Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Reds Continue to Practice Abstinence at the Plate, Phillies 3-0

The bats, ignoring the 9th where the Reds placed 3 runners on base denying Cliff Lee his complete game shutout, were quiet as a mouse against the Phillies this evening. Stubbs was the only member of the lineup with more than one hit and Dusty asked him to take a seat with the bases loaded in the 9th in favor of Yonder Alonso. Granted, Alonso been rakin' but, well, Dusty knows what he's doing, so I'll leave it at that.

Willis was pretty good again, albeit a little wild. He doesn't show a whole lot of interest in throwing strikes to right-handed batters. Those willing to wait him out are able to draw a walk on a semi-regular basis. He walked 5 on the night but only gave up 3 runs over 6.2. The radio guys were speculating he may be better served as a left-handed specialist going forward as the funny-handed hitters are hitting under .190 against him this year but one of them was Jim Kelch, who, as you recall, is solely responsible for the Reds underachieving this year. Utley and Howard, who both drove in runs with groundouts, were each 0 for 5 on the evening. Pence took Willis out of the park for the Phills' loan extra base hit. Arredondo and Chapman pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless relief which was nice to see, since the rest of the bullpen seems pretty gassed at this time of the season. Fortunately reinforcements arrive tomorrow with the September 1 roster expansion. Jeremy Hermida, who had a fine season at Louisville, though not nice enough to spend much time at the big league level, was designated to make room for Mesoraco's addition to the 40 man. In addition to Mesoraco, Fisher, Horst, Valaika and Francisco are apparently heading up to receive some big league treatment for a month or so. We're also going to see the return of Travis Wood and old pal Edinson Volquez. The talk is that Volquez is going to get some starts, likely in place of Leake (after Leake makes a couple more starts) and Wood is going to resume his long man bullpen routine.

Leake takes the hill against someone not named Halladay, Hamels or Lee tomorrow. He's excited about the opportunity. Vance Worley turns out to be the name of the other guy in the rotation. The Reds look forward to scoring more than 0 runs. I think that will be a step in the right direction.

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