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savafan
08-06-2009, 01:28 AM
http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayton-sports/cincinnati-reds/baker-calls-reds-shutout-a-miracle-237602.html

By Hal McCoy, Staff Writer 12:00 AM Thursday, August 6, 2009

CINCINNATI — In baseball, you expect the unexpected, and the unexpected arrives with a neat bow knotted around it.

Such was the scenario Wednesday night, Aug. 5, in Great American Ball Park when the Cincinnati Reds ended their eight-game losing streak by beating the Chicago Cubs 4-0.

Who’da thunk it?

Even owner Bob Castellini was chirping afterward as he walked out of the postgame clubhouse and said to the media, “C’mon, everybody. Cheer up. Tlhat was almost like winning the World Series.”

Cubs starter Rich Harden was 4-0 for his career against the Reds. And Harden was 5-1 this year in night games. In addition, Harden’s pitching opponent was Justin Lehr, making his second major-league start.

Expect the unexpected.

Lehr, his head shaved and wearing uniform No. 62, pitched as if he was fresh from the All-Star game, shutting out the Cubs on four hits, his first professional shutout at any level.

Lehr, never reaching above 87 mph on the gun, threw 117 pitches after never throwing more than 105, but manager Dusty Baker stood mesmerized as much as the Cubs hitters were mesmerized and said, “Things were going so well, you don’t want to mess with karma.”

And Baker bit into the you-never-know story line.

“I was talking earlier today about how a shutout would be nice, and it was an unlikely fellow who did it, but we’ll take it. He threw a great, great shutout. If you believe in miracles, that was one of them.”

In Lehr’s first start, he gave up three runs, four hits and six walks to the Colorado Rockies. This time it was no runs, four hits, one walk, four strikeouts.

“I was more consistent in the zone, mixing my speeds, and we got some runs early, which was nice,” said the 32-year-old Lehr, who hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2006 until this year.

“I got comfortable, and my guys played every play — tough plays, easy plays, and I kept building on it,” Lehr said. “First shutout? Yeah. No rhyme or reason, just the way it goes.”

Lehr was in the Reds system last year but left to pitch in Korea, then returned this year with Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Phillies), eventually returning to Louisville, the Reds’ Class AAA affiliate for cash, most likely a few sheckles.

“I’m not sure how it happened, but it has been a long haul since ’06 when I got the rug pulled out from underneath me rather quickly, and it has been really hard getting back,” he said.

He was released by the Milwaukee Brewers early in the 2006 season after pitching 66 games in relief in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Lehr’s only problem Wednesday was like a mosquito on his shoulder, and he flicked it away by getting Alfonso Soriano on a called Strike 3 with two on and two out in the fourth. The pitch barely ticked 70 miles an hour.

“I stood him up with a curveball that was actually supposed to be in the dirt but barely got down in the zone at the last second,” Lehr said. “It worked, probably because he hadn’t seen a curveball from me. That’s not a pitch you get away with if you’ve already thrown him a bunch of curveballs.”

Before the sun settled out of sight, so it was still daylight, the Reds scored three runs off Harden in the second inning. And Lehr made them stand up.

Before the game, after he put Rolen’s name on the lineup card after Rolen missed two games, Baker said, “This is nice, real nice.”

How nice?

The first time Rolen came to the plate, in the second inning after Brandon Phillips beat an infield single, Rolen not only collected his first hit, he collected his first two RBIs and he collected his first home run — quite a collector’s item.

That made it 2-0 and the Reds scored again in that inning when Harden threw away Lehr’s sacrifice bunt.

Baker didn’t say anything about how nice it was writing Lehr’s name on the lineup card, but he had a lot to say afterward.

“That was so, so nice,” he said. “That was sweet. This is a funny game and you just don’t know. In Lehr’s last outing he was just so-so, wild and up in the zone. But tonight he was up when he wanted to be and down when he wanted to be and his curve was working.”

WMR
08-06-2009, 01:58 AM
The losing stopped now!

Topcat
08-06-2009, 03:34 AM
The losing stopped now!


Till our next game :p:

Highlifeman21
08-06-2009, 04:21 AM
Good to know the kid had never thrown more than 105 and The Dusty let him throw 117.

Not that Lehr's gonna be a long-term fixture with the Reds, but aside from a stupid CG SHO, why is The Dusty trotting out a kid making HIS SECOND MAJOR LEAGUE START to throw 12 more pitches than he ever has before?

BearcatShane
08-06-2009, 04:30 AM
Good to know the kid had never thrown more than 105 and The Dusty let him throw 117.

Not that Lehr's gonna be a long-term fixture with the Reds, but aside from a stupid CG SHO, why is The Dusty trotting out a kid making HIS SECOND MAJOR LEAGUE START to throw 12 more pitches than he ever has before?

I don't have a problem with it. He's 32 years old and may never be in that position again. I doubt this kills his arm and that 86 mph fastball.

savafan
08-06-2009, 04:31 AM
Well, he's not exactly a kid...

Highlifeman21
08-06-2009, 04:35 AM
Well, he's not exactly a kid...

No, 32's not a kid, but making his 2nd MLB start is a kid in my book.

Highlifeman21
08-06-2009, 04:38 AM
I don't have a problem with it. He's 32 years old and may never be in that position again. I doubt this kills his arm and that 86 mph fastball.

True, he may never be in the position to take a shutout into the 9th to finish what he started again, but I just don't like the methodology employed by The Dusty.

Seems very Narron-esque to me.

corkedbat
08-06-2009, 05:03 AM
Even owner Bob Castellini was chirping afterward as he walked out of the postgame clubhouse and said to the media, “C’mon, everybody. Cheer up. Tlhat was almost like winning the World Series.”


If he thought that was like winning the World Series, then he probably thought that signing Willy Taveras was like winning the division...and a single is really just the same thing as a 10-game win streak. I thought he didn't have a clue when it came to building a winner.

Bet he knows a half-empty stadium when he sees one though.

icehole3
08-06-2009, 05:14 AM
the guy has something to tell his grand children, I dont think a dozen extra pitches is gonna matter, didnt Marichal pitch an 18 inning game once, can we relax 1 day around here

thatcoolguy_22
08-06-2009, 05:17 AM
True, he may never be in the position to take a shutout into the 9th to finish what he started again, but I just don't like the methodology employed by The Dusty.

Seems very Narron-esque to me.

If I was Lehr and 1 inning away from pitching a complete game in the majors and he tried to pull me out of the game, we wouldn't be worrying about Dusty anymore ;)

Are you kidding me? A 32 year old JOURNEYMAN finally makes it to the big leagues and pitches the game of HIS LIFE to be pulled because he reached 100 pitches? I'm not a fan of Dusty by any means but, I applaud leaving him in. With Lehr's "stuff" there is a chance these few meaningless games in Aug/Sept could be his last major league experience.

Good call Dusty.

cumberlandreds
08-06-2009, 08:15 AM
Till our next game :p:

I guarantee they won't lose tonight. ;)

edabbs44
08-06-2009, 08:31 AM
If we try hard enough, I bet we can find fault with any decision Baker makes. Letting Lehr finish was 100% correct.

Strikes Out Looking
08-06-2009, 08:47 AM
Calling it a miracle is ridiculous. It shows what can happen when you throw strikes that aren't down the middle of the plate and get out to an early lead, something that should have occurred alot more than it has this season.

redsmetz
08-06-2009, 09:01 AM
Calling it a miracle is ridiculous. It shows what can happen when you throw strikes that aren't down the middle of the plate and get out to an early lead, something that should have occurred alot more than it has this season.

Well sure, if you want to be rigid with it, but there is a small bit of drama where it's not an overstatement to say that it's a miracle when a journeyman pitcher, 32 years old, without a win in three years stops the 1st place club in your division on a complete game 4 hit shutout where you allowed only two base runners to reach 2nd base. And given the great skid of this year, the 8 game losing streak where even an optimist like me wondered if we'd ever win another game, it was just what the doctor order. No, it was more than that, it was a miracle. And a breath of fresh air. And we can't lose today.

Now tomorrow? It's another dreaded west coast trip. I think I'll enjoy this little miracle for now.

hebroncougar
08-06-2009, 09:12 AM
It's certainly not a miracle, Baker should be used to these, they happen to his team with regularity. Just his more of his overdramatic, moronic self. I'm surprised he didn't toss in a "I thought Lehr should have been on the club from the get go this year, or now that's MY club out there tonight".

kpresidente
08-06-2009, 09:22 AM
Good to know the kid had never thrown more than 105 and The Dusty let him throw 117.

Not that Lehr's gonna be a long-term fixture with the Reds, but aside from a stupid CG SHO, why is The Dusty trotting out a kid making HIS SECOND MAJOR LEAGUE START to throw 12 more pitches than he ever has before?

He's started 128 minor-league games in his career, and my guess is the reason he's never thrown more than 105 pitches has a lot more to do with the fact that he's not that good than it does with his arm. Especially given that he's thrown a grand total of 2 complete games, both of which were this year in AAA.

PuffyPig
08-06-2009, 09:33 AM
Lehr struck out just 4 and certainly didn't miss many bats. While I give him credit for walking only one, there were a lot of hard hit balls right at fielders. If anything, it shows what happens when you get a little luck and not give out free passes.

Harang pitched quite a bit better in his last start than Lehr last night. 19 times out of 20 Harang has a better result than Lehr. Last night was the exception.

oneupper
08-06-2009, 09:36 AM
Now 32-year old are "kids"

Wow. Dusty has really gotten into our heads.

Eric_the_Red
08-06-2009, 10:02 AM
I used to be on an endless run.
Believe in miracles cause I'm one.
I have been blessed with the power to survive.
After all these years I'm still alive.

I'm out here cookin with the band.
I'm no longer a solitary man.
Every day my time runs out.
Lived like a fool, thats what I was about, oh.

I believe in miracles.
I believe in a better world for me and you.
Oh, I believe in miracles.
I believe in a better world for me and you.

Tattoo your name on my arm.
I always said my girls my good luck charm.
If she could find a reason to forgive,
Then I could find a reason to live.

I used to be on an endless run.
Believe in miracles cause I'm one.
I have been blessed with the power to survive.
After all these years I'm still alive.

I believe in miracles.
I believe in a better world for me and you.
Oh, I believe in miracles.
I believe in a better world for me and you.

I close my eyes and think how it might be.
The futures here today.
Its not too late.
Its not too late, yeah!

I believe in miracles.
I believe in a better world for me and you.
Oh, I believe in miracles.
I believe in a better world for me and you.

redsmetz
08-06-2009, 10:07 AM
It's certainly not a miracle, Baker should be used to these, they happen to his team with regularity. Just his more of his overdramatic, moronic self. I'm surprised he didn't toss in a "I thought Lehr should have been on the club from the get go this year, or now that's MY club out there tonight".

Well sure, if we're going to be grumpy and just decide to detest Dusty Baker, but I'll enjoy the "miracle". Dusty can't win with some folks around. Very tiresome. Go ahead and blast me. I'm worn out from it.

BCubb2003
08-06-2009, 10:12 AM
Well, it wasn't US vs. the Soviets in hockey, but getting out of the first without a run was an anomaly, and a complete game shutout from 32-year-old minor leaguer for a team that didn't look like it was ever going to win another game was, let's say, a marvel.

REDREAD
08-06-2009, 10:46 AM
Good to know the kid had never thrown more than 105 and The Dusty let him throw 117.

Not that Lehr's gonna be a long-term fixture with the Reds, but aside from a stupid CG SHO, why is The Dusty trotting out a kid making HIS SECOND MAJOR LEAGUE START to throw 12 more pitches than he ever has before?


He's not a kid. He's a 32 year old journeyman that is emergency depth.
Apparently he was cruising through the game with a nice lead, it didn't seem like a high stress situation.

117 pitches is not excessive, espeically in that situation.

I bet Lehr is glad Dusty left him out there. The guy knows that his baseball career is hanging on by a thread. This is a heck of a memory for him. Not worth stealing that memory to avoid him throwing another 12-15 pitches.

hebroncougar
08-06-2009, 10:48 AM
Well sure, if we're going to be grumpy and just decide to detest Dusty Baker, but I'll enjoy the "miracle". Dusty can't win with some folks around. Very tiresome. Go ahead and blast me. I'm worn out from it.


Or if it's, like reality. I don't detest Baker, I just think he's completely incompetent. If he wants to "win some folks around", he needs to stop being incompetent. His team is bad, no doubt. His team winning a game with a 32 year old rookie pitcher on the mound isn't a miracle. Horrible, horrible teams win 40% of their games. Statements like the irk me to no end, the same way I hear national radio spots giving morning updates that say "The Nationals upset the Phillies last night". No they didn't, this isn't a national championship game, it's not an Olympic hockey game, it's not a football game. It happens in baseball, and bad teams beat good teams every night. Heck, bad teams even shutout good teams.

REDREAD
08-06-2009, 10:51 AM
Well sure, if we're going to be grumpy and just decide to detest Dusty Baker, but I'll enjoy the "miracle". Dusty can't win with some folks around. Very tiresome. Go ahead and blast me. I'm worn out from it.

Welcome to DarkCloudZone.com We can't even be happy after a shut out anymore.

Unassisted
08-06-2009, 10:58 AM
The last 8 weren't wins. Most of the games over the last month weren't wins. This one was a win. The fact it was a shutout is icing on the cake. A "miracle" it was not, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

The fact it came from a pitcher that was ~new to the Reds was Brad Lesley-esque. A bright light in an otherwise dismal season.

Falls City Beer
08-06-2009, 11:00 AM
The Reds face Lincecum, Zito, and Cain this weekend. Winning any of those would qualify as a miracle. I anticipate the Reds will be outscored by 20 runs over the three-game set.

edabbs44
08-06-2009, 11:02 AM
The Reds face Lincecum, Zito, and Cain this weekend. Winning any of those would qualify as a miracle. I anticipate the Reds will be outscored by 20 runs over the three-game set.

Arroyo v Zito isn't a long shot.

The other two would be crazy. The miracle would be if they score more than 3 runs combined in those 2 games.

westofyou
08-06-2009, 11:03 AM
No, 32's not a kid, but making his 2nd MLB start is a kid in my book.

Nope, not in MLB terms, he's old

BRM
08-06-2009, 11:03 AM
The Reds face Lincecum, Zito, and Cain this weekend. Winning any of those would qualify as a miracle. I anticipate the Reds will be outscored by 20 runs over the three-game set.

Reds pitching will be just what the doctor ordered for the Giants offense?

Chip R
08-06-2009, 11:13 AM
I think scoring more than 3 runs was the miracle.

hebroncougar
08-06-2009, 11:15 AM
Welcome to DarkCloudZone.com We can't even be happy after a shut out anymore.

Who says I didn't enjoy the win?:D

REDREAD
08-06-2009, 12:44 PM
Who says I didn't enjoy the win?:D

Ok, I'm glad you did :)

Falls City Beer
08-06-2009, 12:44 PM
Reds pitching will be just what the doctor ordered for the Giants offense?

It's amazing--amazing--what a rotation can do for a W-L record.

BRM
08-06-2009, 12:47 PM
It's amazing--amazing--what a rotation can do for a W-L record.

No doubt. I can see the Reds getting shutout or scoring only one run a couple of times this weekend.

edabbs44
08-06-2009, 12:51 PM
It's amazing--amazing--what a rotation can do for a W-L record.

Would have traded Lincecum and Cain before they made it to Cincy, if they were in the system?

Spring~Fields
08-06-2009, 01:01 PM
It's amazing--amazing--what a rotation can do for a W-L record.

Makes me wonder if a trade of prospects to St. Louis would bring a Dave Duncan to Cincy.

OnBaseMachine
08-06-2009, 06:52 PM
You know what's really amazing? The Reds have the worst team OPS+ in all of baseball. Ouch.

reds44
08-06-2009, 06:57 PM
Even owner Bob Castellini was chirping afterward as he walked out of the postgame clubhouse and said to the media, “C’mon, everybody. Cheer up. Tlhat was almost like winning the World Series.”
That is flat out embarassing.

Falls City Beer
08-06-2009, 06:58 PM
That is flat out embarassing.

I take his tone to be somewhat sarcastic, self-effacing. Maybe not though.

reds44
08-06-2009, 06:59 PM
He's too senile to know what sarcasm is.

cincrazy
08-06-2009, 07:27 PM
You know what's really amazing? The Reds have the worst team OPS+ in all of baseball. Ouch.

I think there are some AAA teams who would have a higher team OPS if they played a major league schedule.

Falls City Beer
08-06-2009, 07:30 PM
Tell ya what: I'll take 20 million and you take 20 million; I get to fix the offense and you get to fix the pitching.

Who's gonna win?

Spring~Fields
08-06-2009, 07:38 PM
Tell ya what: I'll take 20 million and you take 20 million; I get to fix the offense and you get to fix the pitching.

Who's gonna win?

I don't see either as fixable with the current resources, (player/financial) along with the competitions better position in resources, in a reasonable time frame. Some of us might actually have passed away before this franchise puts together a decent product on the field. Just don't see how they are going to do it.

Spring~Fields
08-06-2009, 07:45 PM
You know what's really amazing? The Reds have the worst team OPS+ in all of baseball. Ouch.

Are you suggesting that speed and defense doesn't do much for team OPS? :p: I wonder what the RS/RA differential is this year, they have played so poorly my motivation to look up stats withered with them.

cincrazy
08-06-2009, 07:51 PM
Tell ya what: I'll take 20 million and you take 20 million; I get to fix the offense and you get to fix the pitching.

Who's gonna win?

Hitting is easier to fix than pitching. It's easier to find a low cost, effective option on offense than it is to find a low cost, effective option when it comes to pitching. When those kinds of bargains are stumbled upon, it's often a mistake.

Spring~Fields
08-06-2009, 08:06 PM
Hitting is easier to fix than pitching. It's easier to find a low cost, effective option on offense than it is to find a low cost, effective option when it comes to pitching. When those kinds of bargains are stumbled upon, it's often a mistake.

I don't know about that hitting being easier.

Consider what Mr. Jocketty came up with for this years team after observing for most of last season and the offseason and spring.




OBP SLG OPS
Ramon Hernandez .330 .355 .685
Willy Taveras .279 .290 .569
Jonny Gomes .357 .541 .898
J. Hairston Jr. .305 .397 .703
Laynce Nix .290 .442 .732
D. McDonald .279 .290 .569

Spring~Fields
08-06-2009, 08:49 PM
You know what's really amazing? The Reds have the worst team OPS+ in all of baseball. Ouch.



OPS
1 Philadelphia .786
2 Colorado .773
3 LA Dodgers .770
4 Washington .763
5 Milwaukee .758
6 Arizona .747
7 Atlanta .745
8 Chicago Cubs .740
9 St. Louis .740
10 NY Mets .739
11 Florida .735
12 Houston .734
13 Pittsburgh .714
14 San Francisco .696
15 Cincinnati .695
16 San Diego .689

SLG
13 Pittsburgh .714
14 San Francisco .696
15 Cincinnati .695
16 San Diego .689

OBP
13 Pittsburgh .714
14 San Diego .689
15 San Francisco .696
16 Cincinnati .695