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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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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Reds 5, Astros 4

The Reds won it walk-off style at Ed Smith. Alvin Colina's three-run double in the ninth was the game-winner. The Reds scored all five of their runs in the ninth.

"That's a beautiful thing," Dusty Baker said. "It took us a little while to get going. It's first day game after a night game. It was sweet."

But it's just spring training, right?

"If you win it matters," Baker said. "If you lose, it's just spring training."

Jose Castro, the 21-year-old shortstop the Reds got in the Jeff Conine trade with the Mets, started the rally with a triple. Amando Rios and Paul Janish walked. Drew Anderson walked to force in a run. Kevin Baker singled to make it 4-2. The Colina sent one to the wall in the right-center.

The game started with 18 up, 18 down by Aaron Harang and Brandon Backe

Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence homered off Harang in the fourth. He gave an unearned run in the fifth.

Harang's line: 5 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned runs, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts.

David Weathers, Kent Mercker and Francisco Cordero each pitched a scoreless inning. Mike Lincoln gave a run in the ninth.

It was 4-1 after the seventh in Lakeland vs. the Tigers in other half of the split squad. Matt Maloney gave up a 2-run home to Carlos Guillen and a solo shot to Scott Sizemore in the second. Maloney's line: 2 IP, 3 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts. Tom Shearn gave up a homer to Pudge Rodriguez.


at 1:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those that subscribe to MLB Gameday Audio, the Reds/Astros game is on radio .... even though the Reds aren't broadcasting, you can listen to the Astro's feed. Harang is perfect through 3.

at 1:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any particular reason that Corey Patterson, in his first game, gets placed against a tough lefty in Dontrelle Willis as opposed to the guy Ryan Freel is batting against, Brandon Backe??

Seems like the logical choice would have been to have Freel go against Willis and Patterson against Backe.

at 1:42 PM Blogger Will T. said...

I agree with you Anon 12:40. I also believe that Bruce should have started in center instead of Patterson. Put Patterson in right and make him earn a start in center. He hasn't even played yet.

at 1:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please stop with the "why isn't Bruce in center?" He is rehabbing a leg and Dusty has said that there is too much running in CF.

at 1:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harang gave up a homerun to first batter in the 4th ... Bourn

at 1:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's managing the Reds in Lakeland?

at 1:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And another home run to Pence. 4 batters into the 4th -- two long home runs and two pop ups. Nice diving catch by Freel to rob Wiggington of a double, and Harang is out of the inning.

at 1:51 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

Freel hurt himself?

at 1:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope ..... led off the bottom of 4th with a single - breaks up the no-hitter.

at 1:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

A 4-6-3 double play by Kep erases Freel bringing Griffey up

at 1:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

A 4-6-3 double play by Kep erases Freel bringing Griffey up

at 1:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keppinger?...No...that has to be a mistake. He's the best player the Red's have. He doesn't hit into double plays.

at 1:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walk by Griffey, first free pass of the day for the Reds -- Phillips up. BP grounds out 1-3 on a check swing.

After 4 innings - its 2-0 Stro's

at 2:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harang still on the mound in the 5th. Newhan leads off for the Stro's with a short fly to Dunn in right on the 8th pitch. Error on BP. Soft ground ball that he bobbled enough he couldnt get the speedy Abercrombie

at 2:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Foul pop out to Valentin for second out. Followed by a steal of 2nd by Abercrombie. That steal hurts as Quintero singles up the middle, scoring Abercrombie with a collision at the plate. Quintero moves up to 2nd on the play. Now 3-0 Stro's

at 2:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops ...not sure anyone is paying attention but ... back up and fix the post about Dunn in right -- the fly out was to Dunn in left obviously. The half inning ends with a fly out to Griffey in right.

After 5 innings of work for Harang, he gives up 3 runs, 2 earned and we will see what the Reds can do against a new pitcher.

at 2:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the Astro's rule 5 pickup, Wright pitching now. Looks like he's doing better than the Reds choice -- ERA of 2.25 so far this spring. Dunn lines out to the Second Baseman -- right into the shift employed by the Stro's. Hatty out too .... I missed how.

at 2:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Valentine out 5-3. Astro's announcers think their rule 5 might make the team --- wonder when he was picked compared to the Reds.

at 2:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Changes .... for Reds. Weathers in to pitch, Colina catching, Janish at 2nd, Rios in right .... and other changes still working on. Drew Stubbs in center, someone new at first ---- that they havent mentioned .... now say Keven Barker(whoever that is) at first and an Anderson (not sure which one) in left

at 2:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

you feel sad for people that cant see games in person all they can do is play pretend on this blog

at 2:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was just now reading the last blog post, wow this jack dude needs to retire himself so we can talk some real reds baseball, this has become a joke

at 2:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

its astros 3 reds 0 not the other way around

at 2:30 PM Anonymous anon 1:25 said...

i was not talking about anyone here...the "dusty on homer" thread is what i meant

at 2:30 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have to feel sorry for people that are disabled and hang on internet blogs all day long. ill betcha the kids must be proud of their unemployed father

at 2:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to feel sorry for people that make assumptions about others. If you are referring to me posting a quasi play-by-play, I happen to be a professor on spring break and just having a little fun for the day. Thought I would see how difficult it would be, and maybe provide a little entertainment to someone that didnt have Gameday Audio. It's easy to criticize what others are doing, all the while doing nothing yourself. Oh and btw, the only kids I have are my students.

at 2:48 PM Anonymous Noggy said...

Well, this should be Maloney's final nail in the coffin. We should move on and check in again next year.

About the blogging thing, that one guy is being extremely judgemental. I live in GA right now and can't watch or listen to the game, without buying a package. It's blogs like this that keep me up with the Reds.

Thanks John for your hard work and commitment. I know it's your job but you are great at it.

at 2:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am at work and i thank you for the play by play. it is very imformative in conjunction with the live box score. thanks for taking the time.

at 2:49 PM Blogger waltsusan said...

Anon play-by-play man -
I teach 3rd grade in MO & I can't listen to the game right now. I am checking the blog between helping kids w/ their math homework. Thanks!

MO reds teacher

at 2:53 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need runs - should have kept Josh Hamilton. He's doing great for Texas - 10 RBI's

at 2:56 PM Blogger ankurv5 said...

Yep, thanks for the play-by-play. Hard to make time for the Reds in med school, but I'm trying.

at 2:58 PM Anonymous BigRedOne said...

Is it just me or is anyone else worried about the Reds offense in 2008?

at 2:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't use the Reds score to help anyone's math skills. Not too many people have trouble with adding zeros!

at 3:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you mean NO RUNS and NO HITTING with the opposite from by Josh Hamiltonh (who produces runs and hits)???

at 3:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hamilton is gone

get over it

at 3:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

the last 4 or 5 ST games have been hitfests with 15+ total runs scored. ONE GAME AND WERE HITTING THE PANIC BUTTON!!!!!!!

you people make me sick

at 3:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

its a shame Hamilton aint still on our roster man was he awesome and really added a spark to this team

at 3:20 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right - I'm just mad about losing Josh Hamilton. The Dallas News makes these comments:

All of that begs the question: Why in the world did Cincinnati trade him for a box of Cocoa Puffs?
There are no guarantees Hamilton will be a terrific player – even for a short period – but you must admit he has a better chance of being a big-time player than Volquez.

I'll take your advice and try to get over it.

at 3:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the article:


at 3:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edinson Volquez will become a solid member of Cincinnati's rotation after going 3-11 with a 7.20 ERA in 17 career starts with the Rangers. By the way, batters hit .329 against him over three seasons with Texas


at 3:31 PM Blogger BATSFAN said...

Hey reds won yay!

at 3:33 PM Anonymous Noggy said...

Enough about the Hamilton trade already.... Both players could be great and both players could be busts.

It's funny the guy never touches on Hammy's injury history. I think that was a huge factor in trading him, the guy gets injured.

at 3:33 PM Blogger Brendan T said...

Volquez just struck out eight in four innings last night. How short is your memory? Hamilton is an incredible talent, but we had a need for pitching and they addressed it. I swear some of you just look for reasons to complain about the Reds. Why be fans if that's the case?

at 3:34 PM Anonymous gmirones@yahoo.com said...

To 1:58 BigRedOne
This year is a transition year for the team, organization, and the fans. After being spoiled by the “70’s”, it is hard to accept the past 10 years. The following line-up looks good on opening day:

Norris Hopper CF
Jeff Keppinger SS
Ken Griffey Jr. RF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Adam Dunn LF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Joey Votto 1B
Javier Valentin C

This team has hit and scored runs and the core of that offense is still in place and with the addition of Keppinger, Norris and Votto, the every day line-up will be productive. Pitching is still the game and with this type of offensive lineup the starters just need to stay under 3.99 era and the relievers under 3.29 and the record should improve. Last year 4.99 was the team era with only 34 saves. With 13 more saves and 1.5 fewer runs allowed. Guess what, 85 wins. That’s a start. As an owner this would be positive improvement over the last 5 years and a with the farm system gathering talent, 2009 will look better. Enjoy the season. My email address is gmirones@yahoo.com for further discussion

at 3:35 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

wonders if Hamilton will spend as much time on the disabled list as Ken Griffey

hamilton had 1 injury..happens

at 3:36 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

If you are so worried about injuries; What the hell is Griffey doing here?

at 3:39 PM Blogger Haystacks Calhoun said...

The same knucklehead posting over and over and over...

When do the new rules start? This is fast becoming unreadable, John.

at 3:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

In an interview of Josh yesterday (after hitting a triple to score the go ahead runs), he said that in Cincinnati he worked too hard, taking multiple reps prior to games. He has learned to do quality training not quantity and he should fair better.

He will be great. I won't bore anyone any more with these posts. We can all read the Dallas News all summer about Mr. Hamilton.

at 3:41 PM Anonymous redsneedpitching said...

volquez is not a box of cocoa puffs, he's the #1 pitching prospect from another organization (yeah I know its the rangers, still doesnt change that fact)

I liked josh too but we need to put this to rest. krivsky said making that trade was really REALLY difficult for him.

No, I am not admitting that josh was better, because I don't know that and neither do you

it was more than 1 fakejackblue

at 3:42 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

lets not forget about Freel and our beloved Bailey..both had lengthy injuries last year

at 3:45 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

I dont know why the majority of the people on this blog even care about particular players..they never go to games anyway

josh had a bout of gastroenetritis which was not an injury

at 3:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

where do guys like barker rios gutierrez and denove keep coming from?

at 3:48 PM Anonymous hero said...

u dont need to go to a game to watch a player, there's this fancy thing called a TV

at 3:50 PM Blogger Brendan T said...


He also had multiple hamstring injuries, but who cares, he's no longer on this team.

at 3:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

im not talking about the gastroenteritis it was still more than 1

at 3:54 PM Blogger Captain D-bag said...

ignore the trolls folks

ignore and they will be no more...

at 3:55 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

Yes please, can we leave the Hamilton thing to rest?

Reds needed top flight talent in pitching.

Rangers needed top flight talent in hitting.

Volquez is as advertised, maybe even better.

Hamilton is as advertised, and poised for a big year if healthy.

Sounds like a great move for both squads. Guys come and go. It's Major League Baseball. But we have five players (Griff, Votto, Phillips, EE, Bruce) that can do what Hamilton can do at the plate. 30 homers, 100 RBI, 100 runs. They don't have five guys who can do what Volquez can.

at 3:57 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

watching any sports event on TV does not even come close to actually going . Make excuses..rationalize away

If you cant go either because of finances and/or distance, thats your problem..Find a minor league venue in your area and have fun

at 3:58 PM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

"Edinson Volquez will become a solid member of Cincinnati's rotation after going 3-11 with a 7.20 ERA in 17 career starts with the Rangers. By the way, batters hit .329 against him over three seasons with Texas


17 starts in 3 seasons and you are using that as viable proof that he isn't good? You have to remember, Greg Maddux in his first FULL season in the MLB, got HAMMERED - 6-14 with a 5.61 ERA...and that's after 30+ starts. Not 17 total like Volquez over 3 seasons.

Volquez doesn't have viable experience in the MLB to say that he sucks or doesn't suck. He's young, and he has good stuff. Give the kid a full year in the majors to see how he does. He can't be any worse than Dumatrait or Milton.

at 3:59 PM Blogger tom dunne said...

Josh Hamilton also went on the disabled list with a sprained wrist, which is an injury. And then he missed the last two weeks of the year with a hamstring problem, effectively a third DL stint. Hamilton missed 40-some games do to things not related to 'gastroenteritis.'

at 4:03 PM Anonymous wanderinredsfan said...

I don't know why some 'fans' are all hugs and kisses for another team's player (Hamilton, Blanton, etc.), while bashing our team's players (Bailey, Volquez, Dunn, Griffey, etc.). And yet these 'fans' are suppossed to be die-hard fans who go to every game. A true fan does not ridicule said fan's players for their shortcomings, especially for injury. Either support the Reds, or jump ship to another team you can support positively. I'm all for critical thought about how to improve the roster/team, but negative bashing of our players' shortcomings when compared to another team's player is discouraging and fruitless. In other words: Quit crying over spilt milk (Hamilton, Kearns, Frank Robinson, etc..) and start debating the positives of our new found wealth (Volquez, Cordero, Bailey, Bruce, Votto, etc..). Rehashing the past is futile, and quite honestly, extremely boring.

at 4:16 PM Blogger Man said...

Where will Jose Castro start the year? I'm not expecting it to be the MLB roster but how about a little insight?


at 4:23 PM Blogger FSAMAAA said...

This is Hamilton's 10 year as a professional baseball player. He has yet to play 100 games in a season. Hamilton makes Jr. look like Ripken. Then again Ripken isn't as good as Keppinger so this is a bad comparison.

at 4:31 PM Blogger John Fay said...

jackblueash: This is the kind of post that gets people going: "watching any sports event on TV does not even come close to actually going. Make excuses..rationalize away. If you cant go either because of finances and/or distance, thats your problem..Find a minor league venue in your area and have fun."

You don't have to watch games in person to post here.

No post taking any shots at any poster is going to get up while I'm moderating. Moderating slows down the process is more work for me. I hate to single you out but I've read a version of that post about 1,000 times.

I thought we could get by until the new system was up, but it always gets out of control after a couple days of peace.

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