Eymann plates career-high eight in slugfest
Reds farmhand lines three doubles in Lookouts' 17-11win over M-Braves
By Danny Wild / Special to MLB.com
Eric Eymann doubled his RBI total with three swings on Sunday, and everyone in the Chattanooga dugout knew it.
Eymann went 3-for-5 and drove in a career-high eight runs to power the Lookouts in a 17-11 slugfest win over the visiting Mississippi Braves.
"It felt great," said Eymann, who added that he wanted that his career night made up for him lining out with the bases loaded Saturday. "Just getting the opportunity to hit with the bases loaded twice, it doesn't come very often. I was able to take advantage of that."
The Reds prospect entered the game batting .237 with eight RBIs in 97 at-bats over 33 games this season. He hit three-run doubles in consecutive at-bats in the third and fourth innings and added a two-RBI double in his fourth plate appearance in the sixth to fall one shy of the Southern League record.
"My teammates kept getting on base," he said. "I had the opportunities and the confidence to get them in."
Eymann has had little to complain about lately. The Kansas State product entered the game batting .290 in his previous 10 games. The hot streak came after enduring a 10-game stretch from April 19-30 in which he did not drive in any runs. On Sunday, he couldn't stop sending teammates around the bases, and they made sure he knew it.
"After the second [double], some of the guys were saying 'Man, you just doubled your RBI total on the season,' and I said, 'No, I have eight, don't play it out like that,'" he laughed.
After officially doubling his RBI total in the sixth, he really started hearing the side comments.
"I went up there and thought, 'Oh man, let's try to get these,' and they were giving me some heck about it," Eymann said.
It was the third baseman's biggest offensive output in almost exactly a year. He homered twice and drove in three runs for Class A Advanced Sarasota last May 19, the only multi-homer performance of his career.
"I've been swinging the bat well lately, so it makes me feel better, everything is starting to come to fruition," Eynmann said. "I was able to come through."
The eight-RBI performance was easily a career best. He never had more than two RBIs in 119 games for Class A Dayton in 2006. He drove in three runs on four occasions last season.
After striking out in the second, Eymann found himself up with the bases loaded and two outs in the third.
"I think I had two strikes on me, so I was looking to see a pitch and just drive it," said Eymann, who then doubled to center to plate Justin Turner, Tonys Gutierrez and Sean Henry. "Just wanted to put the ball in play, put a good swing on a good pitch. I got a pretty good pitch to handle."
An inning later, he found himself in the exact same situation.
"The second one, I was coaxing myself into not thinking about the first time," Eymann said. "I tried focusing on every pitch and just getting another ball to drive. I think it was a slider."
His second two-out double drove in Turner, Chris Valaika and Gutierrez to put the Lookouts ahead, 12-7. His third double in the sixth plated Gutierrez and Henry again for a 14-7 advantage.
"I was trying to sit back, just stay back and use my hands instead of getting too eager," he said. "Going up with confidence and knowing I can help the team, it feels pretty good. And it gives your teammates confidence too."
Only four players have ever driven in nine runs in a game in Southern League history. Jose Canseco managed the feat on June 24, 1985 and Butch Garcia was the last to do so on Aug. 4, 1989. Eymann, Cincinnati's 19th-round pick in 2005, has steadily scaled the Reds' Minor League system since breaking in with Rookie-level Billings in '05. The University of Illinois product hit .238 with 42 RBIs for Dayton in '06 and batted .246 with 53 RBIs for Class A Advanced Sarasota last summer.
"You just have to stay focused and in it," he said. "Take every at-bat as it comes." Eymann's confidence seemed to spread all around the ballpark -- the clubs combined for 31 hits.
Cody Strait went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, Craig Tatum drove in two runs and Shaun Cumberland clubbed a two-run homer in the third for Chattanooga (23-21). Robert Manuel (2-0) hurled three scoreless innings of relief for the win after Chattanooga starter James Avery was slammed for seven runs in four innings.
Van Pope hit a three-run homer and Jason Perry knocked in three runs for the Braves (16-28). Mississippi starter Thomas Hanson (1-1), the first of five pitchers used, allowed eight runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings for the loss.
Matt Maloney looked solid again today. Looks like he may be finally adjusting to AAA. 6.1 innings pitched, 2 ER, 4 Ks, 1BB. His season ERA now is down to 4.91.
If Belisle continues to struggle, and given that the Reds have no LHP in their rotation, do you think the Reds would give Maloney a shot before Bailey since Maloney has been better as of late?
Frazier went 2-for-4 today with a double as he continues to crush the ball. Stubbs was 1-for-2 with two walks.
They should just move Frazier up again. This is ridiculous.
Who's on first?
Didn't see this posted yet:
Justin Reed went 1-for-4 with a solo homerun today (#4). Reed is hitting .283/.389/.587 - .976 OPS in May.
Waring: 3-for-4 with his 9th homerun.
I'm not so sure the Reds would call up Lehr or Pettyjohn unless they feel like Thompson is ready for Louisville. The other guys the Reds would consider have options, and there would be no risk of losing them through waivers to other teams.
another day that Bruce is raking = no Aronchis posts
I'm guessing the next call up for the Reds to replace Belisle or an injuried starter will have more to do w/ who has options and who's on the 40 man roster currently. If the Reds all of a sudden found themselves back in the race, you wouldn't want to lose a guy b/c of option issues (don't know if this is the case for any current players in question or not) when the injuried player was back in the rotation or should the reds move outside the organization to fill that hole near the trade deadline.
Similarly, if a guy isn't on the 40 man roster, they may not want to cut a guy (the current 40 man is filled) to add that player to the 40 man roster. I'd hate to lose a Marcus McBeth or Chris Dickerson just to get 4 weeks of Lehr or Maloney(not on the current 40 man roster) vs 4 weeks of Bailey or Thompson if they thought Lehr/Maloney was roughly equal to helping the big league right now as Bailey/Thompson are.
Certainly they could move one of the injuried kids to the 60 day DL (Gonzalez?), perhaps cut somebody like the Magic Man, but I'm thinking they'd be more inclined to bring up somebody currently on the 40 man roster (Bailey or Thompson) than to make a move to add another pitcher like Lehr to the 40 man roster. I'm also thinking that perhaps moving Fogg back into the rotation is a possibility, but probably only if its a short term solution to an injuried starter expected to miss a start or 2, not a long term solution.
What is the Red's situation regarding these 2 circumstances. I'm not sure anyone in the minor's blows the Reds away right now that they can't just pick and choose based upon whats best for the long term health of the team/system.
Edit: I just looked at the stats on reds.com and didn't realize Fogg hasn't pitched in like 2 weeks. I guess cutting Fogg would be their logical choice.
Last edited by medford; 05-19-2008 at 05:12 PM.