Reds Rangers Preview

The Cincinnati Reds are taking on the Rangers of Texas this weekend!

This will be interesting as the Reds haven’t taken on the Rangers a whole lot.  I can only think of one other time we’ve played at Texas in itself.

In reality this series is going to come down to two teams going at it, one of them coming off a very strong couple of weeks and the other coming off a pretty bad couple of weeks.  The Reds have dropped 6 out of 8 games in that time frame averaging about 2.5 runs a game and with a .204 batting average.  Joey has had a rough week  and Choo has had a rough June.  Overall though what will be interesting in this is the Reds matchups.

Johnny Cueto is coming off a disaster of a start last weekend against the D-Bags…errrrr D-Backs.  How will he pitch?  He’s supposed to be the Ace and everyone I mean everyone has a bad game every now and then, but with his injuries this year you have to wonder just a bit is this an aberration?   Will it happen again tonight?

Mike Leake has pitched like a mad man this year, he seems to have finally “Got it” and if finally “Putting it together”  is he really?   I think so.  I think this is first round draft pick Mike Leake having now spent his time up here maturing and he is on track to honestly pitch himself into Ace territory.  I see him pitching very very well.

Mat Latos has also pitched very well and is already in this Ace conversation.  To be honest I have absolutely no qualms with calling him the staff ace.  He should also have a solid weekend.

That brings us to the Rangers.

The Rangers seem so different this year to me.  They aren’t.  They’re still a damn good hitting team who gives up a lot of runs.  Its not that shocking that they seem different though, after losing Josh Hamilton and Michael Young this year in the offseason they have Lance Berkman now and oh yeah don’t forget former Rookie of the Year Giovani Soto.  Don’t know who he is?  He won the Rookie of the Year for the national league the year that Joey Votto lost it.

The real worry though is the new 1st Baseman for the Texas Rangers.  The dude has been killing it all year posting a 1.000 Batting average and a 4.000 Slugging percentage for a unheard of 5.000 OPS.  Seriously how the hell are we supposed to stop him?

walker

This “Walker” as he goes by will be a test for Reds pitching, we shall see how he does this weekend.  Will we even record an out against him?

Overall this is going to be a tough weekend for the team.  BUT with a sweep they can salvage a .500 Road Trip, which anytime we go on the west coast and end up .500 is a win for us.

So hell with it Reds with all 3.

-Richard

Follow me on twitters @hfspodcast

Knock The Dust(y) Off It

Since I’m the new guy on the block around here I wanted to give those of you who don’t know much about me a little background about myself. I used to write a blog by the name of Big Red Redemption. If you never took the time to visit the blog while I still had it up, well, shame on you! Just kidding it was only up for about a year so I’m sure not many of you even knew about it. My blog was based around my love for the Reds. I tried to be the positive spin on everything in a logical manner to try and offset some the overload of craziness this fan base can put into the atmosphere. Overall, I feel it was successful while up but unfortunately I ran out of the time and means to keep the site around.

I’m not a #FarrDusty guy nor am I going to tell you he’s the answer to all our troubles. But lately I’ve really been having some trouble with our fearless leader. I know he’s been a players manager and always will be. I think that’s an amazing trait in him. That’s not what I’ve been struggling with however. The thing that’s really been grinding my gears is how damn stubborn he is when it comes to his “Old School” train of thought. Lately all I seem to be hearing out of his mouth is “That’s just the way it’s been” or “That’s just not how things are done.” This is all fine and dandy when it’s working but when it isn’t he needs to adjust quickly and put this team in the best position to win. I’m not going to fly off the handle here I just wanted to put that out there.

Now let’s get to some random thoughts that have crossed my mind lately. First off, if you think that this team hasn’t been living up to expectations it may be time for you to take a step away from the ledge, take a deep breath and realize what this team has done so far this season. Yes we’re in 3rd place in our division but damn near every other team in baseball would be in 3rd place in this division! The Cardinals have been on a mind boggling run so far… it won’t continue. The Pirates look like they may be for real this year but we’ve said that before about this team (See the last 3 seasons before the All-Star break) but this season is nowhere near over and they still have a lot to prove.  The Reds on the other hand have managed to continue to win despite a lead-off hitter that is slumping, they lost their clean up hitter, half the bullpen is injured/demoted. I have nothing but faith that this team is still the team to beat.

Second, every person that says the Reds organization needs to do whatever it takes to sign Choo to an extended contract better be doing everything they can do to provide the team with revenue by buying tickets to every home game they possibly can. The Reds can print money, like our government seem  to be able to, so with out your butts in seats player will get paid by another team.

My third and final thought for you guys today is more a message than anything. Put @Reds and #Whiff on every tweet you possibly can to help the Reds Community Fund win TEN GRAND!!! That’s $10,000! We as a fan base continue to kick ass in these type of contests and I’d hate to see this organization miss out on this huge opportunity to raise some more money for the amazing things they do in the community.

Thanks for reading and Let’s go Reds!!!!

If you would like to see what’s on my mind in a more real-time manner you can follow me on Twitter @BgRedRedemption 

Tan Rested & Ready A’s Series Preivew

Babbling

No this isn’t the post where I beg the Reds to bring back former Hamilton Baseball god Mark Lewis.  That’ll come later in the season.

This is where we look at the effects of a team off day on the team.  So my question is do the bat wake up after an off day?  Does the pitching tighten up?  Do we win more than we lose?  Lets go one by one.

April 12 following an off day the Reds faced the Pirates and lost 6-5.

May 9 was the next off day and they went on to face Milwaukee and win 4-3 on the 10th.

May 14th following an off day the Reds beat the Marlins 6-2.

May 24th the well rested Reds faced off against the Cubbies and won 7-4.

June 7th the team must have been up all night partying on their off day because they lost 9-2.

This brings us here to the next off day June 24th.

The Reds have stiff competition tomorrow with the A’s and are going into the game 3-2 in off off-day battles.   Will they improve to 4-2?   Will they fall to 3-3?

Matchups

The Pitching matchup has the ability to be interesting.  Arroyo who has been lights out like most of our starters have versus Tommy Millone.  Aside from the fact that kid has a name that sounds like he should be part of Frank Costello’s crew in the Departed he carries a 3.98 ERA and has never faced the Reds.  Aside from that the only Reds hitter he has any experience against is Choo whom owns a .200 batting average in 5 PA’s against him.

Arroyo has faced the A’s as an organization to the tune of  3-1 3.96 ERA  but has not faced much of this current team.  The only guys with significant At Bats against him are Chris Young and Seth Snith (.190 and .308 respectively).

Knowing all that I’ll say this favors the Reds.  Tommy will be coming in off a 6 Run performance and will be looking to bounce back.  The Reds potent line up is not the one to do that against.

Prediction Reds 6 A’s 3

The second of the two game series pits Homer Bailey against A.J. Griffin

AJ is winless in his last five starts and for that matter I’ve never heard of him.  For someone in a 14 team fantasy baseball league to have never heard of a pitcher does not bode well for that pitcher.  He’s never faced the Reds or any Reds hitters.

Homer on the other hand after a rough outing against the pirates where he admitted to not having control of 3/4 pitches is looking to get back into batman form.

Prediction Reds 5 A’s 2

Lingering Questions

Can Jay Bruce stay on his tear?   The dude is hitting the hell out of the ball, and he’s got offers to life coach from all around the world, will we lose him to a world leader?   I suspect he’ll life coach for Tom Cruise next.

Is it really a slump if you have 2 bad games in a row?   Ask Joey Votto.

-Richard

Follow me on twitter @hfspodcast

 

 

 

 

Jay Allen Bruce…

… is absolutely tearing the cover off the ball.

In his last 10 games, Bruce has hit 8 HR. Now, I love that stat, but it also makes me a little upset. Why you ask? Well, 8 HR’s is great and all. But when 7 of them are solo shots, that concerns me. Obviously Bruce can’t help who is on base when he comes up to bat. But shouldn’t our coaching staff be a little concerned that our 5-hole hitter is coming to the dish with no one on base? This leads to the main points in this post:

Choo on this..

Obviously Shin-Soo Choo is 10 trillions times better than Drew Stubbs, but we need the April Choo back. I know it’s unlikely we’ll see him bat around .337 for the rest of the season, but he’s almost a full 100 points lower in June at .238. His OPS has dropped from 1.031 to .721 (On-base percentage + Slugging). Again, I’m not asking for him to return to full April form, but at least meet us halfway.

2-hole…

As usual, the Reds aren’t getting a great amount of production from the second batter in the line up. Whether its Cozart or Robinson, we need them to produce more. When you’re batting before Joey Votto, you have no excuse as to why you shouldn’t be hitting better than a combined .254 average, with and on-base percentage of .289. I think it’s about time Mr. Cozart step up and start producing for this team. I’m not saying he’s not carrying his weight, but I do think he has a little more in him. He needs better plate discipline. As in, when Choo gets a 4-5 pitch walk right before you, don’t go up trying to hit the first pitch you see. Make the opposing pitcher show you he can throw a strike. That is one of my biggest pet peeves in baseball. Not placing all the blame on Cozart, but I do think Dusty needs to figure what role he wants Cozart to have and stick with it.

I miss BROTHER

Is Ryan Ludwick ready yet? Is a collarbone injury really that important to wait for to heal? (SARCASM). We need him back. Our LF’s aren’t doing a bad job at all really. They’re just not Ryan. He was our right-handed moon-blaster. A lot of speculation around the Reds on if they’ll make a play for a RH bat by the trade deadline. Honestly, I think we’ll be fine until Luddy gets back. Our LF production, or lack there of, isn’t why we’re losing. I think a quality relief pitcher is our biggest need at this point. I think most of you will agree with that.

I read an article sating that Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins is a possibility for the Reds to make a play on. Now, we would basically have to give up our whole farm system for him. But he can you imagine this lineup;

Choo.. Phillips.. Votto.. Stanton.. Bruce..

We would basically have to give up Hamilton, Cingrani and a couple big minor league guys. So, don’t hold your breath on the thought.

I’m going to leave with something to get you excited. Because well, this weekend didn’t get you much to go off of. I could watch this video 347569320870 times and it would never get old.

 

– @ItsARedsThing

Diary of an Angry Reds Fan

Hi!

Introduction

My name is Richard,  I kind of run this site….(We’re super laid back and to be honest I dont censor, take down, change or veto topics or posts so by run I mean I made the first login and ask people to join).   If you’ve ever been here before you know I’m a pretty laid back dude.   I usually defend the team and I usually defend the manager Dusty Baker.  Theres going to be a little less of that in this post.

The Angry Part

Tonight was a tragedy (baseball wise).   As much as a June baseball game can be a tragedy.  Mike Leake pitched amazingly well, and to be honest after Cuetos game last night I actually felt confident at taking 2/3 with Leake and Latos on the mound.  The L & L connection have both been damn good and as you will here in our upcoming podcast they both get props from Greg and I.

Jay Bruce looked like only Jay Bruce can.  He went hulk on two balls that still haven’t landed and the Reds were up 3-2.  The 9th was not without its problems.  Todd Frazier on 2nd with 0 outs and couldn’t make it around to home.  It was stunning the lack of being able to get him in.  Marty was crushing the team for not being able to get him around he crushed Meso for his lack of bunting and seemed genuinely pissed at this teams offense.

Then the soothsayer Marty Brenneman dropped “Better hope that doesn’t come back to haunt them in the bottom of the 9th”  and I turned to my wife and said “Good lord Marty is being cranky tonight”.  Well I was right but so was The HOFer.

Aroldis chapman has not pitched in what seems like a year, but in reality it has been 3 days since he last pitched.  It’s hard for me to get mad at Aroldis, it really is.  He has not blown a save since May 19 and for that matter hasn’t give up a run since May 19.  (see baseball reference for more details). Heres the problem the Reds do not have an margin for error in the bullpen at this point.  They don’t.

We were supposed to have a 3 headed monster.  It was supposed to be a 6 inning game!   It’s not.  This team has had horrendous injuries all year, it really has.   They have had their starting LF on the DL who was responsible for a .275/26/80 line last year and have replaced him with a .276/6/30 line. Thats not to say that the replacements for Luddy have been bad, they have been quite good overall but its still lost production.

They’ve lost Cueto the ACE pitcher of the staff twice and somehow managed.   Somewhere along the way injuries were going to actually hurt them.  It was a question of when now if.

Broxton and Marshall are going to be back, Marshall is more than eligble to come off the DL and Broxton barring setbacks is eligble to come off on the 29th and if/when they both come back they are sorely needed.

Lets get into some 2% honesty here, with a lead the there are exactly 2 pitchers not named Aroldis on the Roster who I trust in the game.  Sam Lecure and Tony Cingrani.  Before Cingrani was put in the pen there was one pitcher.  I’m not saying that Simon has been particularly bad, he hasn’t.  I also think that Hoover has been better than his ERA would indicate.  Ondrusek, Parra, and anyone else who has come in (sadly now including my dude Partch) has been little more than a human batting tee.

I keep hearing people that want Dusty Baker fired and as much as I would love to see something happen to shake this team up thats not going to happen.

Dusty is doing the best he can for the most part, there are always issues with his lineups for one reason or another, but for the most part you cant complain about him not player people he doesn’t have.

That being said this road trip and the following series here will be huge for this team.  I’m not saying they are “Make or break” because its almost impossible to be “Make or break” for a period that ends july 4th.  That being said this trip will tell us a lot and COULD be straight up disasterous for this team.  They’ve already lost 2 games out of the 8 that are on the road trip and they have 6 remaining, then a 4 game series at home against San Fran.  If they go the disaster route and lose the texas series and the San Francisco series and slip with Oakland we could be talking about a 3-9 or 4-8 Road Trip which with the way StL and Pittsburgh are winning games could put this team 8-10 games out of first place.  COULD.  This is my disaster scenario.

If this team goes into the All Star break 10 games out of first place then its my belief that they will have to do things, up to and including fire Dusty Baker.  I’m not advocating it yet, but losses like tonight make it hard to defend.  This team is reeling right now, and they need a swift kick in the ass to wake up.

What the hell did Joey Votto do to Marty Brenneman?

Seriously?  Did he hit on Martys wife?  Marty seems to have it out for Joey and maybe its just Marty’s old school ways but he seems to genuinely have a beef with him.  heres a link to Marty’s comments from tonight.  The gist is that Marty is upset that Joey Votto doesn’t drive in Runs.  To this I say Nay Nay Mr Brenneman.

He’s batting .330 with 37 RBI on 13 HRs and 14 2 baggers.

Lets dig a little deeper shall we.  Batting with men on base?  Joey is hitting .300 even with 37 Bases on balls.

Runners in scoring position you say?  Joey is hitting .348 with another 23 bases on balls.  his on base percentage with Runners in scoring position?  .500.  FIVE HUNDRED.

Look I’m sorry, I want to see Joey Votto with 120 RBI’s I do.  I want to see him win another MVP (which btw his WAR and OPS say he is on trajectory to possibly do again this year) but I dont want to see Joey swinging at the crap they throw him out of the strike zone on his unintentional intentional walks (you know the ones I’m talking about the ones where they dont stand up and intentionally walk him but they dont throw a damn thing near the strike zone).

Closing out

I know this post was a little different than most of the stuff I put up, but please understand just because I’m not happy with tonights outcome does not mean that I do not hold out hope that this teams will pull through.

Here at HFS we follow the motto of Redlegs Never Say Die (heck one of our writers uses it as his moniker and another one has lived it and even helped to design the T-Shirts that are being sported all over Reds Country) and we will continue to.  Down to the last out of the the last game of the season be it in early October or Early November we will follow and root for this team and that is all you can do.

-Richard

Follow me on twitter @hfspodcast