The home run is reigning supreme down at Great American Ball Park. In the first three games of a four-game set against the Atlanta Braves, the Reds have clubbed eight home runs. The eighth of those would present the Reds with a walk-off win. Todd Frazier had seen his batting average dip as of late. Frazier delivered an 0-1 offering from Cristhian Martinez into the right field seats and delivered the Reds a 2-1 win.
The winning streak is now up to five. With a win tomorrow evening, the Reds will not only own a four-game sweep of the Braves, the six straight wins would mark the longest winning streak since 2010. That was a seven game streak from August 13 – 20. You remember that streak, don’t you?
That was the streak started after the Cards swept the Reds at GABP and the infamous dust-up between Brandon Phillips and Yadier Molina occurred. The Good Guys went on to sweep the Marlins at home, the Diamondbacks on the road and winning the first of three in LA against the Dodgers. Oh, and they won that Dodgers series, too.
Regarding Frazier, his average has dramatically fallen. In limited playing after being called up, Frazier had a grasp. Or so it appeared. Then his playing time increased and the struggles kicked in. Entering tonight’s game, Frazier was hitting .213 with 18 strikeouts in 49 plate appearances for the month of May.
Since starting third baseman Scott Rolen hit the disabled list, Frazier has been receiving the majority of the playing time…and he’s struggled some with the bat. Tonight, in the bottom of the ninth, Frazier provided the final margin of victory with his fourth home run of the season, walk-off style. That gust of wind you may have felt was Frazier letting out a sigh of relief.
And Frazier is under some pressure to produce. He’s filling in for a guy who has won eight Gold Gloves, was named NL Rookie of the Year in 1997, been selected to seven All-Star Games and owns a World Series ring when he was a member of the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. Having Rolen in the dugout and the clubhouse will aid Frazier greatly. The learning curve has been accelerated and Frazier has a masterful teacher in Rolen.
In reference to all the home runs the Reds have hit in this series, Reds skipper Dusty Baker said in his post game comments that sooner or later the guys would start hitting home runs. I don’t think anyone expected this many in this few of games. Whatever the Good Guys are eating prior to the game, they need to stick with that menu.
Taking the first three in this series has been impressive enough, but to do it against the Atlanta Braves takes it a step further. The Braves strode into GABP with one of the best records in baseball and sitting atop the NL East. Now, they rest 0.5 games behind the surprising Washington Nationals. Yes, DC, you owe us a few thanks.
Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect ninth to gain his fourth win of the season. In his inning of work, AC struck out two, now giving him 43 in 24.1 innings of work. Translated: a SO/9 of 15.9. Um, that’s a hefty number.
And the ERA is still 0.00.