Monday, August 1, 2011
Everybody Loves Hugs, Reds Sweep 9-0
Friday night, the team, fresh off the previously discussed Mets' sweep, slowly returned a 3-1 lead to the the Giants and headed to extras. The return of the lead defrauded Willis of another possible win in a game where he pitched well. As he's been doing during every start. In extras, they had runners at 1st and 3rd with no outs and couldn't get a run in. Which is not unexpected, however, in the 13th, Arredondo did his non-cancer imitation picked up his first career hit, then Renteria walked everyone off with liner off the chalk down the line. Big party at Renteria's house afterward.
Saturday, the Reds jumped all over Bumgarner, scoring 5 in the first and sending 11 men to the plate. They didn't do much of anything after that (5 hits in the 1st, 7 for the game) but Leake cruised, giving up a homer to the Fat Ass Panda and another run courtesy of two errors in one inning by Renteria. Everyone seemed to be pretty pleased with themselves again. As they were entitled to be. And yesterday, Zito Giants? Get serious. He's no match for the powerful and rejuvenated Reds offense. Cueto gave all the lazy asses down in the bullpen a break and kept the ball for the full 9. With his performance, he finally qualified, innings wise (based on his smile and sparkling personality, he was qualified long ago), for the NL leaderboard in ERA. He's a half run ahead of the second place contestant (Ryan Vogelsong, with whom the Reds were not impressed Friday) with an average of 1.72. Sunday was his third complete game of the season, though it was the first one in which he got the win or had to actually pitch 9 innings. Votto hit another bomb in the 7th, Stubbs had 4 hits, which is a career high, Frazier hit his first career bomb and nearly everyone else in the lineup contributed to the offense. Phillip chewed off his figurative arm to work himself out from under the slump rock he was trapped for a week or so. He is working on a 10-day hitting streak and his average is re-approaching .290, which is a nice range for him. Bruce has cooled out on the strikeouts and Alonso seems to have at least an idea what to do with big league pitching, going 3 for 4 to start the year with Cincinnati.
No trades, with the exception of Gomes, and, though there is still plenty of time and expensive players to get through waivers, Jocketty seems to like the club. August is a good month for the Reds, schedule-wise. They head to Houston tonight, then Chicago. There are 6 wins. Then they're home for 7 against the Rockies (4) and Padres. Then they hit the road to play Washington, Pittsburgh and Florida. I count about 17 wins before they even come home to finish out the month. The rest of the Central has long known about the Reds tsunami forecast. They're ready to concede the division. Reds! Reds! Reds!