Notes: Weathers still confident

Notes: Weathers still confident

CINCINNATI -- In case you wondered, David Weathers had noticed the booing. And he can take it.

"None of that has really ever bothered me," Weathers said. "I've been booed out of Yankee Stadium."

The Reds reliever was lustily booed each of the last two nights. He gave up an eighth-inning run and two hits in Wednesday's win over the Royals. Called on to protect a two-run lead in the eighth, Weathers gave up two soft singles and a sacrifice fly that allowed two of Chris Hammond's runs to score and tie the game.

In a baseball quirk, Weathers was the winning pitcher when the Reds rallied for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth.

With 12 earned runs and 20 hits allowed this month, Weathers owns an 11.57 ERA for June.

"I was booing myself," Weathers said before Thursday's game against the Royals. "They're just voicing their displeasure with how I'm throwing the ball. The sad part about it is if they got inside my head, they're not even the tip of the iceberg of how I feel. I'm a self motivator."

Since leaving a June 11 appearance with right shoulder tendinitis and taking five days off, Weathers has only pitched in five games. Over four innings, the 36-year-old has allowed six earned runs -- including four during a 1/3 of an inning vs. the Mets on June 20.

It's a dicey situation. Weathers' track record indicates he needs a lot of innings to be successful. But the closer turned set-up man hasn't been effective enough lately to get those opportunities.

"I can't give them to myself," said Weathers, who is 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA and nine saves in 33 games this season. "To me, that's the Catch-22. To pitch better, you have to pitch more. To pitch more, you have to pitch well enough that somebody wants you out there again.

"It's hard to complain, because we're a game and a half back and leading the Wild Card. We're winning. That's the most important thing. I'm not a trouble-maker."

Reds manager Jerry Narron was supportive of Weathers.

"We just need to get him out there, get some regular work," Narron said. "He'll be fine. We've got to have him. We have to have David Weathers pitch well for us."

Weathers, who has only retired 17-of-33 (52 percent) first batters faced, hasn't been the only reliever struggling for Cincinnati. The bullpen's 5.11 ERA this season entering the night had it ranked 15th out of 16 National League clubs. Fellow veterans Kent Mercker and Hammond have also endured bumpy outings lately.

"When the three of us get it together, we can put up some zeros in a hurry and a lot of them," Weathers said. "No doubt in my mind. All three of us have been in that stretch run many times. That's as important as stuff."

Claussen update: Coming off throwing 45 pitches in the bullpen on Wednesday in a test of his injured throwing arm, Brandon Claussen reported feeling good on Thursday.

"Everything is going good. I feel good," said Claussen, who is on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his left rotator cuff. "It's really hard to tell in the bullpen. Once the hitters get in there, I'll be able to tell a little more. I'll get the heart and blood flowing a little bit and see if I can get extra life on the ball."

Claussen remained on track to face hitters in live batting practice and throw around 70 pitches on Saturday. Since being diagnosed with his injury, he received a cortisone injection to relieve the discomfort. An MRI exam taken recently confirmed no other issues.

Hello, No. 2: Narron opted to return left fielder Adam Dunn to the second spot of the order on Thursday. Dunn collected two hits from the two-hole on Tuesday before he batted fifth on Wednesday. With Dunn sporting a high on-base percentage, Narron hopes batting the slugger second will create more RBI opportunities for the middle of the order.

"Last night he was down in the order and walked three times," Narron said. "They weren't going to give him anything to hit, I don't think."

Coming up: For the second time in a week, the Reds will face the Indians in another Interleague rivalry. In the Friday opener at 7:10 p.m. ET, Elizardo Ramirez will pitch for Cincinnati against Cleveland's Paul Byrd.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.