I just got back from attending yesterday and todays game against the Indians. I couldn't have picked two better games to attend than those two. Great pitching matchups, great weather except for a brief one minute light drizzle yesterday, and two very exciting games. I have been to four games this season and the Reds are 2-2 with me in attendance (Opening Day loss, 5-3 loss to Brewers in 10 innings on April 19th).
-Aaron Harang pitched a great game yesterday. I love watching the guy pitch. With Carmona on the hill, Harang had to pitch a great game to keep us in it and he most certainly did.
-Corey Patterson made a couple nice catches on balls in the gap. I hate his plate approach and the fact that he leads off every game but it's nice having a center fielder who can go get it.
-Jerry Hairston Jr. is not a shortstop. He gave up two hits yesterday that Janish gets to easily. Play Janish everyday at SS and bring Hairston off the bench.
-Bill Bray looked very good yesterday with two K's of right handed hitters.
-Weathers is a good guy but his arm looks done. It's time to let him go and find another arm for the bullpen.
-What the heck was Dusty doing having Dunn bunt in the 9th inning? I was fuming there. Thankfully Dunn didn't get the bunt down...that ball was absolutely crushed. I was sitting in the left field seats and knew it was a no doubter off the bat. At first I thought it left the stadium but later saw it landed in the top row. I've been on the fence about keeping Dunn because of the money it will take to bring him back, but I've changed my mind...he's too valuable to this club. Unless someone knocks the Reds over with an offer for Dunn then I would keep him.
-Freel is an adventure in the field. That was just dumb diving for that Ben Francisco blooper when he had no chance of catching it. Luckily it didn't hurt the Reds.
-Great job by Burton today. Those two innings very huge...he doesn't have the greatest ERA right now but I like him a lot. He misses bats and has a chance to be a very solid arm in the back of the pen.
-I don't want to jinx him or anything but Edwin's defense has been very good lately. He made a great play today to end the 7th inning with that barehanded play. His bat has been cold lately but he's a streaky player and will get hot again.
-Dunn's homer today was a typical Adam Dunn homerun - A BOMB. It landed about 25-30 feet to my right.
-Joey Votto is the man. That kid can flat out rake and his opposite field power is amazing. Did anyone see his reaction yesterday after Dunn's walkoff homerun? That was awesome. He was standing on second base and as soon as the ball left Dunn's bat Votto threw both his arms into the air and watched the ball sail out of the park before rounding the bases with a huge grin.
-Paul Janish. Goodness. I love his plate approach. It's only been a handful of atbats but I like his approach. He rarely swings at bad pitches and he makes the pitcher work. He reminds me a bit of Keppinger at the plate in the way he likes to hit the ball straight up the middle. Play him at shortstop everyday.
This was just a very fun series. With Harang/Volquez/Cueto/Arroyo the Reds were bound to go on a streak like this. When you have four starters capable of shutting down an opponent on any given night then you can expect to go on some winning streaks. This is a pretty good team IMO and has a chance to greatly improve. Insert Paul Janish as the starting SS and callup Jay Bruce in late May to replace Griffey - the defense improves drastically and the offense gets a boost. Play Freel in CF and bat him leadoff against LHP; Play Patterson in CF and bat him 8th against RHP. With Bruce up, and the defense and pitching greatly improved, this team could really take off IMO.
Next up: a seven game roadtrip to LA and San Diego. 4-3 needs to be the goal.