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Sports Talk, after Reds-Padres, around 7pm


College football
St Xavier LB Justin Hilliard picks Ohio State 
“I have decided to stay in my home state and attend The Ohio State University,” Hilliard said as the room erupted with cheers here at Xavier. “I’ve always been an Ohio State fan. It was a pretty easy choice.”

A disconnect between Ohio State and Cincinnati?  
You would have expected the crowded room at Cincinnati St. Xavier to explode when Justin Hilliard announced his college commitment regardless of his destination. 
So when Hilliard put on the Ohio State hat, everyone screamed. Predictable. 
But that's not what was telling. 

College basketball

Cincinnati Bearcats announce non-conference schedule

Kentucky Wildcats announce non-conference schedule


Momentum springs a Leake
Notes, video from Tuesday's 8-2 loss to San Diego HERE 

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 1: Mike Leake #44 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park July 1, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Rusty arms
The Reds have been carrying 13 pitchers and playing a man short on their bench for almost two weeks. Why?
Jumbo Diaz was promoted on Friday, June 20, the night the Reds blew the 8 run lead and lost vs Toronto. At the time, the bullpen was running on fumes. Carlos Contreras was recalled the next day.
But following the Friday loss to Toronto, Mike Leake and Johnny Cueto went 8 innings in back to back starts. In the four game series in San Francisco, Reds starting pitchers threw 32.1 of 38 possible innings.
Over the last 11 games, Reds starting pitchers have thrown 80.1 of 98 innings, leaving the bullpen with just 17.2 innings of work. The result is rust for the pen:
Manny Parra went 11 days between appearances. He has thrown 1 pitches since that Friday loss to Toronto. Carlos Contreras went 10 days between appearances, Logan Ondrusek 8 days and JJ Hoover 6 days. 
Aroldis Chapman was rolled out four straight days at one point.
Chapman and Jonathan Broxton have combined for 7.2 of those 17.2 bullpen innings. That has left 10 innings for the other 6 bullpen arms over almost 2 weeks.
So, what exactly is the purpose for playing with only four bench players? The Reds have Chris Heisey, Ramon Santiago, Brayan Pena and Skip Schumaker on the bench. 
The answer is not at Louisville. It does no good to promote Donald Lutz or Neftali Soto and ask them to be pinch-hitters. Walt needs to find a veteran bench bat that can play 3B and OF.

(Getty Images)

Bullpen since 14-9 loss to Jays on Friday, June 20
11 games/98 innings
Starters: 80.1 innings
Bullpen: 17.2 innings/287 pitches
Chapman/Broxton: 7.2 innings, 122 pitches
Other 6 relievers: 10.0 innings, 165 pitches
Chapman: 5 games, 4.2 innings, 88 pitches
Broxton: 3 games, 3.0 innings, 34 pitches
Parra: 1 game, .1 innings, 1 pitch
Hoover: 2 games, 1.1 innings, 16 pitches
Ondrusek: 2 games, 1.1 innings, 27 pitches
Diaz: 2 games, 2.0 innings, 38 pitches
Contreras: 2 games, 2.0 innings, 25 pitches
LeCure: 3 games, 3.0 innings, 58 pitches

Down on the Farm

Dayton Dragons to be sold

Reds 1st round pick Jesse Winker hit his first Double-A home run last night.
Winker had a big night, also throwing out a runner with a 300 foot laser beam of a throw.


On this date 1963: Juan Marichal goes 16 innings to out duel Warren Spahn, who throws 15.1 innings in the Giants 1-0 win. Boxscore.

Check out this review that leads to a triple play

Cool flashback
Thank to listener Greg Otten for the heads up on this one.

World Cup

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01: Tim Howard of the United States gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

U.S. has a little extra, but not enough to beat Belgium
Mike DeCourcy, The Sporting News 
The United States national team held Belgium’s gifted attack scoreless for the entirety of regulation and forced extra time in the World Cup round of 16 at Salvador, with goalkeeper Tim Howard putting on an astounding display of shot-stopping. But when Belgian coach Marc Wilmots subbed in striker Romelu Lukaku as the extra period began, he found the winning formula.

U.S.'s gritty effort not good enough
Yahoo Sports
The Americans relied, as always, on ferocity and fight. That can take you a long, admirable way in sports. It just can't get you into the late rounds of a World Cup, where eventually the best can just grind you into a pulp.
"This team showed once again it has balls," Michael Bradley said.
It did. It just didn't show it has the players to do much more than give an elite club a scare.

We're just getting started
Sports On Earth 
Ultimately, this will be good for us. Those frantic extra time minutes were the charge we had needed: It reminded us what this march was all about. The U.S. didn't go out sadly to a superior team; it went out scratching and clawing to a superior team. The trick is to hang on to that. The trick is to combine that "this can't be for nothing" with inherent skill, to bring the talent along with the will. This is what Jurgen Klinsmann has been assigned. That the best sign of hope moving forward -- Julian Green -- was the person who inspired that last-ditch clawing makes it that much more thrilling. This can work. This wasn't for nothing.

US soccer is going places, but it's not there yet
Grant Wahl,
One era ends, a new one begins. You don’t get many cracks at the World Cup, and you have to make them count. Losing in the round of 16 will never be satisfying, not for the U.S., not anymore, and there’s no such thing as moral victories at this point. But this team established a benchmark here in Brazil.
U.S. soccer is going places. It’s just not there yet.