After a week filled with a 2-5 record and Reds Nation wanting to collectively jump off a cliff, the good guys won their last matchup against the D-Backs and all seems back to normal as we turn our attention to The Rivalry: Reds vs. Cards…
On to the good stuff…
Reds vs. Cardinals– While as long as I have been watching the Reds (while some folks would counter that it’s not been all that terribly long) the Cardinals have been the only true rival of the Reds. But alas, when your team is mired in a 10 year stretch where .500 would have been cause to release a commemorative coffee table book, you don’t really have rivals. With the powers shifting the Reds way recently though, the rivalry between the Reds and Cards has shifted into high gear. While I could never really wrap my mind around a baseball rivalry as recently as 2 seasons ago, it is now second nature for me to get fired up for these regular season meetings and I totally understand the passion that goes into these punch-for-punch showdowns each season. The fires light much hotter when the postseason comes at stake for the victor.
Mike Leake– I’ll save the jokes but Leake came out as a stopper yesterday against the D-Backs to end the Reds’ 4 game losing skid. I’ve got to give him credit, to have the week he did and come out and perform…it was a good (and surprising) showing. Leake went 7 innings, allowing 3 ERs with 6 Ks and provided probably his sharpest performance this year. And a timely one as well as it buoyed the spirits of a slumping Reds team and provided a jolt heading into the Cardinals series.
The Month of May– Um…because college is about to let out for the summer and I will be able to write more and not be wanting to bash my head open on my desk over my Masters’ research projects. Hey, what can I say? There definitely hasn’t been many ups in Reds world this week unfortunately
Starting Pitching– Reds starting pitching has been the weak link to the last week’s woes. Starters have logged an ERA of 5.25 ranking 28th in the majors and 20th in batting average against at a clip of .260. It has been absolutely frustrating as the damage was routinely done off our starters in the early innings and it has put the offense into a rough spot, game after game.
Scott Rolen– Rolen has been quite the opposite of last year’s version which is a scenario that I considered fairly likely heading into the year. He is batting a paltry .216/.246/.417 with 2 HR and 12 RBI. The aches & pains are a expected part when it comes to Rolen now but it appears today that he has received two cortisone shots in his shoulder to alleviate pain that has been present since the San Diego series last week. This makes the need for a third baseman of the future a little less future oriented.
Mike Leake– And those jokes I saved would go here for his shoplifting episode but whatever, Leake just did something stupid and has (and is still) paying for it. I am 23 and Leake is exactly 15 days older than me. I have done stupid stuff and will almost assuredly do more. The difference is that there isn’t the microscope of the public eye on me constantly (thank god). Reds fans and Leake’s teammates did a good job of rallying behind Leake and cheering him on. It’s a situation that will most likely be dealt with and not thought about within a months time, but unfortunate all the same.