After a 19-inning affair last evening and a rump kicking today, the Reds are probably glad to be leaving the City of Brotherly Love. Some love, huh? And what makes the fact that Cincy lost three of the four games even look more lackluster was they let a position player gain the “W” last night. Sigh…
You lose some you should win and you win some you should lose. The former has apparently taken a grasp of the good guys as of late.
But if you look at these four games in Philadelphia, there are a couple of positives to take away from them.
Of course the biggest bright spot is Jay Bruce. For the Phillies series, Bruce was 9-21 (.429) with 3 HR and 11 RBI. No doubt he will gain a boatload of consideration for Player of the Month. Who knows. It may even see him garner a few more All-Star votes now that he leads the NL in HR with 14. All you can say as of late as it relates to Bruce is “Wow!”.There is no other word to use.
One other was the performance of Carlos Fisher last night. Talk about an undeserving loss. Fisher threw more pitches last night (95) than he ever has in a major league game (previous high was 63). Fisher delivered almost as many pitches as starter Travis Wood (102) and almost matched him in strikes (57 for wood, 53 for Fisher). The only problem was that he had to take the hill in the 19th when it was clear he was out of gas. I know he gained a lot of respect from his teammates for his efforts. I believe a lot of Reds fans have a new found respect for Fisher as well.
The batting order seems to have returned to it’s form of last season, but there are a few wanting to see Bruce bat cleanup. With the way he’s been hitting lefties and we all know Joey Votto hit them, I must say I think it’s at least worth a try. As Kerry pointed out, Bruce is starting to show that he can hit lefty pitchers. And he’s starting to hit them with regularity. And with power as well. My only concern is that Bruce would put pressure on himself and slide back into a slump. Well, if that were to happen, we know he can snap out of it, too.
One last thing about the road trip as a whole. The Reds have played seven games, and in four of those, the “long relief” guy has been used to toss at least three innings. I already mentioned last night and Fisher. Let’s not forget that on Sunday, Sam LeCure had to pitch for 3+ innings. Same for Matt Maloney on Monday (who landed on the DL today with an strained oblique. Ouch!). Add newly recalled Daryl Thompson. He toed the slab for 3 innings today. Now his performance wasn’t as pretty as those of the other three hurlers, but it was a necessity considering the state of the pen especially after last night’s 19-inning affair. Yes, he was today’s “arm of the day” so to speak.
Well, here’s hoping for a sweep down in Atlanta.