Monday, April 18, 2016

Notating Good and Bad From Road Trip

by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

Well, all the encouragement we saw in the first week of the 2016 went by the boards when the Reds traveled to Chicago and St. Louis. Granted these are undoubtedly two of the best teams in the National league so it is reasonable to expect to have a tough six games. And even playing five hundred is not unreasonable but a tall task.

You know the old formula for baseball success, win at home and play five hundred on the road. But alas the Reds went 1 and 5 on the trip. Basically, they were pummeled in Chicago. They didn’t have a chance in that series. Then they travel to St Louis and the Cardinals blew them out in game one of their series. The Reds bounced back for a nice win on Saturday. But if not for a Jay Bruce ninth inning home run it would have been another blown save for JJ Hoover. They lost a tight game on Sunday, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. And who the heck is the Cardinals Eric Fryer? He goes three for three Sunday and just as the Reds luck would have it, he doubles in the winning run in the eighth. Give me a break! The Reds had enough trouble through the years with catcher Yadier Molina and now this guy goes off on them.

The Reds finally beat Adam Wainwright on Saturday. The loss to the Cards on Sunday was particularly frustrating in the fact that the Reds just can’t hit the Cardinals Kevin Siegrist or Trevor Rosenthall.

As far as the Reds hurlers last week, Brandon Finnegan pitched okay. Two starts, 11 2/3 innings and five runs. Alfredo Simon was awful in one start and one relief appearance. The Reds have reason for concern there. Iglesias was fair giving up three runs in five innings in an 8-1 loss to the Cubs. Melville was awful in the Reds 14-3 loss to the Cardinals giving up seven runs in three innings of work. I was encouraged by Jon Moscot in Sunday’s start. He gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings.

The bullpen overall was not very good. Jumbo Diaz struggled and JJ Hoover was lit up on Thursday against the Cards but managed a save on Saturday night. One bright spot is that Tony Cingrani seems to be finding his groove.

Hats off to the Reds Shortstop Zack Cozart who is batting .483 on the season and had a phenomenal road trip.

The Reds will face the hard hitting Rockies for three home games and then the Cubs come to town for four games.

Replacing Tim Melville in the Reds rotation will be Marshall University product Dan Straily. He will get his first Reds start on Monday at home against the Rockies. Not a pleasant thought to see the Rockies come to town with Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and Carlos Gonzalez and their combined 17 home runs and 39 RBI’s.

After the Rockies it doesn’t get any easier as the Cubs come to town for a big four games series. Then the Reds travel to New York to take on the Mets and then a weekend series at Pittsburgh. Then they play the Giants at home. Wow! If the Reds are at five hundred on May 4th I will be very happy.

Like the ant on the rubber tree plant, I still have high hopes for the Reds in 2016.

Until next time,

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