needs to get moving in the 7th. Nine outs to score a run.

  13. Y-City Jim

    How can one team have a guy with a name like Coutlangus and Dick Pole together?
    ๐Ÿ˜›

  14. Jimmy James

    Norris Hopper with a leadoff single!

  15. Chris

    Norris Hopper with a single to start things off.

  16. Jimmy James

    Hatteberg is bunting. Narron trying to play for the tying run.

  17. Chris

    Hatteberg bunting…

    I think I’d prefer to try to steal the base, even off the lefty.

  18. Randy

    If you play for one run, that’s all you’ll get. But I can’t really argue with the strategy here. Well, I could, but I won’t.

  19. Jimmy James

    I agree, Chris, but if he’s caught stealing, Narron gets hammered in the press.

    Single for Phillips! Game tied!

  20. Chris

    BP with the line-drive single to tie things up. That looks easy. I think Affedt’s thrown 4 pitches.

  21. Jimmy James

    Colorado’s bullpen looks like ours. This could end up being a 12-11 game before it’s over.

  22. Y-City Jim

    Can Junior make it a 2 HR night?

  23. Jimmy James

    I’d like to see EE get a big hit here, maybe a HR. It’d be good for the kid…if Narron actually lets him hit against the righty.

  24. Jimmy James

    Oh yeah, it’s Bucky Dent, not Narron. Forgot about that.

  25. Y-City Jim

    Interesting analysis by Brantley on Eddie about the hands and body not working in sync.

  26. Y-City Jim

    Why would you send Phillips with Dunn waiting to hit?

  27. Randy

    There’s Edwin’s hit!

    But BP gets thrown out!

  28. Jimmy James

    Good question, Jim…but with two outs, I love Dunn, but I wouldn’t rely on him. I take the chance on getting the go-ahead runs right there.

  29. Chris

    I think I probably send him, regardless of who’s up next. As long as you think BP’s chances of scoring are > 40-45%, you send him.

  30. Y-City Jim

    but I believe you have to play for the big inning. Sending the runner flies in the face of that.

  31. Jimmy James

    They’ve already wasted an out on a sac bunt. The decision to go for a small inning had already been made.

  32. Y-City Jim

    Good point but this bullpen needs as big as lead as possible even if Saarlose just pitched an effective top of the 8th.

  33. Jimmy James

    Oh, I agree with that…but the Reds don’t.

  34. Chris

    I think the math on it (obviously done at the gut level) is: Send the runner on this play vs. Odds that the next guy will get a base hit (.260ish for Adam), or that he’ll walk AND that Gonzalez will get a hit or bases-loaded walk (0.13 * 0.364). I’m ignoring the chance of an error scoring the run. I think that means that if the 3b coach thinks BP has > .307 chance of scoring on EE’s double, you send him.

  35. Chris

    You guys raise a good point – I’m ignoring the possibility of needing more than the 1 run But I don’t think you can play the game that way (holding off on the go-ahead run b/c you think you need 2).

    Starting the next inning with Dunn isn’t the worst thing in the world.

  36. Chad

    Put away your slide rule, Poindexter.

  37. Chris

    No kidding.

    That was a nasty pitch that struck out Dunn. See, I watch the games, too. ๐Ÿ˜†

  38. Chad

    True. I’m sick of watching Dunn take strike three, but that was unhittable.

    I’m glad they sent BP. If they had held him up, and then Dunn struck out, Marty’s head would have exploded.

  39. Chris

    I like the way this guy pitches. He’s got a lot of guts.

  40. Y-City Jim

    Mark Berry is capable of doing math??

    ๐Ÿ˜€

  41. Chris

    Did that one bounce before or after Gonzalez fouled it?

  42. Y-City Jim

    I need some music for an eight hour bus trip to DC. Music suggestions??

  43. Chris

    What do you like?
    I always enjoy Wilco on the road.

  44. Jimmy James

    There is no music on earth that would make an 8 hour bus trip palatable.

  45. Chad

    I know I’m an old fuddy duddy, but who is this Wilco I keep hearing about?

  46. Chris

    Nice work by Hamilton to draw the walk.
    Thom thinks they should steal; Welsh disagrees.

  47. Chris

    The guys in Wilco are older than we are. Jeff Tweedy was originally in Uncle Tupelo, an early-90s “alt-country” band. They split, and Tweedy slowly evolved his sound. Very interesting, talented band.

  48. abner

    Ross all the way up to .191. A smack righ there gets him closer to the Mendoza line. (Also good road trip music : mendoza line

  49. Jimmy James

    I don’t think I’d steal, but I’m risk-averse.

  50. Chris

    Ross goes down looking (tough pitch). He shouldn’t be complaining – he’s seen that pitch called a strike all night.

  51. Chris

    Anyone else realize that insurance agent Al Sicard is actually former Dayton Flyer Al Sicard? No wonder he was able to get those kids to play zone.

  52. Chad

    Sounds interesting. I’m going to have to check them out.

    What other bands do you like, so that I have some reference point as to whether we’re on opposite sides of the musical globe?

  53. Jimmy James

    Haha…no way. I’m sick of that commercial, for what it’s worth.

  54. abner

    Jeff Tweedy was originally in Uncle Tupelo,

    And Jay Ferrar was/is in Sonvolt. Who are making a nice combeck.

  55. abner

    Wow. I really screwd up the tags on that above post.

  56. Jimmy James

    It’s alright, abner. We got the point. ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. Chris

    I like pretty much everything, save modern R&B and rap (I enjoyed a lot of rap up until the mid-90s).

    Last few CDs/albums I’ve bought: Willie Nelson, The Shins, Decemberists, Pretenders, Rick Danko, The Band mega-box-set… and I pre-ordered the new White Stripes and Wilco CDs last night.

  58. Chad

    So far so good for Saarloos. Two up, two down.

  59. Chris

    I thought Son Volt was kaput. Just went to their site and heard horns, of all things. I’ll definitely have to check that out later.

    NICE CATCH HATT!

  60. abner

    So far so good for Saarloos. Two up, two down.

    Is that how its supposed to work? ๐Ÿ™„

  61. abner

    Chris- Son Volt just put out a new album and I think they are touring…

  62. Chad

    Well, you aren’t too far away from me (including the rap until the mid-90s).

    Except that I’m a huge Dave Matthews Band fan. They were a local group in Charlottesville when I was a student at UVa, so I’ve stuck with them (although I must confess that I never agreed with people back then who said DMB was going to be huge; I just couldn’t see it. I thought they were a nice local band).

    But I like pretty much everything, really.

  63. Jimmy James

    Please, let’s get a run here. Please?

    I don’t trust our bullpen in extra innings.

  64. Y-City Jim

    I’m going to try “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.” Going to go with some Billie Holiday, The Band, Joplin, Norah Jones, and a Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame mix.

  65. Chad

    Can’t go wrong with Billie Holiday, or The Band.

    On my last trip, to be honest, I listened to a ton of Sinatra. Of all things.

  66. Y-City Jim

    Junior! Now is the time for the 2nd HR!

  67. Y-City Jim

    I like variety and to try new stuff. I like Lucinda Williams. She is unusual and very explicit in her feelings.

  68. Y-City Jim

    How about Moby Grape? Anyone ever listen to their stuff from the 60’s? I can always remember their albums being listed in to Columbia Music Club advertisements.

  69. Chad

    If I had an 8 hour trip staring me in the face, I would download a bunch of episodes of “Wait wait…don’t tell me.” It’s an NPR news quiz, and it is absolutely hilarious. I know that’s hard to believe, but I literally laugh out loud every single time I listen to it.

    I subscribe to the podcast, and I listen to it every week. Good stuff.

  70. Chad

    Each episode is almost an hour, by the way.

  71. Y-City Jim

    You’re intriguing me, Chad. I will check it out. I can use all the humor I can get on a three day trip with 8th graders!

  72. Chad

    Yeah, you’ll need something to bring a smile to your face.

    I probably deserve to be mocked for linking an NPR program, but it’s really very good.

  73. Chad

    Yeah, I subscribe through iTunes. I imagine it’s available at their website, but I haven’t checked.

  74. Chad

    They have the archives on the website back to 1999…but I’m not sure if you can download them from there. I know iTunes has the last five episodes or so available.

  75. Jimmy James

    Are the Reds so boring that we’re talking about NPR?

  76. Y-City Jim

    I’ll mock no one for listening to NPR. It’s refreshing radio. WOUB (Thom Brennaman’s old college haunt) has a great local music program called “Crossing Boundaries.”

  77. abner

    Ahhh. I hear the boo birds are out after that walk. As they should be.

  78. Chad

    Yeah, sorry about that.

    Stanton is blowing this game, by the way.

  79. Jimmy James

    Aaaah, they’re going to blow anohter game. I can feel it.

  80. abner

    Holy Crap!
    The score from New York:
    Seattle 15
    Yankees 11

    Football anyone?

  81. Chad

    Well, that was a good pitch by Stanton to get the K.

  82. Y-City Jim

    The Reds have been pretty boring since Phillips got thrown out unless you consider Hatteberg’s snow cone catch.

  83. Randy

    Yorvit Torrealba is one of the greatest names in baseball today.

  84. Y-City Jim

    Will an extra $100,000,000 in payroll help the Yankees?

  85. abner

    wow. Double play gets’em out of it.

  86. Chad

    Wow, double play. Stanton managed to escape that one.

    Now, let’s score some runs!

  87. Jimmy James

    Awesome. I figured the Rockies would get at least one run out of that.

  88. abner

    SEA vs NY
    A combined 5 HRs so far. None by the overpaid Yankee 3rd Baseman (2-5).

  89. Jimmy James

    Dunn with a one-out single. Let’s get him home.

  90. Y-City Jim

    Dunn sets the table. Somebody please bring him home.

  91. abner

    An interesting observation.
    The Reds have 8 hits. 1 each by the startng 8.

    And now a 2nd by Dunn. Lets get him home.

  92. Jimmy James

    That is interesting. Wonder how often that happens?

  93. Y-City Jim

    Come, Josh! Time to end this with a Jack!!!

  94. abner

    Sounds like a wierd play there. Can Hamilton keep it going?

  95. Chad

    Add another chapter to the legend, Josh.

  96. Chad

    I think Hamilton has taken a cut at the first pitch in every AB tonight. He’s not as patient as he was earlier in the season.

    And there’s an UGLY strikeout.

  97. Y-City Jim

    That bites!

    Maybe Ross can end it next inning.

  98. Y-City Jim

    I missed why Narron isn’t here tonight. Has he got another kid graduating?

  99. Jimmy James

    Two away. Has Stanton settled down? Or am I jinxing him?

  100. Chad

    I think it’s his daughter, Jim, unless I mis-heard the story earlier.

  101. Y-City Jim

    I just heard she is graduating from East Carolina, the alma mater of Kevin Martin of the Sacramento Kings and native of the Y-City.

  102. Chris

    That’s a good mix Jim. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot took me a few times to get into, but now it’s easily in my all-time top 20 (at least).

    I went through a big Sinatra spell a year or two ago. Gotta be in the right mood, but if you are, it’s the best.

    DMB is the one band I really can’t stand. Probably from going to law school with half your classmates from UVa who swore to have been at every bar concert, frat party, and jam session they ever had. ๐Ÿ˜›

  103. abner

    What is Y-City, Jim?

    Youngstown? (/sarcasm)

  104. Chris

    Sorry – internet outage leads to very tardy posts.

    East Carolina is also the alma mater of one Jeff Blake.

  105. Chris

    How have I not seen that Chuck Norris commercial before?

  106. abner

    sooo. 20/20.

    Do you pull Stanton there, or leave him in?

  107. Coop

    David Weathers sucks. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I can’t. He literally sucks.

  108. Chad

    :mrgreen:

    Yeah, I’ve been at every concert, etc, as well.

    Not really, of course, but I know plenty of the people you are talking about. I did see DMB ten or fifteen times at Trax, a local dive, and I think they may have played at a party I attended, but I’m not sure. They were good, but I didn’t anticipate this kind of success.

    As for Sinatra, I agree. You have to be in the right mood, but he holds up very well.

    Another of my favorites is Bruce Hornsby, another Virginian. He puts on a great show.

  109. Chad

    I hate David Weathers more than I hated Danny Graves. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but it’s true.

  110. Y-City Jim

    The Reds need Chuck Norris to pitch!

  111. Chad

    Aaaah, internet outage, Chris. I thought I had run you off with the NPR talk.

  112. Chris

    I used to see Hornsby in the bars in Williamsburg from time to time (he’s from there). Hard to miss – the guy is 6’7″ or something. He’s another guy that I never cared for. I like his piano-playing, actually, just not his singing.

  113. Chris

    I’m a huge NPR guy. I’m a lot closer to their target demographic than you are. ๐Ÿ˜€

  114. Chris

    Weathers isn’t even close to Graves, in my hate book.

  115. Chris

    I thought that was a hit for Freel.

    It’s all up to Co-neenee.

  116. Y-City Jim

    Right now, we Chuck Norris to hit.

  117. Chad

    Yeah, Hornsby may be an acquired taste, but his live stuff is awesome. Except that his shows these days are full of Dead-heads (Bruce played with the group from time to time near the end).

    He sat next to me at a UVa basketball game once; you’re correct — he’s very tall.

  118. Chad

    Probably true about NPR, Chris, but I find myself moving in that direction more every day. It may be the NPR influence, actually.

  119. Chris

    Fuentes throwing bounce passes into the lane, like a good point guard.

  120. Chris

    Nice work by Conine. It’s going to take a good double to score him.

  121. Jimmy James

    Conine walks. He’s been very good so far during his time as a Red.

  122. Jimmy James

    BP didn’t swing at the first pitch?

    Oh well, he got out anyway. Crap.

  123. Coop

    Didn’t Krivsky realize Weathers sucked last year?

  124. Chad

    The reason Weathers is ahead of Graves on my hate meter is that this is Weathers’ second tour of duty with the team, and he was awful the first time. He has been terrible for this team, and even when he’s being “successful,” he is giving me a heart attack every time he appears.

    I just can’t stand him. Yeah, maybe it’s because Graves’ memory has faded into the past a bit, but I have to put Weathers at the top of my “least favorite” list. I was so happy when he left the first time around, only to see him return.

    I can’t wait until he’s gone again.

  125. Y-City Jim

    The Y-City is Zanesville, Ohio. Name that for the Y-Bridge.

    Oddly enough about 15 miles east from Zanesville is a S-Bridge located just outside New Concord.

  126. Chad

    Okay, I’m going to go figure out who this Wilco band is. See y’all later.

  127. Coop

    Has Weathers ever been good for the Reds? At least Graves was a great closer at one point in time. I was at his final game as a Red and I was happy to see him go. I’ll feel the same about Weathers.

  128. Virgil Nighthawk

    Bucky Dent continued tonight in the footsteps of Jerry Narron. How could he not with Stanton and Weather and crew serving up BP. We can’t wait and hope that Billy Bray or EDE are going to the answers – we need help and we need it now.
    1. Figure out how to trade for at least one decent relif pitcher
    2. Maybe we could throw Jerry narron in on the deal as he has to be the least imaginitive manager since Dave Miley.

  129. RedsFanInMd

    Is it me or does Mark Berry do a terrible job at third base. He was lucky a couple of times on the road trip where he sent guys that should have been out by a mile but for a poor throw.

    This team ain’t winning the decision. I think Stanton and Weathers will have some trade value as setup men in July. The starting pitching has been pretty good. EE’s error killed Belisle tonight. EE has been terrible in the field and at the plate this year.

  130. RedsFanInMd

    Jimmy James-Narron wasn’t even there tonight.

  131. RedsFanInMd

    Actually the bullpen did a pretty good job tonight. The offense stalled after the sixth.

  132. brublejr

    It is going to be hard to trade old guys who can’t get outs, no matter how sad the market is. I just can’t stomach watching games after the starters exit the game, knowing that Stanton and Weathers will be pitching. For guys who have been around for a long time, you would think they should know that you have to get ahead of hitters. That absolutely kills when they get down 2-0 and have to give a meat pitch. It will be a very long season, if things keep progressing the way they are now. I don’t know about anyone else, but I wish we had a guy like Scott Sullivan back when he would save our ass.

  133. brublejr

    One more thing, isn’t about time to dump Castro and bring up Keppinger. He is tearing it up, actually give us another bat on the bench. I think I feel more comfortable with Bronson hitting than Castro, and that is very very sad.

  134. RedsFanInMd

    Castro isn’t on the team to hit. He’s on the team as a late-inning defensive replacement for the sieve called Edwin Encarnacion.