I was at Arlington Friday and Saturday, and thought I'd share some observations. As someone that rarely sees the Reds play in person, TX is quite the commute, I thought I could give some perspective on what I saw that some of you may take for granted.
I knew Cueto was going to get hurt. I watched him throwing log toss in the OF, 10 minutes before the first pitch. he was grabbing at his back even then. He moved up and threw warmup tosses by the LF foul line, finished and was grabbing his back. That was when I really felt he was hurting.
The Reds looked sleepy against Matin Perez. I was sitting over the Rangers bullpen, and it was close to 100, very uncomfortable conditions. The Rangers looked just as sleepy, but the Reds just kept booting balls, And Cingrani didn't look warmed up all game after he came in. A little wild. The game was not really good for either team, balls just bounced the Rangers way.
Game 2 was a completely different Reds team offensively. Choo set the tone, and everyone was hitting the ball hard off Tepesch. Should have been a 4-1 win for Leake who was outstanding. This was a game that had me concerned for Leake. Good offense, lots of power. From my vantage point, he kept the ball down, worked fast and most important, DID NOT GET RATTLED when the Reds started booting the ball. Joey Votto just might have the yips. He's been awful defensively this year. Big props to Leake.
Got home from Arlington (6 hour drive) in time to catch game 3. Mat Latos does NOT poor defensive play behind him. Choo cost Latos about 12-15 pitches by letting that ball drop in front of him, but mostly Latos cost him those pitches by letting that get to him. It was a stark contrast to how Leake handled errors behind him. Still, Latos pitched very well overall, just a little meltdown.
One last thing. The Rangers averaged 42K for the three game series. Josh Hamilton's comments about the Dallas area not being a baseball town might be true to an extent, but I believe most Ranger fans are thinking good riddance to his act being gone.