The Reds could have used a sweep this weekend, but two out of three playing up I-71 North won’t kill your season. Considering that all three games were competetive, it’s nice to have the Reds take the series from an Indians squad that is seriously depleted.
I didn’t get to watch a lot of this series but I did look at the box scores and follow the action on my iPhone here and there throughout the weekend. I was actually in Cincinnati on Saturday for a family member’s graduation party from Moeller High School–this night would become Jay Bruce’s 2nd career four hit game.
I can’t provide the kind of observation that a legendary writer like Hal McCoy can; but I’ll be happy to list a few things that I think are relevant, and what you can take from the weekend heading into an important homestand that’s going to determine what direction we head into the important summer months.
The Reds should probably consider doing a few things as the weeks roll on:
1) Let Arthur Rhodes close out a few ballgames. The guy is dominant and rarely allows big innings. If we’re up three, give Cordero the night off and take advantage of having a stud like Rhodes in your bullpen.
2) Call up the Del Rosario kid from AAA Louisville, who as of early last week had an ERA in the 1’s and was blowing hitters away, looking ready for the next level.
I also wouldn’t rule out acquiring a set-up guy who is available around the league. Stockpile good arms for the bullpen and the stretch run. If a Nick Masset is available two years ago around this time we’re approaching, I believe you can go out and find a Masset-type now. A guy who throws hard who can record a lot of outs. A closer in waiting type. It’s too bad Jose Arredondo isn’t ready to go now because that is the type of guy who could really help this team be a force. The bullpen is becoming a concern with every inning they have to throw now. They’re going to wear down.
Homer Bailey left yesterday’s ballgame with a tightened shoulder. I wouldn’t expect it to be anything serious but it’s definitely a concern to go along with Johnny Cueto’s blister. These two guys have been close to dominant lately. With the way that Aaron Harang is throwing you can’t afford to have two important cogs like Bailey and Cueto go down right now.
The Reds welcome in the Pirates and Astros to Cincinnati this week before heading to St. Louis on Memorial Day. I’d love to say the Reds will take all three games against the lowly Pirates. That isn’t going to happen. I’d expect this Pirates team to fight like hell the next couple nights and be really tough victories for the Reds to gather. That’s just the way it is. The Reds aren’t shooting cripples against teams like Houston and Pittsburgh. They’re exercising demons against teams that have historically been a house of horrors against them. Taking 5 out of 7 would be exponentially huge for this Reds team.
Oh and by the way, props go out to Laynce Nix who really has hit the ball well lately. He hit two homers in the weekend series against the Indians and had a couple of other big knocks on Friday night to help us get a victory.