I said on Twitter last night that I may actually be starting to like this team. That doesn't mean that I think they are a bunch of winners - let's not forget that they were 6 games over .500 and tied for first place a year ago this Thursday. They've got a long way to go to make me believe that they can be a winning ball club. However, there isn't a single player on the team that I despise. I know a lot of you hate Orlando Cabrera - believe me, I'm not a fan of his defense either - and Miguel Cairo - I can't get worked up about a seldom used bench player - but I'm not that bothered by either of those guys. Honestly, I have no problem rooting for every single player on the Reds. I'm not sure I could have said the same in any of the last 5 seasons. Not that I've ever rooted against a player (except maybe Willy Taveras when he was going for the most consecutive hitless at-bats record last year), but there have always been players that I didn't like or wish were gone. That is no longer the case, and that's a good thing.
All that being said, I would like this team SOOOO much more if they could keep winning for a while. I challenged them yesterday to get to 29-20 by the end of the month. I really think they can do it, but they have to win 12 of their next 17. That's not an easy task for any team, but I think it is a fair expectation. That's why I'm going to insist upon it, or else I'll be very mad. They don't want that, do they?
Johnny Cueto, like many of the other Reds starters, appears to be finding a little more of rhythm. He still hasn't gone deep into a game yet, which is something he needs to start doing if he's going to ever make the leap. Hopefully he's been watching Mike Leake work it on the mound. He hasn't walked many batters so far this year, but he's still throwing too many pitches and giving up a few too many hits. If he can manage those two things a little better tonight, maybe we'll see a good 7 or 8 innings out of the hard-throwing right-hander.
It's been raining in Pittsburgh today, but hopefully the heavy stuff will clear out by game time. The Reds are winning, so they need to keep playing!