Matt Snyder makes the point that Hamilton does not have to be Joey Votto, Mike Trout, or Miguel Cabrera to help the Reds win ballgames. The article mentions that Hamilton has yet to accumulate even one win above replacement. Like the author, I believe this fact means very little in this circumstance. Several of Hamilton's stolen bases have come in high pressure spots where the Reds need every ounce of production they can get. Not surprisingly, Hamilton's win probability added figure reflects the high impact of his play. He's added a win probability of 0.85 in only eight games. If someone had told you in April that Billy Hamilton would increase the Reds' odds of winning by ten percent per game in the team's playoff race, then I think everyone would have been thrilled.
Bill Chuck looks at the game's hardest throwing starters and relievers. Aroldis Chapman has thrown this season's fastest pitch with more than one MPH separating his fastest heater from Bruce Rondon's. The NL Central populates a good portion of both lists due to Chapman, Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole and Justin Wilson, Milwaukee's Wily Peralta and Johnny Hellweg, and a slew of St. Louis' pitchers.
"I am truly fortunate and look forward to broadcasting Reds baseball for three more seasons," said Brennaman. "I am even more fortunate to work for great people and with great people. Many thanks to the Castellini family, and to all the fans who make our network the best in baseball I say, ‘This One Belongs to the Reds'."
The extension means that Marty Brennaman will be in the broadcast booth through the 2016 season, which will be his 43rd season with the club.
Scott Miller previews this weekend's series and pitching matchups. The highlight could be Friday's game between Francisco Liriano and Mat Latos though Saturday's pairing of A.J. Burnett and Homer Bailey is nearly as good. Jeff Locke and Bronson Arroyo will take the hill for their teams on Sunday.
The Reds will miss Cole, and it doesn't look like it could have come at a better time. Aaron Gleeman points out that Cole has struck out more batters as the season has progressed. Cole has always thrown very hard, but has not posted eye-popping strikeout totals.
The Red Sox also clinched a playoff spot, but are one win or one Tampa Bay loss from winning the AL East. Atlanta's magic number for the NL East is down to two games.
The only scenario in which the Nationals could reach the playoffs involved them praying the Pirates, who have dropped three straight games, surge towards the finish line. If the Nationals were to reach 90 wins with a 9-1 finish in their final 10 games, they would need the Reds to go 3-6. The Pirates would potentially have to sweep the final two series or take five of six games, and then the Reds would have to drop at least one game to the depleted Mets.
These scenarios are never as likely as they sound, and this one sounds about as likely as me going on a date with Scarlett Johansson.