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traderumor
08-05-2012, 06:30 PM
Ok, this Pirates series is the culmination of quite a stretch on the schedule. What an adventure. Choose your own analogy, but it has seemed like a whirlwind romance with the girl or guy of your dreams, winning 22 of 26. What team does that?

Doesn't it seem like forever ago since we were making our dreaded West Coast trip? I made the bold prediction of 5-6 based on how the team was playing and the usual shenanigans that seem to befall the team on the West Coast.

Of course, on night 2 of that trip, the big storm of 2012 came through and I didn't know until Sunday morning that we had taken two in a row from the Giants with back to back complete games. Thud. Jay misplays a fly ball... lose two out of three to the limping Dodgers...lose ugly to the Padres, fall 2 behind the Pirates, and it was starting to look like disaster looming into the AS break. Such a promising road trip, now... in Petco? Against half of the Reds farm system. Really?

Then it started, so innocently, with 3 wins in a row against a team we should beat, winning West Coast road trip, lopped a game off the Pirates lead heading into the break.....................and Joey was limping.

The Cards roll into town after the break, expecting a tough series. Get out the O'Cedar again, the team is now suddenly on a six game winning streak, the Dbacks are coming to town for 4.....and Joey seems fine, scooted it around the bases on Sunday Night Baseball.

Thud. Heading back to the hotel from a day at Kings Island, the Reds are behind, and the news comes. At first, I think Kelch is going to announce a minor trade. Then he says it. Our worst fear as Reds fan with a struggling offense so dependent on the one guy who is now headed to the DL--the day before I'm headed to the game with three of my boys. Bless his heart, Cueto, Marshall and Chapman completed the shut out, Ludwick hit a 3 run bomb, let's try to split this series. No, no, no. 6-0, fans are booing, this is going to kill the season. What? The Reds are up 7-6 and Chapman is in?

The Brew Crew comes to town having taken their first two series after the break. Here they come, just like a lot of folks thought, Braun and company not going away. Wait, get the brooms out, and goodbye 2012 for Milwaukee.

Next is a short little road trip to Houston and Colorado. Houston is tanking, but law of averages and playing at Minutemaid makes me uneasy. But Houston has been selling off, and one of their new guys was one of our old guys. Drew Stubbs, two nights in a row, turns our mourning into laughter, off an old thorn in so many sides (not mine, btw, I think Coco did more good work than bad while in Cincy) for four years. Colorado, the Coors Field Chamber of Horrors over the last several years, turned into an undefeated road trip and a debt to be paid by a poofy haired fancy boy.

Ten in a row. Thud. Worst hitting team in the league shells best pitching team in the league. Here we go. Losing streak following a winning streak. That's the way it goes, 40 years of watching the game, we're going to give back 4 or 5 of what we just won, just like earlier in the season, and the Pirates are going to come in this weekend and we won't be able to buy a run. When is Votto coming back? What? Phillips calf might be a DL stint. Doom, despair and agony on me; deep dark depression, excessive misery, if it weren't for bad luck...

Three hard fought wins later, its "bring on the Pirates, and tell them to keep the Jolly Roger in their pants." I just want to get the first game, make sure we don't get swept. Wait, lets win the series right here, tonight. Let's go, sweep boys!

Well, we won the series, 4-1/2 game lead, time to step back and take a look at this beautiful forest. Now we hit the road for a stretch where the Reds SHOULD continue to do no worse than keep pace and probably get some more separation from the Pirates. Phillips will probably be back tomorrow, Votto has got to be getting close, and we have a whole bunch of guys who just found out that this is a team, not just the Vottos and a few good arms.

Turn the page, back into the trees we go, no time to rest. How will this next chapter read? But please, no more thuds!

reds1869
08-05-2012, 06:51 PM
Great post. The past month has been magical.

TeamBoone
08-05-2012, 09:29 PM
Absolutely brilliant post. Thanks for a good read.

WVRedsFan
08-05-2012, 09:35 PM
Tremendous post!

RedFanAlways1966
08-05-2012, 09:47 PM
Nice work, tr. This team has also seemed to earn a bit of a reputation due to two HBPs. Deserved or not... I like it. Not too many also-rans/has-beens get tagged with that. Mainly b/c no one cares about the also-rans/has-beens. Perhaps it has been way too long to think my fav team has a pitcher or two who are not afraid to take the inside part of the plate. And a pitcher or two who let another team know they are not backing down when that team talks/acts tougher/better.

Some do not care for it. I like it. :thumbup:

mth123
08-05-2012, 10:55 PM
Very Nice post.

Boss-Hog
08-06-2012, 06:43 AM
Great post - I really enjoyed reading it.

traderumor
08-06-2012, 09:18 AM
Thanks, I'm glad folks enjoyed reading it. What a tremendous ride. Next stop, 14 games against sub .500 teams. Keep taking care of business, boys.

Sea Ray
08-06-2012, 09:41 AM
Thanks, I'm glad folks enjoyed reading it. What a tremendous ride. Next stop, 14 games against sub .500 teams. Keep taking care of business, boys.

Let's keep in mind that the '75 team that also went 23-3 or whatever in June-July followed that streak with losing 5 of 7. We all know that 1975 represented the Hey-Day of the Big Red Machine and despite the ups and downs, ended up winning 108. I know this is RZ and all but let's not panick too much as this club inevitably "catches its breath" in the next week or so.

Edskin
08-06-2012, 10:53 AM
Nice post... I view the next couple of weeks as the last chance for the Pirates and Cards to make a run at us. As you noted, there is no chance we can keep the current pace (no team can). And we've been on such an emotional high, and with the dog days of August upon us I wouldn't be surprised if we see a regression with the absence of our two big bats finally catching up to us.

I'm not being cocky, just realistic... I think we are REAL close to putting this division in the books, but I do sense that we could see a few bumps over the next few weeks. I'll make a prediction that if we win 6 or more of our next 10 that the Central race is over.

traderumor
08-06-2012, 11:17 AM
One of the things that gets lost in the shuffle is that we are officially now in the driver's seat. A 4-1/2 game lead can evaporate with the timing of streaks, but consider that the Pirates and Cardinals have been winning while we were winning, or it would be a much larger lead. They have some of their own heavy lifting to do now if they are going to catch us, which includes beating the likes of the Dbacks and Dodgers for the Pirates and the Giants and Phillies for the Cards.

medford
08-06-2012, 12:04 PM
The next 21 days, the Reds have the potential to put this division almost out of reach. They'll play 18 games in 18 days (1 double header vs the cubbies, 1 off day) all against teams w/ sub .500 records. 3 @ Milwaukee, 4 @ Chicago off day, 3 at home vs the mets, 4 vs the cubbies, 4 @ philly before a 3 game weekend set vs St Louis. 11-7 seems like a reasonable projection for those 18 games, if they can hit that mark or better, then win 2/3 vs St Louis, that would put them at 13-8 over the next 21 days.

Meanwhile, the Cards have a hit or miss next 18 days before coming to the queen city. 4 vs the Giants, 3 @ philly, offday, 3 vs the DBacks, 3 vs Pitt, off day, 3 vs Houston. 10-6 seems reasonable, perhaps even on the high side depending on which 3 pitchers they get in Philly. If the Reds slip up, there is a chance for the Cards to make up some ground prior to coming to the Queen City, however they immediatly follow that weekend up with 3 @ pittsburgh and 4 @ washington, while the reds go to Arizona for 3, off day then Houston for 3, which would give the Reds a chance to make up some ground again.

The Pirates, closest to the Reds in the standings, have the tougher road over the next 21, though mostly at home. 4 vs Arizona, 3 vs the Pads, 4 vs the Dodgers, 3 @ St Louis, off day, 3 At the Pads, off day, 3 vs the Brew Crew. 11-9 seems quite possible over that stretch.

In other words, if the Reds keep on keeping on, work Votto and Phillips back into the mix, they could push the lead out to 8+ by the time the Cardinals leave town with either the Cards or the Pittburgh bowing out of the picture in the series immediatly following the Reds-Cards series.

MikeThierry
08-06-2012, 03:12 PM
The Cardinals have been playing very well lately and have a ton of home games. I think only the Reds and Braves have a better record than the Cards since the All Star Break. It might be too much of a lead for the Cardinals to overcome but I don't think it's a lock to win this division in August. I would not shock me if the division came down to the last series of the year. At any rate, I think the Cards have an excellent chance to at least get a wild card spot.

CySeymour
08-06-2012, 03:22 PM
The Cardinals have been playing very well lately and have a ton of home games. I think only the Reds and Braves have a better record than the Cards since the All Star Break. It might be too much of a lead for the Cardinals to overcome but I don't think it's a lock to win this division in August. I would not shock me if the division came down to the last series of the year. At any rate, I think the Cards have an excellent chance to at least get a wild card spot.

Mike, how far back did the Cards come last year?

MikeThierry
08-06-2012, 03:30 PM
Mike, how far back did the Cards come last year?

10 1/2 games. That's not going to happen again though. Still, being only 2.5 games from a WC is completely manageable with 2 months to go. I still am not conceding the division considering that they still play the Reds 6 times.

hebroncougar
08-06-2012, 03:37 PM
10 1/2 games. That's not going to happen again though. Still, being only 2.5 games from a WC is completely manageable with 2 months to go. I still am not conceding the division considering that they still play the Reds 6 times.

After watching what happened last year, I can't believe folks are talking about how the Reds have almost put this thing away. Heck, the Cards and Pirates have played incredible as well, and that's why it isn't out of reach. It's difficult to play .500 on the road, so let's not look past this next trip. Believe me, I'm enjoying the ride, but I watched the Braves and Red Sox last year as well. Keep the hammer down boys.


Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

fisch11
08-06-2012, 03:41 PM
I'll make a prediction that if we win 6 or more of our next 10 that the Central race is over.

In memory of some epic collapses from 2011 Braves and Red Sox and 2007 Mets.......it's not over until the magic number is 0.

hebroncougar
08-06-2012, 03:52 PM
Double post, sorry.

AtomicDumpling
08-06-2012, 04:05 PM
Nice post traderumor.

For those of you out there who think the Reds are close to locking down this division, I suggest you get ready for a wild ride. This division is a LONG way from being locked down. It is entirely possible for the Reds to be in 2nd place a week from now. There are still two months to go in this season. The Reds still have 54 games left to play. A 4.5 game lead with a third of the season left is nothing. Now is not the time to get complacent. The Reds still need to win at least 30 more games before they lock this baby down.

This series with the Brewers is not going to be easy either. The Brew Crew may be 11 games under .500 already, but they have a winning record at home. They are terrible on the road but they are good at home, so the Reds are not likely to go into Milwaukee tonight and steamroll this series. The Reds can't afford a let down, they need to fight tooth and claw to keep this lead they fought so hard to build or else it will be gone in a hurry. I hope the Reds are not feeling the same overconfidence that many of the fans are right now.

pedro
08-06-2012, 04:09 PM
Nice post TR. It is nice to see the forest but we do have a lot of fun getting lost in the trees don't we?

defender
08-06-2012, 04:33 PM
The Cardinals have a tough schedule until Sept 2, Including 6 v. PIT and 3 v. Cin. As it was pointed out, the Reds played well when things seemed stacked against them. Hopefuly the Cards do not do the same.

Reds need to keep playing well, because we can count on either PIT or STL staying hot. A 4.5 or even 7 game lead is not much with 1/3 of the season left to play.

Sea Ray
08-06-2012, 04:54 PM
I'm hearing a lot about schedules and all such as today on ESPN radio, one of their analysts was saying "of course the Reds won those games by playing the Astros, Rockies and Padres".

Well the Padres are 15-8 in July-Aug when not playing the Reds. Unlike the Astros, Rockies and Cubs they have not mailed it in. It's not always a black and white thing to determine schedule strength in MLB

SunDeck
08-06-2012, 05:39 PM
And a Hee Haw reference to boot.
Nicely put TR.

hebroncougar
08-06-2012, 05:45 PM
I'm hearing a lot about schedules and all such as today on ESPN radio, one of their analysts was saying "of course the Reds won those games by playing the Astros, Rockies and Padres".

Well the Padres are 15-8 in July-Aug when not playing the Reds. Unlike the Astros, Rockies and Cubs they have not mailed it in. It's not always a black and white thing to determine schedule strength in MLB

That's idiotic. The tear the Reds have been on lately would be impressive if they played all AAA teams. I noticed for years no one brought up the Yanks and Red Sox got to tear up the Orioles and DRays. The Reds are 17-5 in their last 22 against teams with winning records. They are doing great. But there is a lot of game left.

LincolnparkRed
08-06-2012, 05:49 PM
The other teams in our division also play the Rockies and Pads, however we played Washington and took our lumps while STL hasn't faced them yet.

_Sir_Charles_
08-06-2012, 05:54 PM
Nice post traderumor.

For those of you out there who think the Reds are close to locking down this division, I suggest you get ready for a wild ride. This division is a LONG way from being locked down. It is entirely possible for the Reds to be in 2nd place a week from now. There are still two months to go in this season. The Reds still have 54 games left to play. A 4.5 game lead with a third of the season left is nothing. Now is not the time to get complacent. The Reds still need to win at least 30 more games before they lock this baby down.

This series with the Brewers is not going to be easy either. The Brew Crew may be 11 games under .500 already, but they have a winning record at home. They are terrible on the road but they are good at home, so the Reds are not likely to go into Milwaukee tonight and steamroll this series. The Reds can't afford a let down, they need to fight tooth and claw to keep this lead they fought so hard to build or else it will be gone in a hurry. I hope the Reds are not feeling the same overconfidence that many of the fans are right now.

Great post AD (and of course TR's original post). I'm confident in the Reds, but it's nowhere CLOSE to over yet. Still have 36 games left to win in the regular season. :O)

traderumor
08-06-2012, 08:02 PM
Nice post traderumor.

For those of you out there who think the Reds are close to locking down this division, I suggest you get ready for a wild ride. This division is a LONG way from being locked down. It is entirely possible for the Reds to be in 2nd place a week from now. There are still two months to go in this season. The Reds still have 54 games left to play. A 4.5 game lead with a third of the season left is nothing. Now is not the time to get complacent. The Reds still need to win at least 30 more games before they lock this baby down.

This series with the Brewers is not going to be easy either. The Brew Crew may be 11 games under .500 already, but they have a winning record at home. They are terrible on the road but they are good at home, so the Reds are not likely to go into Milwaukee tonight and steamroll this series. The Reds can't afford a let down, they need to fight tooth and claw to keep this lead they fought so hard to build or else it will be gone in a hurry. I hope the Reds are not feeling the same overconfidence that many of the fans are right now.Sure, but is that likely? Isn't it more likely that the Reds will continue to win, esp. considering all this was done without their stud? Of course they struggled with him, but what is likely that the Reds are in an enviable position. I don't see complacency being an issue with the ones who are responsible for winning the games.