Red Reposter's Winning Numbers brought to you by Ferdinand Magellan, George Washington, Orville Wright, Roald Amundsen, Jackie Robinson, Dick York, and Sir Edmund Hillary. They were all first at something, just like the Reds are first in the NL Central. - .940 - Drew Stubbs' OPS since moving out of the lead-off spot, raising his overall OPS by more than 100 points.
The Reds are in first place. The Reds are in first place with a half-game lead over the Cardinals. The Reds are in first place for the first time since April 2007. For all of you who think I'm over-reacting to a nice little streak in May, Goodroyo tells you to step off, brohem: "It definitely means something. think it means more on this club right now than it does if we had a winning club the last few years -- just because of the confidence and keeping the ball rolling." Brad Penny was magnanimous in defeat: "It's exciting for them," Penny said. "Not many years they've been where they are now. It's better than not being there at all. I can definitely understand their excitement. They've definitely got a better team this year. If their pitching holds up, they're going to be pretty tough." The Red are in first place.
Jay Bruce approaches it with a bit more levity than me, saying, "I'm not going to put too much weight on first place right now, but it's better than not being in first place," said Bruce, who was 2-for-4 on Sunday. "We just have to keep the same approach and mentality we've had, because it is cool to be in first place and the team that everyone's gunning after. It's a different atmosphere on the field and in the stands." First place baby.
There are a number of reasons the Reds are now in first place (first plaaaaaaace!!)
Sheldon lists a few:
*The Reds took two of three in the series and are in first place over St. Louis, by a slim half-game. *The Reds have won seven of eight games and 14 of 19.
*The rotation is 7-1 with a 2.11 ERA over the last eight games.
*The entire pitching staff has a 1.88 ERA in that stretch.
*The rotation has three complete games in the last five starts (Cueto, Bailey, Arroyo).
The Reds are 13-5 since that closed-door dressing-down Dusty gave 'em
after that embarrassing 5-0 loss to the Padres. "'This is my last year here (if we lose),'" Arroyo recalled Baker saying. "'It's a lot of guys' last year here. If we're going out, you better go out fighting. I'm not going out like a punk. We've got to fight to the end. We've got to go all out.'" For all the guff we give Dusty 'round here, I'm giving him much of the credit for this recent streak. Whatever he said in that speech/diatribe, it worked. They are a different team than they were 3 weeks ago. I suppose much of that can be credited to a pitching staff that is regressing to the mean (big time), BP and Bruce heating up, Stubbs starting to hit, and many more positive changes, but I have to think Dusty's plea stoked that fire. Kudos. I don't think this team is this good for the next 125, but right now they are this good.
Arthur Rhodes and Nick Masset have been dealing
Rhodes sports a 0.60 ERA so far this season, and Masset locked down the 8th on Saturday by striking out Ryan Ludwick and then striking out Albert Pujols looking. If you didn't see it, it was so totally sweet that I flipped out. These guys gotta keep it up though, because the Reds play everyday for the next 17 days. Everyone is going to have to pitch well to make sure everyone stays rested.
CNATI has a nice gallery of photos from Sunday's game
My favorite is the shot of Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce just before they collided. Bruce made the catch, fortunately.
The Reds may or may not have a deal with Cuban OF Felix Perez
Contrary to some reports, Walt says the deal is not done. They are interested though, and hope to have a deal in place in the next few days. He signed a deal with the Yankees in 2009 but it was nullified when it was learned that he was lying about his age.
Matt Klaassen at FanGraphs waxes eloquent on the lessons taught by Pat Burrell
Many readers may remember how irritated I was that the Reds did not sign Burrell for LF before last season. He signed for 2 years and $16 mil with the Rays instead. It seemed like a terrific bargain, as Burrell was coming off 4 straight season with a wOBA over .370. His right-handed power and especially his OBP seemed to be exactly what the Reds were looking for, but the Rays got him instead. Which turned out to be a good decision for the Reds, since Burrell has been a less-than-replacement-level-player with the Rays. They DFA'd him on Saturday. Klaaasen reminds us even though Burrell imploded, it was still a good decision for the Rays. All available information told us that Burrell was a pretty safe bet to match the value of his contract. Unfortunately for them, even the safe bets fall through sometimes.
Elvis Smith is probably the oldest Reds fan in the world
He's 108 years old, and he says "I was Elvis before Elvis Presley’s parents were even born." He received a plaque from the Reds' Hall of Fame and Museum for his "lifelong devotion" to the Reds. He's seen 5 World Series championships, 9 NL Pennants, and 8 division titles. I would love to see that all myself, but I really don't want to have to live to 108 to get there. Red Reposter salutes you, Elvis Smith.