Hole #9: Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in beautiful Lake Tahoe, Nevada
The REDS started off the hole great with a 2-1 Win in the final game of the Toronto series. But, like Carson Palmer's disappearing career, where he's going to participate in the American Century Celebrity Golf tournament at this same course July 12th-17th, the REDS floundered another chance to make amends for their poor early season start losing 3-game series to both the Yankees and the Orioles. They had a legitimate chance to salvage par on this hole and put the front-nine behind them by beating the Rays two straight. They had their best pitchers going in Leake and Cueto, but their Bullpen let them down (again) giving up a 2-run Double and Walk-off Homerun while facing only three batters. This BOGEY (4W-5L)
puts the team at 4-OVER
after nine holes.
If you had to give this team a grade for it's first half, it's definitely a "D". You can't use injuries as and excuse 81 games into the season. There's plenty of disappointment to go around, from Management to the Coaches to the Players. But, like Golf, you get a fresh start on the Back Nine. This team is certainly capable of putting together a string of nine BIRDIE'S in a row. Unlike Doc, I see more talent on this team in it's Management, it's Coaches and it's Players.
Hanigan hit his first homerun since April in the first game of the second half this afternoon. Bruce ended his 80+ at-bat drought of homeruns with a 9th-inning clutch dinger yesterday. Phillips has found his stroke in both power and contact over the last week. If Hanigan can give this team the power bat he gave them last year, Phillips continues his power surge, Bruce gets his back, we may be able to survive an entire season without Scott Rolen ever finding his. Zach Cozart is certainly on his way. Baker can't keep using Bray every day or his arm will fall off. That's Walt's fault at this point. He needs to give Baker another left-handed veteran bullpen arm within the next 10-14 days. He can't expect Chapman to be the answer. Baker needs someone he can trust.
DFA Renteria....before the All-Star break is over with. Bring up Cozart and leave him in the bigs for the rest of the season. Cozart can play any position on the team (wouldn't be surprised if he could play Catcher, and do a little pitching, too).
The Front Nine:
After 9 Holes: (4-OVER).
Hole #1: BIRDIE (6W-3L)
Hole #2: DOUBLE-BOGEY (3W-6L)
Hole #3: PAR (5W-4L)
Hole #4: BIRDIE(6W-3L)
Hole #5: PAR (5W-4L)
Hole #6: TRIPLE-BOGEY (2W-7L)
Hole #7: PAR (5W-4L)
Hole #8: PAR (5W-4L)
Hole #9: BOGEY (4W-5L)
Half-way through, they are on Pace for a 4-Under, 86 (Wins) - 76 (Losses).
That's not getting it done. A very disappointing first half for a team expected to win it's Division. The Brewers have been playing at a .667-clip over their last 44 or so games, so they aren't going to come back to the pack. The REDS are going to have to go get them. That means, no more PAR's and absolutely no more BOGEY'S or worse. The REDS are going to have to put up a long string of BIRDIE'S (6W-3L) and EAGLE'S (7W-2L) together. This also means they are going to have to make it a regular occurrence where they are sweeping teams. An "acceptable" result, is winning a series. Losing one is out of the question. They've dug themselves a hole, and it's going to take a really huge effort to get out of it. If they got all BIRDIE'S over the back-nine, that would change them from 4-Over to 5-Under and a 95W-67L season. That "might" be enough to catch and pass the Brewers, as they are certainly heading towards a 94-96 win season themselves.