So the Reds are working on a six-game winning streak right now. After winning the last three in San Diego and resting healthfully over the break, they came back and stuck it big time to the much-maligned Cardinals. And man, did it feel real good. I mean, honestly, one series - three games out of 162 - is pretty close to meaningless. The Cardinals are still a good team, and so are the Pirates, and we are still only a bit over halfway through the season. It may have felt like a playoff atmosphere - at home right after the break against a big division rival with two of the three games on national television - but the cold, sober reality is that it wasn't a playoff atmosphere. This was just more baseball in a long season of baseball in which much, much more baseball is to be played.
But yeah, it felt reeeeeaaaaaal good.
It's tomorrow now though, and that means more baseball. The Diamondbacks come to Great American Ballpark for a four-game set. And if the Reds look red hot, then the DBacks look just as snake-bitten. They are 3-9 over their last 12 and are coming off an embarrassing three-game sweep at the hands of dreadful Cubs. Momentum has been summarily debunked as a myth, but here's hoping the Reds can keep their positive momentum and capitalize upon the negative momentum of the DBacks.
If I were Dusty Baker, I would have this coming stretch of the schedule circled on my calendar. They have the next 17 games against teams with records under .500. Then they get the Pirates at home for three. This looks like a perfect time to get three or four games between themselves and the rest of the Central, and I think I would be a bit disappointed if they didn't. So yeah, here's hopin'.
Initiate jumb for 'penlog:
Joey Votto is getting a day off today. It seems strange, what with the extra-long All-Star break and everything, but Joey really only got one day off due to travelling and playing and all that. Plus, the All-Star Game is an enormous public event, one in which players are subjected to the kind of media exposure that they rarely see during the regular go of it. It's probably wise to give him a breather, especially with his achy knee.
Todd Frazier is playing the first bag for him tonight, which is exactly the correct decision. And since the 1B always hits third:
|STUBBS CF||DREW SS|
|COZART SS||BLOOMQUIST 3B|
|FRAZIER 1B||HILL 2B|
|PHILLIPS 2B||MONTERO C|
|BRUCE RF||UPTON RF|
|ROLEN 3B||OVERBAY 1B|
|HEISEY LF||YOUNG CF|
|HANIGAN C||PARRA LF|
|ARROYO P||MILEY P|
|Reliever||7/11||7/12||7/13||7/14||7/15||5 day totals|
|Aroldis Chapman||ALL||STAR||1.0, 15p||1.0, 14p||1.0, 15p ||3.0 IP, 44 pitches |
|Sean Marshall||BREAK||NO||0.1, 12p||0.2, 9p||1.0 IP, 21 pitches |
|Logan Ondrusek||GAMES||WERE||1.0, 25p||1.0 IP, 25 pitches |
|Jose Arredondo||PLAYED||SO||0.2, 14p||0.2 IP, 14 pitches|
|Sam LeCure||NO||RELIEVERS||1.0, 15p||1.0 IP, 15 pitches |
|Alfredo Simon||WERE||USED||2.0, 36p||2.0 IP, 36 pitches|
|Bill Bray||***||***||0.1, 3p||0.1 IP, 3 pitches|
The bullpen got a bit stretched out in the first two games against the Cards, as Latos only threw five innings and they went to extries on Saturday. Homer threw a strong eight on Sunday night though, so everyone should be ready to roll if need be. Except for Chapman, who recorded the save in all three games. He has likely earned a day off tonight.