After a brief dalliance with American League teams last week, I'm back to the senior circuit today as the Cubs visit the Reds in the rubber game of the three game series. Veteran Cub pitcher Jon Lieber squares off against rookie sensation Edinson Volquez this afternoon, and I'll be telling you everything I learn from my trusty XM radio. Both pitchers have sub-2.00 ERAs. This is Lieber's first start since replacing Rich Hill in the rotation while Volquez has yet to give up more than one earned run in his six starts.
You want lineups? You can have them over at Yahoo!. Walkoff Walk 'favorite' Corey Patterson is leading off today, so it looks like the CPW is not quite dead yet! Whee! He's had four plate appearances against Lieber, all in a May 2005 Cubs-Phillies game; he hit a tater tot and walked twice. Slumping Cub left fielder Alfonso Soriano has the day off as Reed Johnson will be leading off today.
Follow me after the jump!
12:17PM: Your radio team today consists of Marty and Thom Brennaman. Hopefully they'll keep their anti-Cub fan commentary to a minimum. Save that ranting for the bloggers, Brennaman boys!
12:21PM: In his pregame interview, Dusty Baker insinuated that Aaron Harang put his foot through the clubhouse wall last night after his loss last night (in which the Reds batters gave him 0 runs of support).
12:25PM: Also, Jeff Keppinger has the day off at shortstop in favor of....Jerry Hairston Jr!!! It's the Corey Patterson/Jerry Hairston 1-2 punch we've been waiting for all season! Whee!
12:31PM: I take it back. Seems that Jeff Brantley is joining Marty Brennaman in the radio booth today. Same difference.
12:35PM: I hope my boyfriend John Fay visits the radio booth today! Oh boy oh boy oh boy. First pitch by Volquez coming soon.
12:40PM: Reds are visiting Shea this weekend. Who's comin with me? I'm going to stalk Brantley and Fay and Dusty and Corey and maybe even throw a doughnut at Adam Dunn! Brantley is totes going to do an East Village pub crawl. First pitch to Reed Johnson is a strike.
12:44PM: Christ, I couldn't be any wronger. It's THOM Brennaman with Jeff Brantley today. Wait, or is that Joe Nuxhall? Johnson grounded out to short and Theriot walks on four pitches. Just in case you didn't know, Cubs catcher Geovany Soto has thrown out 10 of 23 attempted stealers this season. No matter because Derrek Lee just GIDP'd.
12:50PM: Oh, joy! Corey Patterson is leading off!!! AND JON LIEBER STRUCK HIM OUT! MORE EVIDENCE THAT SUPPORTS MY THESIS! Patterson is now batting .198 on the season. Jerry Hairston follows with a broken bat infield hit to short.
12:52PM: Too much blather in the booth about the Griffey interview where Ken casually mentions that he'd like to go end his career in Seattle. Yes, he said it, but what does it really mean? Nobody knows what lurks in the heart and soul of Ken Griffey Jr., who just flew out to Pie. Brandon Phillips grounds out and the inning is done.
12:58PM: Aramis Ramirez pops out on Volquez' first pitch of the second inning. Kosuke Fukudome grounds out on Volquez' second pitch of the second inning. True story: my sister saw a fan wearing a Fukudome jersey during spring training and thought it was a very dirty and very rude joke. Soto walked. I truly believe that control problems will wreck Volquez unless he either stops trying to dance around the corners or starts paying off the home plate ump. Ronny Cedeno flies out to end the inning.
1:02PM: Looks like Cedeno will be getting more P.T. at second what with the struggles of Mark DeRosa...ahem..."De-Scoop with De-Ro". Hey, Joey Votto just smashed a ding dong to right and then Adam Dunn follows up with his own ding dong to right! Back-to-back tater tots! Whee!
1:04PM: No fucking way...Paul Bako just tater-totted to right field. It's 3-0 Reds on back-to-back-to-back homers.
1:08PM: Maybe Lieber should return to his bullpen role. Volquez singles up the middle and that's four straight hits. Here comes Corey Patterson! Thom Brennaman just asked the daily trivia question and Jeff Brantley gave his guess. Thom said "Are you sure, Jeff?" and Brantley responded "I don't know, Marty." Guess he's just as confused as I am. Speaking of confused, Patterson just struck out...again.
1:09PM: Remember, if you want video highlights of all today's ding dongs, head over to MLB.com and check out the Gameday doo-hickey. HAIRSTON JUST DING-DONGED. It's 5-0 Reds.
1:12PM: By the end of the game, everyone in the entire stadium will have a home run. From the cleanup hitters to the peanut vendors, from the press box chubbies to the bat boys. Everyone will have a tater tot....except Corey Patterson. Griffey just singled into the shift. Lieber is up to 42 pitches and seven hits allowed. Ooph.
1:15PM: Brantley says that the last time he hit hit ugly orange shirt he's wearing today, Dunn hit a home run. It's a University of Texas shirt. Guess who's not doing laundry tonight! (Me, I have dinner plans) Phillips grounds out to mercifully end the inning. 5-0 Reds after two.
1:20PM: I guess that today, Volquez is getting all the run support that Harang didn't get last night. I hope Aaron doesn't put his foot through Volquez today. Pie struck out swinging and now Mike Fontenot is coming up to pinch hit for Lieber. Volquez walks his third batter of the game, though. Oops!
1:25PM: Well, Volquez struck out Reed Johnson. Tons of strikeouts and tons of walks worked for Nolan Ryan, so why can't it work for Edinson Volquez? Unless, you know, his arm falls off due to overworking it with high pitch counts. cough cough dusty. Theriot singles to right. Volquez gets Lee to ground out to second (although the ball nipped off Volquez' hand) and the inning is toast.
1:30PM: A DOUBLE SWITCH! Sorta. Sean Marshall replaces Theriot in the lineup and will do the pitching. Fontenot stays in the game and will play second, moving Ronny Cedeno to shortstop. Does that make sense? Good. Votto walks on four pitches. My Geovany Soto comments are all for naught now because Votto just stole second base as Soto's throw sailed into center. Soto, Votto. Votto, Soto.
1:35PM: Dunn strikes out. Dun dun dun. Encarnacion walks. Strikeout walk tater tot, strikeout walk tater tot. That's the story of the game. It's Three True Outcomes day at Walkoff Walk! Whee! The fourth outcome just happened as Bako popped out. Volquez gets a taste of his own medicine (no, not Prilosec) and strikes out to end the third.
1:40PM: Aramis Ramirez singles to center to lead off the fourth. Brantley called him "Amamis". That's close enough, Jeff. Fukudome pops up to Hairston for the first out. Brantley has absolutely no problem pronouncing 'Fukudome' which leads me to believe he spent the entire past two weeks practicing the name in front of his mirror. While nude. Of course.
1:45PM: Soto walks. Two runners on with just one out for SLUGGER RONNY CEDENO. I am severely irritated by the fact Brennaman refers to Brantley as "Cowboy" constantly. I mean, you both sound ridiculous. Thom and Jeff are good broadcasters but grown men should not have that nickname. Oh, Cedeno struck out. That's three K's for Volquez against four walks.
1:49PM: Make that four strikeouts as Pie goes down swinging, like Sonny Liston. That's 62 pitches through four innings of work for Volquez, which should put him on pace to blow out his shoulder sometime in August.
1:55PM: Hey, Corey Patterson didn't strike out! He did, however, pop out, which isn't much better. Kid is batting .194 now. Poor guy. In other news, the Goatriders of the Apocalypse blog has an interesting post up now for you Jon Lieber fans and/or detractors. Jerry Hairston grounds out, and it has started raining in Cincinnati. COINCIDENCE? Griffey just fouled one off that allegedly hit Dusty Baker. Whoops! Griffey is retired on a fly ball and we're through 4.
2:02PM: Fontenot strikes out looking. That's five for the game and three in a row for Edinson Volquez. Go kid go. And now Reed Johnson goes down swinging. Like Carmen Electra. That's six for the game and four in a row.
2:07PM: The strikeout streak ends with a single by pitcher Sean Marshall followed by another single by Derrek Lee. As per Thom B, the rain is coming down a little bit harder now. One more out and it's an official game, no? Volquez gets that out...he strikes out Ramirez. Five innings pitched, seven K's, 4 walks, and 83 pitches. Send him out for one more inning, Dusty, and then to the bullpen!
2:10PM: And the hits...just keep on comin'! Brandon Phillips tater tots to left and we've got five homers in the game for the Redlegs. It's a 6-0 game now.
2:11PM: Back-to-back part two: Joey Votto ding-dongs to center field. Kid's got two on the game now. 7-0 Reds.
2:16PM: After a walk to Dunn, Sweet Lou just called out to the bullpen for a new pitcher. Sean Gallagher, who was just called up from the minors, will replace Sean Marshall. Two Seans is two too many.
2:21PM: Thom and Jeff are now talking about grilling. And now talking about fried turkey. Guess I'm not the only one bored by this game. Bako pops a fair ball over Ramirez' head and scoots to first with a single. Uh-oh...the rain is coming down harder and the Cincy fans are scattering to the concession stands. Volquez sac bunts Bako over to second and Dunn to third for the second out of the inning.
2:23PM: Thom Brennaman is babysitting his kids today in the booth (this is allowed?), and Jeff Brantley is sad because he hasn't seen his kids in seven weeks. Aww! I feel bad now. Patterson grounds out to drop his average to .191 and we're done with five.
2:29PM: Fukudome flies out to Patterson...hey, it's the third game of this series and Kosuke hasn't been on base once yet. Shocking. Soto strikes out for Volquez' eighth K of the day and the first time he's retired the Cub catcher today. Holy shit the little Brennaman spawn just said "Go Reds". THREE GENERATIONS OF BRENNAMAN ANNOUNCERS. NOW JEFF BRANTLEY IS TRYING TO GET HIM TO SAY "COWBOY". MAKE IT STOP. Volquez gets Cedeno to ground right back to him and he's got his first perfect inning of the day. That's 94 pitches, and if Dusty is smart, it's Edinson's last inning.
2:33PM: Folks, like commenter "I Hear That, Renegade!" said, this liveglog is not long for this world. I'm calling it quits as soon as the sixth inning is done. Let's see if the Reds can add to their tater tot total. Hairston flies out for the first out. According to Papa Thom, Little Baby Brennaman was very excited to see all the fireworks after all the Reds' homers. Good for him. (Her?)
2:36PM: Thom just asked Jeff about who, in light of the release of the Iron Man movie, is his favorite superhero. I tried to listen but....zzzzzzz. Griffey grounds out and Phillips singled, but slipped on the wet ground. After a short injury delay, he's staying in the game. Good. OMIGOD JOEY VOTTO HOMERED AGAIN. NUMBER THREE!
2:38PM: I CAN'T END A LIVEGLOG WHERE SOMEONE HAS THE CHANCE TO HIT FOUR HOME RUNS. Adam Dunn walks.
2:42PM: Okay, I am still going to end this wicked liveglog after the sixth inning is done but I will put up a special blog post if Votto hits his fourth ding dong. Bako struck out, so the glog is over...for now.
2:45PM: Nevermind again...I'll continue to update you on this game in the comment section.