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Thread: New Chapter

  1. #1
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    New Chapter

    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!
    Can't win with 'em

    Can't win without 'em

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  3. #2
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    Great post. The past month has been magical.

  4. #3
    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    Absolutely brilliant post. Thanks for a good read.
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

  5. #4
    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    Tremendous post!
    www.ris-news.com
    "You only have to bat a thousand in two things; flying and heart transplants. Everything else you can go 4-for-5."
    -Beano Cook

  6. #5
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    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.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  7. #6
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    Very Nice post.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  8. #7
    Administrator Boss-Hog's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    Great post - I really enjoyed reading it.

  9. #8
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    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.
    Can't win with 'em

    Can't win without 'em

  10. #9
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    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.

  11. #10
    Worth The Wait
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    Re: New Chapter

    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.

  12. #11
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    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.
    Last edited by traderumor; 08-06-2012 at 11:19 AM.
    Can't win with 'em

    Can't win without 'em

  13. #12
    Member medford's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    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.

  14. #13
    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    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.
    “Our next home stand follows this road trip.”

    “I just want to tell everyone Happy Easter and Happy Hanukkah.” says on the day before Easter

    Mike Shannon

  15. #14
    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeThierry View Post
    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?
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

  16. #15
    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: New Chapter

    Quote Originally Posted by CySeymour View Post
    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.
    “Our next home stand follows this road trip.”

    “I just want to tell everyone Happy Easter and Happy Hanukkah.” says on the day before Easter

    Mike Shannon


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