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From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Reds 8, Pirates 1

Ken Griffey Jr. wanted an exact pitch count.

"What was it?"


"That's what I had," Griffey said. "I was in here charting."

Here are the other numbers on Matt Belisle's complete-game gem: 66 strikes, 0 walks, 30 batters faced, 23 first-pitch strikes, 5 strikeouts, three three-ball counts.

It was all over in the 2 hours and 25 minutes.

I talked to Belisle yesterday for a note I ended up not using because of the trade of Chris Denorfia. He said he was going to start this game like he finished his last start: Aggressively. He was from striking out the leadoff batter Chris Duffy on five pitches to the seven-pitch fourth to the 1-2-3 ninth.

“It was a great flow, a great rhythm,” Belisle said. “(Catcher David Ross) did a great job. We were rolling. One of those days. A lot fun.”

Jerry Narron: “He pitched about as well as you can. He’s the story tonight. He was just outstanding. He pounded the strike zone.”

Both Narron and Belisle credited Ross.

The Reds also had 13 hits. Jeff Conine was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI.


at 11:20 PM Blogger Mark said...

Belisle seems to be a whatever-it-takes kind of player who has been paying his dues and now starting to reap the rewards. He and Lohse have been very pleasant surprises after the first month. The big upside of tonight's complete game is that the pen got a much needed break and that should pay off going into May.

at 11:52 PM Blogger stevencrum56 said...

It's great the Reds won one tonight. 1 out of every 5. Jerry Narron will be gone before Dave Miley was. June 15th at the latest.

Why? Because the Reds are an embarrassment as far as fundamental baseball. Adam Dunn is a joke. You would have thought he would have matured by now and would swing for the fences on the first pitch and if he didn't connect, try to put the ball in play on the 2nd and 3rd strikes. Sacrifice fly is a word not in his vocabulary. Sorry, Adam, I have been one of your more loyal supporters, but grow up!

That goes for Encarnacion, Phillips, and David Ross. Poor Ross, did you ever hear of choking up or shortening your swing instead of swinging hard on everything while you were in this horrible slump?

Jerry Narron - If you would bench Dunn or any of the rest of the players that fail to put the ball in play after the first strike with men on, you might last a little longer. 5 games would be good. You certainly wouldn't miss them with the way they have been swinging the bats...

Only Conine and Hatteberg have any baseball smarts. The jury is still out on Josh...We'll see how he acts when he goes into a slump...

Jerry Narron, don't wait on the players to take the leadership role, all they are concerned with are their paychecks. Looks like another off year. Seems like the odd years are always bad (03-05)while the even years (must be contract years) the guys show a little effort.

I have been a Reds fan since 1961 and I have always been loyal. I had great expectations for this team. Brook Jacoby and the new baby would finally make Dunn grow up. Phillips would quit swinging for the fences and put the ball in play. Encarnacion would quit pouting and start playing hard. Griffey would act his age and do as Barry Larking did his last two years and also put the ball in play. I guess not.
Wayne Krivsky, back up the bus and start the rebuild now!

at 11:11 AM Anonymous Mark Belisle said...

John,Matt did a great job and David Ross is a key factor.The rhythm and flow of the game can be attributed to David's work behind the plate.

at 1:04 PM Anonymous Dave Hoskins said...

This is a question, not a comment. I would like to have some help understanding how the catcher influences the pitching perfomance. Are there some specific examples someone could give, such as calling a particular pitch in a specific situation that wouldn't have been thrown otherwise? This seems to be an important point that is being made, and I would love to hear some specifics to help me understand how Ross impacted Belisle's great performance last night. Thanks.

at 1:12 PM Blogger John Fay said...

That's a pretty good suggestion for a story. But here's a short answer: I remember talking to Kyle Lohse and Ross after Lohse's 1-0 win in Chicago. It was amazing because Ross could recall every pitch of a 10- or 12-pitch sequence when Lohse got out of a second-and-thind, no-out jam. Ross based what he called on what the batter had seen in earlier at-bats, or what was wokring for Lohse that day. It seems to me when it's flowing, the pitcher sort leaves the thinking to the catcher.

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