Back and Forth

On Sundays later in the year, I find my remote comes in really handy. Usually, I’m flipping around watching the NFL. Not today. Today was a day in which the Reds had the potential to clinch the NL Central. The Reds were on Fox Sports Ohio and the CardinalsCubs affair was on WGN. Excellent.

It looked grim for the Cubbies at first. The Cards jumped all over the Cubs early to the tune of an 8-0 lead. Then, the Cubs began to chip away at the lead and pulled to within 8-7 after the 7th.

At Petco Park in San Diego, the Reds plated three runs in the top of the 4th on a bases clearing double by Chris Heisey. 4-2, good guys after 4. As the Reds went to bat in the 5th, back to WGN.

After one out, Tony LaRussa brought in closer Ryan Franklin. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess. A walk and a wild pitch (Remember, no Yadier Molina) put a runner on second. Ground out and another walk. First and second and two outs for Xavier Nady. Franklin has been struggling with his control, too. What? Nady swings at the first pitch and flies out…weakly. Oh, well. Back to FSOH!

Just in time. Brandon Phillips just knocked a two-run homer off the right field foul/fair pole. 6-2 Redlegs. Maybe that blast tells us that BP’s hand is 100%. If that’s the case, the Reds lineup is more explosive. Comfy lead for now, so I’m switching back to WGN.

Oh, crap. Runner on 1st and Albert Pujols is up. Two outs, though. Wild pitch and Albert doesn’t get the swing the bat. Matt Holliday has a chance to really get this game under control for the Cardinals. Holliday tries to buy a walk, but is rung up on a 3-2 pitch. Shame. Cubs trail by one going into the bottom of the 9th.

Damn. 1-2-3 for Franklin in the ninth. He threw maybe ten pitches and the Cards win 8-7. Clinching outright will have to wait another day. The Reds erupted for six runs in the 8th and the Reds win with Francisco Cordero hurling the 9th. 12-2, your future NL Central Division Champs.

Homer Bailey pitched exceptionally today. Seven innings, two runs, five hits and six whiffs. Bailey’s looking to grab a postseason starting spot, but I’m not sure if he will be awarded that spot. It’s not that Bailey has pitched miserably since returning to the rotation. It’s that the Reds have so many options.

Kinda sucks though. The Reds can clinch tomorrow and they don’t even play. Magic number resting at 1. The Reds are travelling back to Cincinnati while the Cards go back to St. Louis for a four game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Game one of that series is tomorrow. If the Pirates win, the Reds are the champs. What would be nice is if the Cards do win tomorrow and the Reds win Friday night against the Houston Astros at GABP. Win it at home.

I do have one issue I’d like to cover here.

I’ve been reading a lot about how the attendance for the Reds is viewed as being poor even though the Reds are going to be in the playoffs. On paper, it does. The Reds rank 12th (1,903,483) of the 16 NL teams in attendance. Over the last six games, the Reds need to average only a bit over 16,086 per game to break 2 million. For the season, that average per game is roughly 25,046. I do think the guys deserve to come home to sellouts for every game though. The organization has a Fan Appreciation Day on the last home game of the season.

How about a Team Appreciation Week?