If I wasn’t crying, I’d be laughing. I had no idea when I woke up this morning that I’d be writing about another gem from the Reds. Nor did I think I’d reference Chad Hermansen in my post.
Thank goodness I wasn’t able to even peek in on this game since it was an afternoon contest. On the flip side, Homer Bailey woke up and thought, ‘Thank goodness I’m facing the Pirates.’ Much like Johnny Cueto the night before, Bailey was on top the whole game. 73 of his 90 pitches went for strikes. He gave up four hits. He walked none. He whiffed six. The Reds turned two double plays behind him (including a great pick by Brandon Phillips off the bat of Jason Jaramillo to start one in the 8th) and he faced just two above the minimum.
I can’t say Zach Duke deserved better. It isn’t so much that he pitched terribly. Its just that he will start having to laying goose eggs on the scoreboard. He gave up all five Reds tallies in five innings. He allowed nine hits, including a two run homer to Joey Votto in the first and a solo dinger to Drew Stubbs in the fourth.
That’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Garrett Jones had two hits.
The bullpen – Javier Lopez, Evan Meek, Joel Hanrahan and Octavio Dotel – allowed just one hit over the final four innings.
The obvious stuff – the offense.
Bailey has 13 career wins and 5 of them are against the Pirates. Not to be out done, Johnny Cueto has seven of his 22 career wins against the Pirates.
Aki Iwamura went 0-4 again. Is it too early to suggest that Delwyn Young start at second base for the next two weeks to see what happens? Is it too early to suggest that the oft implied move of Andy LaRoche to second and the promotion of Pedro Alvarez to play third begin? Iwamura has been like an albatross at the top of the lineup. Iwamura is now one for his last 32 and just 2-35 in May. We all screamed when Adam LaRoche hit .174 in April 2008. This might be worse. Iwamura would have to stay in the starting lineup and hit about .250 the rest of the month to pull his average in may up to .174. If he’s battling some kind of injury, then sit him down or disable him. If he isn’t battling an injury, just sit him down for a couple of games. At least a couple of games.
In the first decade of this century, the Pirates employed five players who collected 100 at bats in a season and failed to hit .200:
Brian Bixler (2008) 17 for 108 – .157
Humberto Cota (2006) 19 for 100 – .190
Keith Osik (2002) 16 for 100 – .160
Mike Benjamin (2002) 18 for 120 – .150
Chad Hermansen (2000) 20 for 108 – .185
One of my fondest memories of PNC Park was the trip my brother and I took there in 2002. It was the second year of the stadium and in exchange for filling out a survey, the club was giving away leftover key chains that said ‘PNC Park 2001 – Inagural Season’. My keychain has long since been broken and pitched. In the section of the survey where the respondent was asked to write down any other suggestions, my brother noted tersely, ‘Release Mike Benjamin!’