Day Off Notes

OK. So the Reds squeezed out that 12-11 win yesterday to salvage a game from the Giants. As it turned out, the win was big as the Pirates once again defeated the Cardinals.

West Coast Trip Wrap
Despite the massive panic attack we all had over the last three days, the Redlegs return to the Queen City after posting a very successful West Coast road trip going 6-3. The offense was especially successful for the nine game stretch. Of course, the big gun was Joey Votto (.382, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R) proved to everyone he deserved the SI cover. But don’t forget the roles Brandon Phillips (.400, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R) and Ramon Hernandez (.421, HR, 6 RBI, 3 R) played.

Staying on Votto. Votto’s 31 HR this year marks the first time since 1971 that a Reds first baseman has clobbered 30+ HR. Lee May smacked 39 that year.

The starting pitching would have been more disastrous if not for Bronson Arroyo (2-0, 2.51 ERA, 1.047 WHIP). The starters as a whole (including Arroyo) accounted for 4 wins, 6.75 ERA and a gaudy 1.500 WHIP.

Cubs Invasion
The NL Central lead is now back at 3.5 games. A sliver of breathing room. Only a sliver. The Reds have a three-game set this weekend against the Chicago Cubs. For the season, Cincy is 10-3 (4-2 at GABP). I wonder how many Cubs fans will flock to GABP in an attempt to overtake our yard this weekend.

Pitching probables are as follows:
Game 1: Tom Gorzelanny (7-7, 3.70) v. Johnny Cueto (11-4, 3.62) 7:10 PM
Game 2: Randy Wells (5-12, 4.56) v. Bronson Arroyo (14-7, 3.82) 7:10 PM
Game 3: Casey Coleman (1-1, 5.68) v. Edinson Volquez (3-2, 6.17) 1:10 PM

Don’t assume the Volquez start. He’s not pitched well in his last two starts. Actually, he’s been pretty bad with an ERA of 16.88 and a WHIP of 3.188 in his last two starts. Volquez was coming off three really good appearances until the road trip. Another roster move? Harang? It’s thought he’ll go to the bullpen after his rehab stint in Louisville ends. Leake? There’s been talk of shutting him down for the season. With the Strasburg situation in D.C., I wouldn’t be shocked if this happened.

Injury Watch
X-rays taken today on Brandon Phillips’ hand were negative. (Thank goodness!) He could go this weekend and we all know he’ll want to play. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Valaika gets at least one start during the Cubs series. While there is concern for Phillips, what’s the progress of Orlando Cabrera? I know Walt and the boys are taking it cautiously, but are they being too cautious? Laynce Nix was to be examined today, too, but I have yet to receive any notice how that went. Considering the way he came out of the box yesterday, I can smell a  DL stint. Yes, another roster move and the winner could very well be Wladimir Balentien even though the Bats have only three outfielders on their roster. With Nix being banged up, that leaves Baker with Jonny Gomes, Drew Stubbs, Chris Heisey and Jay Bruce as the only outfielders on the roster.

One last note
Micah Owings accepted his assignment to Louisville having passed through waivers. Apparently, no trade could be made.