The Cincinnati Reds
clinched the NL Central Tuesday night as they defeated the Houston Astros
3-2. The game was tied going into the bottom of the ninth when Jay Bruce led
off the inning for the Reds homered on the first pitch he saw. As the ball
traveled into the grassy knoll located in centerfield at Great American
Ballpark, Bruce's teammates surrounded him at the pitcher's mound as he
finished rounding the bases. The Reds will be in the MLB playoffs for the
first time since 1995 and haven't had a winning season since 2000.
From: Enjoy this, Reds fans By: Paul Daugherty
As Edinson Volquez cut loose his first pitch Tuesday night, Declan Mullin
and his crew from ballpark operations invaded the home clubhouse and started
spreading the plastic.
Five hundred feet of clear sheeting, retail cost $291.92 at Lowe’s, affixed
to the walls with Frog Tape, protected the players’ cubicles from the
celebration riot they hoped would follow.
Fifteen cases of Korbel Brut champagne, 15 bottles to a case, awaited
chilling in an equipment room adjacent to the clubhouse, side by side with
15 cases of beer and four stacks of gray XX-large T-shirts bearing the word
CHAMPION in impossibly big letters.
"It took us a little bit longer than we thought,"
Reds owner Bob Castellini said.
"But it's certainly worth it, isn't it? It's just wonderful."
"It's been a remarkable year,"
"You stop and think about how many times we faltered, and they just came
back strong and did not quit. We were very cautiously optimistic throughout.
Every time these guys faltered or got swept, they came back. Resiliency was
the middle name of this baseball team."
With a magic number of just
one, the Cincinnati Reds can clinch the Central division in the National
League with either a victory over the Astros or Brewers during their final
six games or a Cardinals loss against the Pirates or Rockies during their
final seven games. After St. Louis' 8-7 win over Pittsburgh on Monday during
a Cincinnati off-day, the Reds WILL clinch their first playoff berth since
1995 at home against the Astros (74-82) this week. Aside from the Phillies,
the rest of the National League is still
up in the air. The Reds' inevitable clinch will
allow Dusty Baker to rest some of his players, assign a postseason rotation,
and prepare his team for October baseball.
TUESDAY: Edinson Volquez (4-3, 4.45) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (11-12.
3.67) at 7:10pm
Making his twelfth start of the 2010 season, Edinson Volquez will attempt to
strengthen his bid as a postseason starter for the Reds. Volquez has not
faced the Astros this season, but owns a 4-0 career record against Houston
in as many starts with a 0.98 ERA. During those four starts Volquez hurled
27.1 innings, allowed just three earned runs, struck out 27 batters, and
held hitters to a .173 average. Wandy Rodriguez is 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA
against the Reds this season in three starts. During his career, the lefty
has started against Cincinnati 19 times and has an even 7-7 record with a
WEDNESDAY: Johnny Cueto (12-6, 3.73) vs. Nelson Figueroa (5-4, 3.81)
Johnny Cueto has not pitched well when facing the Astros in his nine career
starts against them (1-4, 4.36), but has been very competitive against the
club this season in two starts (1-0, 1.93). Cueto is coming off his worst
start of the season (1.1IP, 8H, 8ER) and hasn't won a game since the Reds
defeated the Cubs 7-1 on August 27. Nelson Figueroa will attempt to avoid
his third straight loss in as many games on Wednesday. In twelve appearances
against the Reds during his eight year career (2 starts), Figueroa is 1-1
with a 4.44 ERA.
THURSDAY: Bronson Arroyo (16-10, 3.97) vs. Brett Myers (14-7, 2.89)
Reds' ace Bronson Arroyo is 10-6 with a 4.63 ERA against Houston in 25
career appearances (19 starts). This season, Arroyo has started against the
Astros twice and received the victory in each attempt while posting a 2.13
ERA. Astros' ace Brett Myers is 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA against the Reds in 10
games (8 starts) during his career. During his last ten starts, Myers is 6-1
with a 2.89 ERA. Myers has faced the Reds just once this season. On
September 19, Myers hurled seven innings of scoreless ball during a
4-3 Houston victory. All of Myers' seven losses have occurred on the road
this season. He is 8-0 with a 2.01 ERA at home.
The Cincinnati Reds
(87-68) entered Petco Park in San Diego on Friday 7.5 games up on the
Cardinals in the NL Central standings with a magic number of three. After
losing two of three games to the Padres, and the Cards dropping just one of
three to the Cubs, the Reds' magic number was reduced to ONE after this
weekend. Aside from breaking a three game losing streak, the Reds 12-2
victory over the Padres on Sunday clinched a NL Central Division tie. Only
if the Cardinals win their final seven games, and the Reds lose their final
six, can St. Louis enter postseason play. The tie-breaker would go to the
Cardinals if the situation somehow occurs because of their 12-6 series
record against Cincinnati during the 2010 regular season. The Reds are off
today, but could clinch their first playoff berth since 1995 if St. Louis
decides to lose to the Pirates tonight. Ex-Red Kyle Lohse (4-8, 7.18) will
face Charlie Morton (2-11, 8.11) at Busch Stadium at 8:05pm.
The Cincinnati Reds are currently 7.5 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals
in the NL Central with just nine games remaining on their 2010 regular
season schedule. The Reds' magic number is now down to three. Heading into
San Diego for three games while the Cardinals visit Wrigley Field for the
weekend, the Reds will look to come home as NL Central Champions.
The Reds need to beat the Padres to improve their seeding in
the playoffs and they could be the team they meet in the first round. San
Diego has a 2-1 advantage in the season series from April. If the Reds
sweep, they would own that tiebreaker should they finished tied.
FRIDAY: Bronson Arroyo (16-10, 3.98) vs. Chris Young (1-0, 0.90) at
Arroyo's only start against the Padres this season was a three inning
nightmare on April 23. Allowing eight earned runs on eight hits, Arroyo
recorded two walks and no K's during an eventual 10-4 Cincinnati loss.
Arroyo's eleven career starts against San Diego have resulted in a 4-7
record and a 4.92 ERA. Chris Young has only faced the Reds once during his
career and it occurred on September 12, 2006. On that day, Young hurled five
innings and allowed three earned runs on two hits while receiving the
SATURDAY: Travis Wood (5-4, 3.43) vs. Jon Garland (14-12, 3.55) at
4:10pm on FOX
Travis Wood will be facing the Padres for the first time during his career
and will be attempting to force himself into the postseason rotation for the
Reds. Jon Garland has yet to face the Reds this season. When facing
Cincinnati during his career, Garland is 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA n three starts.
SUNDAY: Homer Bailey (3-3, 4.73) vs. Clayton Richard (13-8, 3.53) at
Like his teammate Travis Wood, Homer Bailey will be trying to impress his
superiors attempting to make the Reds' postseason rotation. During Bailey's
last ten starts, the Reds have gone 8-2 although Bailey only received two
wins. Bailey faced San Diego on April 25 this season and he pitched six
innings while allowing four runs on seven hits during a 5-4 Reds' victory.
In three career starts facing the Padres, Bailey is 1-0 with a 4.58 ERA.
Clayton Richard has received two no-decisions in as many career starts
against the Reds while posting a 6.48 ERA. The Padres are 5-5 during
Richard's last ten starts.
Serving as the Cincinnati
Reds beat writer for the Dayton Daily News for 37 years, Hal McCoy covered
three Cincinnati World Championships. After retiring from the beat after
last year's season, Hal continues to contribute to
writes for his
and is still in print every Sunday with his weekly
"Ask Hal" column. The Hall of Famer was kind enough to spend a few
minutes with Whack Reds as he expressed his opinions of Brandon Phillips,
the Reds' current postseason push, and the demise of the newspaper.
Over the weekend the
Cincinnati Reds lost two of three games in Arizona, the St. Louis Cardinals
won three of four against San Diego, and the Milwaukee Brewers won two of
three against the San Francisco Giants. The Cardinals remain six games
behind the Reds in the NL Central as Cincinnati's magic number was reduced
to eight games with twelve games remaining for the Reds in the regular
season. The Giants took over sole possession of first place in the NL West
by just half a game over the San Diego Padres and 1.5 over the Colorado
Rockies while the Milwaukee Brewers were eliminated from post season action.
The Reds will begin a three game series against the Brewers on Monday. As
the final days of the 2010 season disintegrate it seems that the teams that
will surely enjoy post season action will be Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and
Atlanta. The San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, and Colorado Rockies
will decide their own fate over the next two weeks as only one will emerge
from the NL West.
Winning as many games as possible is important because
getting the second seed for the playoffs is huge. You want to avoid playing
Philadelphia, owners of the best record, in the first round.
Getting the second seed is the difference between playing Atlanta with the
home field advantage or playing Philadelphia without the field advantage.
The Braves currently lead the Wild Card, but they can’t play Philadelphia in
the first round because they are in the same division.
Right now, the Reds are tied with Giants for the second best record of the
division leaders. The Reds have to finish ahead of the Giants because the
Giants hold the tie breaker.
MONDAY: Homer Bailey (3-3, 4.85) vs. Chris Capuano (3-4, 4.11) at
Winless since he defeated the Dodgers (7IP, 4H, 1ER, 6K) on August 20, Homer
will likely start against the Brewers on Monday despite issues involving
dizziness that caused him to exit the game during his last start against
Arizona after just three innings. In five career starts against the Brewers,
Bailey is 0-2 with a 6.44 ERA. During two starts against the Brewers this
season (May 18 and Aug 30), Bailey went a total of 13 innings, allowed six
earned runs on twelve hits, and struck out eight batters. Both games were
won by Cincinnati.
During his six major league seasons (45-52, 4.37) Chris Capuano has faced
the Reds eight times during his career, winning two, and losing three while
posting a 4.88 ERA. Capuano has faced the Reds once this season. On July 27
he lasted just three innings as he allowed four earned runs on six hits in
an eventual 12-4 Cincinnati victory.
TUESDAY: Edinson Volquez (3-3, 4.99) vs. Dave Bush (7-12, 4.75) at
In five career starts against the Brewers, Volquez is 2-1 with a 6.84 ERA.
In twelve career starts against the Reds, Dave Bush is 2-4 with a 7.07 ERA.
Neither pitcher has had much success against their next opponent, but the
Reds 7-1 record when facing the Brewers this season could be the deciding
WEDNESDAY: Johnny Cueto (12-5, 3.35) vs. Randy Wolf (12-11, 4.32) at
Both pitchers will be attempting to acquire their thirteenth win on
Wednesday. Randy Wolf will be trying to beat the Reds for the tenth time
during his career. In eighteen career starts against the Reds, Wolf is 9-2
with a 5.40 ERA. Wolf has received a no-decision against the Reds this
season (Aug 30) and received the win during Milwaukee's only victory over
the Reds this season on July 26. Cueto will have his eyes on his third
career victory against the Brewers. In seven career starts, Cueto is 2-1
with a 2.78 ERA against the Brewers. During two starts against the Brewers
this season, Cueto pitched a total of thirteen innings, allowed just two
earned runs on twelve hits, and struck out nine while walking two. Both
games were Cincinnati wins.
While the Cincinnati Reds were busy splitting their four-game series with
the Arizona Diamondbacks this week, the St. Louis Cardinals were swept by
the Chicago Cubs during three games at Wrigley Field and were outscored
19-6. Despite the Cards beating the San Diego Padres 4-0 on Thursday along
with a Cincinnati loss, the Reds remain seven games ahead of them in the NL
Central standings (largest lead in the NL) with just fifteen games left in
their regular season. The Reds' magic number is now down to ten. The
On Friday, the Reds begin a three-game series against the Houston Astros. It
will be Cincinnati's final road trip of the 2010 regular season and will
consist of nine games (3 vs. Houston, 3 vs. Milwaukee, and 3 vs. San Diego).
The Reds have played above .500 baseball on the road (38-34) and have flat
out owned the Astros (7-2) and Brewers (7-1) this season. Overall, the Reds
are 42-28 against NL Central opponents. That, along with a stellar 45-30
record at Great American Ballpark, has propelled the Reds into their
first winning season since 2000.
“We’re in a good situation,”
“We don’t have to scoreboard watch, we really don’t. We’ve done a good job
of keeping our eyes on the prize.”
FRIDAY: Johnny Cueto (12-5, 3.31) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (11-12,
3.62) at 8:05pm
During Cueto's last four starts, he's gone 1-1 and posted a 1.67 ERA. On
Sunday, Cueto pitched seven innings of three-hit ball with seven strikeouts,
but was handed a no-decision when Francisco Cordero allowed three runs in
the ninth inning and the Reds lost 3-1. Against Houston in his career, Cueto
is 1-4 with a 4.34 ERA in eight starts. Cueto's last start against the
Astros was on July 24. Cueto received the win as he hurled eight innings
allowing no runs on just four hits while striking out six. If Cueto makes it
past the third inning on Friday, he will have surpassed his innings pitched
totals from the two previous seasons (174IP in 2008, 171.1IP in 2009).
In Rodriguez's last ten starts he has lost just one game while winning four.
During eighteen career starts in which the Reds were the opponent, Rodriguez
is an even 7-7 with a 4.20 ERA. Wandy's last appearance against Cincinnati
on July 25 in Houston was a gem. He went seven innings, struck out seven
batters, allowed just one hit, and held the Reds scoreless. Rodriguez
received the win during Houston's 4-0 victory.
SATURDAY: Bronson Arroyo (15-10, 4.05) vs. Nelson Figueroa (5-2,
3.34) at 7:05pm
As Bronson Arroyo received the win during Cincinnati's 7-2 victory over
Arizona on Monday he became the first Red to win 15 or more games for three
straight seasons since Tom Browning accomplished the feat (1988-90). In
fact, only four players (Arroyo, Sabathia, Halladay, and Jon Lester) have
15 or more wins over the last three seasons. In eighteen career starts
against the Astros, Arroyo owns a 9-6 record. Arroyo has faced Houston just
once this season. Receiving the win on April 29, Arroyo hurled 6.2 innings
as he allowed two runs on six hits while striking out seven.
Nelson Figueroa's last start against the Reds was on August 30, 2002.
Wearing a Brewers uniform, Figueroa went six innings and allowed four earned
runs on nine hits and received a no-decision during a 9-4 Brewers victory.
After working out of the bullpen most of the season, Figueroa was converted
to a starter during mid-August and has posted a 2-1 record in six starts
since the mix-up. In eight seasons, Figueroa owns a lifetime 18-30 record as
SUNDAY: Travis Wood (5-3, 3.46) vs. Brett Myers (12-7, 2.85) at
Travis Wood will be making just his fifteenth career start on Sunday. Wood
has faced the Astros once this season (6IP, 9H, 4ER) and received a
no-decision. After going 0-1 through his first four starts, Wood has posted
a 5-2 record with a 3.46 ERA during his past ten. All five of Wood's
victories have came on the road.
Brett Myers has not faced the Reds this season. During his eight seasons in
Philadelphia (2002-09), Myers started against the Reds seven times and
posted a 2-2 record with a 3.72 ERA. Myers is undefeated (7-0) at home this