Reds drop Sunday Night matchup and series to LA
The ESPN curse materialized last night, as I will claim whenever the Reds decide to lose on national TV. The bigger news was Dusty's return to the clubhouse. He was released yesterday from a Chicago hospital and could be back in the dugout as soon as Tuesday. Chris Speier might need to hand back the car keys pretty soon, but he's understandably hopeful that his audition could land him some interviews this winter.
Ken Rosenthal thinks these Reds top the 2010 Central champs, especially if Cueto regains form
The offense isn't the juggernaut that the '10 team was, but the pitching this year is certainly better. Rosenthal added on Saturday's broadcasts that the experience from '10 should be to their benefit. Looking ahead to potential playoff matchups, the Giants would face the Reds if the season ended today. Dunno if you've noticed, but the Giants have come on strong lately, winning 8 of their last 10 and 21 of their last 30. The Sweet Spot looks even further ahead, comparing the Nationals and Reds as they both clinched their divisions late last week.
After a day of rest, Cincinnati prepares to host Milwaukee
The Brewers would have been the more appropriate opponent over the Oktoberfest weekend, but they've got their hands full. They rallied to beat the Nats to remain one of the hottest teams in baseball and maintain the 2.5 game gap behind St. Louis. So what happens if Milwaukee finishes its comeback? Baseball Musings breaks down the massive tie scenario.
Herr Lutz also should've been in town over the weekend
But he was busy leading the German national team to a victory in the World Baseball Classic. Lutz knocked two hits yesterday in the Germans' 16-1 mercy rule victory over Great Britain. Enorbel Marquez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning.
- Saturday's clinch was especially sweet for Latos
Mat Latos had a rough transition to the Reds and GABP early on, but his eight shut-out innings on Saturday set the table for the Reds 6-0 win over Los Angeles to clinch the division. "It kind of snowballed a little bit in April. I didn't perform the way I thought I should have, coming in. I've been battling, I've been pitching real great for the past couple of months. It was awesome to be the one on the mound on the day that we clinch."
Since August, Latos has been one of if not the best pitcher in the National League. I know that some around here have advocated for Homer Bailey getting a start in Game 2 since it will likely be on the road, but I can't get behind that. If Latos starts in Game 2, then he'd be available to throw a few frames if needed for Game 5. If he doesn't start until Game 3, he would be just two days removed from pitching when Game 5 rolls around. The Reds need to maximize the utility of their best pitchers.
- The Blog Red Machine takes a look at the playoff roster
I agree that Mike Leake's speed and versatility make him an attractive option. I would probably swap out JJ Hoover in favor of Alfredo Simon for the reasons broken down here by RLN.
- Clinchmas pics
In case you missed the Reds' celebration, and I don't see why you would have, here are few shots still dripping with champagne. Hopefully much more to come in October.