Cincinnati Reds Bats Get Devil Hot, Avoid Sweep


Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Life is always better after your team wins.  On top of a gorgeous, picturesque Sunday afternoon, many got to witness a glimpse of summer before the real show arrives. 

Exploding for 12 runs on the day, the Reds coasted to a 12-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the series finale.  Winning one of every three games played at home is certainly not a method for success, but for the time being, the win is satisfying. 

It’s funny what happens when the Reds don’t face high caliber pitching, isn’t it?  No disrespect to Cesar Ramos, who has had made himself a valuable asset of a pennant contending team, but he is no frontline starting pitcher.  Teams that can slug the ball around the yard like the Reds feast on pitchers like Ramos. 

After a tidy four outs to start his day, it piqued the interest of the fan at home, wondering if they were in for more of the same old from the Reds bats.  Thanks to some amoeba-like strike zones for the rest of the half inning, the club got on the board with a two-RBI double off the bat of Zack Cozart. 

Following that was a scene that surely must have come straight out of Bad News Bears.  With the new rules disallowing players from crushing the catcher as if he were a crash test dummy, Devin Mesoraco had slam on the breaks before coming to the plate on an infield tapper.  Reversing track, he didn’t get very far before former Red Ryan Hanigan chased him down.  Expecting a better effort than what he put forth, Tony Cingrani figured Mesoraco would create a rundown situation that would allow him to scamper towards second.  Caught in no man’s land, Cingrani now attempted to create a scenario which would allow Cozart to make a mad dash for home plate; needless to say, he was thwarted, prompting Chris Welsh to break out the dreaded “TOOTBLAN.” (Thrown Out On The Bases Like A Nincompoop…his words, not mine.)

The mistake was one that would be at the forefront of heated discussions and angry mobs had it had an impact on the outcome of the game.  Thankfully, the Reds had 10 more runs coming.

Billy Hamilton led off the bottom of the third with a line drive base hit into left field and promptly scored after Joey Votto unleashed on a fastball from Cesar Ramos.  Of the odd, semi-pulled variety, Votto went towards the green hills beyond the centerfield wall. 

Runs would not soon cease.  Taking advantage of a pitching change and a hanging breaking ball, Devin Mesoraco continued to stay blistering hot as he a crushed a pristine white sphere amongst the masses in the bleachers.  It was mentioned on the telecast, and it bears repeating, that Mesoraco is virtually forcing the hand of Bryan Price.  When he’s in the lineup, he almost has to be moved up in the batting order. 

Hammering the final nail in the coffin was Chris Heisey, who connected with a Grand Slam that may have only gone out at Great American Ball Park.  For a predominantly pull hitter, Heisey’s opposite field Grand Slam came as a pleasant surprise.  As I had tweeted out earlier, I truly believe Heisey is the best player sitting on a Major League bench right now.  His value to the team as a pinch-hitter is humongous, as he is a weapon you can pick to deploy at any moment. 

Lost amongst the offensive explosion was the whale of a game Tony Cingrani pitched.  Despite the two-run jack off the bat of Ben Zobrist, Cingrani corralled the Tampa Bay batters who were licking their chops as the wind was whipping out to left field all afternoon long.  Maybe most importantly, he kept his streak intact of five hits or less allowed–rocketing the number up to 21 consecutive starts.  It has become astounding just how impressive the streak is, even if the national media is yet to give it the proper hub it deserves.

A 4-8 start isn’t ideal.  Especially with Milwaukee off to a torrid 10-2 start, the Reds find themselves six games back in what should be a crowded National League Central division. 

Staying down by the Ohio River, the club welcomes in their new nemesis, the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Homer Bailey looks to right his personal ship when he grabs the ball Monday night at 7:10 P.M. against the team in which he threw his first no-hitter in opposition of.  Unfortunately, for Jay Bruce, who walked four times today, tying a career-high, he will most likely be watching from the sidelines tomorrow due to the fact that the Bucs will send Wandy Rodriguez to the hill.  In his career against Rodriguez, statistics do not do justice to the word, ownage.  Sure, that’s not actually a word, but Jay could not touch Wandy if he tried. 

While the next few series boast difficult opponents, the worst is at the Reds back.  Starting with this three-game set, the ball can absolutely begin to get rolling.