Reds run streak to ten
With five extra base hits and eight solid innings from Mat Latos, the Reds tapped the Rockies for a 7-2 win yesterday and a sweep. It's the third straight sweep for the Reds, who are 11-2 since Joey Votto went on the DL. The Reds return home for four against the Padres before taking on the Pirates for what will be the Reds biggest series against Pittsburgh since Rob Dibble and Randy Myers shared MVP honors in a playoff series.
As you probably heard, Marty is shaving his head for the streak
The elder Brennaman will be de-poofed some time today. To his credit, he's not welching on the promise he made to bench coach Chris Speier a couple of weeks ago: "I'm a man of my word."
C-ing Red asks "What’s A Team Gotta Do To Gain Ground On The Pirates?"
Winning ten in a row helps, though not as much as you think. The Reds sat two back behind Pittsburgh after July 5. During that time, they went an astounding 17-2. But the Pirates didn't exactly slouch, going 12-7. That five game swing puts the Reds up three, a nice little cushion to be sure. But there's plenty of time. And the team they play the most for the remainder of the season? Pittsburgh, with
sixnine contests remaining [and there are 11 against the Cubs. oops.].
With tomorrow's trade deadline looming, Ken Rosenthal wonders about pitchers on the market
He surprisingly lists Homer Bailey as someone who could be shopped, noting that Bailey's success has come despite unchanged peripherals from prior years. "I sense the Reds are not entirely comfortable with their rotation. Their biggest need is a leadoff man or cleanup hitter, but they’ve asked around about starters; one rival executive described them as 'all over the place.' Could Bailey and prospects bring a pitcher such as Shields or Johnson? Don’t know. But it’s an idea the Reds should explore."
Ryan Ludwick advocates for stasis in advance of the deadline
"I feel like the team chemistry in here is awesome. Everyone in here gets along. I think we believe. Having Votto out of the lineup as long as he’s been out and have the record we have, you’ve got to believe.... I think this is the best actual team chemistry on the big league level that I’ve ever been a part of." He's certainly been doing his part. Since June 27, he's slashed a Votto-ian .316/.365/.696 Ludwick, it should be noted, has has been traded in both of the last two seasons, and failed to make the postseason in each.
- A Reds insider told Fay that he has "no clue" if the team will make a deal. "We've been meeting. But it takes two to tango."
As the Reds rotation continues its durability streak, Fay wonders whether the workload may catch up
I believe the Reds are one of just two teams to have all starts made by their Opening Day Five. Which is a good thing, because you don't want inferior pitchers making appearances. But could the rotation's consistency come back to haunt the Reds as they prep for the stretch run? Four of the five starters – Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Mat Latos and Mike Leake – are on track to for career-highs in innings.... Too many innings too soon can make young pitchers more injury-prone. "The innings are not a concern for me," pitching coach Bryan Price said. Price isn’t, however, letting the inning totals grow unchecked. "For the most part, we’ve used the off days to keep everyone on turn," he said. "So everybody’s getting the extra rest."
More concerns about workload
Like Pitcher Abuse Points several years ago, "work factor" intends to gauge pitcher fatigue and arm stress. The article concedes that Cueto has been great all year, particularly as of late, but notes the elevated pitch counts (over 110 pitches in five of his past nine starts) and historically worse performance by Cueto in August and September. But if he can keep it up, this article notes that "he would become the fourth starter to lower his ERA in four straight seasons, joining Joe Benz, Joe Genewich, and Mudcat Grant."
- Masset, Votto taking steps
Nick Masset threw an inning on Friday in an AZL game. He fanned the side, with one reaching on an error. He'll pitch again tonight and be re-evaluated. No change to Votto's schedule. He's started some light running and agility drills and is on track to return around August 3, though the team isn't committing to a particular date. Oh, and Brandon Phillips left yesterday's game early with a leg cramp. He said he "thinks" he can play today. We'll see.
- THT looks at the '72 Topps Lee May and an interesting career
The card is noteworthy for Topps trying to pull a fast one on collectors. Mays had been traded after the '71 season to Houston, so Topps airbrushed the wishbone "C" on the batting helmet with Houston's "H" ensconed in a star. But as the article notes, the jersey is clearly the Reds' road uni.
- Reds vow "four more years" for Pensacola
Walt Jocketty and Bob Castellini went to Florida last week to make the announcement. They got to watch Billy Hamilton as a result, though Billy teased them without attempting a steal.
- Were you impressed with the Opening Ceremonies? Johnny Bench wasn't
"Are you watching Frankie and June. I'm changing channels! This is what they're known for? And gangsta rap. Give me McCarthy and Adele." That's a quality rant given the 140-character limit. He later tweeted about Al Oerter, The Spice Girls, and Medicare, although that wasn't a reference to Britain's National Health Service as far as I can tell. Just wait until his head explodes when someone tells him that there are as many Olympic rings as Reds championship rings.