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Just as the title says, I collected a bunch of the suggestions from a whole bunch of Reds fans earlier this afternoon. Put together a little jam session for everyone to get them through until first pitch! Get it cranked! LETS GO REDS!

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

Snakes…I hate snakes!

indysnake

 

The Reds, fresh off of a four game split against the “competitive” Pittsburgh Pirates, head out on a crucial eight game road trip. And this isn’t your run of the mill road trip, this is your dreaded west coast road trip! Any of you familiar with the twitter community for the Reds, will remember that last years big west coast swing was the starting point of the “Reds Twitter Fam”. Also known as the slumber party, because most games ended at or near 1am EST. It starts with three at Arizona, two in Oakland, and finishing with a three game set at the ball park in Arlington.

 

Redlegs In The Empty Park!

Johnny Cueto is back, and healthy to take the ball for Dusty Baker on Friday night, posting two victories while sporting a shiny .086 ERA in his last three starts. Johnny over his career has started six games against the D-Bags…Backs! D-Backs! And has five wins to show for it, along with his 1.66 career ERA against Arizona. A .143 BA against, doesn’t really give us much cause for concern going into Friday nights series opener. That is until you really take a look at the lineup that the 2013 Diamondbacks offer up. Wade Miley counters for ‘Zona, with an ERA flirting around the 6.50 mark over his last half dozen starts. Players to watch against Miley on Friday? There’s nothing much more than a small sample size of our hitters against Miley, however, those that have faced him, have hit him with success.  Bruce is mired in an ofer streak against the D’Backs, and hitting behind BP, I’m going to hesitate a guess that he continues his torrid streak, adding to an already sterling start to his 2013 season. Cozart is 0-7 with 3k’s, so it will be interesting to see where Dusty lets Cozy hit tomorrow night as well. On the flip side, watch for Martin Prado to continue hitting Cueto well (.417, 1.200+ OPS in 12 career AB) and cause some grief on the basepaths ahead of Goldschmidt.

 

Tony Cingrani, and the Scowl of DOOOOOOOM!

 

The second game in the series promises to be fun to watch for most baseball fans, as Mike Leake and his outstanding 2013 season, square off against Cy Young candidate Patrick Corbin, who sports a 9-0 record to compliment his unbelievable 2.28 ERA thus far in the season. I look for recent trends to continue, as Leake has been approaching the potential he was drafted for, and D’Backs/Reds fans to be treated to an unbelievable pitchers duel. That being said, it will wind up being a 10-9, or 12-10, game and hopefully have our “Never Say Die” Redlegs on the winning side. With Corbin having never faced a batter in the Reds lineup, I look for Choo/Votto to cause him the most distress when it comes to our hitters leaving a mark. Unsettling numbers for this matchup? Leake’s ERA  is a hair under 8.00 in three career starts against Arizona. Maybe the good old Black Sleep will keep our batters knocking around AZ’s staff. “MANNY PARRAAAAAAAAAAA!”

 

Mat Latos, and the needed FUNKBLAST-ADE

Surprise, surprise, Mat will be pitching on another Sunday before a travel day. Stop me if any of this sounds familiar just yet. The best performance from a pitching standpoint on the weekend, may in fact, come from the guy who has faced this team the most. Mr. Dallas will be set to make his seventh career start against Arizona, going in with his 3.25 lifetime ERA against the team, and 41k’s in 36 IP. With the way our staff lines up to face Arizona, look for the bullpen to get a much needed breather over the next three days, heading into another off/travel day before facing the Athletics.

 

I predict a 2-1 series win, improving the overall 2013 road record to 20-17, and a big weekend for Devin Mesoraco. Bruce keeps it rolling, Votto gets back on track with his average, and we see a potential Cy Young duel on Saturday. Yeah, the Mike Leake game, try not to forget that Mike leads this team in wins AND ERA right now.

 

I’ll leave you with this. The real series preview, the Reds know there’s blood in the water!

 

Reds Headhunters, Joey Votto’s Intensity, Players’ Fame and Maple Syrup Money

 

Reds Headhunters

This has been a somewhat heightened few days for Reds fans.  Over the course of the last two games, against the Cubs and Indians, a few Reds pitchers have had their choice of pitch location questioned in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

For starters, Matt Garza of the Cubs blasted into Reds Ace Johnny Cueto after the game where Cueto threw a pitch over David DeJesus in the 6th inning while the Reds were leading 4-0.  Was the pitch intentional?  Maybe.  After all, Garza lost his cool and plunked Todd Frazier after giving up a home run to Jay Bruce in the third inning.  The Reds are getting pounded at the plate – getting hit-by-pitches enough to rank them fifth in the majors.  Maybe Cueto has had enough of it and decided to let teams know the Reds won’t stand for it anymore?  When Garza suggested that Cueto should “grow the hell up”, perhaps that is exactly what Cueto has done in an effort to protect his team.

The result of this incident has yet to be seen.  The Reds and Cubs play each other again in two weeks at Chicago, where the Cubbies might get some beer muscles at the Wriggly Bar (where they also happen to play baseball games). Garza’s comments are nothing short of confusing when he states “He’s (Cueto) lucky that retaliation isn’t in our vocabulary here” but adds comments like “If he has something to say about it, he knows where to find my locker and definitely I’ll find his” and “If Cueto has any problem, he can throw at me and I’ll definitely return the favor” (which to prove that “retaliation” is CLEARLY in the Cubs’ vocabulary).

So there’s that.  Reds at Cubs June 10th – 13th. It looks like Cueto will pitch on Tuesday, June 11th whereas the Cubs send Garza to the mound on Wednesday.

Then there’s the Chapman saga.  Everyone knows that Chapman has thrown the ball like Ebby Calvin LaLoosh.  I’m confident that Mr. Red and crew have been told to stay away from the Diamond Club seats when Chapman pitches for fear of them catching a ball in the earhole.  So when Chapman flings a ball over Nick Swisher’s head in the ninth inning, I don’t see why it would be a cause for longterm concern between the two teams outside of the fact that the pitch was near Swisher’s head.  Multiple players/coaches on the Indians have said they didn’t like it, but they’ve also commented that they didn’t think Chapman was doing it on purpose, so I don’t expect any fireworks tonight as the Reds try to finish off the Indians. However, if the Reds have the lead late, I AM interested to see if Dusty “RELEASES THE CHAPMAN!” on the Indians again.

Overall, I’m ok with the Reds buzzing opposing hitters.  There are only so many HBPs that Choo can take before the Reds are going to have to look for another leadoff hitter.  Perhaps this is the pitching staff (finally) standing up for their hitters and letting other teams know that hitting a Reds won’t go unpunished.  The Cubs may not have a large enough vocabulary, but I think the Reds do.

 

 

Joey Votto’s Intensity

Joey Votto.  The (stupid) debate rages on about what he gets paid to do and what he doesn’t get paid to do.  In my opinion, he gets paid to play baseball, which he does very well and very intensely.  Now, Dusty Baker is saying Joey might be a little too intense after Votto let some words fly in multiple games after striking out that I wouldn’t want in my comment section (because my mom reads this…).  What does this mean for Reds bloggers and Twitter GMs everywhere: a new (pointless) debate! Should Joey be told to tone it down and watch his mouth?

The easy answer for Joey is this: Get better at what you do so you don’t make any outs at all, then you won’t have to spout off curse words.  I’d expect that is Paul Daughtery’s suggestion to the problem though, so I’ll have to go another route.

I will enjoy watching baseball games at home with my daughter and, no, I don’t want to have to explain certain words to her before she (and I) is ready.  However, I won’t blame Joey if he lets them rip.  After all, isn’t it just as much the broadcasting network’s issue?  They are the people who decide to put microphones all over so we get an up-close concert of woos, beer vendors and off-color language.  Yes, I love hearing the crack of the bat and pop of the mitt as much as the next guy, but I don’t think I need to hear when the batter passes gas or, more commonly, expresses his frustrations after striking out.  Asking Joey (or any star player) to change his approach to the game is ludicrous to me.  Let them play and celebrate/be frustrated however they want to best fit their game.  If you have a problem with hearing that aspect, I suggest contacting Fox Sports Ohio, 700 WLW or hitting the mute button quickly.

 

 

Using Your Fame For The Powers Of Good

Most of us know that Ryan Ludwick’s nephew has been fighting cancer.  He’s been mentioned a few times by Jim Day and the crew during Reds Live, during interviews with Ludwick and had a hashtag used by baseball fans (not just Reds fans) to show support for his fight. Now his family is holding an auction to raise money and Mrs. Ludwick has been spreading the word via Twitter from her account – @Joanbologna.  Twitter is a fantastic way of spreading information and knowledge and gaining support when you need it and I applaud the Ludwick’s for using this forum and Ryan’s baseball fame to raise awareness/knowledge/money for Cody and his disease.  Check out the items up for auction – everything from baseball items to a round of golf to handbags!

 

 

That’ll Be Five Maple Syrups, Please

Finally, it’s been brought to my attention that Canada has issued new currency and many people believe it smells like maple syrup.  I am aware that Canada is the second-ranked country for Head First Slide readers, so I’d like to know if the new features to the currency are true.  Bring the reports, readers from the Great White North!

Feel free to comment about anything I’ve covered in this long novel of a post or make something up completely on your own, as long as it’s clean.  If it’s not clean, feel free to Tweet me at @GeoffreyHoman.  Thanks for reading!