Standings: Your Cincinnati Reds (59-40) enter tonight’s game tied for the best record in the National League, holding a two game lead over Pittsburgh, a 5.5 game lead over the WLB and with a season-high eight game winning streak. The Rockies (37-61) are in last place in the NL West. The Reds haven’t won nine in a row since 1999.

Pitching: Johnny Cueto (12-5, 2.23 ERA, 2.96 FIP) takes the mound for the Reds. For the second game in a row, the Reds will face a rookie left-handed pitcher in Christian Friedrich (5-7, 5.71 ERA, 4.19 FIP). Cueto has pitched twice in Coors Field, once in 2010 and once in 2008. He has a record of 0-1 and 3.00 ERA in those starts. Over his past six starts, Friedrich has alternated between good and bad. In his three positive starts, he tossed 16 combined innings and gave up just four runs. On the other hand, in the poor outings he surrendered 15 runs over 13 1/3. Friedrich’s ERA at Coors Field is a rocky 8.23.

Good News on Masset: Mark Sheldon reports that Nick Masset started last night for the AZL Reds and struck out the side in his one inning of work.

Division News: In case you haven’t heard, the Reds won’t have to worry about facing Zack Grienke in their upcoming games against division foe Milwaukee. Grienke was traded for a package of young players to the L.A. Angels. That’s a positive development in the short run, as Greinke was pretty good against the Reds in his previous starts. If we have to face him in Anaheim in Game Three of the World Series, well, we can worry about that then.

Trade Deadline Speculation: The Enquirer’s John Fay offers the opinion that the Reds may be factoring Billy Hamilton’s timeline into their trade considerations. Fay points out that if you assume Hamilton will be on the major league roster in 2014 as a centerfielder, you wouldn’t want Denard Span there. Span is signed through 2014 with a club option for 2015. But if the record-chasing Hamilton progresses at that pace, couldn’t the Reds just trade Span’s team-friendly contract? Keep in mind that the speedy Hamilton hasn’t played an inning in the OF yet.

Fay notes that Juan Pierre “makes the most sense in some ways” (no, no, no) because of his numbers and he could “spell Drew Stubbs against tough righties.” And Fay also points out there is the decent in-house option of moving Brandon Phillips to the lead-off spot (yes) once JoeyMVP returns.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has a new post up about how the trade deadline affects the players who are caught up in the uncertainty and change. Ryan Ludwick, who has been traded the past two years at the deadline, expresses his feelings about it and hopes that he doesn’t get traded this time around.

Former Reds outfielder and AL MVP Josh Hamilton has been stuck in a six-week slump that is so severe he is being criticized publicly by Rangers owner Nolan Ryan and hearing boos from the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately Rangers fans. His performance since June 1 (.189/.276/.326) makes him an ideal candidate to lead off for the Reds, don’t you think??

Tonight’s Lineup: Standard non-Votto order.

Discuss this stuff and the game here.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 348 Comments

  1. @MikiLove: Marshall will come in to face Gonzalez I’m sure.

  2. Ondrusek is average at best. Bray has retired four of 13 first hitters he has faced.

  3. It’s not the bullpen, they are all getting squeezed by this strike zone. They can either try to hit their spots and walk people or they can throw down the middle and get rocked. It’s horrible.

  4. Big out. Now bring in Marshall for Gonzalez.

  5. It’s too bad the law prohibits using Chapman in the 8th, because this is the most crucial AB of the game.

    • It’s too bad the law prohibits using Chapman in the 8th, because this is the most crucial AB of the game.

      And go against “The Book?” What are you thinking? 😉

    • It’s too bad the law prohibits using Chapman in the 8th, because this is the most crucial AB of the game.

      9 spot leading off the next inning. You want him for the 9th, right?

      • 9 spot leading off the next inning. You want him for the 9th, right?

        Well, you could theoretically double-switch, but I’d probably have used Chapman to get CarGo and then had Marshall close the game. I’m funny that way. I think you use your best relieve pitcher in the most crucial situation, and your second best relief pitcher can get through an inning with at least a two run lead.

  6. Brantley: Boy, Rutledge really helped Ondrusek out there.

    Marty: That was ball four, wasn’t it?

    Brantley: Yep.

    (The count was 0-2 and the pitch was in the heart of the strike zone.)

  7. @Mwv:
    I agree

  8. CarGo is 4-5 with a home run against Marshall. Why not use Chapman here?

  9. Nothing good please.

  10. MAAAARSHAAAAALL!

  11. GREAT pitch!

  12. I like Sean Marshall

  13. That was Marshal giving a great performance. He got ahead and just kept coming after him till he chased one.

  14. Fantastic. Marshall handled his one batter, and will now exit the game. As always, the goal is to maximize the number of ABs for your weakest hitters and minimize the innings pitched by your strongest pitchers.

  15. Way to go Marshall, got it done!

  16. @zippy: Thought about the double switch, but who do you pull? Heisey-for-Stubbs doesn’t work because Chap would still have to bat in the inning. Paul-for-Bruce maybe but then you lose Bruce’s glove. Heisey-for-Ludwick? Just send out Marshall and get the out.

    • @eric nyc: If I had been managing, the situation wouldn’t have come up because Marshall would have been out there at the beginning of the inning. But once he found himself in that situation, I’d have preferred Baker use Chapman to get that one out and Marshall in the 9th. CarGo is their best hitter, he’s the go-ahead run, and he was 4-5 against Marshall. I’d have used Chapman there, and the 9th becomes an easy save for Marshall.

  17. Oh NOW the fans are upset about the strikezone. Funny how that works.

  18. If Chapman shuts the door, “nobody” will have a better record in MLB than your Cincinnati Reds!

  19. Phantom call there.

  20. Man, this ump is approaching Angel Hernandez depths.

  21. Ball missed Helton by 6 inches. Baker is asleep, per usual.

  22. That didn’t come anywhere NEAR hitting him! What is this ump’s problem????

  23. I think Todd Helton might want to retire after that one.

  24. No HBP at all

  25. Marty and Cowboy are incredulous that the ump called that HBP said it wasn’t even close to hitting Helton.

    • Marty and Cowboy are incredulous that the ump called that HBP said it wasn’t even close to hitting Helton.

      It was closer than most pitches. But it certainly didn’t hit him.

  26. Cozart is fantastic at short.

  27. Nice play Cozart. Bad throw, but nice play.

  28. @Sergeant2: They showed the super slow mo replay and it didn’t come within 5 inches of touching his jersey. For the life of me I can’t imagine what the ump saw. And Helton stood there and stared down Chapman to sell it. I know gamesmanship and all but that’s just low rent.

  29. All fastballs so far tonight.

  30. Throw the slider, Aroldis

  31. Game should be over. Cozart rushed that throw to second.

  32. The HP ump must have a lot of money bet on the Rockies to win this game.

  33. The never-ending game.

  34. Against a guy who’s never faced him, I’d always lead with the fastball. Let him try to time that, then drop the slider. Then do whatever you want.

  35. I was wondering if Baker had been overusing Chapman.

  36. Maybe not.

  37. Slider. Slider. Slider.

    • Slider. Slider. Slider.

      That’s not a bad idea, nothing better then a dozen White Castles on a Sat. night.

      • That’s not a bad idea, nothing better then a dozen White Castles on a Sat. night.

        Yep and wash them down with a couple TUMS.

  38. Throw the stupid slider and end this game. it’s a K if he would throw it.

  39. The problem with a runner on 3rd is now they’re afraid to throw the slider for fear of a wild pitch.

  40. The Rockies do have some interesting young hitters.

  41. Crazy game. Good guys win. Let’s forget about this one and move on to tomorrow.

  42. And this one belongs to the Reds!

  43. Yep. Chappy getting it done.

  44. Wow, 20 over 500 and best record in MLB. Fire Dusty.

    • Wow, 20 over 500 and best record in MLB.Fire Dusty.

      Best record in NL

    • Wow, 20 over 500 and best record in MLB.Fire Dusty.

      Imagaine where they would be if Baker actually had better hitters in front of Votto, better hitters that are on this team? Better hitters in front of Votto means more runs. More runs means more wins.

      • Imagaine where they would be if Baker actually had better hitters in front of Votto, better hitters that are on this team?Better hitters in front of Votto means more runs.More runs means more wins.

        Don’t be silly. The Reds are winning because the leadoff hitter rarely reaches base and rarely scores. Baker knows this is the key to winning baseball games. We’re just too stupid to understand.

  45. Thank God!!!

    Not pretty but the offense pulled ’em through.

  46. 9 IN A ROW!

  47. Nice win. Not a pretty day for the pitchers, but it’ll do. Nine in a row baby!

  48. Chapman treated us to a Cordero style closing tonight.

  49. The Missle was off target a liitle bit tonight, however,the Rocies were rocketted by 5 hrs by the REDDDDSSS 😛 😆 🙄 :mrgreen:

  50. Tied for the best record in baseball

  51. Good job, guys. Great game.

  52. What a crazy game, I don’t know how long it was, but it seems like its been going on since this morning. Like I said earlier, the game came down to the bullpen holding the opposition scoreless in the 9th. Looking forward to a Reds sweep tomorrow afternoon. Keep on keeping on Redlegs. Go Reds!! Adios Amigos.

  53. Francisco Liriano traded to the White Sox (which means he’s not going to the Cardinals!)

  54. Might the Phils give up Pierre for Heisey and pitcher?

    • Might the Phils give up Pierre for Heisey and pitcher?

      Are you serious? I would start rooting for the Cardinals if we made that trade.

    • Might the Phils give up Pierre for Heisey and pitcher?

      Stupid trade. We have the players. We have better hitters for the 1-2 holes. Baker simply refuses to put them up there.

  55. @eric nyc: Yeah, that is a disaster. He’d be taking Luds spot before you know it. Pierre would be very dangerous on this team and not in a good way. You can’t give players like Juan Pierre to Dusty Baker and I think Walt knows this.

  56. @MikeC: Can’t blame him for that fake HBP

  57. 20 games over .500 and next month we play the Stupid Cubs 8 times in 11 days. Life is good in Reds Country.

  58. I don’t want the Reds to acquire Pierre or give up Heisey, but it almost feels like a trade is imminent.

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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Game Thread, Reds - General

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