Fogg gives up nine runs in Reds' loss to Cubs
By Hal McCoy
Thursday, April 17, 2008
CHICAGO — Homer Bailey. Matt Belisle. Justin Lehr. Daryl Thompson. Phineas T. Bluster. Moby Dick.
Anybody, but anybody, but Josh Fogg.
When Fogg's turn rolls around Monday, April 21, in Great American Ball Park against the Los Angeles Dodgers, if somebody else isn't pitching then the Cincinnati Reds aren't trying.
Try these numbers on for size, and they definitely come from Rochester Big & Tall: two-plus innings, nine runs, seven hits, two walks, a hit batsman, a home run, four doubles.
What did they expect? Three times Fogg has given up nine runs in a game, all three times to the Chicago Cubs.
It was the grand opening of a 12-3 victory for the Cubs, pushing the Reds' losing streak to five and making it looking-glass clear that it is time for a change.
Asked if a change could be made, manager Dusty Baker said, "We might."
Ah, might makes right.
• Bailey is 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA in three starts at Class AAA Louisville, and his one loss was on a home run that hit atop the ball and skipped over.
• Belisle, on rehab for a sore arm, is 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA in starts at Class A Sarasota, Class AA Chattanooga and Louisville.
• Lehr is 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two starts at Louisville and was International League Pitcher of the Week.
• Thompson is only at Chattanooga, but he is the guy during spring training who faced the New York Yankees in Tampa and struck out the side, then faced them again and went 1-2-3. He is 2-0 for the Lookouts with a 0.51 ERA and was Southern League Pitcher of the Week.
The Reds did little against Chicago starter Carlos Zambrano — seven innings, two runs, eight hits — and Zambrano rubbed their noses in it by slapping three hits of his own.
"We didn't have much of a chance," Baker said. "You give Big-Z a 10-run lead in the third, and you might catch up, but not likely."
Fogg's personal assessment was succinct and centered on something associated with the equine world.
Baker mentioned that the Reds were unable to use the prevailing winds, blowing out to left, but Fogg refused to use it as an excuse.
"I didn't pitch well, so the way the wind was blowing didn't matter," he said. "Zambrano pitched well, so it didn't bother him."
Some positive news? Relief pitcher Jeremy Affeldt pitched two scoreless innings and struck out five, when the score already was 10-1.
Left fielder Adam Dunn — in his 15th game — had his first double when the score already was 10-1, then hit his second home run of the year when the score was 11-2.
Baker permitted Fogg to stay on the mound longer than he normally would, an attempt to save the bullpen for this afternoon's game and a string of 14 more days in a row without rest.
As it was, he used Mike Lincoln, Jeremy Affeldt, Ken Mercker, David Weathers and Francisco Cabrera.
"With a day game coming up, that's not much turn-around time for the bullpen guys who pitched to recuperate," he said. "We need Edinson Volquez (today's starter) to go deep into the game and save our bullpen.
"We have Milwaukee coming in to Cincinnati for the weekend, a high-powered offense, and we need a fresh bullpen," Baker added.
The warning signals came before the first pitch Fogg threw. He was as bad in the bullpen as he was in the game.
"It was a little bit of everything on Josh — location, got behind, didn't have his normal velocity or his change-up," said Baker.
"I was talking to Javy (catcher Javier Valentin), and he said Josh didn't have much in the bullpen warming up, either."