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Reds Insider
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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Monday, April 28, 2008

Reds 4, Cardinals 3

I think I suggested in one of these postgame missives a few weeks ago that Eddie Encarnacion might need a little time in Triple-A. I'm not sure. I could look it up but I took the red-eye last night and I'm tired.

Anyway, if I did, I was wrong.

Encarnacion saved the game Monday night with a great defensive in the seventh inning. He went 2-for-4 with two RBI doubles. He's 26-for-70 (.371) with five home runs and 11 RBI in last 18 games.

He also made an error -- his eighth of the year -- in the game. But you've got to live with the good and bad. He's a talented kid. He works hard at it.

Talking about his fielding -- a good play -- made Encarnacion smile.

"You focus and you get an opportunity to make a play like that and help your team to win," Encarnacion said.

Encarnacion understands he needs to make the routine plays as well.

"He's conscious of it," Dusty Baker said. "He needs to be consistent. Someday he's got a chance to be gold. He works it."

And, oh yeah, the Reds have finally won three in a row. Bronson Arroyo said the key to his first quality start was swimming laps. I'm not making that up.


63 Comments:

at 7:39 PM Blogger Craig said...

Take out Corey "out machine" Patterson, move up Keppinger, stick Votto into the 2 hole and put Hairston/Freel batting 7th.

 
at 7:42 PM Blogger Steve said...

One thing I do like about Dusty is he sticks with who's playing best...for the most part. Yes, Freel really should be in LF over Mr. batting only .192 Dunn but he does keep using Votto and Bako.

Lets face it, Ross was Arroyo's boy the past two years but Bako's the man tonight. At least he hits while Ross flirts with .200!

 
at 7:47 PM Blogger Branden said...

why isnt ross starting? arroyo and ross usually work well togehter

 
at 7:51 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Here we go again, Dusty's "A" lineup. Well lets just hope it turns out different than the past 6 or 7 times he ran this group out there.

John, any chance we see Bray tonight? With Arroyo well deffiniately need the bull pen, but is he in town and avail to pitch?

 
at 7:51 PM Blogger ajshoe said...

would have liked to see DUNN and Griffey sit another game.
Look at yesterdays game - played small ball, played team baseball, team played well and won.
Griffey and Dunn input a sense of selfish ball play and it shows when the team is at bat.

Need to being up Bruce and platoon him for Griffey and Dunn. John

 
at 7:59 PM Blogger Joe said...

Another cold one for the Reds. We need some hot weather for the Reds to get hot. Hopefully Dunn will get it going tonight despite the cold temps.

 
at 8:17 PM Blogger Aaron in SC said...

Arroyo better not leave that fast ball in the middle of the plate. He will get crushed by the Cards.

My prediction: Reds 6 Cards 4.

Phillips stays hot and Griffey gets closer to 600.

 
at 8:26 PM Blogger mentalmidget said...

Good line-up, Dusty!! Stay with got you where you are!!

 
at 8:31 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

Ross isn't starting because he is horrible. It's difficult enough for this club to score runs but doing it with only seven bats (with Ross playing) is asking too much.

 
at 8:40 PM Blogger Geoff said...

The team didn't win yesterday because they played small ball, the team won yesterday because Barry Zito sucks this year and they got 12 hits (5 extra base hits). No way this is a better lineup against righties with Dunn and Griffey out of it.

 
at 8:48 PM Blogger ST fan said...

Has BA stopped tipping his pitches and regained a 91 mph fastball? WOW

 
at 9:23 PM Blogger Zippy said...

For the Dunn bashers:

In the 3rd inning, Dunn came to the plate with Griffey on 1st. The pitcher pitched around him, and he walked. EE's pop-up double scored Griffey from 2nd, but there's no way he scores from 1st. Yes, a Dunn HR would have been great, but the walk directly contributed to a run. Walks do matter.

(As I type this, Arroyo has just walked in a run. Walks matter.)

 
at 9:23 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

I really like the way Arroyo is pitching. Hes hit some corners, not making mistakes up in the zone. I dont even mind the bases loaded walk. Much better than groovin a fast ball and giving up a 4 run lead.

If he can pitch consistantly like this I like him at 3 to split up EV and JC. (not because of his skills though)

If not, hes a 5

 
at 9:42 PM Blogger T-Mac said...

I like Bako. He calls a good game and he is one of the more consistent hitters we have right now (as scary as that sounds). Might as well ride him for as long as it takes.

 
at 9:44 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

4 innings doesnt mean Arroyo is fixed, but just the thaught of having 4 legitimate starters instead of three is like getting over the hump.

4 is just such a measurable improvement over 3. Its like a real pitching staff.

Please Arroyo, dont let tonight be a fluke.

 
at 10:01 PM Blogger icee82 said...

Let's hope that Arroyo is going to start pitching as he is capable. Maybe he needs to stop doing the John Morrell commercials and focus on pitching.

 
at 10:03 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

That double over the 3rd base bag should have been contested. The way Dunn played that thing it was like a stand up double in the corner. Pisses me off.

Dont know if he would have thrown the runner out, but there should have been a play at 2nd.

 
at 10:05 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

AGAIN with Dunn in the same spot!

UNBELIEVABLE!

 
at 10:10 PM Blogger Craig said...

Encarnacion has quietly raised his stats to 301/387/570.

 
at 10:13 PM Blogger icee82 said...

4-3 now. We need to put together a winning streak.

 
at 10:13 PM Blogger Dave said...

Dang - Yoyo must've stayed home last night and got some sleep. Good for him.

John, You've done a great job debunking the "Dunn doesn't hit with RISP" - which I was sure of myself, mea culpa.
Still, given Dunn's speed & no-slides, I'd wonder what percentages are for him scoring, once he's on base vs overall. Guessing it'd be pretty low, which makes walking him pretty attractive. Got any good stat sites?

 
at 10:14 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Um, they just walked BP to get to Dunn,

THERES YOUR SIGN!

 
at 10:23 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

icee82...John Morrell commercials? That is beautiful. I hope Tony Maas sees your post.

 
at 10:32 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Nice play by by EE, and a shody peice of luck for Dunn. That could have put this game on ice.
More importantly would have been more hits than walks / stikeouts in this game.

John, how is that scored? (For Dunn)

 
at 10:40 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Oh Dusty! Catcher running? On the first pitch? Against adi Molina? I just wouldnt have done that in a 1 run ballgame on the road.

 
at 10:44 PM Blogger John Fay said...

base hit. 3 unassited.

 
at 10:45 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Phillips boneheaded baserunning still counts as a hit for Dunn. Not that you should be keeping track of hits vs. walks/k's. That's silly.

On Edwin, every throwing error has already been made up by a spectacular play. It's a wash. He's a decent 3rd baseman, and so far, our best hitter this year.

 
at 11:02 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

Boy, Krivsky's bullpen sure is doing very well.

 
at 11:02 PM Blogger Aaron said...

Edwin flashing the leather? A quality start from Bronson? Affeldt looking dominant in the setup role?

A 3 game winning streak?!

THIS ONE BELONGS TO THE REDS!

 
at 11:07 PM Blogger HoosierVirg said...

Very nice win tonight, lots of positives, looks like the day off did Dunner and Junior some good.

 
at 11:11 PM Blogger Michael said...

Anyone Else notice EE has been the best player on the team the past couple of weeks. He played a huge role in the win tonight. Time to move Kepp and Phillips up to 1-2 in the order and putt EE between Griffey and Dunn. The CF should move from 1st to 7th in the order...whomever that is.

 
at 11:16 PM Blogger Dave said...

Who was that guy at 3rd base tonight? Does EE have a vision problem? Makes great plays one day after fumbling like a drunk.

Who'd he spend the night with, last night?

 
at 11:25 PM Blogger Chris Sabo said...

Now that Edwin has half the amount of errors he had all last season.....maybe the reds can start me back at 3B?

 
at 11:43 PM Blogger Dave said...

Three wins constitutes a (small) winning streak, right? It's amazing what happens when you run a good pitcher out there every night. Whenever Bailey is ready, we'll be neck-and-neck with AZ for the NL's top rotation. I might toss the Mets in there if Pedro's around, too. However, as far as "power arm" staffs go, we'll probably be the only one with 5 starters and a few relievers who go 94+ (and definitely the only one with 3 starters and 2 or 3 relievers - Coffey included - who can hit 96).

 
at 2:55 AM Blogger wardog said...

Dunn will get hot when the weather breaks with steady temps and humidity. The Reds just need a stable catcher situation and Freel needs to play.

What Happens when Gonzo is ready to come back? Will Kep be the Platoon first baseman for the right left combo.

They might as well cut Dickerson loose another lefty bat off the bench now or the future is not needed.

 
at 3:05 AM Blogger Aaron said...

Don't forget that kid Roenicke isn't far down the pipeline either. He might have the highest octane of the whole bunch.

 
at 7:31 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

"Phillips boneheaded baserunning still counts as a hit for Dunn. Not that you should be keeping track of hits vs. walks/k's. That's silly."

Only keeping track for Dunn, I think he had a good night last night (offensively). He needs to make contact with runners on, and he did that last night. Maybe hes coming out of it.

His defense was uninspired as usual. Its like he approaches balls 2 ways, those he can get to, and those he cant. With the latter, he treats it like hes shagging balls in bp. Nearly any ball he doesnt catch for an out is a double, and teams know this. Its a glaring weakness. Griff isnt a ton better, but he gets to a little more.

Its going to be a problem for us aginst teams who can run the bases.

Anyway, a good, gritty win for the pitching staff. The offense gave them nothing after the 3rd and they were able to hold a good hitting team for 6 innings.

Im really happy for Bronson, hope he can turn this into a good couple of months. This whole thing hinges on him. (Pitching wise).

On the road to .500
Hers to no car trouble along the way. GO REDS!

 
at 7:39 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

Reds win 3 in a row all is good here in blogland,,too funnny.. 4 day ago you all wanted this team to be blown up

No Freel does not have to play on a regular basis.. yes Freel should be traded

When Bailey is ready? maybe never. He will end up in long relief somewhere

If Gonzo completely comes back from a compression fracture in hos knee..which I doubt..he will sit and watch Kepp play shortstop

yeah Krivskys bullpen almost blew a 5 run lead in the ninth the other night

 
at 7:50 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Zippy said...
For the Dunn bashers:

"In the 3rd inning, Dunn came to the plate with Griffey on 1st. The pitcher pitched around him, and he walked. EE's pop-up double scored Griffey from 2nd, but there's no way he scores from 1st. Yes, a Dunn HR would have been great, but the walk directly contributed to a run. Walks do matter."

The walk is fine Zip, but if Dunn hits a double, E's stroke of luck scores 2. (The "ifs" can go both ways you see)

I dont thnk youre understanding those of us that want Dunn to hit instead of walk. NOONE has said "walks dont matter".

With Dunn walking it takes AT LEAST one more at bat to score a run, probably more.

Think about it, there is a play called an intentional walk. If a defense / pitcher is willing to give you a walk, is it really an outcome you should be satisfied with?

In football, should the offense be satisfied with improved field posistion and not scoring if the the other team goes into prevent defense?

Dunn should have the attitude that he will not be denied a hit. Hes big enough, and has long enough arms to get to fringe pitches and drive them. Hes just not good enough to do that.

For 13mil, he should be.

If this is Patterson or Bako were talking about, Im thrilled with the walks, from Dunn its a disappointment.

 
at 8:07 AM Blogger ArGee said...

Hal McCoy is reporting that WK is speaking to his successes and failures. One surprising disclosure is that he was told to sign Patterson, whatever it took. That kind of directive could only have come from BC.

 
at 8:50 AM Blogger Joe said...

Marty and Thom were talking about the work EE does everyday on his fielding. I remember some of the plays he made last year, unbelievable, Brooks Robinson quality, plays. Then a throwing error. Appears to be mental with EE, the more routine the play and he is too relaxed. It is great to hear he is working on his defense, if only others would, like the guy who plays behind him in left field! Great game last night.

 
at 10:07 AM Blogger Red Faced said...

Good win tonight but we still left a lot of runs on the base paths. The hitting is slowly coming around which is very good for the Reds.

For you guys who think that the pitching has been letting us down, well outside of only a handful of games the pitching has been excellent it's the offense that has put this team in the hole.

 
at 10:13 AM Blogger Rob said...

Fay, it takes a strong man to eat crow. Congratulations. Maybe some people will learn baseball is not the game for knee-jerk reactions made in haste. Fans hated the Josh Hamilton trade, and now Volquez cant be beaten. Patience also must apply to Dunn. The guy will hit, hes just in a slump. Fans- listen to Brantley during the broadcasts- you may learn something about baseball. Dunn's timing is off a hair.

 
at 10:14 AM Blogger Mark T said...

That win was 100% Krivsky.

 
at 10:18 AM Blogger Zippy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
at 10:27 AM Blogger Zippy said...

John Fay,

It seems that most of EE's errors are throwing errors, and they usually occur when he has plenty of time to make a throw. He almost always slings it sidearm in those situations, which is why they often sail off course. Are you aware of anyone trying to get him to throw consistently hard and overhand when he has plenty of time? It's really surprising that nobody has corrected this yet.

EE seems to have a knack for making spectacular plays at 3rd but failing to make routine throws. I can see why the organization wants him at 3rd, because his reaction time is unbelievable, but until he stops throwing wildly, I'd feel better with him in LF and a more reliable fielder at 3rd. (Of course, in this scenario Dunn has been traded to an AL team, as he should be.) I cringe every time EE has to make an easy throw to first, and that shouldn't be the case with a major league player.

 
at 10:36 AM Blogger RickDinChicago said...

Swimming is actually one of the best exercise routines you can do for your body. Probably helped loosen up all of his muscles which probably got his body better prepared. Whatever works for him at this point tell him to stick to it.

One concern I have with Dusty Baker - and maybe it's just me - is that he leaves his starter in the game a few batters too long. Arroyo's pitch count was up in the sixth inning and you could see that hit by Izturis coming that scored Kennedy from second. I've seen this too many times this season so far. Like I said, maybe it's just my perception.

Take away Coffey's numbers and this bullpen looks scary good!

 
at 11:30 AM Blogger Middie said...

Great win for the Reds. And how about that crowd of 37,000+ on a Monday night for the less than exciting Reds. Maybe some came out to see Junior head for 600.

 
at 11:36 AM Blogger Steve said...

I'm in the minority but I see no reason to take Patterson out. He'll start hitting plus we need speed in CF. Bruce's time will come. Be patient.

I'm so sick of Dunn backers saying yeah but he takes lots of walks. Please! I'm not paying this guy $13 mil to walk. Go with the pitch once in awhile...go the other way instead of trying to pull everything. Defensively, how about sprinting to a ball hit in the corner and firing a throw into 2nd. He lollypops every throw. Get it through your heads: he's a DH!

 
at 11:43 AM Blogger Arden Dulou said...

Knowing that bullpen success doesn't equal starting success (see Belisle, Matt), if said Belisle has another poor outing is Affeldt even an option? He is pitching well and moving into the starting rotation gives Belisle a bullpen shot... or maybe a guy in Louisville.

If Freel keeps playing well, he should be given CPs playing time and they should release Corey once Hopper returns from his injury. At least let Freel play well so he could be used for potential trade bait for when Bruce is brought up.

 
at 11:45 AM Blogger jeremy said...

my only issue with Baker is is seamingly stubborn insistance to play certain players. i'm talking about Patterson. he had a great spring but his numbers don't dictatre that he start over Freel and Hopper, who are both true leadoff men and put the ball in play. bopth have proved themselves over the last few years. i'd like to see a Freel/Hopper platoon in center and Patterson as a backup.

 
at 12:32 PM Blogger warrencounty_yoman said...

Excellent win for the Reds. The bats were working, Arroyo was able to keep us in the game for his 6 innings of work, and Cordero came in and continued his dominance...

Is there a more electrifying closer in the National League?

All in all, this is just what the doctor ordered for Cincinnati: the money players doing what they are paid to do and winning close, division games by playing small-ball. Let's hope the winning streak continues.

 
at 12:35 PM Blogger Another losing season said...

Scissorhands belongs at third. I don't think there has even been any thought given to putting him in left field as some of you suggest. He has some problems with his fundamentals that Spier should be working on with him.

 
at 1:49 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

As for EE you all have to remember that he really settled into his role at 3rd base last year and had one heck of a defensive stretch there in the second half of the season. I don't expect him to do anything less this year. He's gotten off to a slow start but overall he's ahead of last years pace.

Let's see Freel play a little more now that Hopper is on the DL instead of Patterson, who now is very close to being the lowest BA on the team as he is only percentage points ahead of Dunn. And Patterson gets no where near the walks Dunn does. His speed really comes in handy on the walk back to the dugout doesn't it?

 
at 2:13 PM Blogger ewad said...

Buy the man a portable pool!

 
at 2:15 PM Blogger Zippy said...

Kevin,

You seem not to appreciate that a pitcher's approach affects the outcome of an at-bat. Dunn is a threat to hit a HR every time he makes decent contact. Pitchers know that. They also know he strikes out a lot, so, rather than intentionally walking him every time he hits, they throw a lot of pitches a foot outside the strikezone and hope he'll chase. It's especially bad for him because he's been hitting 5th, and, until recently, EE hasn't given pitchers any reason to worry about walking Dunn, so Dunn often has to choose between swinging at bad pitches or walking. I think he's better off walking than swinging at pitches at his ankles or a foot outside.

Regarding your "there's a play called an intentional walk" theory -- did you ever stop and think about the fact that most of Dunn's walks are NOT intentional? Now, if the pitcher thinks a walk is such a great outcome when Dunn is at the plate, why don't they walk him every time? The reason is that they would PREFER he swing at a bad pitch. They are WILLING to walk him rather than throwing down the middle, but they would PREFER he swing at a pitch in the dirt.

And think about this, Kevin. If every player walked every at bat, how would that work out? Pretty well, I'd say.

Almost all power hitters tend to walk a lot. Do you suppose it's just a coincidence? Do you suppose Giants fans felt that Bonds wasn't worth his salary because he always led the league in walks? Babe Ruth and Ted Williams both walked over 2000 times -- I guess you think their fans must have HATED them because they were slowpokes who clogged up the bases with all those walks?

And no, I'm not comparing Dunn's hitting ability to Bonds, Ruth, or Williams. I'm trying to make the point that there's no shame in walking if pitchers won't throw strikes, because that's what good hitters do. It's actually a GOOD thing to have pitchers afraid to pitch to you, and the result is a lot of walks, which is a GOOD thing.

 
at 2:30 PM Blogger Aaron in SC said...

We all keep suggesting to trade Dunn, but who wants him? I can't see him being traded to a NL team. He has to go to the AL. His defense is below average. I would beg teams to take him and his contract. If we keep him and resign him, then don't we get a 1st Round Draft comp draft pick?

 
at 2:38 PM Blogger HoosierRedsFan said...

Do you guys think Kepp or Freel could have made that play EE did last night? Not hardly! EE is going to have a great year and his defense(throwing) will only get better. Good win! Go Reds!!!

 
at 2:44 PM Blogger ryan said...

Adam Dunn is a beast...yeah you heard me, ADAM DUNN IS A BEAST! lol

 
at 4:06 PM Blogger Phill said...

Steve, I didn't know you were footing Dunn's bill. The reason Dunn doesn't throw a bullet is because he can't. He isn't Austin Kearns or Jeff Francoeur or Josh Hamilton etc etc. What do you say when he throws it to second and it's offtarget and the guy breaks and makes it to third? Then you'll whine that Dunn made a bad decision. Look around the league most if not all left fielders on a play in the corner and nobody was on base will throw it in to the short stop unless they KNOW they have a chance to get the guy.

 
at 4:22 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

you can't get on dunn for not swinging at balls. you NEVER tell your players to swing at balls. the guy gets stoned at the square for striking out too much, and now that he's showing proper plate discipline, he should be swinging more. for what? strikeouts? dusty may have said that thing about clogging the bases, but i'm sure he'd take the walk over the out ten out of 10 times.

eddie plays the hot corner, not nobody's peanut stand. who else is going to make the spectacular plays better, led alone the routine ones? he was lights out for a good stretch last year come summer. he's more ryan zimmerman than ryan braun.

this is one of those points in the season where you have to pull out all the stops. that means homer bailey fairly soon aand daryl thompson if burton continues to be inconsistent. oh, and if hairston runs out of gas and it's may 25, waiting a week to bring up bruce should not be an option. may has killed/exposed the reds year after year. griffey getting hot is the only thing you can count on. but of course, he's the problem.

 
at 5:05 PM Blogger jnkclass said...

Hey John-

Foxsports.com's Ken Rosenthal is reporting/speculating today that the Reds are considering trading Adam Dunn and/or Ken Griffey, Jr. Have you heard anything from the organization to confirm this report?

 
at 6:00 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Zip,

We obviosly have a different philosophy on sluggers.

Lets agree to disagree.

Respectfully,
Felow Reds fan. KinFM

 
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