Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Wandy Rodriguez
Posted on: September 28, 2010 11:34 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2010 1:18 am
 

Bruce delivers walk-off clincher

Jay Bruce CINCINNATI -- I've done it, you've done it. Your team is tied in the ninth and a title is on the line -- everyone dreams of the home run.

Jay Bruce didn't. Or at least he said he hadn't. Until he did it.

On the first pitch he saw from left-hander Tim Byrdak in the ninth inning of a tie game on Tuesday, Bruce hit a solo homer, giving the Cincinnati Reds a 3-2 victory, the National League Central title and their first playoff appearance since 1995.

"I've never even dreamt about this, this is unbelievable," Bruce said.

Bruce entered the at-bat 0 for 3 on the game and 1 for 20 against Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez. It was odd to even see Bruce's name in the lineup against Rodriguez, yet he said he and manager Dusty Baker had talked about it. Baker had faith in the young outfielder.

Bruce did have two hits in six career at-bats against Byrdak, including a homer, so it wasn't too much a stretch to leave him in. He's also improved his average to .260 against lefties this season coming into the game, bettering his career mark of .222.

"I've made big strides against left-handers this year, but I'm not done yet," Bruce said. "I've had ups and downs as a player and this isn't going to be what I am as a player. I expect much better out of myself, but this is only the beginning."

Bruce was called up two years ago to great expectations and has shown flashes of fulfilling his promise as the game's top prospect, but struggled with consistency. Even so, at the age of 23, he already has 65 career home runs -- and none bigger than his 65th.

Bruce knew it immediately -- reliever Nick Masset said he knew before that, calling the shot before the top of the ninth started. In the dugout, starter Homer Bailey said everyone knew the team would win Tuesday to clinch the division, it was just a matter of when. Bruce had barely dropped his bat when he raised his right arm -- "I had a pretty good feeling. Who knows what would have happened had it not gone out," Bruce said.

On deck, Ramon Hernandez was not so sure, he knew Bruce hit it hard, but he worried that he hit it to the exact wrong part of the park -- center field. "I was blowing it out," Hernandez said.

He hadn't need to waste the effort, the breath -- the ball bounced off the batter's eye and Bruce raced around the bases.

"I saw all my guys I'd been working so hard with every single day of the year. I wouldn't be here without my guys," Bruce said afterwards on the field after taking a victory lap with his teammates.

Bruce said he wasn't trying to end the game, he just wanted to hit the ball hard -- get on base and let someone knock him in. Instead, he did it all himself.

"It was unbelievable," Bruce said. "This is the perfect description. Unbelievable ."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .



Posted on: September 23, 2010 12:54 am
 

'Most pain ever' for Dunn

Nationals outfielder Adam Dunn said it was "the most pain I've ever had in baseball" when he took a Wandy Rodriguez fastball to the right elbow during Wednesday night's game against the Astros.

Dunn said he lost feeling in his hand, and was removed from the game after a bad throw later in the inning. Manager Jim Riggleman told reporters Dunn is questionable for Thursday, though Dunn thinks he'll be available to play. Then again, Dunn always thinks he can play -- as noted by the Washington Post, he's appeared in more games since 2004 than any player in baseball.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: July 31, 2010 10:11 am
 

Astros may move Myers, Rodriguez

Wandy Rodriguez The Astros are fielding offers for both Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez, as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal notes .

Brett Myers has had a fantastic season, and there's no wonder why teams are targeting him in the hours leading up to the 4 p.m. trade deadline. He may be the best pitcher remaining on the market .

He comes at a steep price, however. We've been hearing for a while the Astros are lukewarm about moving Myers. That's a bit curious because while the Astros hold an $8 million option for 2011 on the righty, it's a mutual option. If Myers continues the season he is having, he would certainly opt out and sign a richer deal.

Thus, while it's OK for the Astros to try to get as much as they can -- such as Josh Thole and Bobby Parnell from the Mets, as SI.com's Jon Heyman reports -- the idea that they could let the deadline go by without a deal is odd.

The top suitors for Myers seem to be the Mets and Twins. Minnesota also in on Wandy Rodriguez, who has one final year of arbitration remaining. He is making $5 million on the year, so his price tag will rise. Given he can't help Houston's next contending club, Houston should absolutely be looking to trade Wandy.

Rodriguez (pictured) has a 4.80 ERA in 20 starts, but his xFIP is 4.21 and is coming off two straight seasons of an ERA below 4 -- getting all the way down to a 3.02 mark in 2009 and topping 200 innings pitched for the first time in his career.

While trading Myers and Rodriguez would thin out the Astros' pitching staff (unless they got major-league ready pitching in return),  they shouldn't let that stand in the way of any deal. The best possible deal the team can make is one to turn the team around quickly and start a new era of contention.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 28, 2010 11:41 am
 

Moehler wins spot in Astros rotation

By designating Josh Banks for assignment, the Astros have solidified their rotation… for the time being, writes the Houston Chronicle 's Bernardo Fallas .

Here's how the rotation stacks up while Felipe Paulino recovers from shoulder tendinitis: Bud Norris faces the Brewers today, followed by Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez. Brian Moehler will pitch Thursday in San Diego, followed by Roy Oswalt, who is still an Astro at this point, but that could change.

Moehler and Banks had a one-off for the No. 5 spot this weekend against the Astros. Moehler went five innings and allowed three runs (two earned) and picked up the win on Friday, while Banks lasted just four-plus innings and allowed six runs, all earned, in his outing.

Paulino cannot be activated until July 6 at the earliest.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com