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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mike Leake Continues To Struggle

Mike Leake's earned run average continues to rise like the flood waters in Texas as the Reds were buried by the Rockies in a 6-4 loss, its 10th loss in 11 games..

The Reds are struggling as a team to find itself.

"We're just trying to play good baseball," Bryan Price said. "Weren't playing our best baseball when we were 18-17. We can play a lot better.  A lot of guys like Mike (Leake) are trying to find their way."

Leake threw 16 consecutive innings without allowing a run in two starts (4/30) and (5/6). In his May 11 start he allowed just one run. His ERA after that start was 2.36.

On Wednesday, Leake left after five innings in which he was strafed for six runs. This coming off a May 16 start in which the San Francisco Giants scored nine runs.  In Leake's next start he allowed five runs in four innings to the Cleveland Indians. His ERA has risen to 4.66.

"I went through a stretch like this in 2012," Leake said. "I'm sure I can figure it out a lot faster now."
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The problem is simple but frustrating.

"He's off the edges of the plate early in the count,"  Price said.  "He has to pitch from behind. It drives his pitch count up and there's more balls hit in the air."

The Colorado Rockies ruined his day in the first inning.

After Leake issued two walks and a single (Charlie Blackman was caught stealing) Nolan Arenado hit his 10th home run with two outs.

Todd Frazier's 15th home run off Kyle Kendrick got a run back.

Leake gave up another two-out home run, this time to Blackmon, whose seventh long ball gave the Rockies a 5-1 lead.  Colorado singles from Carlos Gonzalez and Arenado put runners on first and second with two outs.  Ben Paulson singled up the middle to make it 6-1 midway through the contest.

The Reds wasted Frazier's leadoff double in the double in the fourth as Kendrick, who began the game with a 1-6 record and a 6.58 ERA,  stifled the Reds' offense on three hits through seven innings, including 12 in a row before Tucker Barnhart hit his third home run of the season, leading off the eighth.

The Reds loaded the bases on a hit from Billy Hamilton and a walk to Skip Schumaker, starting to give Brandon Phillips turf toe a break.  Boone Logan relieved Kendrick and walked Joey Votto.  Frazier worked the count full before walking to drive in Hamilton. Jay Bruce blooped a single to left to score Schumaker to make it 6-4. Rafael Betancourt took over for Logan. Marlon Byrd's fly to shallow right wasn't deep enough to score Votto  Zack Cozart's routine fly to left ended the threat.

The Reds held a meeting after the game.

"We just wanted to clear our heads for Friday," Leake said. "We all get along here. No one is pointing fingers. We are all staying positive."

Evolution Of A Pitcher Brings Bryan Price Joy

You can take the pitching coach out of the bullpen but you can't take the bullpen out of the pitching coach.

A day after the Reds snapped a losing streak more hideous than Jake from State Farm, Price was excited about the young pitcher, whose performance played a big part of it.

Michael Lorenzen less than two years removed from roaming centerfield for Cal-State Fullerton, pitched seven innings of two-hit, one-run baseball to put the Reds in position to break through with a win.

Lorenzen only had 90 pitches and could have gone one more but Price elected to go to his improving bullpen with Jumbo Diaz and Aroldis Chapman.

Chapman got the win.

Lorenzen remains 1-1 in four starts with a 3.12 ERA.

Forget the mundane numbers and the flashy new wave WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitch) ane WAR (Wins Above Replacements) and all the other finger-down-the-throat inducing, calculus like, mind numbing modern statistical poop.

Price is excited about watching first hand the evolution of Raisel Iglesias and Lorenzen.

:"He shook off Brayan Pena last night to get to a high fastball that he had been working on with Ted Power in Louisville," Price said.  "We're seeing the evolution of a prospect turning into a vialble starting Major League pitcher. He is learning how to attack hitters."

Price's eyes lit up, the former pitching coach in him triggering his excitement.
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"It is fun for me; even though you have to go through these growing pains," Price said. "We got to see it with Mike Leake and Homer Bailey.

Price walks a tightrope from needing to win and yet develop pitchers. The economics of the game make it difficult for teams to keep Johnny Cueto after developing him into one of the best pitchers in the game. The Reds have three rookies now in the starting rotation with Anthony DeSclafani, Iglesias and Lorenzen.

Price was mindful of Lorenzen's development when he decided not to send Lorenzen out for the eighth inning even though he threw just 90 pitches.

"I didn't want all the pressure of the importance of breaking the losing streak to be placed on the young pitcher.  If it were Cueto or Leake I know it wouldn't set them back if they gave up a run in the eighth inning," Price said.  "Diaz is throwing the ball much better than he did early in the season."

Excellent article about Lorenzen by Hal McCoy.



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Reds Break Losing Streak

Skip Schumaker pinch hitting for Aroldis Chapman doubled down the leftfield line to score Marlon Byrd with the run that broke the Reds' longest losing streak since 1998 with a 2-1 win.

Marlon Byrd drew a walk from Brooks Brown to open the ninth. Kristopher Negron bunted Byrd to second..Schumaker hit a soft liner off the end of the bat past thirdbaseman Nolan Arenado to drive home the winning run.

"We needed to smile around here," Schumaker said. "Winning never gets old."

Michael Lorenzen gave up a single to Troy Tulowitzke leading off the second inning in his fourth start. One out later he walked Ben Paulson, then retired nine straight batters, including Nick Hundley, who hit into the Rockies' second double play, before Hundley hit his fifth home run of the season.

"We needed a good start from Lorenzen and we got it," Schumaker said. "He is just what we thought he would be coming out of spring training.  For a young kid to pitch like that is impressive."

Lorenzen walked Charlie Blackmon to start the game but got Carlos Gonzalez to ground into a 6-3 double play to end the inning.

"It is kind of my game," Lorenzen said. "I'm a groundball kind of pitcher. I did everything I could to prepare myself. Whatever happens, happens. It is God's will."

Manager Bryan Price felt the weight was lifted off the team's shoulder.

"Hopelfully the weight is off everybody's shoulder," Price said. "Now we can go out and have fun."

Even beyond a much needed win, Price saw more positives in Lorenzen's development.

"Michael Lorenzen was as good as I've seen him," Price said. "He went a long way toward learning that he could challenge hitters in the strike zone. As a young pitcher and you see good hitters like Tulowitzki, Gonzalez and Arenado, you try to make the perfect pitch on the corner."

The Reds scored first off substitute starter Chris Rusin, who was recalled to take the spot of Jorge De La Rosa, who has a cut on his right hand..

Marlon Byrd led off the second inning with a single. Lorensen bunted Byrd to second. Billy Hamilton singled Byrd home.

Lorenzen left with the game tied. He allowed two hits and three walks, while striking out three.

"He got to the point in a 1-1 game where he did his job," Price said. "You don't have a lot of wiggle room. If it was Cueto or Leake it's not going to set them back if they give up a run in the eighth. Jumbo Diaz has been throwing the ball bertter than he was earlier in the season. I decided to let him take the eighth."

Diaz got help fromTodd Frazier. Frazier threw Paulson out after a diving stop to open the eighth inning. It was a throwing error by Frazier, leading to two unearned runs that contributed to the Reds loss on Monday.

Diaz gave up an infield hit to Hundley but put up a zero.

Aroldis Chapman gave up a hit and a walk but struck out three to earn the win.

"We didn't get used to losing," Lorenzen said. "We did everything we could to break the losing streak. Now we have to get used to winning."

Johnny Cueto's Had An MRI On His Elbow

Reds fans rejoice.

An MRI proved that there is no structural damage to Johnny Cueto's elbow.  It was welcome news to a team currently bogged down in a nine-game losing streak.

“It is good news," Bryan Price said. "It’s a clean bill of health as far as any type of structural damage. He has a little bit of inflammation in his elbow, which is a part of pitching. I think more than anything, what gives us peace of mind is there’s really no major structural damage, no injury that would linger or could get worse. That being said, he still has to go out there and throw and make sure that the stiffness and soreness is out before we can schedule bullpen and then in turn schedule his next start, so it will be at least a couple of days before we can know more on when we’ll see him back in the rotation.”
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The Reds have had a lot of bad news independent of the losing streak.  Homer Bailey is out for the season with elbow surgery. Catcher Devin Mesoraco, who was counted upon to add power to the middle of the lineup, was placed on the disabled list with a hip impingement.  It is still questionable if he will require surgery.

“I think we’ve absorbed the injury to Homer and Devin fairly well. Brayan Pena’s done a terrific job," Price said. "Right now, we’ve got three rookies in the rotation, and though we’re struggling, I don’t think you can necessarily say it’s created a weakness on the club. We weathered it OK. Knowing Johnny will be back and be an influence in our starting rotation is a big deal, and certainly the news on Sean Marshall was a minor miracle in itself.”

Marshall had surgery on his left shoulder last week. He was expected to miss the rest of the season, if it didn't cost him his career.  The surgeons discovered to their surprise that the capsule in his labrum was healed and his recovery time will be as short as six weeks.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Rockies Solve Aroldis Chapman To Send Reds To Ninth Straight Loss

Even Aroldis Chapman in a semi-military uniform could turn the Reds losing streak around.

Chapman entering a tie game invited trouble by walking Charlie Blackmon the leadoff hitter. D.J. LeMahieu added to the frustration with a bloop single that Brandon Phillips shaded toward second couldn't get to just beyond the skin of the infield. Nolan Arenado got the run home with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to plate the winning run in a 5-4 decision.

John Axford earned his seventh save with his sixth straight scoreless inning by getting the Reds' hottest hitter to flyout after a two-out walk to Todd Frazier made Bruce, who had three hits, the winning run.

Bruce is taking no joy in raising his batting average over 60 points over the last eight games.

"Everyone here is frustrated from Bob Castellini to the training assistants," Bruce said. "Losing is not fun. It's the exact opposite of why you play the game. It is terrible. It stinks. It sucks. Yes, I'm hitting better right now but it's hard to enjoy because you prepare for this game to win."

"Lately we've been making errors. That's something that we never, ever do. I'm not calling anybody out. We're doing everything we can to prepare, probably too much. I'm not saying do nothing but we're a group of guys that prepare, everyday, diligently to win and it's not happening. We need something to relieve the pressure."

Any idea how to do that?

"Understanding this is a game. You have to take joy in the little things, to have fun and just play. The reason you prepare is to trust what you're doing. You have to have a short memory. We can't soak in our tears and whine. I look forward to the day that it turns around because it's going to."

Jason Marquis spotted the Rockies a 1-0 lead.

Marquis walked Charlie Blackmon to leadoff the game. Singles by Nolan Arenado and Ben Paulson sent Blackmon home.

Joey Votto doubled off Rockies' starter Eddie Butler and Tod Frazier followed with his 13th home run to put the Reds up one.

Frazier's throwing error led to two Rockies runs in the second inning.  Arenado hit his ninth home run of the season off Marquis to give the Rockies a two-run lead.

Marquis, the first Reds' pitcher to bat in a spot other than ninth since Red Lucas hit seventh in 1933, doubled in the second inning but was stranded.

Marlon Byrd doubled one out into the fourth.  Billy Hamilton, batting ninth single Byrd home.

Byrd's 10th home run off Butler tied the game in the sixth..

The Reds and Rockies bullpens held the fort

Devin Mesoraco to the DL Parra Re-instated

The Reds put ailing catcher Devin Mesoraco on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Thursday with an impingement in his hip.

Mesoraco has unable to catch since April 12.  The 26-year was reduced to pinch hitting and DH since then.

The catcher was improving but an effort to get him ready to field his position back fired last week.

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Left-handed pitcher Manny Parra, who was on the disabled list with neck pain, was re-instated.

"He had two good outings," Bryan Price said. "We need to get him back to the way he was throwing in 2013."


The Miracle Of Sean Marshall

When Sean Marshall scheduled his second shoulder surgery his first thought was he hoped that it would allow him to throw batting practice to his kids.  In the back of his mind another year of rehab would make him a longshot to pitch in the Major Leagues again.

When he was on the operating table in New York, the doctors realized the capsule in the labrum was healed.

"When the got in there, they saw that the capsule was sealed and healed. They told me it wasn't as serious as they thought. It took a little while for it to settle in," said the 32-year old Marshall, who thought this surgery at best would end his season, at worst his career. "For the last two years its been nothing but bad news. I was on the fast track to come back, but I just couldn’t get over the hump.”
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Apparently, doctors only got as far as scar tissue with their test when they thought they were all the way to the bone. Instead of repairing tear, all that needed to be done was clean it out and move the biceps tendon.

"That was great news," Bryan Price said. "He's fired up. He's had to contemplate a lot of things. To find out the capsule was intact and get him to throw in four to six weeks, is a miracle."

Marshall pitched in just 31 games since 2012. He could pitch this season.

Pitcher Bats Eighth For Reds Billy Hamilton Dropped To Ninth

Only if Billy Hamilton played softball would he be able to bat lower in the lineup.

Reds' manager Bryan Price put Jason Marquis in the eighth spot in the team's struggling lineup but there is more thought given to it than just a random shakeup.

"We're taking a look at it," said Price, who dropped Hamilton from his leadoff spot because he wasn't getting on base and felt the stress was too much for the young player. "Until I hit him eighth and got to see how things unfold. If he gets on base, you bunt with the pitcher or if you use a pinch hitter and he gets thrown out stealing, you burn a pinch hitter."
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Marquis has been used as a pinch hitter in his career.  He is pretty good with a bat in his hands. Marquis hit .292 and .310 in successive seasons (2004 and 05) for St. Louis. He hit .281 with San Diego as lately as 2012.  The right-hander has five home runs in his career.

It is the first time that a pitcher has batted in a spot other than ninth since Red Lucas batted seventh against Brooklyn on September 7, 1933.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Defense Lets Reds Down As Indians Complete Sweep

Throughout the Reds ghastly eight-game losing streak the defense has been pretty good but on Sunday the Indians took advantage of three Reds errors to post a 5-2 win and sixth straight for the Tribe.

"We saved our very worst game for when we needed our very best," Bryan Price said. "It was the worst game of the series, the worst game of the year. I apologize to anyone who drove up to see this game."

"We have to keep it in perspective," said Joey Votto. "We have to avoid the loser mentality. When you get used to losing and surprised when you win, you're a loser."

Raisel Iglesias started in place of the stiff and sore Johnny Cueto.for the Reds

"I loved the way he competed," Price said. "He gave us every thing he had. I had to get him out of there because he had 84 pitches."

The Indians broke a scoreless tie in the third inning with the aid of some bad bounces and bad plays by the Reds.

The Cleveland hitters wore the young Cuban right-hander down.

"I feel like I threw the ball well. They (Cleveland) really battled. In the end I was pleased with the start but I'm not totally happy with my job. I wanted to pitch longer to give my team more innings."

With runners on first and second, one out, David Murphy's hard grounder to a big hop that got off Joey Votto's glove and rolled into short rightfield scoring Carlos Santana, who doubled and sending Brandon Moss to third.  Nick Swisher sent a potential double play ball that bounced off the heal of Brandon Phillps, who was charged with an error. Moss scored the second run.

"There is too much talent on this team to play this way," Price said. "It's a cyclical thing and it will end. Physical mistakes are physical mistakes. This game stands out because it was so hideous."

Votto was surprised the Reds played this poorly today.

"It always surprises me when we're not the best defensive team on the field," Votto said.

The Reds put runners on base in the first three innings off Trevor Bauer but Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier flied out to end innings in which the Reds put runners in scoring position with two outs.

Iglesias left after three innings and 84 pitches. He allowed two runs, one earned on four hits and three walks. He struck out six.\

Votto doubled in the third. Bauer retired 12 straight batters.  Marlon Byrd hit his ninth home run and the first by the Reds on the five-game road trip.

The Indians scored two unearned runs against J.J. Hoover in the sixth.

Hoover couldn't field a soft comebacker to the mound by Yan Gomes.  Phillips botched his second groundball which was a very makeable double play ready to happen. Hoover walked Mike Aviles and Jason Kipnis to load the bases.  Santana ripped a fastball to right that just curved foul into the seats in right before he popped out.  It looked like Hoover had pitched out of the jam when Votto speared a hot smash behind first then threw the ball past Hoover as two runs scored.

Votto was unhappy with the play.

"I always try to think of what I can do better," Votto said. "I think of how I could have executed my part of the play better.
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The Indians hit five doubles for the game. They scored a run off a rusty Aroldis Chapman, who hadn't pitched since last Sunday to close out the scoring.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Corey Kluber Outduels Anthony DeSclafani As Reds Drop Seventh Straight.

Anthony DeSclafani matched American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber pitch by pitch.

Runs were at a premium at Progressive Field.

Jason Kipnis run scoring double off Tony Cingrani made Kluber the winner, 2-1.

The Reds scored first on a sacrifice fly by Zack Cozart, the third straight run the Reds scored without a hit driving in the scoring runner.  Jay Bruce extended his hitting streak to six games with a single off Kluber leading off the second inning.  Bryan Pena doubled Bruce to third.  Cozart's fly left an runner in scoring position with one out.

DeSclafani walked Brandon Moss leading off the second but a slick double play started by Joey Votto allowed DeSclafani to face the minimum through three.  Votto fielded Nick Swisher's topped ground ball at firstbase as he moved toward the line. Votto stepped on the base, pivoted and flipped under hand over Moss' head to Cozart, who fielded the throw and applied a quick tag to nip Moss.

"I was able to keep the ball in the zone today," said DeSclafani, who allowed nine earned runs over his last two starts in nine innings.  "I was struggling the last two times out.  I was happy to keep the team in the game. The defense played great."

The Reds had nine hits off Kluber but couldn't push a run over.  The Reds wasted a two-out double by Votto in the third.  Bruce doubled to open the fourth. Pena hit a one-hop ground ball to Carlos Santa at first.  Santana threw to third to retire Bruce. Brandon Phillips singled and got to second in the fifth. Frazier singled and got to second in the sixth. Neither scored.  Billy Hamilton singled with one out in the seventh but was caught stealing by catcher Roberto Perez.

Hamilton jammed his wrist and shoulder on the play.

"I ran into his (Jose Ramirez's) leg," said Hamilton, who stayed in the game and expects to play tomorrow.  "There is not too much that can take me out of a game.  I'd have to be dying not to play. As I moved, it got better."

The Indians had very few runners but unlike the Reds came up with a big hit.

DeSclafani got the first two batters out in the sixth.  Kipnis hit a sinking line drive to right that Brennan Boesch got his glove on but lost as he hit the ground.  Santana walked. David Murphy singled up the middle to score Kipnis with the tying run.

"DeSclafani needed that," Bryan Price said. "I don't want to overlook that.  We had a nice approach against Kluber. We knew he was going to be around the plate and we squared up some ball on him but you have to beat good pitchers.  You just can't wait to beat up on everyones number five starter."

Jay Bell, managing for Bryan Price, who was ejected before the first pitch, brought in Cingrani to pitch the eighth. Cingrani walked Perez, hitting .182, to start the inning. Michael Bourn forced pinch runner Mike Aviles, trying to bunt him to second.  Bourn scored on Kipnis double to leftcenter.

Cody Allen pitched a scoreless ninth for ninth save.

Bryan Price Was Ejected Before The First Pitch

Reds' manager Bryan Price was ejected by secondbase umpire and crew chief Jim Reynolds before the first pitch on Saturday before the 4:10 game with the Cleveland Indians.
Price ejection captured by Kevin Goheen

Price and Reynolds had an animated discussion at home plate during the exchange of lineup cards.

It was the fourth career ejection and the second of the season for Price.  Price was also ejected by Joe West earlier this season for delay of game when he Price contended that the umpires review a play without using a challenge.

"It was carry over from yesterday," Price said.  "It was about the strike zone."

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The Reds were upset with homeplate umpire Manny Gonzalez's ball-strike calls on both sides of the ball.  Jay Bruce argued mildly, then vehemently on a 3-1 pitch that Gonzalez called a strike.  Joey Votto was livid with a called second strike at the plate.  Mike Leake walked five, including three in a row in the second inning that led to a pair of runs.

"There were some near misses, I guess," Price said after Friday's game.

On Saturday Price let the crew know the strike zone was incorrect the night before.

"I  had fair warning that if I continued, I would be thrown out," Price said.  "There were just some things left unsaid."

Devin Mesoraco Takes A Step Back Will Not DH

Devin Mesoraco tried desperately to overcome his hip impingement and get behind the plate.

Since April 12, Mesoraco role has been reduced to pinch hitting or designated hitter.

Mesoraco, who signed a four-year extension this winter, tried to squat and get into his catcher's stance in Kansas City, encouraged by the treatment he was getting.

"It was feeling o.k in Kansas City. I tried to squat and give signs, then get into a ready catching stance. That won't be happening anytime soon. It started to feel like it did in the beginning," Mesoraco said.

The Reds have been playing a man short because of his limited availability.  They were trying to get him through the American League road part of the schedule so they could get the middle-of-the order power hitter some at-bats.

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"Mesoraco isn't doing very well," Bryan Price said. "Trying to get in his up and down, catching position and catching stance, didn't go well for him. It's gotten to the point where he can't get the four or five at-bats.  He's available to pinch hit. We won't see Devin for a while."

The Reds have not determined whether they will treat the injury or whether he will just have surgery but a decision is coming soon.

"I'm sure we are going to have a meeting with Dr. Kremchek when we get home," Mesoraco said.  "It's very disappointing. I expected to feel better than what I have. It is compounded by feeling worse. At this point, I haven't been able to do a whole lot for the team."

Johnny Cueto Scratched For Sunday's Start

Johnny Cueto was scheduled to start against the Cleveland Indians Sunday but has been sore and stiff since his start in Kansas City.

Raisel Iglesias will get the start against the Indians.

"There is always soreness but this has lingered a little longer," Bryan Price said. "He's been our workhorse and we've asked a lot of him.  We haven't given him the extra day. He pitches later in the game because I trust him.  It's probably fatigue. He could pitch tomorrow if we needed him but right now, we have options."

Cueto is not concerned but admitted to a little fatigue.

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"It is like the normal soreness in the elbow," Cueto said through interpreter Tomas Vera. "I don't worry about it. I talked to the trainers and they communicated to the (coaching) staff.  I felt stiff in the start in Kansas City but they did some things and it was alright.  I would pitch tomorrow.  Bryan knows me. He knows I would do it.  Right now, I feel a little tired."

Cueto did his normal pre-game workout, long tossing from 100 feet and running poles in the outfield.

He could be plugged back in but more likely will miss just one turn.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Reds Free Fall Continues In Cleveland

The beatings roll on for the forlorn Reds in a 7-3 loss

The Cleveland Indians took advantage of Mike Leake's uncharacteristic wildness to drive the Reds' starter out of the game while building a 5-2 lead after four innings.

Leake, who thrives on well placed strikes, walked five and three were in succession to bottom of the Indians batting order, Jose Ramirez (.200), Roberto Perez (.173) and Michael Bourn (.228) in a two run second. 

"There were some near misses, I guess," Bryan Price said. "He was around the zone. He wasn't able to make his pitches. You don't see too many outings like that from him but it's not unheard of that a guy like him struggles for a couple starts."

Leake hates to walk batters and just couldn't explain the lapse in his control.

"I was fine after the first inning," Leake said. "There were a couple guys in the second where I just couldn't throw the ball where I wanted to."

The Indians leadoff batter reached base in all four innings, including Brandon Moss' seventh home run to start the third inning.  Moss drove in two more with a two-out double in the fourth after Bourn singled to start the inning and Jason Kipnis walked.  Leake retired Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley but Moss came through for Cleveland.

Reds starters have been the loser in all six of the games of this losing streak.  Only Johnny Cueto turned in a quality start on the night when the Reds were shut out.

"We have to go back to 2011 when the rotation struggled like this twice through the rotation," Price said. "It's a team that's not playing good baseball right now. You should see the work that the players and coaches are putting in during the afternoon. A lot of it is on me, I'm the one who is in charge of putting the puzzle together. It will end but when you're going through a stretch like this, it is painful. You can't sleep."

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Leake knows the pain is temporary.

"We'll figure it out," Leake said. "It's a long season. It's just unfortunate we're all doing it at once."

The Reds put runners in scoring position for seven at-bats.  Todd Frazier doubled with Brandon Phillips on second for the second run. The first scored on a ground out by Billy Hamilton with Brayan Pena on third. Pena walked and sprinted to third on Jay Bruce's double.  Bruce was on base three times with the double, a walk and a single. The final run scored on a wild pitch as Bruce walked with Frazier on third.

Indians manager Terry Francona wishes the Reds struggle for a couple more days.

"You look at their team and you look at their record and don't understand it," Francona said. "I hope it continues here but they have a lot of good players over there."
Bruce appears to have snapped out of a six-week slump, improving his average to .207

Burke Badenhop walked three but turned in two scoreless innings but the Indians hung two runs on Jumbot Diaz, one scoring as Santana snapped an 0-for-25 slump with a run scoring double.

ProBall Baseball Clinics Bring The Dream To Life

There is a big difference between a dream and a fantasy when it comes to baseball camps. The Pro Ball Baseball Clinic awaits those amateur players who dream of competing at a higher level than ever before.

In fact, “camp” is not the proper term for amateur baseball players who want to improve their skills.

Although they don't get headlines, thousands of adults with a pure love of the game play competitively in organized, recreational leagues across the country such as MSBL, NABA, and Roy Hobbs.

These players are not interested in attending the typical baseball fantasy camp, where the main attraction is rubbing elbows with their childhood baseball heroes.  These guys want a place to develop their skills to better compete in weekend leagues and in national tournaments.

Unlike a fantasy camp, the Pro Ball Baseball Clinic provides personal instruction by Major League coaches from various teams (Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Indians, Rays, Reds and Royals, to name a few), where baseball fundamentals are stressed over an intensive 4 days of training.
Current Reds' manager Bryan Price and Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon have taught at the Pro Ball Baseball Clinic for many years. Reds’ assistant hitting coach Lee Tinsley has been a fixture at the clinic. Amateur players and coaches from across the country and even Europe (England and France) flock to the Pro Ball Baseball Clinic every January to learn from these Major League coaches. Over the past several years, teenage players have come to improve their baseball skills and take their game to the next level.

"It's a teaching camp taught by Major League coaches," Price said. "This is not a fantasy camp. It's not about golf or story telling.  It's structured to teaching the fundamentals the right way.  The workouts are similar to what you would see in a Major League spring training camp. We do early work in the morning consistent with what we do in the Major Leagues. Coaches are available in the afternoon for individual work as well."

What makes the Pro Ball Baseball Clinic unique is the individual instruction players receive from the Major League coaches. Serious adult players, youngsters playing travel ball and high school baseball, as well as youth coaches gain invaluable knowledge during the 4-day clinic. 

The Pro Ball Baseball Clinic is serious about teaching sound baseball fundamentals (pitching, catching, hitting, individual and team defense, base running and the mental side of the game). While players work hard during the 4 days, the social aspect that baseball imparts is not overlooked.  Clinics foster the father-son bond and true friendships are made between players and the Major League coaches. Youth players benefit immeasurably from the professional instruction that is the hallmark of the Pro Ball Baseball Clinic.

Founder Dr. John Rubinow ( jrubinowmd@icloud.com) believes that baseball is a cornerstone of a healthy father-son relationship. "While Pro Ball started out as an adults only thing (guys playing MSBL, NABA, Roy Hobbs, etc.), over the past few years, teens have joined their fathers. The father-son bonding experience on the baseball diamond is a beautiful thing to behold. It’s something I want to foster”, said Dr. Rubinow. 
There is a significant father-son discount offered for both the Arizona and Florida clinics. Please email Dr. Rubinow for more details.

The Pro Ball Baseball Clinic is the only instructional baseball experience where you can learn from today’s best Major League coaches. Adults and youth players 13 and older can get one-on-one instruction from some of the best baseball coaches in the world. The January clinics allow players from travel clubs and high schools to get a head start on their competition. For players trying to earn a place on their high school rosters, Pro Ball gives them the skills they need to stand out during pre-season tryout periods. Juniors and seniors with the desire to compete at the collegiate level can get that extra edge as well.



For more information on the Pro Ball Baseball Clinic, visit the website at http://pro-ball.com/

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Manny Parra Begins Rehab In Louisville

Left-handed pitcher Manny Parra will begin a rehab assignment in Louisville tonight.
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Parra was out of action with a strained neck.

Parra, who last pitched for the Reds' on April 23, is expected to pitch one inning against Norfolk.