CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 24: Goodbye baseball. Hello first-place. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Well that was fun! The Reds completed the 4-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves last night, stretching their winning streak to 6. Devin Mesoraco hit his first career grand slam and Homer Bailey gave the Reds their 6th straight quality start. I think it's fair to say this team is beginning to find their groove.
Nearly everyone on this team is contributing, as Jack Moore points out over at ESPN. Perhaps the most encouraging thing about the sweep of the Braves is the fact that the Reds got basically zero production from their top dogs: Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.
Aroldis Chapman should be the National League's starting pitcher in the All Star Game, according to the Sporting News. Well, he is the best pitcher on planet earth, so... YES!
Oh, did I mention that the Cardinals lost last night? That means that the Reds currently sit atop the standings in the NL Central. After a slow start to the season the Reds have made an extremely impressive turnaround. Meanwhile the WLBs have lost 9 of their last 14 games with injuries mounting.
Before we continue with the linkage, let me provide one more reason to be optimistic about your first-place Reds. Much has been made of this team's inability to hit with runners in scoring position.Well I'm here to tell you that the lack of hits with runners in scoring position will not, and can not, continue. Consider the following...
Do you really think the Reds are going to post their worst batting average in over 10 years, and on top of that be 42 points worse with runners in scoring position? Recent history suggests that this will not continue. The Reds are in first place, and are only going to get better.
Roy Oswalt is drawing interest from multiple teams again. The Orioles are the latest team to be rumored in the Roy O Sweepstakes. At one point during the offseason it might have made some sense for the Reds to pursue Oswalt. The way this pitching staff is going, it's obvious why the Reds aren't included in the rumors.
Albert Pujols might be returning to form. That's cool, since he's in the AL now....
ADD ON - (jch): #Reds pickup softball (Facebook event, get over it) will be played tomorrow from 12-3 at Schmidt Field (link to google map). Good times and good adult beverages will be had by internet Reds fans, you should come out. MBP and myself are going I'm pretty sure, so there's that added level of excitement as well.