Cueto brilliant in 10-2 Reds victory; Gordon unable to Aaron Small himself out of disappointing start

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

In a game the Reds sorely needed to win to avoid being swept at home, Johnny Cueto came up huge, hurling seven innings of two-hit, one-run ball — the lone blemish on his ledger a Nick Swisher solo home run in the second — and enabling the Reds to beat the Yankees 10-2. The loss snapped the Bombers’ four-game win streak — which tied the team’s high water mark for consecutive victories — prevented the Yankees from sweeping their third three-game set of the season and represented the team’s largest margin of defeat in 2011.

Brian Gordon, who pitched well enough in his debut last week against the Rangers, wasn’t as sharp this time out, throwing five innings of four-run ball. All four runs came via the long ball, as Gordon surrendered two home runs to Chris Heisey of all people, and a solo shot to Johnny Gomes. The three home runs allowed tied a season-high for a Yankee starter.… Click here to read the rest

Nova spins finest game of career in 5-3 Yankee win over Reds

Ivan Nova, auditioning for Dan Awesome's (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

It would seem Pitcher-They’ve-Never-Faced Syndrome isn’t a Yankee-specific malady after all.

Ivan Nova threw the finest game of his short career Monday night in Cincinnati, going a career-high eight innings, yielding one run on a season-high (and career-high tying) seven strikeouts en route to a 5-3 Yankee victory. It was also the first start of his career in which he didn’t walk a single batter.

The only slight mar on this game was that the bullpen couldn’t get out of its own way in the ninth. With a four-run lead, Luis Ayala gave up a leadoff single to Brandon Phillips. Boone Logan was summoned, and did his Boone Logan thing by not retiring lefty Joey Votto and instead hitting him, putting men on first and second with no out. With the Reds suddenly threatening, Mariano Rivera was called in to put out the fire, which he did with two groundouts and a strikeout, though both inherited runners came around to score.… Click here to read the rest

Series Preview | Yankees vs. Reds: The curse of Austin Kearns

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The Yankees last faced the Reds in a 2008 set at Yankee Stadium, and the last time they were at Cincinnati was in 2003. Quite a bit has changed for the Reds, who spent every season over the last 10 years as a below-.500 team (though for the most part, one that could often rake) until winning the NL Central last year for the first time since 1995, largely on the strength of the best offense in the National League (.339 wOBA). For their troubles they were swept out of the NLDS by the Phillies.

The Reds are once again boasting a mighty offensive attack this year — a .325 team wOBA (4th in the NL) and 14.1 fWAR (tops in the NL) — though once again their pitching staff leaves a bit to be desired, with a staff ERA of 4.15 (4th-worst in the NL) and FIP of 4.22 (worst). They are currently 2nd in the NL Central and right in the thick of both the division and Wild Card hunt, and figure to be so for the remainder of the season.… Click here to read the rest

NL Central Race Could Be Important To Yankees Season

The Yankees probably have just enough starting pitching right now to make the postseason. They have 3 starters who should give them reasonably good performance and a few options who could surprise out of the last two slots, which should give them enough to contend for a playoff spot on the strength of their offense and bullpen. That said, I am sure that Brian Cashman will spend much of the year looking to add at least one more starter, as this team likely needs another quality arm to succeed in the postseason. While the market looks barren right now, plenty of decent options are certain to become available as the year progresses, which brings us to the N.L. Central.

The N.L. Central is the perfect storm of good but not great teams, with three clubs likely to vie for the division title (Cardinals, Brewers, Reds) and another two that behave more like contenders than their talent or track record warrant (Cubs, Astros).… Click here to read the rest

Guest Post: Did the 2009 Yankees Produce the Greatest Infield (Plus Catcher) in MLB History? (UPDATED)

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This is a guest post from friend of the blog Jamal Granger. It is a meticulous piece of research and we are proud to be running it here at TYU.

Endless thanks to Eric Seidman of Baseball Prospectus, who devoted his valuable time to supplying with me with the essential data for this post, and introduced me to the wonders of SQL (though, as I begin to immerse myself, I question whether “thanks” is the appropriate term …).

The 1975 Cincinnati Reds were the topic of a recently published novel by celebrated sports journalist Joe Posnanski. In the book, titled The Machine: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds, Posnanski “… captures all of the passion and tension, drama and glory of this extraordinary team considered to be one of the greatest ever to take the field,” says; however, based on a recent discussion that Mike Francesa had with his listeners on his radio show – Mike’d Up – about the greatest infield-plus-catcher units in baseball history, I decided to take a statistical look at things and discovered how the ’75 Reds arguably boasted the greatest quintet of players to ever take the baseball diamond.… Click here to read the rest

Damon and Cincy

According to a report via ESPN, “a baseball source told’s Jerry Crasnick” that “[Scott] Boras and [Johnny] Damon are trying to engage the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds as possible alternatives” to the Yankees. Though the Tigers-Damon connection is not new – Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated offered the possible marriage a few weeks ago – the Reds-Damon item is the first report I have read which explicitly links the two parties. It was only a matter of time before the Reds and Damon were connected, however, as Cincinnati has a clear need given their unsettled left field situation (they currently have Chris Dickerson lined up to start). Unlike the Damon to Oakland rumors, Damon to Cincy makes a lot of sense, although, according to the ESPN report, the Reds “don’t appear to have much money left in the budget,” and would “probably have to get creative to make a run at Damon.”

Photo by the AP
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