@ Chicago Cubs
Friday, Aug 5, 2011, 2:20 PM EDT
Mike Leake vs Ryan Dempster
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.
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After grieving for the season yesterday, I'm kind of surprised to find out they still have games scheduled. In fact, there's 51 whole ones left. The season is LONG. You can't argue that it's short. No sir. And facing Ryan Dempster and the Cubs again makes it feel as though no time is advancing at all. It could be 2007, '08 or '09. Two-thousand-nine actually kinda fits. The Reds finished 6 games below .500 and in fourth place that season. What they also did was go on a 7-game win streak from August 31-September 6 and put up a 18-9 record in September. Just prior to the win streak, Drew Stubbs was brought up and installed in CF, Rolen came back from his First Reds DL Trip and Wlad Balentien was seeing semi-regular playing time in the outfield and hitting pretty well while doing so. Three changes - though too little, too late - that helped the team finish respectably.
If the Reds want to finish strong/make it interesting/Al Pacino-in-Godfather-III us again, rather than play for .500 +1, they can't keep dealing in half-measures. Putting aside the need to test out the new guys for next year, the upside of the new blood on the team is the way out of another two months trading wins and losses. In 37 PAs, Alonso and Frazier have done nothing but hit, which is what they did at Louisville too. I'd expect them to have a good shot to keep it up against the rest of this schedule. The other move: Bronson Arroyo has made at least 32 starts every season since 2005. That's at least a start every 5.06 games, or: not missing a start. That dependability is still an asset, but does he need to be the Iron Man again this season? Pitching without stopping, through injury and sickness, has taken its toll. Along with playing Frazier and Alonso, I'd call up Wood (or maybe even Volquez).
Let's see what comes out when there's a Leake in the Dempster. There, I said it. Go Reds.
|2011 - Mike Leake||9-6||25||18||0||0||0||0||113.1||108||50||49||12||28||83||3.89||1.20|
|2011 - Ryan Dempster||8-8||24||23||0||0||0||0||134.1||145||77||74||15||45||129||4.96||1.41|
Drew Stubbs CF
Paul Janish SS*
Joey Votto 1B
Brandon Phillips 2B
Jay Bruce RF
Ramon Hernandez C
Yonder Alonso LF
Todd Frazier 3B
Mike Leake RHP
*Two steps forward, only one back.