Andromache takes a trip down memory lane and shows us the history of the magic number 8 in the Reds franchise. Compared to the teams she features, the 2012 Reds have reached the mark pretty early. Not surprisingly, the Big Red Machine leaves the field behind in the race to 8: "The otherworldly 1975 World Series champs passed the number 8 on September 2 – almost two weeks ago."
Andromache also breaks down the recent hitting performance of the Reds. She tells us not to worry about Joey Votto while saying, "Hanigan and Phillips look good, Valdez has been comparatively not as bad, and Chris Heisey has been holding up his 'not as bad at hitting at Stubbs' end of the bargain, though he’s still not blowing me away." Lastly, Andromache believes that recent mediocre outings from Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman have damaged their Cy Young candidacies.
Friend of the site, John Fay, reports that Bronson Arroyo has been using a backdoor sinker against lefties this season to neutralize their platoon advantage.
It has because lefties have to respect that a little bit more than they have in the past . . . In years past if I couldn’t throw a fastball in there for a strike to lefties, it left me throwing a lot of backdoor breaking balls and change-ups — a lot of soft stuff away. It keeps them leaning out there. It’s been good to keep them honest from that side of the plate.
Steve Engbloom at Blog Red Machine covers a variety of topics to fill everyone's Reds cravings on an off day. He mentions that the Houston Astros are positioned to play spoiler, the St. Louis Cardinals have an easy path to the wild card, and how all of this excitement is due to the second wild card.
The prospect blog takes one final look at three Reds farmhands as the minor league season comes to a close. The article breaks down David Vidal, Tony Cingrani, and James Allen.
On July 3rd, Allen made the first of 11 starts with the Dragons and remained in that role until he made his one relief appearance with Louisville at the end of the year. As a member of the Dayton rotation he had a 3.98 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9 and 7.7 SO/9. While his ERA was slightly more than a half run higher, the rest of his numbers took a positive turn. That improvement comes as a mild surprise as Allen has survived primarily on a fastball-slider combo in a relief role since his days at Kansas State.
It will be interesting to see if the organization decides to keep Allen in the rotation beyond this year, but it wouldn’t be the first time they successfully converted a college closer into a starter. Cingrani himself was a closer in his college days.
Mark Sheldon investigates the success of Ryan Ludwick and the impact the leftfielder has had in the Cincinnati clubhouse. Jay Bruce says that Ludwick "meshes well with everyone with his personality, whether it's with an older guy or younger guy . . .He doesn't take himself too seriously, but he's a gamer."
Here is yet another article on the woo-ing for those who are still howling for more.
Elsewhere in the greater Cincinnati area:
The Florence Freedom are playing in the championship series of the Frontier League.