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Late Rally Led by Devin Mesoraco not Enough as Cincinnati Reds Fall to Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4

July 31st, 2014 at 9:48 AM
By Cody Dalga

Following a three-run home run by Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco that cut the Arizona Diamonbacks lead to 5-4, the Reds might have been able to win consecutive games for the first time since the All-Star break. Unfortunately, it came with two outs in the ninth inning leaving the Reds all out of gas as Ryan Ludwick struck out to end the game. 

twistedmoments / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Much of the scoring came late in the game thanks in part to great starting pitching by both Alfredo Simon of the Reds and Wade Miley of the Diamondbacks. Simon went seven innings allowing two earned runs on just six hits, but was hit with the loss. 

"When I go out there, I just try to do my job," Simon said. "I just try to throw a quality game and I know our hitters are struggling right now and we aren't scoring a lot of runs right now, but I don't focus on the hitting, I just focus on throwing my seven innings, doing my job."

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Aroldis Chapman is Eighth Quickest Pitcher to Record 100 Saves

July 30th, 2014 at 11:44 AM
By Cody Dalga

When Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman entered Tuesday's game against the Arizona Diamondback, he had the opportunity to record his 100th career save of his young career.

He retired the side in order including a strikeout of Didi Gregorious to end the game which extended his consecutive appearances with at least one strikeout to 45 straight games, already a record. His streak dates back to August of 2013. The 26-year old has struck out 67 batters in just over 33 innings of work this season. 

"I didn't know it until I heard it when he was coming off the field," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I had no idea he was accumulating them at that rate. I don't really go back and do a ton of statistical reflection on our players as far as milestones. It was terrific to see and certainly what I hope is the first 100 of many more."

It took Chapman 115 chances to record his 100th career save giving him a save rate of 87 percent. It also makes him the eighth fastest closer to the century mark. Those ahead of Chapman include Eric Gagne (104 chances), John Smoltz, Joakim Soira, Kazuhiro Sasaki, John Axford, Joe Nathan and Craig Kimbrel.
"Some are chosen; some people came to this game to make history," Reds catcher Brayan Pena said of Chapman. "Some people came to this game to leave their prints forever in the game. And what we're watching, I believe, in my humble opinion, is one of those, especially with the streak of appearances with a strikeout."
Chapman has turned up the heat of late. In Monday's loss, Chapman threw a total of 20 pitches, 15 of those topped 100 MPH on the radar including a 104 MPH fastball to Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt. 12 of his 16 pitches on Tuesday hit triple digits as well. 

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Leake’s Gem Pushes Cincinnati Reds to 3-0 Victory Over Arizona Diamondbacks

July 30th, 2014 at 10:55 AM
By Cody Dalga

After Tuesday's 3-0 over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds starter Mike Leake can firmly say he can do it all. Not only did he pitch seven and two-thirds of an inning giving up just five hits, he also drove in his third run of the season with a run-scoring single in to bottom of the second inning. 

"We need a little streak to get us going," Leake said. "Hopefully this is the start of something. It's been tough. Losing is never fun. It's nice to get a win. Hopefully we can have it be a domino effect."

It didn't take long for Cincinnati to strike Tuesday after Billy Hamilton, who doubled to lead off the inning, scored on Todd Frazier's single to left.
 
In the second, Donald Lutz collected a one-out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With Zack Cozart at the plate, he hit a ground ball to short and was originally called out at first but a challenge by the Reds overturned the call and kept Cozart at first, snapping a career-high 0-for-22 slump. Leake then stepped in and singled home Lutz to push the lead to two. 
 
Leake was able to pitch out of jams in both the third and fourth innings. Didi Gregorious tripled with one out in the third but was left stranded. In the fourth, Aaron Hill reached on an error. Miguel Montero singled but ended up on second after an error by Leake putting runners on second and third with one out. Leake retired the next two batters to end the threat. 

"My goal tonight was to keep them in the infield and did a good job," said Leake. "We had great defense again today."

Cincinnati plated an insurance run in the sixth when Brayan Pena brought home Frazier with a two-out single. 
"We manufactured a run; that third run's huge," Frazier said. "When you've got one run, you want two and you keep adding on like that. Whether it's subtle or a big inning, it helps. 
Leake pitched into the eighth inning but after allowing two runners, Jonathan Broxton took over and retired his only batter to end the eighth. Aroldis Chapman entered the game in the ninth and retired the side in order to record the save, the 100th of his young career. 
 
The Reds have the opportunity to win their first series since the All-Star break. Alfredo Simon will be on the mound Wednesday against the Diamondbacks looking for his 13th win of the season. First pitch is set for 12:35 ET. 

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Cincinnati Reds End up on Losing Side of 15-Inning Affair Against Arizona Diamondbacks

July 29th, 2014 at 3:19 PM
By Cody Dalga

It took 15 innings and a little over four and a half hours for the Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks to finally finish up game one of a three-game series. Nick Ahmed's two-out RBI single in the top of the 15th gave the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead, which was enough for them to take down the Reds at Great American Ballpark. 

The loss meant that the Reds have dropped nine of their last ten games, dropping a game under .500. For the fifth consecutive game Cincinnati hasn't scored at least three runs which is unfortunate when they have a starting pitcher who goes eight innings allowing just one run like Homer Bailey did Monday night. 

"I can't be critical of the effort, because it's been outstanding. But we're not producing, at all. And we need to," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We can't waste this type of pitching. You can't play a game like that in this ballpark and play 15 innings and score a run. That can't happen."

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MLB Trade Rumor: Cincinnati Reds Showing Interest in Texas Rangers Outfielder Alex Rios

July 28th, 2014 at 11:08 AM
By Cody Dalga

With the Cincinnati Reds continuing the downward spiral since the halfway point of the season, rumors continue to fly as to who the Reds may seek in a trade.

Several sources within the past few days have linked Texas Rangers outfielder Alex Rios as a possible player linked to a trade with Cincinnati, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Will Carroll of Bleacher Report. 

Rios, 33, has been linked to the Reds in the past but has yet found himself in a Cincinnati uniform. The 11-year veteran has put together a very respectable career while playing for three American League teams. He has a .280 career average while hitting 165 home runs and and averaging just under 80 RBIs a season. He's shown flashes of both power and speed and his defense is in the upper half of his position, but at his age, those numbers will begin to decline. 

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