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Detroit Tigers vs. Cincinnati Reds - live!

10th June 2012

• Big bats Joey Votto, Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera are in the house
• Drew Smyly and Homer Bailey on the hill
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Bottom 6th: Reds 4 - Tigers 2: So Matt Young comes in to play second base and hits in the ninth spot and Brayan Villarreal is on in relief of Marte, who was brought on to replace Smyly thanks to a blister on his finger. Villerreal gets to work, and fast. He gets the already pissed off Ludwick to bounce back to the mound, Brayan turns and fires to second, and Young fires over to first to complete a 1-4-3 DP. Two down with a man on third for Frazier who is looking to extend the Reds lead.

Bottom 6th: Reds 4 - Tigers 2: Reds fans love the animated Brandon Phillips, and he’s on base for the second time tonight after a base hit to center. So Jay Bruce comes into the box with the lead off man on, and Bruce, who walked and scored a run in the second, draws his second free pass of the night from Marte. That brings out Leyland to get his pitcher, and it looks like a double switch. Cue the organ.

Nostalgia: Prince Fielder may not be in Milwaukee anymore, but his legacy is secure in Wisconsin courtesy of this cartoon with Ryan Braun. A must see!

Top 6th: Reds 4 - Tigers 2: Worth hits a slow roller that Frazier charges, picks up and fires over to first for the out, which ends the inning. No big hit for Detroit here, it’s still a two run lead for Bailey and the Reds.

Top 6th: Reds 4 - Tigers 2: Meanwhile, Prince is hit by a pitch before Delmon Young strikes out, Bailey’s sixth K of the night. Then Ramon Santiago pops lazily to right field, making it two down, one on for Laird. The Tigers catcher laces a base hit to right field, and Fielder is able to go first to third, making it runners on the corners for Danny Worth. Can the Tigers second baseman bring Detroit another run?

Prince: We’re hearing the story on ESPN of Terry Francona, once a coach with the Detroit Tigers, serving up a batting practice pitch to 12-year-old Prince Fielder in old Tigers Stadium. It landed in the upper deck. Damn.

Bottom 5th: Reds 4 - Tigers 2: Zack Cozart is having a heck of a night. First the home run, then a bit of luck as a little bunt pop up finds the grass in front of Marte and he has an infield hit. Heisey, fresh off his run-robbing catch can’t extend his momentum to the batters box, lining out to Jackson in center field. Then Marte rustles up a 4-6-3 DP, retiring Joey Votto and the Reds in the fifth.

Hand operated scoreboard:

Interleague Play

New York Mets 5
New York Yankees 4

Tampa Bay Rays 4
Miami Marlins 2

Kansas City Royals 2
Pittsburgh Pirates 3

Philadelphia Phillies 4
Baltimore Orioles 5, F/10

Toronto Blue Jays 12
Atlanta Braves 4

Washington Nationals 4
Boston Red Sox 3

Chicago Cubs 8
Minnesota Twins 2

Houston Astros 11
Chicago White Sox 9

San Diego Padres 5
Milwaukee Brewers 6

Cleveland Indians 4
St. Louis Cardinals 1

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 10
Colorado Rockies 8

Texas Rangers 5
San Francisco Giants 0

Los Angeles Dodgers 8
Seattle Mariners 2

Oakland Athletics 3
Arizona Diamondbacks 4

Top 5th: Reds 4 - Tigers 2: Quinitn Berry is hit by a pitch before Miguel Cabrera gives it a ride to right center field…that ball is carrying, carrying, but Heisey is on it, making a BASKET CATCH on the WARNING TRACK! Wow, what a play by Heisey who takes away a run from the Tigers with a terrific catch to end the inning. Bailey is through five in Cincinnati.

Top 5th: Reds 4 - Tigers 2: RUN! There’s two out trouble for Bailey. Worth strikes out and Marte grounds to second before Austin Jackson skies DEEP TO RIGHT FIELD, and that ball is OUTTA HERE! A solo shot for Jackson who rounds the bases and brings the Tigers within two runs!

The line: Here are the numbers for Detroit’s starter.

Drew Smyly 3IP 4H 3R 3ER 1BB 3SO 1HR

Smyly continues his spiral downward after a strong start to his rookie season. He has good stuff for sure, but he made a few mistakes tonight and paid dearly. Tigers fans will have to hope this blister doesn’t force him to miss a start, they can’t afford any more injuries to their ballclub.

Bottom 4th: Reds 4 - Tigers 1: Marte gets Bailey to retire the side, but there is more long ball action in the fourth in Cincinnati, and another run on the board for the Reds.

Bottom 4th: Reds 4 - Tigers 1: RUN! KABOOM!!! That was soething else! Mesoraco becomes the second Cincinnati Reds rookie to go deep tonight, and the second one to hit a homer to left. It’s a Ruthian 432 foot solo home run to extend the Reds lead!

Bottom 4th: Reds 3 - Tigers 1: Ryan Ludwick is pissed off, again. For the second time tonight, Ludwick has serious disagreements with the strikezone of Angel Hernandez, and for the second tie tonight, Ludwick is walking back to the dugout an angry man. One down for Marte who faces Todd Frazier next, and the Reds third baseman pops to second for the second out. Two down and no one on for the rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco.

Bottom 4th: Reds 3 - Tigers 1: Smyly is done for the night, thanks to a large, black, fluid filled blister on one of his fingers. I’ll post the line in a bit, but reliever Luis Marte is now on for Detroit as the long man here in the fourth.

Top 4th: Reds 3 - Tigers 1: RUN! Santiago hits a chopper that Phillips can’t handle thanks to a good amount of spin. It’s an error on the Reds second baseman, but no doubt that was a tough play. It does allow Fielder to come home, getting Detroit on the board. Bailey closes the door the next batter, Gerald Laird, who strikes out to end the threat and the inning.

Top 4th: Reds 3 - Tigers 0: Some life from the Tigers her in the fourth. Quintin Berry strikes out and then Miguel Cabrera singles to right, but gets gunned down trying to stretch it into a double!!!

So one on and two out for Prince Fielder who draws a walk. That brings up Delmon Young who laces a double to center, sending Fielder over to third. Let’s see what Ramon Santiago can do in a big spot for an increasingly desperate Detroit.

Bottom 3rd: Reds 3 - Tigers 0: Chris Heisey follows the home run with a blast of his own, a rope to left field is an extra base hit as the Reds center fielder heads into second with a double. Smyly looks to be in trouble but recovers well, striking out Joey Votto, who according to ESPN has the highest batting average with runners in scoring position since 1960. Then he gets Phillips to pop out to right, before Bruce skies to shallow right field. Inning over. Nice job by the kid to limit further damage in the third.

Bottom 3rd: Reds 3 - Tigers 0: RUN! Zack Cozart hits a LASER BEAM into the stands in left field! It’s a solo home run for the Reds rookie, who hit a ball that was right down Broadway ensuring we would have a 56th consecutive game in tiny Great America Ballpark with at last one homer.

Top 3rd: Reds 2 - Tigers 0: After all that action, I’m glad Homer Bailey has calmed things down for us. It’s an easy inning for the Reds hurler, who is looking good wouldn’t you say? Especially so after Danny Worht pops to right, Smyly hits a roller down to Votto at first for the second out, and Jackson grounds out to third. The Tigers are hit-less through three.

A bit of fun: Joey Votto stars in this ESPN promo.

Bottom 2nd: Reds 2 - Tigers 0: More action! Frazier takes off for second and the throw heads into right field sending the runner to third base…but wait! Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez is calling the batter on the play, Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco, out for interfering with the catcher by coming out of the batters box and impeding Laird’s throw…rule 606c according to ESPN. Frazier heads back to first, a big break for Detroit that looks even bigger after the pitcher Bailey is retired. Inning over, and it could have been worse for Drew Smyly.

Bottom 2nd: Reds 2 - Tigers 0: RUNS! Frazier breaks his bat and watches the ball land into shallow right field! Here comes Phillips! Here comes Bruce! It’s a two run single for Frazier and the Reds use aggressive base running and a bit of broken bat fortune to go up early.

Bottom 2nd: Tigers 0 - Reds 0: Dusty Baker puts on the double steal and Laird can’t get Bruce at second! Good NL baseball there from the Reds, who now have second and third with one down for Todd Frazier.

Bottom 2nd: Tigers 0 - Reds 0: Ryan Ludwick is pissed off. He thinks the umpire robbed him of two balls, and then, on an 0-2 pitch, he chases a ball in the dirt as his bat goes flying. If I were a water cooler I’d be shitting myself right now. One down.

Bottom 2nd: Tigers 0 - Reds 0: We got action! Brandon Phillips lines one off the glove of a diving Quintin Berry in right field, and the Reds second baseman slides into second with a lead off double. Then Jay Bruce, the other Cincy hitter who is delivering in 2012, although not all that often with runners in scoring position, draws a walk. So Ryan Ludwick is up with two on and nobody out and Smyly in trouble. Let’s see what the left fielder can do here.

ESPN commentators Euro 2012 banter following a promo:

Terry Francona: With Wayne Rooney being suspended, Ashley Young is the one to look out for.

Orel Hershiser:  France is unbeaten in 21 matches so watch out.

Terry Francona: That’s all I got.

Top 2nd: Tigers 0 - Reds 0: Delmon Young leads off for the Tigers at Great America Ballpark, and Detroit’s left fielder hits a little bouncer that catcher Devin Mesoraco picks up and throws high to Votto at first, he makes a very slight leap to make the catch for the second out. Then Ramon Santiago becomes Bailey’s second strikeout victim of the night. Gerald Laird, catching in place of the injured Avila grounds out to Todd Frazier at third and it’s another 1-2-3 inning in Cincinnati.

Bottom 1st: Tigers 0 - Reds 0: Smyly gets going with some high heat that blows away the rookie Cozart. Then Chris Heisey pops to center field, befoer Joey Votto, hotter than the sun, makes a rare out, a grounder to Prince over at first. Easy 1-2-3 for Smyly and we’re on to the second inning.

Home lineup:

Cincinnati Reds

1. Zack Cozart, SS
2. Chris Heisey, CF
3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Brandon Phillips, 2B
5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. Ryan Ludwick, LF
7. Todd Frazier, 3B
8. Devin Mesoraco, C
9. Homer Bailey

Top 1st: Tigers 0 - Reds 0: The Prince grounds out to the right side of the infield, and the Tigers go quietly in their half of the first. Here come the Reds, the oldest professional baseball franchise going, first organizing back in 1882.

Top 1st: Tigers 0 - Reds 0: Quintin Berry swings through a fastball for Bailey’s first strikeout of the night. The lefty averages 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings. With two down, Cabrera walks, and that leaves it for Prince Fielder to try and give his team an early jolt.

Top 1st: Tigers 0 - Reds 0: Austin Jackson is back in the lineup for just the second time since suffering an oblique injury, and gets the festivities going by grounding out to rookie shortstop Zack Cozart. Easy out for Homer Bailey.

Injuries: These teams have had their share of injuries. Ryan Madson, signed in the offseason to close, is out for the year after tearing a ligament in his right elbow. Cincinnati are still waiting for 3B Scott Rolen to return, we may see him later in June, while CF Drew Stubbs should also return this month from an oblique. For Detroit, catcher Alex Avila is out with a hammy and we don’t know when he’ll be back. As I mentioned, Fister will be back this week, while there’s a chance of September baseball from Victor Martinez, which would be huge if Detroit are still in it. Most disappointing is the absence of Al Alburquerque, whose name I love to see on the back of a uniform. He is expected to get on a mound soon following elbow surgery.

Away Lineup:

Detroit Tigers

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Quintin Berry, RF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Ramon Santiago, SS
7. Gerald Laird, C
8. Danny Worth, 2B
9. Drew Smyly, LHP

Preamble: The first thing I want to say about the Cincinnati Reds is that they are extrememly close to having some classic baseball uniforms. If they would just drop that disgusting black drop shadow it would be a game changer for their entire look. If you want proof of that just check out how great the Mets look this season after losing it. Big Ted Kluszewski didn’t wear uniforms with black drop shadow, either did Pete Rose, Johnny Bench or Mario Soto.  You may be wondering why I am wasting space with black drop shadow, but you’ve just got to get these things right, and one of these days when management finally figure this out, as the Mets did, the Red Legs will look like the Red Legs again, not some poorly dressed imposters. Until then we just deal with it and move on. OK? Thanks for your time.

Meanwhile, the Reds, who dropped from NL Central champs in 2010 to fourth place a year later, have surged up the standings, overcoming their slow 9-11 start, going 23-15 since, and are on top of the division, a half game ahead of, no, not the Cardinals, but the Pittsburgh Pirates!

For the past two seasons, the Reds have featured a lineup of ball crushing animals, but in 2012, thus far their bats have been disappointing, especially when you compare this club with the team that was first and then second in runs scored in 2010 and 2011. They’re coming around little by little, but without Joey Votto and Jay Bruce they’d be even worse than the tenth in runs scored they are now.

Their starting pitching has been somewhat serviceable, but it’s the bullpen that has been propping up these Reds. The starters have a 18-18 record with an ERA of 4.09, but the relievers are 14-7 with an incredible 2.43 ERA. Cuban Aroldis Chapman didn’t give up a single run until Thursday, ending a 24-game 29-inning streak. He can hit 100 miles per hour on the gun, and has allowed a total of nine hits in 30 innings…NINE HITS! His ERA is .30. Kind of makes Mariano Rivera seem like Frankie Francisco, doesn’t it? OK, probably not, but it’s an extraordinary stat, no?

Tonight, Homer Bailey (4-4 4.39) is on the mound for Cincinnati. The big Texan had a stretch of five starts where he went at least six innings without giving up more than three runs interrupted by those pesky Pirates last time out. He lasted just three innings, allowing six runs off eight hits. We’ll see if he can get back on track tonight.

He’ll be facing a sputtering Detroit team that hasn’t lived up to the weighty expectations that came along with bringing in Prince Fielder this off-season.

“We’re against the ropes, a little wobbly,” said manager Jim Leyland earlier this week after another frustrating loss “and you either get your feet underneath you and come out swinging, or you feel sorry for yourself because we’ve had some injuries and things haven’t gone right.

“God knows that things haven’t gone right, we haven’t been in sync all year. We’ll see.”

Yes, the big man has hit, as has Miguel Cabrera, but the bit parts haven’t done their share, and now Brennan Boesch has a sprained ankle that he suffered in Saturday’s victory over the Reds, and will be out for at least a few days. In addition their offensive issues, the Tigers are having a problem fielding the ball, in the bottom five in errors in the AL, which never inspires confidence amongst pitchers, especially when they are ground ball pitchers.

Aside from Justin Verlander, who threw 127 pitches while laboring through six innings last night, The Tigers pitching has been disappointing in 2012, but they’ll get a boost when Doug Fister returns from injury on Wednesday. Tonight however, they have rookie southpaw Drew Smyly (2-2 3.71) on the mound. His early season success has leveled out a bit with his ERA jumping over two runs since May 9th.

Overall, while the Tigers have proved to be vulnerable, they’re just 5.5 games behind the AL Central leading White Sox, and you get the feeling that it’s only a matter of time before they reel off 20 wins in 30 games, but so far we’re yet to see that sort of consistent play.

Tonight, a classic Interleague match-up (that’s impossible), with the Reds hosting the Tigers in the Queen City. So get your Foie gras and Chablis and get set for an evening of baseball coverage, as always, live from the Brooklyn basement.


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