Which type of fan are you?

ImageI have always found this topic to be very interesting. Sports have played a very important role in the lives of so many people. Sports allow us to express ourselves and distract us from the little things around us. Many people play sports, some simply watch sports, and some people take sports to the extreme. Even though these situations may differ, we are all bound by our love for the game. The question is simple. What type of fan are you? Since this blog is dedicated to the Cincinnati Reds, we can narrow it down a little bit. How would you describe your Reds fan-hood? I’ll run through a couple examples and let me know where you fit in. 

1. The Die-Hard fan. The Cincinnati Reds are what you live for. You would think baseball is the best time of the year. Nothing is better than sitting at Great American Ball Park. You know all the players, their positions, their numbers, and even their batting averages off the top of your head. Do you watch, listen, or go to every game? Is baseball a way of life?Image

2. “The Manager” We all know Dusty Baker made some questionable decisions the past couple of season, but let’s try to look past that for a minute. Do you constantly question the managers decisions? Is it tough to watch the game with others? Are you confident you could put the right team on their field day in and day out? Would you steal Billy Hamilton every time he’s on base? 
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3. The Teacher. You have grown up playing baseball and watching baseball your whole life. However, the person next to you hasn’t. Do you try to teach them about the Reds? Do you teach them the rules of the game? The do’s and dont’s? Do you tell them about the rich history of baseball in Cincinnati? 
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4. The “here and there” fan. You watch the Reds every now and then, but keep up with the team. You might feel obligated due to the fact that you live or work in Cincinnati. Attending a game might be a way to get out and have fun rather than watching the actual game. Image

 

5. Mr. or Mrs. Paint up. You came, you saw, you painted your body for the game. We have all seen the fans that go to the extreme to paint their bodies for a game. Do you coordinate with your friends to spell out G O R E D S in the stands? Do you plan your idea days in advance? Photo Credit to @SuperManCncyFan You have to appreciate his work!
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6. The Tweeter. Twitter can be so fun when the Reds are winning and everyone is getting along. Do you use twitter to communicate with people during the game? Do you use twitter to give you updates? Do you show frustration after a tough loss? Have you used twitter or other social media to meet other Reds fans? 
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7. The doubter. It’s not a secret the Reds haven’t had much success in the playoffs the last couple of years. Are you tired of cheering for the Reds? Do you doubt they will ever be able to get over the hump? Do you doubt the managing, the front office, or even the players on the field? Dare I say it, but do you doubt the Reds will ever be…The St. Louis Cardinals

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I’m sure we could all fit into these categories at different times. Different games and different personalities call for different types of fan-hood. However, what keeps us connected is our passion for the game. “A baseball fan has the digestive apparatus of a billy goat. He can, and does, devour any set of diamond statistics with insatiable appetite and then nuzzles hungrily for more” – Arthur Daley

It’s officially a new year!

It's officially a new year!

Hello Reds fans! We are officially 89 days away from Opening Day! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and have been able to spend time with friends and family. I haven’t blogged in a while. Actually, I haven’t posted anything since the Reds lost in the Wild Card game in Pittsburgh. I know, I didn’t want to bring it up either. However, I thought it would be good to catch up and get your opinion on this off-season.

This off-season has been very interesting. After finishing third in the division and failing to make the “real” playoffs, the Reds haven’t really done anything to make the team better. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do in the off-season? Improve your team? I understand it’s tough to improve on a 90 win season, but 90 wins got us third place in our own division. If we want to be able to call teams like the Cardinals our rival, we have to be able to compete with them. It’s never a good sign when fans are asking if Reds officials missed their wake up calls at the winter meetings.

We started off with the firing of Dusty Baker and the hiring of Bryan Price. I think everyone was on the same page with letting Dusty go. It was time for a change. However, I will always give Dusty Baker all the credit in the world (Despite his questionable bunting decisions). He turned this team around and gave us all something to cheer about. I think we should all be very excited about Bryan Price. If you talk to most baseball fans, they will tell you pitching wins championships. The progress our pitching staff has made over the past couple years has been unbelievable. Bryan Price had a lot to do with all of that success. I feel very confident that Bryan Price was the right guy for the job.

Another topic of discussion was the whole Brandon Phillips situation. Wow. I don’t think I’ve seen so much uproar in Cincinnati since Bob Huggins left UC. I will give you my opinion on the whole thing. The Reds will have to pay Brandon a lot of money over the next five years. Is he worth all that money? Yes and no.
Yes Brandon Phillips is a gold glove second baseman. He makes plays in the field that we dreamed about when we were growing up. Not only does he make those plays, but he makes it look easy. I don’t want to put him in the Chad Ochocinco category, but he brings a sense of excitement to Cincinnati. He gives the Reds a “face”. As much as we all want him to be, Joey Votto will never be that guy. Everyone that follows baseball knows #4 and his big smile. He is also great with the fans. He stands down the right field wall and signs autographs before every game. I really really really wish more players did this. I absolutely love that he does this for the kids and everyone else wanting to meet the all star.
On the flip side, Phillips hit a whopping .261 last season. That’s a tough pill to swallow if he’s one of the guys you want in the top of the batting order. I realize he has 103 RBI last season, but you have to take into account that he hit behind Votto and Choo. Those guys got on base nearly every time they came up to the plate. Also, it is obvious there are disagreements between Brandon and the front office. We don’t know all the details, but that’s not something you want out of your “star” player. He also frustrated a lot of people when he decided to attend Redsfest on a last second decision. Sure this was great for the fans, but players anonymously said he only did that to “steal the show”. Whether this is true or not, we’ll never know, but I think we can all agree problems in the clubhouse aren’t good. I asked people how the felt on twitter. 7 people said TRADE Phillips and 13 said DO NOT trade him. Opinions are still welcome.

Other key points:
1. Homer Bailey trade talks. Homer Bailey is finally turning into the Homer Bailey we hoped to see 2-3 years ago. He’s a great pitcher, but I wish they would have traded him. High trade value.
2. No more Shin-Soo-CHOOOOOOOO. It was only a matter of time before another team came and scooped him up. He did so many things for this Reds team last year and he will be nearly impossible to replace. Wishing him the best of luck.
3. No more Ryan Hannigan. Its hard to dislike Hannigan. He did everything coaches and fans asked. He was a vacuum behind the plate.
4. Devin Mesoraco will finally get his chance to start. The kid deserves his chance. When Mesoraco is on, he’s on fire. We saw a lot of improvement out of him this past season. I feel very comfortable with him behind the plate.
5. Billy Hamilton looks to make the opening day roster. With an empty spot in center field, it looks like Billy will get his chance. People questioned his arm strength when he played short stop. Are we sure we want him playing center? Run Billy Run.
6. Nelson Cruz in a Reds uniform? I’m not sold on this idea at all. He is asking a lot of money and he just seems like a big question mark to me. He would give the Reds a power bat in the middle of the order though.
7. Are we saying hello or goodbye to Bronson Arroyo? He has tested free agency and it doesn’t look like many teams are interested. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a Reds uniform for another year or two. Consistency!
8. ESPN’s baseball tonight has ranked the Reds pitching staff 3rd…in their own division. Yikes. That kind of seems like a stretch. Hopefully that motivates guys like Leake and Homer to come back even better next year. I’m also looking forward to seeing Cueto back to full strength.
9. Joey Votto batting leadoff? I know it might sound crazy, but the guy gets on base. Isn’t that what the leadoff hitter is supposed to do? We should want our best player getting the most opportunities to come to the plate.
10. Chapman will remain the closer. I don’t think this news surprised anyone. Chapman has been against becoming a starter since day one. He’s a great closer, but you have to question why they signed Jonathan Broxton to a big contract if Aroldis Chapman was going to continue to close games. Bryan Price has said he will use Chapman more often…thankfully.

Well, I guess that’s all I have for now. Its been a pretty quiet off-season so far, but I’m hopeful something big will happen soon.

Go Reds

And that’s all she wrote

And that's all she wrote

It was an extremely disappointing end of the season for the Cincinnati Reds. The team battled its ups and downs and in the end, fell short.

While they didn’t accomplish their goal of winning the World Series, there were many positives to take away from this season. I have been a diehard Reds fan my entire life and I have witnessed first hand how bad Cincinnati baseball has been in the past. The late 1990’s and early 2000’s brought disappointment and even more disappointment. However, Reds fans have become accustomed to winning over the past 4-5 years. A sense of pride and a winning tradition has taken over the city of Cincinnati. That is something we should be extremely proud of. In the past, we would have been celebrating in the streets after a 90 win season. Now, 90 wins is the expectation. I give a lot of credit to Dusty Baker and the front office for turning this franchise around.

Here is my list of positives from this season.
1. Starting pitching- The Reds starting pitching was unbelievable this year. With the absence of Johnny Cueto, guys like Mat Latos, Mike Leake, Homer Bailey, and Tony Cingrani stepped up in a big way. Most teams would be devastated without their ace on the mound, but the Reds pitching staff excelled without their all star. I’m not saying for a second that Johnny Cueto wouldn’t have helped this team, but the ways these guys battled day in and day out was phenomenal.

2. Brandon Phillips- Everyone knows what Brandon Phillips can do on the field, but I was very impressed with the way he hit this year. With the opening day injury to Ryan Ludwick, Phillips stepped into that 2 hole and delivered for this team. Anywhere you put him in the line up, he was able to battle. One of the biggest differences that I saw in him this year was the way he handled himself at the plate. Whenever he got down in the count, he fouled off pitch after pitch until he got what he was looking for. He almost took the Joey Votto approach to the plate. Any time you can rack up over 100 RBI’s is a successful season in my book.

3. Jay Bruce- Whether you like the guy or not, Jay Bruce is a ball player. Similar to Phillips, Jay Bruce is one of the top players in his position. I wouldn’t rather have any other left fielder out there. Although he struggles with his consistency at times, Bruce still piled up 30 home runs and 109 RBI. He changed his approach and started to drive the ball to the opposite side of the field. Before this season, opposing teams would swing around their infield waiting for him to ground out to the second baseman. With his ability to sit back and drive the ball the other way, he was able to put himself on base with much more regularity. I would also suggest that Jay Bruce is the cluchest player on this Reds team. Despite the strikeouts, Jay Bruce would be my guy to send to the plate when it mattered.

4. Devin Mesoraco- It has taken me a while to hop on the Mesoraco band wagon, but I think I’m officially on board. I saw some much improvement from Mesoraco this year that its hard to describe. When Hannigan went on the DL, Devin came to play. He matured at the plate and proved he can hit big league pitching. When he was seeing regular playing time, he was knocking the ball all over the field. However, his biggest improvement came behind the plate. Before this year, his biggest criticism was he couldn’t make the throw down to second base. I think it’s safe to say those critics are gone. It really hurt both he and Hannigan that they had to switch off days. Neither of them could get into a groove. Mesoraco proved he is deserving to be the top catcher next year.

5. The Fans- Fan support was incredible this year. I realize the Reds didn’t sell out many games, but the support these players received this year was awesome. When teams like the Mets or the Brewers come to town, you cant expect an empty ballpark, but when the Dodgers, Cardinals, or Pirates came to GABP, the city was rocking. Players say all the time how they feed off of that energy. It’s important to them that we are there. Reds fans make going to the ballpark and enjoyable experience. I’ve never met a fan I didn’t like. Hat’s off to everyone that came out to the ballpark and helped set a new single season attendance record.

You can count on a couple roster changes to be made, but I honestly like the chemistry this team had together. The potential was there, the execution wasn’t. To many swings and misses. To many TOOTBLANS (Thrown out on the basepath like a nincompoop). To many missed opportunities.

Here is my list of players/coaches that wont be a Cincinnati Red next season:
Shin Soo Choo
Ryan Hannigan
Xavier Paul
Logan Ondrusek
Bronson Arroyo
Brook Jacoby (Hitting Coach)

Notice I left Dusty Baker off that list. As of right now, It looks like Dusty will be back for another season. I am neither for or against this. Dusty Baker turned this team around. He’s a winner. On the other side of that argument, he is 2-7 with the Reds in the playoffs and cant seem to light a fire under some of these guys. Professional sports are a business. Emphasis on business. When players don’t perform, managers are the ones that take the blame. I don’t always support Dusty’s decisions, but it’s hard to can a 90 win manager.

And now its time to say goodbye. I really enjoyed writing for the people that took time out of their day to read whatever I decide to ramble on about. I was able to connect with a lot of different Reds fans and learn a lot about this team. People always say, “don’t get to emotionally invested in a team.” Well I did get emotionally invested… and I loved every second of it.

Only 179 days until open day. See you then.
Go Reds

A Reds October

A Reds October

Ahhhh the cool breeze of October has finally approached. The cool breeze of nerves and emotions that will surround 10 different major league baseball teams as they start they journey for a World Series ring.

Yes the Reds are in the playoffs, & yes they will be playing in the 1 game play in. Reds fans have known for a couple days that their journey will start in Pittsburgh. After 162 games, the Reds were unable to close out the Pirates in the last series of the season. How unfortunate it was to see the Reds get beat up like that. With the whole city of Cincinnati behind them, the Reds couldn’t put Pittsburgh in their place.

Tuesday night at 8:07, the Reds and Pirates will put their seasons on the line. This is the World Series. With the new playoff system, the winner of this game will head to St. Louis to take on the division rival Cardinals. There is no doubt that you have to manage this game like its game 7 of the World Series. If you don’t win, you’re on the couch watching the teams that you should be competing with.

A lot of people have been upset with the way the Reds have played this year. Yes, the Reds have struggled at times, but let’s look at the season as a whole. The Reds won 90 games this year. Most teams would consider winning 90 games a huge success. Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce both hit over 100 RBI’s. Joey Votto once again led the league in Walks. Shin Soo Choo was a force at the top of the lineup. Starting pitching was more than we could have asked for. Mat Latos turned into an ace, Mike Leake showed he deserves a spot in the rotation, and Homer Bailey looked like Homer Bailey. However, this is what Reds fans have come accustomed to over the past three seasons. The Reds have built a playoff team and are expected to compete with the best teams year in and year out. Before the season started, the Reds were a lock for the playoffs and a series contender for the World Series. Not everything works out like it should. As much as you want to analyze numbers on paper, its about the performance on the field. When this team is hot, they might be the best team in baseball. When they are cold, they cant hit a beach ball with an ironing board. It’s just how the game of baseball works.

I chose to post the picture above for a couple different reasons. My first reason being, Reds fans should be happy with this team. We accomplished a lot of different things and beat a lot of good teams. Making the playoffs is a big deal. Players dream about the playoffs and being that guy that hits the walk off homerun. Fans should be excited and proud of their team for making the playoffs. My second reason for choosing this picture was because the Reds still have a lot more work to do. We are “in” the playoffs but we aren’t “in” the playoffs just yet. The Reds MUST win this game (obviously). If you win the wild card game, you give yourself a chance to do something very special. The past couple years have proved that the best teams doesn’t always win. It’s the team that gets hot at the right time and makes the correct decisions on the field. The Reds still have a legitimate chance to win the World Series.

Johnny Cueto will take the mound for the Reds tomorrow. After spending the majority of the season on the DL, Cueto will be fresh. Latos and Bailey have proved a lot this season, but Cueto has been there. Before he was injured, Johnny Cueto was one of the best pitchers in baseball. He has thrown back to back dominant performances on the mound and looks like he’s getting back to being himself.

This game will be intense. It’s all about who wants it more and who can execute pitches at the right time. If Cueto can pitch well & we can get some timely hitting, I like our chances.

Go Reds

“Lets Go Reds! Lets Go Reds!”

It’s the final count down do do do do do…dododododo

What a weekend it was for the Cincinnati Reds! I think it’s safe to say we all knew what was at stake this weekend when the Reds took the field against the Pirates. A chance to even up the Wild Card chase and show Pittsburgh were not going anywhere just yet. This was arguably the Pirates biggest series in the past 20 seasons, and the Reds came in and took care of business. Not to state the obvious, but the Pirates have struggled in the past. There is no hiding that. With a chance to host their first playoff game in 20 years, Pirates faithful packed the seats for three straight games…only to get let down. And that’s how we like it.

Let’s talk about it.

Friday night- Friday nights game was as electric and as exciting as anyone could have hoped for. Both teams looked hungry to win and played extremely well. Well…Kind of. The Pirates led 5-2 entering the 9th inning and then completely fell apart. Key at-bats by Mesoraco and Billy Hamilton on the base paths proved to be to much… with a little help from the Pittsburgh infield. After tying the game at 5-5, Joey Votto sent a homerun over the left field wall and that was all she wrote. The Reds completed a very improbable comeback and started the series off on a high note

Saturday night- Homer Bailey took the mound against Pirate ace, AJ Burnett. In the past, Homer has shut down the Pirates. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to do that on Saturday. A costly error by Joey Votto erased an early lead as the Pirates took advantage as Russell Martin sent a ball to the seats. With the gamed tied at 2, Homer once again had a costly error as he over threw first base on a pickoff move which allowed the Pirates to score two more runs, resulting in a 4-2 loss. It wasn’t a bad game at all. If you take the errors out of the game, the Reds probably would have won. That goes to show you how important it is to play sound defense.

Sunday afternoon- Sunday Fun-day! Both team knew what was at stake today. The Reds could tie the Pirates in the division, and the Pirates could give themselves a two game lead. I think it’s safe to say we figured out how this one was going to go after the first inning. The Reds jumped all over Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke for 5 runs in the first inning and the fat lady started to sing. Locke only lasted one inning as the Reds went on to win 11-3. A dominant performance to say the least.

As I watched these games there was one thing that stood out. And WOW did it stand out. How about Billy Hamilton on the base paths? I mean, come on! We all knew Billy was fast, but I don’t think anyone saw this coming. Yes he set the minor league record for most stolen bases, but the fact that he’s doing it at the major league level is amazing. Just think about it for a second. He stole second twice, on two pitch outs. He scored from second base on an infield single. He’s beating out bunts down the third base line. Everybody on the field knows he’s going to steal and there is nothing they can do about it. It has been a long time since I have seen a guy like Billy Hamilton who can completely change a game in just a couple seconds. I would have to think it will be very difficult for Dusty Baker to keep Hamilton off the post-season roster. It’s a short sample size, but the guy has shown he can play. He’s been fine in the outfield, and looks to be seeing major league pitchers pretty easily. He’s getting on base and that’s all that matters. A single basically turns into a double with his base stealing ability. Reds Hall of Fame broadcaster, Marty Brennamen said it best, “he’s not a guy that steals bases, he’s a base stealer.” Follow Marty on that one?

So, lets get right down to it. There are 6 games left in the regular season. 3 against the Mets, 3 against the Pirates. All six games will be played at Great American Ball Park. This is the reason we love to watch this team. This is the reason they love to play the game. This is as exciting as it gets, guys. It’s going to come down to the last game of the regular season. Will the Reds give themselves a chance for a division championship or a home play off game? Things are about to get interesting. Stay hungry my friends

Go Reds!

Reds Dominate Astros 10-0

Well, I don’t think there is much to say after that game. The Reds came out and played in dominating fashion (As expected). They took advantage early and cruised to an easy 10-0 victory.

Mike Leake looked great on the mound tonight. He was able to avoid any trouble with those key 6-4-3 double plays that the Reds always seem to roll up. As I stated earlier today, Leake has been been one of the keys to this season. We all remember the Mike Leake that we saw last year giving up home run after home run. Leake is “technically” our 6th starter and he just recorded his 14th victory of the season. That says something about your pitching staff.

Jay Bruce and Zack Cozart helped the team offensively. Cozart continues to say hot with 7 RBI in the past two games. You can’t ask for much more than that from the bottom of your order. Jay Bruce delivered with an RBI bloop in the first inning and then added to that with a grand salami later in the game. Bruce finally reached the 100 RBI plateau for the first time in his career. Congrats to Jay!

It was great to see Sean Marshall back on the mound. After nearly 3 and a half months on the DL, Marshall looked dominant. He stuck out the first two batters in the 9th, and then recorded the last out on a lazy pop fly. Welcome back Sean.

Lastly, with this Reds win, they will gain a game on the Pirates. The Pirates lost 5-2 to the Padres. St. Louis looks to be handling business in Colorado, so that means the Reds will remain 2.5 games out of first. There is still more work to do.

The picture below describes not only how this game went for the Astros, but their whole season. The AAAstros just lost their 100th game of the year.

Go Reds

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Reds, Astros Preview

Reds, Astros Preview

I’ve been off my blogging game for about a week or so. What Is wrong with me!?

That last time we spoke, the Reds were coming off a three game sweep of the LA Dodgers. That sweep, coming after the Reds took 3 out of 4 from the Cardinals. If you are a Reds fan (which hopefully you are) that week was probably one of the greatest weeks of baseball you have ever seen. Pitching was on point and we were getting timely hitting from our offense.

It’s funny what can happen in just 1 week. After their spectacular series against the Dodgers, the Reds laid an egg against the Cubs and Brewers. They were gaining ground on the division leading Cardinals and Pirates, but unfortunately, the Reds were unable to take advantage of their sub-par opponents. Losing 4 out of the 6 games was an absolute disaster.

So, where are we at now? The Reds are currently 2.5 games back from both the Cardinals and the Pirates in the National League Central division. The Reds will take on their own division foe, the Houston Astros, in the second of a three game series. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are out in Colorado playing the Rockies as the Pirates play San Diego. There has been a lot of talk about what’s in the rear view mirror. If we look behind us, the Washington Nations are starting to gain some ground. But before we all freak out, it seems very unrealistic that the Nationals would have a chance to catch the Reds. The Reds would have to nearly fall apart at the same time the Nationals win out. Yes, I am exaggerating a little bit, but in my opinion we’re safe. By safe I mean in the “playoffs”, not safe from that dreaded one game play in.

The Reds will send starting pitcher Mike Leake to the mound tonight. Leake has definitely been one of the bright spots on the team this season. After his previous season struggles, I think we are all pleasantly surprised to see where Mike Leake is at today. Leake will enter tonight’s game with a record of 13-6 and a 3.35 ERA. While all eye’s might be on Mike Leake tonight, lets not forget what Joey Votto has done at Minute Maid Park. Votto has a current 22 game hitting streak in Houston and is batting .494 against the Astros. Can you say dominant? I honestly don’t know the last time I saw numbers like that. Maybe Carlos Gomez against the Reds? Man do I hate that guy!

This three way race for the NL Central isn’t over yet. If the Reds can beat the teams they are SUPPOSED TO BEAT, we still have a chance. Grab a hat, put on some eye black, and sit back and watch.

Go Reds

Reds complete sweep of Dodgers

Reds complete sweep of Dodgers

Please excuse me as my body is still shaking from every single of the games this weekend. I don’t think you could have drawn up a better weekend if you’re a Reds fan. In a weekend where Reds fans had a chance to see the Joe Morgan and the “Great 8”, the current Reds team stole the show.

After taking three out of four games from the St. Louis Cardinals, the Reds carried that momentum and swept the Dodgers in dramatic fashion. The team that I saw on the field this weekend looked like a team that could win the World Series.

There are a couple things that I want to touch on that stood out in this series. First of all, how about this pitching! Reds pitching was unbelievable and untouchable the entire series. Besides a couple deep balls off the bat of Hanley Ramirez, Reds pitchers shut down the Dodgers star studded line up. Mat Latos, Mike Leake, and Homer Bailey all brought their A game and showed how deep this rotation is. Dusty Baker receives a lot of criticism for his use of Aroldis Chapman. However, I hope everyone realized what Chapman has done the past couple games. Chapman has pitched in 5 of the past 6 games and has been lights out. These weren’t your average save situation either. Chapman mowed down the middle of the batting order every time he game in the game. I would say this is the best Chapman has looked all season, but I would be lying. This is the best Chapman has looked in his CAREER! The biggest difference that he has made is the fact that he’s throwing strikes. He’s not even giving the opposing hitters a chance at the plate. He is coming right at the hitter and trusting the guys behind him to make a play. Chapman didn’t even need the defense behind him though, this guy was getting strike out after strike out after strike out. How beautiful it is!

The second thing that I want to talk about is the improvement we have seen in Zack Cozart. I have been one of the biggest Cozart haters all season long, but this guy is on a roll. Cozart has a current 13 game hitting streak, the longest of his career. He’s getting on base and giving the guys behind him a chance to hit him in. Obviously a perfect example of that was tonight. Cozart sat back and drove a single into left field and let Ryan Hannigan drive him in for the walk off win. If the Reds want to succeed in the playoffs, the will need consistency out of Cozart and the back half of the order. It looks like Cozart is getting hot at the right time.

The third thing that I want to talk about is what the Reds accomplished this week. We are all well aware what happened, but let’s take the time to talk about it. Lets back up to Monday…I think we would all agree that the Cardinals have looked like an All Star team against the Reds this season. Other than a game here and there, the Cardinals have dominated the Reds. When the Cardinals came to town this week, the script was flipped. The Reds dominated St. Louis pitching and looked like they finally found some confidence against the Cards. With the excitement of Billy Hamilton, the Reds found their groove and were able to move up in the standings. Okay…fast forward a couple of days. Joe Morgan, Pete Rose and the Great 8 were in town. The Great 8 is arguably one of the best teams to ever take the field together. There is no doubt that those guys brought some excitement to the stadium, but the Reds stole the show. Entering the series they had their work cut out for them. They were set to face Zakkkkkk Grinke and Clayton Kershaw, two of the best pitchers in the National League. The Reds made them look like any other pitcher this series. If you’ve been paying attention to baseball at all over the past two months, you know hot the Dodgers have been recently. This was a must win series for the Reds and that’s what they did. It wasn’t always easy, but they received clutch hitting from Cozart, Hannigan, Frazier, and the rest of their order. It doesn’t matter how you win, just win.

With the Reds recent success, they are now currently tied with the Pirates for second place in the National League Central. After the Cardinals swept Pittsburgh in St. Louis, the Reds now sit pretty only 1.5 games back of first place. We have been in third place for a long time. It’s about time we start making our push. The Cardinals don’t play a team with a winning record the rest of the season, but if the Reds can take care of business against the teams they should beat, it looks like they will have a good shot at winning the division. It all comes down to executing. Most of the teams that the Reds will play don’t have anything to play for. Which means, this is their World Series. They will do whatever it takes to prevent the Reds from winning the division. Here is my key to success…Score runs early in the game. If the Reds can score runs early in the game, most of these teams will lie down and let you walk all over them. The Reds need to make it hurt. When you smell blood, go in for the kill. We cant afford to drop games to the Cubs or the Brewers.

The next three series look extremely favorable for the Reds. The Chicago Cubs will come to town for the three game series and then the Reds will head to Milwaukee and Houston. Three teams with losing records. It is essential that the Reds take AT LEAST 7 out of 9 and hopefully 8/9-9. If we win eight of the next nine games, I think we will like where were at. This division race is far from over. Buckle your seat belts ladies and gentlemen, this is going to be fun.

Al Davis said it best, just win baby win
Go Reds

What’s most important

After hitting submit on my last blog post, I realized I forgot two of the most important topics of the night. If we didn’t have parents, friends or family, baseball wouldn’t exist. In fact, nothing would exist. Having our loved ones around us is what makes everything worthwhile. We must make sure we never forget that.

One of those topics being that I would like to congratulate Reds third base coach, Mark Berry on becoming Cancer free. Mark Berry got the news this afternoon that he had overcome throat cancer which has plagued him this entire season. The sound of being cancer free is one of the best things would can ever hear as a human being. Cancer takes the lives of so many loved ones, so we can all appreciate when someone overcomes all odds and beats the terrible disease. Even though I have never met Mark Berry or have no connection or relation to his family, I would like to congratulate him and his family on this amazing night. We are glad to have you back Coach Berry! Always wishing you the best.

The second point that I would like to make is congratulations to Reds relief pitcher, Manny Para, and his wife on the birth of their first born son. I can only imagine what the feeling would be like welcoming your first born son into the world. Many people were confused on why Para didn’t enter the 16 inning game last night and I am glad to hear why. Reports have said that Manny Para left Cincinnati to join his wife on this special day. Congratulations to the Para family!

Reds beat Cardinals, take three out of four

Reds beat Cardinals, take three out of four

The Cincinnati Reds took the field tonight on a mission. That mission being, beat the cardinals and take care of business. Reds starting pitcher, Tony Cingrani pitched extremely well in his first start back after coming off the DL. The offense came alive and Cingrani even helped himself out as the Reds took care of Lance Lynn and the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-2 the final.

From the first pitch on, you could tell that the Reds came to play. The scoring parade started when Cingrani put down a bunt and then beat Lance Lynn to first base. With Choo at the plate, Cingrani stole second, and then reached third on a wild pitch. This was the first time a Reds pitcher has stolen a base since 2008 when Bronson Arroyo stole second against the Giants. Cingrani’s ability to steal second ended up being a key play in the game as it opened the flood gates for more runs.

Todd Frazier played a big role in tonight’s game. After striking out with the bases loaded in the first inning, Frazier redeemed himself with two homeruns. Frazier had a very productive series at the plate. This series alone, Frazier went 8-17, which is encouraging for all Reds fans. Jay Bruce and Shin Soo Choo also joined in on the home run parade.

One of the biggest questions entering tonight’s game was what has happened to Joey Votto? After coming off a tough 0-7 night, it seemed like the whole city of Cincinnati was down on Votto. Joey has received a lot of criticism recently about his approach at the plate and it looks as if he’s starting to over analyze some pitches. Reds Hall of Fame broadcaster, Marty Brenamen has been one of Votto’s biggest critics the past couple weeks about taking to many pitches at the plate. Votto does take a lot of pitches, but he get on base a lot. Getting on base is the name of the game. If there isn’t anyone on base, its tough to score runs. So, here is my message to everyone…Lay off Joey Votto. Let him do whatever he wants at the plate. He’s one of the best hitters in baseball. Let’s take the “moneyball” approach and see what happens.

Since the All Star break, Tony Cingrani has a 2.08 ERA with 49 strike outs in 8 starts. I’ve said this about a million times but I feel the need to say it again. What more can we ask for out of Cingrani. When Jonny Cueto, arguably one of the best pitchers in all of baseball went down, Tony Cingrani came in and has stepped up in a big way. Cingrani has a record of 7-3, but Cingrani has been much more valuable than just 7 wins. I can honestly say that the Reds wouldn’t be in the position they are today if Cingrani wasn’t ready to go. Other than Brandon Phillips and Mat Latos, Tony Cingrani would have my vote for the All Star of this Reds team. The kid is a big league player. He plays the game the way its supposed to be played. Hat’s off to Mr. Cingrani.

Reds fans witnessed a scary moment with second baseman, Brandon Phillips went down after Matt Holiday slid into him at second base. After the collision, Phillips was removed from the game and diagnosed with a bruised quad. It seems as if the decision to take Phillips out of the game was for precautionary reasons. The Reds have a big series coming up and they will need Phillips at his best.

There is no hiding the fact that the Reds have a huge weekend coming up. They will welcome the LA Dodgers into town for a three game series. The Reds will honor Joe Morgan and the “Great 8” as they reveal the much anticipated Joe Morgan statue. This should be a great weekend in Cincinnati. I am expecting a packed house for all three games. Reds fan have to realize that these are the games that matter. If you don’t win now, you wont see the post season. The Dodgers are arguably one of the best teams in baseball, but guess what! The Reds are the best team in baseball when they are playing at Great American Ball Park! Come out and enjoy the nice weather as the Reds battle the Dodger in a crucial three game series. I’ll see you there.

Go Reds