Brandon Phillips has been a staple of the Cincinnati infield and will continue for at least the next 7 yrs with his new contract. Phillips is a guy that you can’t help but like and root for. He has an unbelievable amount of “Swag” and can always be seen laughing and joking on and off the field. In the Avengers you can’t help but laugh at the comments and jokes made by Iron Man (Tony Stark) and his nonchalant attitude. As funny and laid back as both of these men appear to be it is also obvious that they are fierce competitors who hate losing. Brandon Phillips has been playing through hamstring problems to help lead the Reds this season and has recently started to look and play much better. Phillips always puts his team first no matter what and will do anything to get the W. That attitude may not seem to match Iron Man but I will let you go see the movie and your opinion may change. While Brandon Phillips may appear to be goofing off or not taking the game seriously he is doing quite the opposite he gives 110% effort for his team and will always be there when they need him, just like Iron Man.
Not since April 8th had the Reds been over .500 but yesterday they finally made it to 13-12 after beating the Pirates 6-1. Today however they fell back to the .500 mark by dropping tonights game 3-2. This game was one that featured some similar problems in Reds loses this season, mainly the long ball. Once again the only runs scored were by homeruns a two run shot by Neil Walker in the 3rd and a solo shot by Alex Presley in the 7th. On top of that the Reds hit into a staggering 4 double plays the most painful being late in the game where Scott Rolen tried to tag up from first on a fly ball to center. I understand that at the time he was trying to make something happen and the bottom of the order was coming up but still give the guy at the plate a chance, you never know. Although he took the lose a positive sign was the pitching by Mike Leake who besides two pitches looked more comfortable and like he did last year. Leake’s final line was (7 ip 4 hits 3 ER 4 SO) a quality start and definitely good enough to win but on this night everything was going Pittsburgh’s way. The only time that it appeared the Reds were going to steal the momentum back was in the 7th when Jay Bruce hit a triple off a ball misplayed by the CF McCutchen, he was then singled in by Rolen. The Reds did threaten a few times after but they had no luck and no one could seem to get the lucky bounce.
Make sure you check back tomorrow for my second installment of the Reds Avengers comparison with Brandon Phillips! And check out my first installment with Joey Votto!!! Read the rest of this entry »
Last night I was unable to watch the Reds game once again because I went to the new Avengers movie. Not only did this movie look amazing but part of it was shot in my hometown so it will always be a special movie in my mind. While I was enjoying the movie the Reds were busy avenging some tough losses from last year at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In fact last year Pittsburgh went 10-5 against Cincinnati which is surprising since they really struggled last year. Right as the previews were ending I was pleased to receive a text alert that the Reds had in fact won their game 6-1 with some heroic efforts from Johnny Cueto, Drew Stubbs and Zack Cozart. This game was a critical one for the Reds as it finally put them above .500 for the first time since April 8th when they were 2-1. After analyzing and dissecting my favorite parts of the movie with my girlfriend this morning I came up with an idea, I wanted to look at the Reds roster and compare them to the super heroes of the Avengers. So here is the first player on the team. I will do a new avenger each day this week so make sure you come back to see who’s next!!!
Joey Votto – Thor
While Votto isn’t a demigod like Thor many people out there think he (especially my girlfriend!). Thor a king of a distant world comes to earth and protects it with his life doing whatever it takes to keep the world he has come to love safe. And on top of that he packs a mean punch with that hammer. Votto has come to Cincinnati and become one of baseball’s most feared hitters. He consistently hits over .300 and is good for 25 HR and 100 RBI. What really makes him similar to Thor is that he recently signed a 10 yr $225 Million contract that will keep with the Reds for the rest of his career. By doing this Votto has stood up and proclaimed his love for the city of Cincinnati and his willingness to protect it from mediocrity. No longer will Cincinnati faithful have to watch a star rise only to leave for greener pastures a few years later. No longer will people say, “we have talent coming we should be good in a few years.” With Votto we are good now and capable of anything. He has become the protector of Cincinnati.
Today’s afternoon Reds vs. Cubs game was not televised leaving me a little disappointed however I had a mid-term at 3:30 PM so it actually worked out. As I sit on my couch reading page after page of transportation notes wishing I could be doing anything other than this I keep track of the Reds through game cast apparently wishing they were doing something else too. Facing the 35 year old Ryan Demster (It’s his birthday today) looked completely overmatched through eight innings, or at least that’s how it appeared on my computer screen. The Reds only mustered 3 hits through eight innings and as I headed into my mid-term were down 3-0. Naturally I wasn’t in the greatest of moods, another Reds lose was imminent which would drop them once again below the .500 mark and this exam was going to be just as painful to sit through. Thirty minutes later I emerge from my exam feeling accomplished knowing that I didn’t ace it but hey I don’t need to I graduate in 4 weeks! I grab my phone to confirm what I knew must have been a lose to only discover the score 4-3 on the screen! I investigate and find out that the Reds “B” squad that Dusty Baker ran out there today finally woke up with lots of help from Carlos Marmol in the 9th and finally finished off the Cubbies in the 10th. Now not being able to watch the game I can’t comment on what went on but one thing that I have to say about this team is that if anything they are resilient. Facing the possibility of falling 2 games under .500 again they found a way to pull out a victory. That is what a winning team does! Even when your being overmatched on a lazy Thursday by a mediocre 35 year old pitcher fresh off the DL you find a way to win, you have to because teams like the Brewers and Cardinals will and before you know it will be 10 games out and the playoffs will be a mere fantasy. So today on this warm and sunny Thursday I was able to complete my final mid-term of college and be rewarded with a Reds walk off win when I finished. Not bad for a Thursday, now for another successful and victorious Friday and an off day for me 🙂 As always keep it going and GO REDS!!!
While the extra off day will definitely benefit the Reds in the long run it appeared that the bats were still asleep. The Reds were only able to muster 3 hits and 1 run against Jeff Samardzija who looked dominant. One bright spot was Jay Bruce keeping up his hot hitting of late with a double to left center in the 6th that nearly made it out for his 5th homerun in as many games. It appeared that the Reds wanted to be aggressive at the plate and were swinging early and often which allowed Samardzija to settle in and grow his confidence. This has been a theme as of late for the Reds and I believe they need to start being more patient at the plate. I also wouldn’t be shocked to see a lineup change for tomorrow’s day game due to Zach Cozart’s recent struggles in the leadoff spot. On the flip side the Cubs pounded out 10 hits, 2 of which were homeruns from Ian Stewart and Brian LaHair, while scoring 3 runs. They jumped on Bronson Arroyo early and often and it was a great job by him to hold them to 3 runs as he just didn’t seem to have it tonight. The shortened series will wrap up tomorrow at 12:35 PM with Homer Bailey going against Ryan Demster.
Inclement weather made it’s way through the region today and unfortunately the worst of it waited to come through in the evening causing the Reds to cancel the game against the Cubs this evening. No make up date has been announced as of yet. Due to this rain out the Reds will now have had two days off this week. This extra rest cannot be under valued and could become a real boost for this club over the next few weeks. With a few players such as Cairo and Phillips banged up an extra day at anytime is a welcomed sight. After this week the Reds begin a grueling stretch where they only have one day off for the rest of the month. Add to this that they play some of the strongest team in the league (Brewers, Nationals, Mets, Braves, Yankees, Rockies, Pirates) this day off could really be a blessing. Another thing to think about is that this extra time will give all the pitchers an extra day of rest which this early in the season shouldn’t be a big deal but for guys like Latos and Leake who have not completely go locked in an extra day of rest might just be the recipe for success. Add this extra day of rest with some rested position players specifically Jay Bruce this could be an excellent month of May. Speaking of Bruce who has been on an impressive run lately hit 12 HR and had 33 RBI last May to earn NL player of the Month. He looks locked in so everyone should sit back and enjoy the show, this month will be fast paced and action filled!