Reds beat Stros 6-2 on strength of Hanigan & HARANG?

[Box Score]

Aaron Harang
Alright so I admit, I had the obligitory ‘Aaron Harang is fucking done’ post in the draft kitty fired up and ready to go. This was especially after he gave up another run in the first inning (whether it was scored earned or not). But as I noticed the night wore on, Harang had a little bit of giddy-up in his fastball. He was humping 92-93 MPH and he finished strong. Look, I’m not a believer that we need this guy to win like Dusty Baker said. He’s won 2 games now in his last 24 starts. They’re going to trot him out there as long as possible because they’re paying him a boatload of money. Any night that he doesn’t get hit lit like a menorah is a bonus to us all. Last night, he showed he’s got a little bit left on nights in which he can face shit lineups like Houston. He’s not the Aaron Harang of old and he is never going back to that form. That form was buried forever, Opening Day 2008. But sure, on a given night he can beat the lowly Astros.
Ryan Hanigan
How about this guy? He got two more hits and drove in three more runs to bring some totals to .483 and 10 RBI on the season. He plays less then roughly half of the time. He also is gunning out runners and really handling the pitching staff well. Anyone out there who has time to do some statwork for us: what is the ERA for pitchers when Hanigan is in the game and the ERA for pitchers when Ramon Hernandez is in the game?

We think Hanigan should be starting. He’s quickly growing into one of our favorite Reds players. Tough, quietly does his job, hits in the clutch. A singles machine. He’ll work the count to 3-2 and when it gets full the pitcher doesn’t want to walk the 8-hole guy, so they give Hanigan a fastball to do stuff with. He calmly singles a line drive into the outifield almost every time. Love how he moves the ball and turns the lineup over day after day.
Jay Bruce
Bruce is starting to have some success. The only difference is his line drives (now at 21.2% LD rate) are finding grass. That’s the only difference with all you bitching fans who were begging to send the kid down back a few weeks ago. If it weren’t for his 1 for 19 bull shit, bad luck start; he’d have All-Star numbers on the year and we’d be hearing from all you know-it-all Monday Morning QB sofa fans about how he’s the next superstar. Too many of you guys fly by the seat of your pants on guys, especially in Cincinnati. Look, Bruce is somewhere in between Larry Walker and a guy who should be sent down. He’s a really solid young player who’s finding his way. He’s the least of our worries. Pencil him in the lineup every single day, LH or RH and in the 5th spot and see what happens. He’s a ballplayer. In every sense of the word.
And how about another Gold Glove play out in right field last night? He is the best Right Fielder in the National League already, it’s a matter of time until the baseball writers of America start to rally on that point.
Two more hits, four more great at-bats, and two more runs. Keep it going Jay.
The batting order
It went Stubbs, Phillips, Votto, Rolen, Bruce, Cabrera, Gomes, Hanigan, Pitcher.
Now, that’s an improvement. It didn’t take a fucking genius to know that putting Votto and Rolen back to back in the lineup would product more runs. But why Stubbs and Phillips 1-2? Doesn’t make sense. Why is Gomes in there against a RH at .210ish with Dickerson on the bench? Why is Laynce Nix coming in late in the game to play LF defense and not C-Dick? Why isn’t Bruce hitting 2nd where he’d see more fastballs?
Why do we ask? It’s Dusty. He’ll never, ever change. He’ll always make head scratching moves.
About to go on a run
Look. I know this isn’t a world-beating team. But they’re going to have to have some spells where they play well this season. This is going to be one of them. They’ve won two in a row. They face righties the next two days. Granted, Roy Oswalt goes on Thursday so it’s less than likely that we win that game. But we also go into St. Louis where we face a few more righties; none of which are Carpenter or Wainwright I don’t believe (unless Carpenter goes on Sunday).
I think the Reds win 4 of the next 5 ballgames, making an overall run of 6 of 7. I think they come home and win two of three from the Mets. I think they go 8-2 over the next ten with a shot at 7-3 and suddenly everyone gets quiet again and from there what Dusty Baker does determines his extension he wants and determines what really happens in this season.
Any time the Reds are facing a RH pitcher, and I’m not talking an upper-tier right handed guy like a Carpenter or a Wainwright; but a RH who only brings average stuff to the park or just a hard fastball to the park; they usually get to that guy. Like this Paulino guy in Houston they face tonight, they should shit on him unless they get themselves out. Or like a Kyle Lohse. They usually shit on Kyle Lohse. If it’s not a lefty (and we mean any damn lefty) and it’s not an elite RH pitcher, the Reds usually get to the guy. That’s the rule of thumb with these Reds.