All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Return of the Wanger

The Reds faced the Nationals last night, with former Yankee Chien-Ming Wang on the mound. Wang hasn't been terrible since returning from surgery, but he's not the pitcher he used to be, either. His sinker doesn't have the velocity it used to have, and his strike out rate, never high, is pretty bad. Perhaps he's still recovering from the surgery. In any case, he managed to keep the Reds in the park. He gave up only a couple of extra-base hits - two doubles to the pitcher, Dontrelle Willis.

The Reds won, but only after Wang had left the game. Another former Yankee, Miguel Cairo, got the walkoff single. It's really amazing how well Miggy has hit since he's become a Red. His OPS is almost 100 points higher than his career average. This at age 37.

Paul Janish started at shortstop, and got on base in the 6th via a walk after a very nice 10-pitch at bat. He scored from second on a Brandon Phillips single. I was kind of surprised they sent him, but Mark Berry, the third base coach, knew who was fielding the ball in left: former Red Jonny Gomes. Gomes' throw was a little off, enabling Janish to slide in behind the plate and under the tag. (Janish is a pretty good baserunner for a guy who doesn't have blazing speed.)

But I guess Dusty wasn't impressed, because he pinch-hit for Janish in the 7th. That's the earliest he's done it when Renteria wasn't available. Miguel Cairo was the pinch-hitter; he struck out, then took over third base. Todd Frazier played two innings at short. He did all right, though I think a real SS would have at least had a chance at DP in the 8th.

Janish seemed pretty bummed at being pulled. The Reds announcers chose that moment to talk about how well he'd done in the previous inning, with the two-out walk, then scoring from second. So they showed him walking across the dugout, into the clubhouse. He was shaking his head and muttering to himself.

Poor Janish has really been a funk lately. That walk was the first time he got on base in a week, aside from a reached on error the day before. I know he can hit better than he has been, but he just seems to be a head case right now.

I wonder whether he'll even make the roster next year. I'm not sure Walt Jocketty will be comfortable going with Zack Cozart (11 big league games) and Paul Janish as his shortstops next year. He might want to get veteran backup for Cozart. Janish has an option left, I believe, and could be stashed in Louisville in case of emergency.

Renteria is starting at shortstop tonight for the Reds, but I expect Janish has a good chance of getting into the game eventually.

Jay Bruce, Paul Janish, and Joey Votto before the game - via Jamie Ramsey


posted by BubbaFan, 4:22 PM


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