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Game Thoughts: Reds Beat The Pirates 8-1

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Matt Belisle

Good day for the Reds, I'm liking the Deno trade return, and then the Reds beat up on the Pirates.

Quick thoughts:

  • Fun what if question: what if Matt Belisle takes an Aaron Harang jump forward this season? Things get really interesting when you have three starters capable of putting up an under 4.00 ERA with a player like Homer Bailey on the way. Belisle turns 27 in June, the age when many pitchers begin to realize their potential. He looked incredibly comfortable against the Pirates on Saturday, and I think the Reds have something here.

    I actually think they've had something for a couple of years, and he should have been given a shot before this season, but I'm certainly not going to complain with him pitching so well.

  • Edwin Encarnacion isn't slumping anymore. He crushed a couple of balls on Friday night that were caught deep in the outfield, and then he went 2-4 tonight. He doesn't look as lost as he did, although his first at bat did leave a lot to be desired (where he hit an out of the strikezone 2-0 pitch on the ground). EdE is going to be fine, but I worry that his April is going to leave a bad impression with management regardless of how he plays from here on out.
  • I think I'm repeating myself here, but one of the (many) things I hate about the Adam Dunn debate is that it becomes hard to criticize him without people on the anti-Dunn side of the debate claiming "victory". The guy's a great player, but I'm starting to think he's playing hurt. Couple of walks tonight though, so at least he's getting on base, something you can't say for a lot of other players when they're slumping.

    Cracks me up how smart of a baserunner he is as well. Something he gets zero credit for from the haters.

  • David Ross might be coming around, but I think the Reds oughta strictly platoon Ross and Valentin. Play Valentin against right handers, and Ross against lefties (and when Bronson pitches) and leave it at that.
  • Jeff Conine has looked good so far. Really if the guy can OPS .775 I would consider him to be a good signing. Right now it's at .914 so I really can't complain.
  • Josh Hamilton seems to get on base at least once or twice a game like clockwork. He needs to be the number three hitter until he slumps. I'm not huge into complaining about lineups, but it wouldn't be a bad thing to drop Phillips and move Dunn to second, where he can get on base for Hamilton and whoever is hitting cleanup.