Reds handle Pirates, bump lead to 4 1/2
In the biggest series between the clubs in over twenty years, the Reds held their own in taking two of three from the second-place Pirates. Each team scored 10 runs, and the season series is now knotted at 6 with another two series remaining. A great result considering the Reds played without Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Johnny Cueto. And good for the fans for showing up in droves. The series drew 121K in paid attendance.
The series had its share of drama, including the shaving of Marty, multiple hit batsmen, and an ejection for Clint Hurdle
Baker denied intent on any of the Reds' two pitches which struck Pittsburgh hitters this weekend. He also called Jared Hughes' hard tag on Dioner Navarro yesterday a "bully move." On the lighter side, bully for Charlie Sheen for donating $50K to the Reds Community Fund after Friday night's de-poofing of Marty Brennaman.
The boys now head up to Lake Michigan for series against Milwaukee, Chicago
Bronson Arroyo faces off against Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo tonight. The Brewers are coming off a sweep at the hands of St. Louis, capped by yesterday's shutout which was somehow the Sunday Night game instead of Cincinnati-Pitt. Pittsburgh will now host the Diamondbacks, who remain within striking distance of San Francisco and LA in the West.
Traveling with the Reds will be Joey Votto
Tomorrow will mark the third week since Joey Votto's knee surgery, and per Dusty he's progressing as expected: "He's hitting, he's fielding some right on the bag, he's throwing. The real test is going to be running, cutting and sliding. He's not quite at that point yet. But he's on the way." Votto will travel with the team but no word on when he'll be activated. Also no word on whether BP will start tonight. He was originally scheduled to start Saturday, but was scratched from the lineup. He was reportedly available to PH yesterday, so we can expect a return soon.
Should the Reds feel the need to acquire a cheap LH bench bat,
Lyle Overbay is now available. Arizona released the 35 year-old this past weekend. MLBTR reports that the Reds and O's are kicking the tires on Overbay, who slashed .292/.367/.448 in 110 PAs this season but just .239/.321/.402 over 1,000 PAs in the two prior years.
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is ready to concede the division, play for the WC
He opens with a nice jinxing of the Reds, comparing them to "Secretariat in the 1973 Belmont." Of course, after last season St. Louis (1) isn't ready to write off anything, and (2) would be just fine with a Wild Card appearance. As for this weekend's shenanigans: "In other words, Reds manager Dusty Baker is being Dusty Baker, with Hurdle apparently replacing La Russa in the traditional role of the designated hated enemy, all-purpose villain, and general pain in the neck. The Reds are innocent, of course. Aren't they always?"
- Great copy here from Todd Frazier on the goodwill in the clubhouse
On getting ready for games:"I dance before the games. I get people fired up before the games. It's not that good. It's just for fun. I mess around with the Latin guys when they play their Latin music. I try to dance like that and they get a good laugh out of it."
On Jonathan Broxton: "We're trying to break [Broxton] in. He's a big guy. It's like an animal in the forest, you know, in the jungle. You can't get too close to him just yet. You have to break him in. Maybe move his glove somewhere else and he gets confused, and then you could do something to him like put gum on his seat. You gotta work him slow, 'cause he's humongous. If you get him mad, then you're in trouble!" It's pretty impossible not to like Todd Frazier.
- Dave Concepcion bobblehead and appearance
He'll appear tonight at the Tap House Grill. His bobblehead will be available there and be given to visitors at the Reds HOF on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in August, while supplies last.
- Brisbee with a nice piece on Aroldis and the 'pen
- Pumped up Reds kicks
I'm no sneaker pimp, but I know what I like. These are awesome.
- Enough with the homeruns and strikeouts
Much has been said about the lower run scoring environments of the post-PEDs era, but the correlation between the drug testing program and the lower scoring might not be as strong as previously thought. Here, Dave Cameron notes that for the past calendar year, the homerun rate has returned to a level we saw during most of the so-called steroids era. What's kept scoring down is an ever-increasing strikeout rate, which is approaching 20%. Joe Morgan noted on a recent Reds broadcast that baseball is returning to what it should be (i.e., the speed and slap-hitting of the turf era). But that's not what's happening.
- In a week dominated by Marty Brenamen's hair, BLS spoke with Andrew McCutchen about his
It's a good read, even if it included some awkward passages.
DM: With the 'do rag and the braids, if you added an eye patch, would you look just like the Jolly Roger? AM: Well, first off, they're dreadlocks. They're not braids. Those are two different things. Just want to get that clarified [laughs]. But that look could maybe work. I've never done it for Halloween, but maybe one of these years I probably will.
DB: Reportedly, you haven't had a haircut in five years, so if we freed your braids...
* * *
DB: So, there's no key to the dreadlocks.
AM: Right. Once they're locked, they're locked. Once you grow them out, you're done. And if you don't want them anymore, you have to shave it all off.
DB: I've never apologized for being so white before, but I feel pretty white right now. I'm sorry.
AM: Haha. That's OK. It's all right. A lot of people don't know. It's OK.
McCutchen's Friday night tantrum aside, he seems like a decent chap and is obviously a tremendous ballplayer. I won't have any qualms if he continues to hit like he has and takes home the MVP, which has stayed with the NL Central since 2008.