Back nine: Some things that might be worth your attention over the final 3 series

.500?

The Reds have been hovering around 3-games-below-.500 for the better part of two months, but find themselves a full five under after being swept by the Brewers this weekend. So it's a long shot: getting to .500 to complete the first back-to-back non-losing seasons since '99-00 would require the Reds to win 7 of their final 9. But 6 of these 9 games are against the Astros, Pirates and that RC Cola Optimum Yard of Wonders team.

30 HRs, 100 RBIs again for Votto

Maybe you're rooting perversely for Votto to fall short of these milestones so he's more affordable to extend. Well, don't, because that's wrong to do. And it's far more likely he'll get there than not re-sign with the Reds over $5,000 and a private suite perk. Votto's sitting at 28 HRs and 98 RBIs currently. He stands a good chance of topping his 2010 OBP mark (.424), while going on a serious tear over the last nine games could propel him over 1.000 OPS.

100 RBIs, 100 (career) HRs for Jay 

UPDATED, thanks to Slyde: Bruce only needs one dinger for 100 career HRs. The century mark on RBIs is bit of a stretch. Bruce currently has 92 so it would require a little less than one per game the rest of the way.

20 HRs for Brandon Phillips

Probably also less than 50% likely, as BP would have to hit 4 in 9 games. But he did just recently hit 4 in 4 games during the Cubs series. So adjusting for wind resistance, expect 25 home runs.

40 SBs for Drew Stubbs

With 37 SBs to date, Stubbs has the most steals of any Red since Ryan Freel did 37 jobs in 2006. No one has stolen 40 or more in Cincinnati since Neon Primetime sole 54 back in '97.

70+ Ks for Chapman

Chapman lives at the extremes of pitching:  He has the highest K-rate, lowest hit-rate, lowest HR-rate and highest walk-rates on the team. His 67 Ks in 46 innings give him 13.1 SOs-per-9 -  second-highest of any Reds' pitcher in history to throw 40 innings or more in a season (the top two are both Rob Dibbles).

If not for having such an unfortunately high BB-rate, Chapman's season would have been a straight ticket to a closer or starting job.  His knee-buckling K of Fielder on Sunday showed again how dominating he can be, but striking out lefties was never his problem. As it stands, Chapman is in line for a partially-ironic Three True Outcomes Triple Crown.

A few walks from Juan Francisco

Francisco walked at a lower rate in the minors in 2011 vs. 2010 and is walking at a lower rate this year in Cincinnati than during his two pervious cups of coffee, but the latter sample sizes at least are small enough to disregard. El Nino Destructor drew one during yesterday's game, when base runners were scarce and I've noticed him lay off at least a few low change-ups or breaking balls designed to bait him.

Signs of improvement in Alonso's and Francisco's defense

Alonso and Francisco both played miscue-free days at their respective positions yesterday, while Francisco recently did one of these:

Brooksrobinsonian? There's not much question that Francisco has the arm for the position. With jitters behind them, we can continue to get a better read on what their MLB defense will be like. 

Career marks for Bailey

Homer's had another year of fits and starts - and this may well be the season even his staunchest supporters stop expecting him to blossom into an "ace." Still, he's topped his season marks for innings pitched and is currently well under his career lows in WHIP and walk-rate, while just a shade below last year's ERA mark, sitting at 4.43. His ERA+ is a couple ticks lower, but with two starts left on the schedule, Homer still has a chance to further set this season apart from past campaigns. With the wreckage strewn throughout the starting rotation, it's hard to see Homer as anything worse than this year's #3 starter.

More comfort at the plate for Devin

Some of the overeagerness has subsided. With Hanigan and Hernandez ailing, Devin should get a chance to settle in a little bit.

Vital signs for Todd Frazier

Will he raise high the coveted "20 PAs in September" ribbon?

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