While I wasn’t able to watch the thrilling comeback against the evil Cards and the heroics of one Joey Votto live last night (stupid college, I really am starting to hate it), the joyous response of Reds fans all over the interwebs and the 5 times I’ve watched the highlights on Sportscenter has soothed my displeasure. I already love the comebacks that this team has made seem routine but to do it against the Cardinals, it makes it all the more sweeter. It was a statement and a large one in a season where its looking more and more likely that the Central is going to be a toe-to-toe heavyweight bout between the Reds and Cards in 2011.
Ours ups and downs this week will be focusing on the hot and cold hitting Redlegs from the past seven days…
Rymon Hernanigan- This has been my nickname for the two-headed catching monster for the Reds for the past season or so. Ryan Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez have teamed up to provide more production from catcher than nearly any team this side of Atlanta and Brian McCann. Thus far in 2011, the Reds rank in the top 4 in the NL among catching production in BA, OBP, SLG, RBI, and Total Bases. The past seven days have been particularly productive as the tandem has combine to go 9 for 24 with a HR and 4 RBI and provide the best batting average of any starting position play for the Reds. And as I’ve written this Hernandez has came up big this evening in game 2 against the Cards, going 3 for 3 with 2 solo homers. The catchers just keep clubbin…
Joey Votto- Duh….I could reserve a spot in this list for Mr. MVP every week but with his ho-hum walk-off hit last night I figured I could throw him a bone. Votto has just went 7 for 18 with 3 runs, 2 2B, 1 3B, and a team-leading 4 RBI over the past week. Votto is the rock of this team and I am reeaaaaaallllllyyyyy glad he is on our side.
Scott Rolen– Glad Rolen is back off the DL. Adding a 2 for 4 day today in his second game back to go with a 3 for 5 debut, that’s a two day tally of 5 for 9 since coming back from shoulder issues. When the Reds have the healthy Rolen for the middle of the lineup, it really helps in taking the load off of Joey Votto. It’s great to see.
Jonny Gomes– I mention Jonny again in the downs section for a couple reasons. First, because he is still slumping terribly, collecting only 3 hits in 14 AB this week and carrying it over from a long term cold streak that has lasted nearly a month. And second, because we could start seeing more and more of Fred Lewis in left as he has been good in the couple starts and pinch hitting opportunities he has had since coming off the DL. Gomes might do well with the short side of the platoon for a bit to get his mind right and shake the slump.
Jay Bruce– It’s hard to nitpick the hitting of a team that hit a team total of .296 for a week but Bruce is still slumping slightly. 4 for 19 with one of those being a homer and 3 RBI. I know my preseason player to watch for the Reds has not taken the step many thought he would thus far and it pains me to see. I’m just looking ahead toward the end of the season and if there isn’t any marked improvement from Bruce whether many out there may being to start giving Bruce the ‘Homer Bailey treatment” from a season or two ago and want to start calling for his job.