Record: 5-1. Overall: 76-49, first place, eleven (!) games ahead of Toledo (DET).
8/7: C Ryan Hanigan continued his banner season by singling in 3B Adam Rosales (2-for-4, .277) in the bottom of the tenth to beat Toledo, 2-1. The Bats’ sputtering offensive handed Ramon Ramirez a no-decision despite a dominating performance (3.35, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 K). Josh Roenicke retired six straight (2.40, 2 K) and a returning Justin Lehr picked up the win (5-2, 2.36 overall) in his first outing since re-signing with the organization.
8/8: The Bats overcame four errors and and a 1-0 deficit in the sixth to easily outdistance Columbus (WAS) and win their eighth in a row, 7-1. Rosales doubled twice and hit homer #10 (.281, 3-for-5, 2 RBI) and LF Drew T. Anderson, CF Shaun Cumberland, and Hanigan each added a pair of hits. Matt Maloney returned from the DL to pitch five strong innings (4.09, 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 76 pitches, 49 strikes), although it was Carlos Fisher (W 4-0, 1.04, 1 IP, 1 BB) who got credit for the W.
8/9: The Clippers snapped the Louisville winning streak by hammering on Adam Pettyjohn (L 12-5, 4.87, 5.1 IP, 13 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR), 11-5. 3B Mike Griffin, taking over for the called-up Adam Rosales, doubled twice and singled in four trips (.258).
8/10: Back to winning ways, as Columbus couldn’t solve Bobby Livingston (W 2-2, 4.55, 7 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K) or the relief of Roenicke (2.32, 1 IP, 1 K) and Jon Adkins (save #22) in a 3-0 shutout. Three double plays helped Livingston along; C Craig Tatum made his AAA debut by going 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and two strikeouts.
8/11: SS Paul Janish beat the Clippers, 4-3, in the bottom of the tenth with a single to score Mike Griffin. Starter Justin Mallett lasted five (4.73, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR) and Carlos Fisher two more (0.84, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K). Columbus scored off Roenicke (2.59, 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB) but the Bats got two unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth to create the 3-3 tie. Danny Herrera came in with the bases loaded and allowed just the one to score (2.00, 1.2 IP, 1 K). Matt Belisle pitched the tenth for the win (W 5-1, 4.34, 1 IP, 1 H).
8/13: Drew Stubbs’ AAA debut was a hit, as the 23-year-old slammed a double and home run, walked, scored twice, and didn’t strike out! It took a Griffin two-run double in the top of 12, though, to put away Toledo. Final score: 6-4. Griffin drove in three runs total for the night. He’s been hitting better and better; a .138 May, .247 June, .296 July, and now a .323 August. His overall line is .265/.300/.378 for the Bats, .274/.320/.394 overall. On a down note, 2B Danny Richar was 0-for-5 with four strikeouts (getting ejected from the game for arguing the last one). He’s batted just .178 since coming to the Reds’ organization. Anyway, the artist formerly known as Our Man Homer pitched okay (4.50, 6.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 107 pitches, 68 strikes) but his bullpen threw 5.2 shutout frames- Herrera (1.93, 1.2 IP), Lehr (W 6-2, 2.17, 3 IP, 2 H, 2 K) and Adkins (save #23, 3.42, 1 IP).
Notes: 8/7: RHR Todd Coffey (DL, back) and RHR Robert Manuel (back to Chattanooga) were replaced by RHP Justin Lehr (returning from Korea, where he was 0-6 with a 5.66 ERA; apparently, Tom Shearn did even worse in the ROK, going 0-5, 8.34. He signed with Minnesota, incidentally.) and RHR Marcus McBeth. 8/8: LHS Matt Maloney was officially activated. 8/9: INF Adam Rosales was called up by the Reds to cover while Joey Votto was on the bereavement list. RHR Marcus McBeth was DFA’d; hopefully he gets to stay. 8/10: C Ryan Hanigan got his well-deserved callup with David Ross DFA’d. C Craig Tatum came up from Chattanooga. RHS Homer Bailey was optioned back to Louisville as well. RHS Aaron Harang completed his rehab assignment. UT Drew M. Anderson returned to Louisville. 8/12: Continuing all the upheaval, OF Chris Dickerson was called up to Cincinnati to replace the traded Adam Dunn. OF Drew Stubbs came up from Chattanooga to replace him. 8/13: Dickerson was named the Reds’ Minor League Player of the Month for July, batting .330 with eight homers, 20 RBI, and seven steals in 24 games.
Record: 3-3. Overall: 21-31, last place, 12 games behind Carolina (FLA).
8/7: Ben Jukich scattered eight singles over seven shutout innings (W 9-4, 3.37, 0 BB, 7 K) and RF Sean Henry homered (#10) in a 2-0 shutout of Tennessee (CHC). Three double plays as well as three outfield assists helped (two from CF Drew Stubbs). Robert Manuel threw a perfect eighth and ninth for save #2 (1.43, 2 K).
8/8: Sam Lecure flirted with perfection, retiring the first twenty-one Smokies he faced before Jake Fox led off the eighth with a single. Ramon Geronimo came in a couple of batters later with two on and one out and escaped the jam; he then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the save (#1, 0.00, 1.2 IP, 1 BB, 2 K). Lecure (W 9-6, 3.67, 7.1 IP, 2 H, 9 K) still ended up with his best outing of 2008 in the 4-0 win. LF Danny Dorn was 3-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored (.269), Stubbs picked up a RBI double (.318) and Henry singled and tripled (.303).
8/9: Pedro Viola made his second straight strong start, this time picking up the win in the Lookouts’ third straight win over the Smokies, 4-2. Viola (W 2-6, 4.71, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K) was backed by solid relief work from Mike Hrynio, Joe Valentine, Manuel, and Sean Watson (save #2, 5.40, 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K). 2B Justin Turner didn’t make an out all day, going 2-for-2 with two walks, two runs scored, and two RBI (.271). 3B Drew M. Anderson was 2-for-3 with two RBI (.249) before heading back to AAA.
8/10: Lefty Camilo Vazquez threw four shutout innings, striking out five- then the roof fell in, as Tennessee pounded him for six runs in the fifth as they went on to win, 9-7. Vazquez (L 2-2, 4.91, 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 5 BB, 5 K) was bailed out by Justin James. Later, Geronimo allowed his first AA runs (0.68, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER). SS Chris Valaika completed a sensational day by lashing a two-run double in the ninth to cut a four-run deficit in half, but tying run Eric Eymann flew out to end the game. Valaika finished 4-for-5 with two doubles, a two-run homer (#9) and five RBI, pushing his average over the .300 mark to .302. 1B Tonys Gutierrez was 3-for-4 with two RBI as well (.289).
8/12: Rained out.
8/13: MAKEUP MADNESS ended in a sweep loss, 5-3 and 11-6, at the hands of the Huntsville Stars (MIL) . Travis Wood struggled with his control in the opener, leaving after just three innings (L 2-8, 7.36, 3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K). Turner kept Chattanooga in it with a 3-for-4 perfomance, including a first-inning solo homer off dope-loving fireballer Jeremy Jeffress (#7, .283). Sean Henry also hit #11. The nightcap saw the roof fall in on Ramon Geronimo, as he was battered for six hits and five earned runs in the sixth inning (L 1-1, 3.77). He was relieving Jukich, who wasn’t terribly effective but left in a tie game (3.66, 5 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K). 1B Tonys Gutierrez hit a three-run homer (#6) and added a RBI double (.289). CF Chris Heisey was 2-for-4 with two runs scored (2-for-7 on the entire evening in his first AA starts).
Notes: 8/10: C Eddy Rodriguez came up from Sarasota, replacing Craig Tatum. RHS Jordan Smith and LHR Lee Tabor were placed on the DL. Smith is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. 8/12: OF Chris Heisey was promoted from Sarasota to replace Drew Stubbs.
Interesting news- in the same batch of transactions where they signed ex-Lookout OF Tom Collaro, the Colorado Rockies also picked up former Reds pitcher Josh Hall out of the independent Atlantic League.
Flattering note on Craig Tatum in the Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet.
Record: 3-4. Overall: 25-27, tied for third place, 11 games behind Dunedin (TOR).
8/7: Dunedin got the tiebreaking run off Zach Stewart (L 0-1, 2.08, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) in the bottom of the ninth to nip Sarasota, 7-6. Enerio Del Rosario started (6.53, 6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER). SS Todd Frazier finished 2-for-3 with a two-run homer (#11) and two runs scored (.289). LF Carson Kainer was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI (.257).
8/8: Fort Myers mauled the Reds, 11-4, in completing a game from last week suspended after one inning. Scott Carroll stepped in for original starter Rafael Gonzalez but struggled (L 6-5, 3.51, 5 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K). 3B Juan Francisco hit a three-run homer, #18, and DH Yuber Rodriguez was 3-for-4 (.213).
8/9: Righty Logan Ondrusek finally got his first win of the season in a seven-inning, 8-0 shutout. Ondrusek (W 1-5, 4.18, 5 IP, 2 H, 3 K) got a two-run homer from Francisco (#19, 3 RBI total) and a solo shot from 1B Logan Parker (#4, 2-for-2, 2 BB, .333). Rodriguez scored three runs from the leadoff spot
8/10: Sarasota played one of its most memorable games of the year, coming back from a 10-1 deficit in the fourth to tie the Miracle at ten just a few innings later. The deadlocked contest went to the bottom of the eleventh- DH Chris Heisey won it by drawing a bases-loaded walk to force in the winning run. Righty Terrell Young (W 1-1, 2.16, 1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K) got the victory- Reds relievers pitched a total of 7.1 innings of scoreless ball in relief of starter Matt Klinker, who was bombed (8.22, 3.2 IP, 11 H, 10 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR) early. Three RBIs apiece for Heisey (2-for-4, 2 BB, SB #27, .286), Parker (2-for-4, .341) and 2B Justin Tordi (2-for-4, 2 2B, .222). Francisco homered for the third straight game (#20), giving him RBI #85. He also scored three runs. Miracle pitchers walked no less than fourteen Reds hitters in this one.
8/11: The pendulum that is Misael DeJesus swung back the other way, as the burly 23-year-old Dominican held Tampa (NYY) to four hits and one unearned run in seven innings (W 4-4, 4.01, 4 BB, 6 K) in Sarasota’s 3-1 victory. GCL temp Hector Santana pitched a scoreless eighth and Phil Valiquette the ninth for save #2 (2.43, 1 IP, 2 K). The Reds smacked twelve hits, including a fourth straight Juan Francisco home run (#21, 2-for-4, .277) and a solo blast from impending promotee Heisey (#7). DH Logan Parker was 3-for-4 (.360).
8/12: Tampa shut down the Reds’ bats and used homers and errors to beat up Rafael Gonzalez (L 5-9, 6.19, 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 2 HR), 5-1. C Justin Tordi was 3-for-4 with the lone Sarasota RBI (.233) and Del Rosario threw three hitless innings of relief (6.09, 2 BB, 1 K).
8/13: The Reds scored three in the first to back Rehabbin’ Daryl Thompson- but Daryl struggled, permitting six hits, four walks, and four earned runs in 4.2 innings as Tampa came back to win, 7-4. Parker continued to hit like crazy, socking a two-run homer and RBI double (#5, .351).
Notes: 8/10: 3B Juan Francisco got his second FSL Batter of the Week award (week ending 8/10), going eleven for twenty-nine (.379) with five homers, 12 RBI, and three (!) walks. C Todd Waller was added to the Reds’ roster, replacing Eddy Rodriguez. He was a 39th-round pick in 2006 who didn’t sign until spring ’07. He was hitting under .200 in two stints in the GCL. 8/12: RHS Dallas Buck was added to the roster. OF Efrain Contreras was moved over from the GCL team, probably temporarily.
Record: 2-5. Overall: 28-24, third place, five back of South Bend (ARI).
8/7: Something may be wrong with Daniel Guerrero. He put up a solid 4 ERA in 18 starts with the Dragons this year, but after failing to make the jump to High-A he’s returned to the Midwest League and fared no better. Fort Wayne mauled him for seven earned runs in just 2.2 innings in this one (L 0-4, 10.20) and cruised to an 11-4 rout. DH Neftali Soto did hit homer #4 and 1B Mike McKennon added #5 (3-for-3, .223).
8/8: The Wizards conjured up an even bigger rout, hammering a bunch of Dayton pitchers en route to a 14-3 victory. Luis Montano left one batter into the third (L 11-8, 3.93, 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB) right after giving up a solo homer- not sure why. Lefty Mace Thurman, just called up from Billings after dominating the PL, then faced four batters and got none of them out; all four would score. Henry Arias struggled badly (4.47, 2.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER) as well. Infielder Kevyn Feiner actually pitched a scoreless ninth, walking one and allowing one hit. McKennon did hit a homer for the second straight game (#6), LF Brandon Menchaca was 2-for-4 with a double (.179) and C Jason Bour doubled twice (.233).
8/9: Dayton scored three in the top of the ninth to tie Lansing (TOR) at 6, but in the eleventh the Lugnuts loaded the bases on a single and a couple of intentional walks by Curtis Partch, then Bour dropped the ball on an attempted force at home to give them the winning run. Partch (L 3-9, 5.28, 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K) had been pitching better as of late. Starter Juan Rafael didn’t look so great this time out (4.54, 5.2 IP, 12 H, 6 ER). SS Zach Cozart, slumping a little since his beaning against Peoria a couple weeks back, was 3-for-6 with a triple and RBI (.264) and LF Keltavious Jones was 3-for-5 (.262). That Cozart triple brought the score to 6-5 in the ninth, then a Soto sacrifice fly tied it up.
8/10: Three in the bottom of the ninth off struggling righty Derrick Conatser (L 2-3, 5.52, BS #1, 1.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) let the Lugnuts steal a 5-4 win. Starter Jeremy Horst continued to do very well (2.52, 5 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 6 K). 3B Brandon Waring was 2-for-4 with two RBI (.275) and Cozart added a pair of hits (.267).
8/11: Josh Ravin suffered a complete command meltdown (L 2-8, 7.19, 2.2 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 7 BB, 0 K), although the Dragons managed to make it interesting by creeping within one after a three-run eighth. They fell one short, 8-7. Mace Thurman came on and retired thirteen straight Lugnuts (7 K) to make a comeback possible. Cozart was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer (#13, .272).
8/12: The Dragons snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-3 triumph over Lansing. Daniel Guerrero pulled it together (W 1-4, 8.74, 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). Medina struggled (2 IP, 2 ER, 3 BB) but Aguido Gonzalez again showed up to save it (#3), setting down six straight (four by strikeout). That’s 13.2 scoreless innings in the MWL and 30 innings total for the year without an earned run. C Devin Mesoraco knocked in a couple of runs (.256, 1-for-4, R) and Brandon Waring got a couple of hits (.277, RBI).
8/13: Back-to-back victories, as the Dragons took advantage of four Great Lakes (LAD) errors, 4-2. McKennon picked up three hits (.235) and Jones drew three walks, singled, and scored a run from the leadoff slot (.259). 3B Neftali Soto kept his average over .300 with two hits (.308). Curtis Partch did well in his first start in a month or two (W 4-9, 5.10, 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) while Jeff Jeffords picked up the long save (#4, 3.61, 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K).
Notes: 8/10: Continuing the catcher shuffle, Frank Meade was added to the Dragons’ roster. RHR Ruben Medina came down from Sarasota or Chattanooga or wherever he was. RHS Luis Montano went on the DL with arm soreness.
Record: 4-3. Overall 12-4 second half, first place.
8/7: 1B Mike Konstanty slammed a first-inning three-run homer (#6) and the Mustangs made it stand up, hanging on to beat Idaho Falls (KC), 4-2. Starter Leo Astorga ran his record to 4-1 (2.58, 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) with Randall Linebaugh getting save #5. LF Tony Brown was 2-for-3 with a walk and RBI (.275).
8/8: Jamie Arneson dominated the Chukars (W 5-1, 3.78, 7 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 9 K) and Billings got a whole lot out of just seven hits, winning it 9-1. 2B Cody Puckett was 3-for-4 with a pair of solo homers and RF Byron Wiley was 3-for-3 with three RBI and his fourth homer.
8/9: The Mustangs trampled the Chukars again, 11-2. 3B Carlos Mendez finished 4-for-5 with four RBI (.265), Puckett homered again (#3, a two-run blow) and Konstanty added #7. Clayton Shunick pitched three scoreless innings (6.37, 1 H, 3 BB, 2 K) then Brandon Rice got the win in relief (W 1-2, 5.74, 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB).
8/10: Finally Idaho Falls puts up a fight, scoring two in the eighth off Jordan Hotchkiss (L 0-3, 4.15, 2.2 IP, 2 R, 1 ER) and breaking a 3-3 tie to win it, 5-3. Starter Oscar Castro held his own (4.65, 5.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) but the Billings bats went dead, producing a total of just four hits.
8/11: Billings committed four errors and fell behind 7-0 before roaring back- then falling just short of Casper (COL), 8-7. After two great starts, the wheels came off a little for Drew Bowman (L 2-1, 3.21, 4 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 2 HR), no thanks to the Mustangs’ defense. Junior Martinez (5.48, 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) and Josh Beal (2.25, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K) kept it close. CF David Sappelt was 3-for-4 with two runs scored (.311). Mendez drove in three with a single and double (.266) and LF Matt Stiffler doubled in two while picking up two more walks (.188, but a .361 OBP).
8/12: The Mustangs came back to whack the Ghosts (yes, the Casper Ghosts), 8-3. Enrique Garcia overcame a tough start to go five (W 3-0, 3.80, 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) and Justin Freeman struck out five in three shutout innings of relief. LF Byron Wiley continued his onslaught, whacking a single, double and homer (#5) and driving in three runs (.347). RF Tyler Stovall also had three hits (.356).
8/13: The Ghosts were friendly enough to allow Billings a comeback attempt (five runs in the eighth), but they hung on to win, 7-6. LF Tony Brown singled and tripled (.270), 2B Jose Gualdron drove in two (2-for-4, .293) and C Chris McMurray picked up two hits (.283). Jamie Arneson was slapped around for ten hits (L 5-2, 4.30, 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K)
Notes: OF Andrew Means, who also plays football for Indiana University, was inactivated so he could go catch some passes. RHR Will Hudgens headed off to play football for Memphis.
Rookie- Gulf Coast
Record: 3-3. Overall 20-24, fourth place, nine back of the Pirates.
8/7: The Pirates plundered the Reds, 9-1. Loss to Tyler Cline (0-2, 11.81, 3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER). Jerry Gil pitched again and struggled again (13.50, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB). 2B Darrick Hale got a couple more hits, including a triple (.261).
8/8: In the completion of a suspended game from 7/29, the Reds got four strong innings from Rehabbin’ Daryl Thompson (2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 K) and three shutout frames from Marco Pizziconi (W 1-0, 0.66, 2 H, 2 K) in a 7-2 victory over the Orioles. CF Alexis Oliveras drove in three with a single and triple (.329) and RF Sam Vasquez added a triple and two RBI of his own (.217).
The Reds then won the seven-inning regularly scheduled contest by breaking a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh on a Vasquez RBI single, 2-1. The win went to righty Hugo Calderon (W 2-0, 2.19, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 K). Lefty Rafael de la Rosa made his US debut with 5.1 good innings (5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K); the twenty-year-old out of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic had put up a 2.10 ERA in 60 IP in the Dominican Summer League.
8/9: Rained out or off or something.
8/10: The Reds scored four in the first, but the Twins came back to win anyway, 6-4. Evan Hildenbrandt started (2.72, 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR) but it was Gil who got the loss (L 0-1, 10.50, 2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 ER). A throwing error on LF Efrain Contreras caused the unearned runs. Contreras did go 2-for-4 with a run scored at the plate, though (.271).
8/12: The Reds lost to the Pirates, 2-1, despite outhitting them 10-6. They committed four errors and left ten men on base, however. Starter Mike Henry lost it (L 1-2, 4.18, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K). Luca Panerati, like his countryman Pizziconi, continued to pitch well (1.50, 3.2 IP, 2 H, 2 K). DH Sean Conner was 3-for-4 (.241).
8/13: The Reds popped the Orioles, 8-2, getting seventeen hits in the process. RF Sam Vasquez hit a two-run homer (#2) and both LF Theodis Bowe and 1B Humberto Sosa got three hits apiece. Jerry Gil started and pitched three scoreless innings (7.00, 3 H, 1 K) while Pizziconi picked up the victory (W 2-0, 0.51, 3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB).
Notes: The Reds signed SS Darrick Hale, 23, out of indy ball. He was a NDFA out of UCLA a year or so ago. INF Yen-Wen Kuo was inactivated so he could go play for Taiwan in the Olympics. LHS Shea Snowden was placed on the suspended list (reasons unknown).