Three Up/Three Down: The Post Semi-Disappointing West Coast Road Trip Edition


To have came off a .500 West Coast road trip, Reds fans endured a couple excruciating losses and have been in full-on Chicken Little mode on and off for about 72 hours. But buck up, there are about 150 games left and we are back in the friendly confines of Great American for a 7 game stretch against the Pirates and D-Backs. On to the ups & downs…

Three Up

Joey Votto – It sort of goes without saying but Votto’s last week of games has exemplified his hitting prowess. Just as there is a difference between a pitcher and a thrower, there are hackers and there are hitters. Votto is a hitter in every sense. At nearly every turn, Votto was turning on seemingly unhittable pitches for singles and grinding out great at bats. This exemplifies the art of hitting and Votto’s grasp. From a numbers standpoint, Votto has hit .500/.591/.556 with 4 runs, 2 ribbies, and surprisingly, 2 stolen bases and is now tied for the league lead in batting average. It’s just the norm with Joey.

Jonny Gomes– Equally as impressive has been Gomes for the road trip. Being on one of his patented tears, Gomes has blasted out 7 hits (with 2 HR and 7 RBIs) in 18 at bats. It appears that right now, the Reds have an abundance of hot handed OFs with Chris “Heezy” Heisey belting it out as well. It will be interesting to see how the playing time eventually gets doled out, especially depending upon the decisions made when Fred Lewis makes it back.

Logan Ondrusek & Jordan Smith– With Nick Masset potentially needing to seek witness protection (obviously more on that in the next section), there has been an opening for some of the other guys in the pen to step up. Enter Ondrusek and Smith, who while Masset was imploding stepped into some pressure packed situations and delivered. Ondrusek shined during the 9th and 10th inning of the Reds 8-2 win against the Padres in getting out of two jams. Smith did likewise, providing holds in the first and third Padres games. Both pitchers proved clutch in big situations and could work to take the 7th and 8th inning loads as Masset trying to right the ship.

Three Down

Nick Masset– It’s well-documented at this point, but Masset has been deplorable as of late. Picking up 2 losses and sporting a 16.20 ERA over the last 7 days, Masset has probably been the aim of more unprintable words from Reds fans in the past week than the gas prices. Culminating in the rumor going around the Twitters that Masset was going to be sent down being greeted with cheers. While he is out of options, I think that was slightly premature and Masset should be given a good amount of leash. The Reds have been lucky to not have many players start the season slumping save for Bruce and now Masset. Wait it out, he will be just fine.

Aroldis Chapman– Not so much for his performance but for his uncertain and worrisome health prognosis. Only with Chapman would you be genuinely alarmed when he is only pitching 93-95 MPH on the heater, but I was. When he came into the game against the Padres, it was instantly apparent that something was amiss. Not only were the heaters slow and erratic but he seemed aloof on the mound and out of sorts in general. While the ailment is being billed as only shoulder inflammation and fatigue, count me as one who is more than a bit worried about the situation. It’s always been a worry with Chapman that the same otherworldly velocity that makes him great could lead to arm problems.

Cincinnati Weather– As I sit here, I am watching game 1 of the Reds/Pirates series at GABP and the Reds getting blanked in a yawner (EDIT: Bruce just ended the shutout! WOOT! Game over though Reds lose 5-1). The only entertaining thing that we have seen has been the outrageous horizontal rain and 40 MPH wind during the middle innings. It sent trash onto the field and had defensive players scurrying around the outfield chasing flyballs blown inward 75 feet. It made for some interesting catches in the outfield and for some wet Reds fans at the game. I honestly don’t think I’ve seen worse wind during a game.