Fear not, Reds fans. You win ten games in a row and 15 of 16 so that it doesn’t kill you to lose five in a row. Would the Reds prefer to avoid a five-game losing skid? Of course. But they’ve got a 2.5-game lead in the Central through Game 112 of the season. If I’d told you exactly three weeks ago – when the Reds had a .5 game lead – that their lead would be 2.5 games on Aug. 9, you’d take it, right?
Some glass-half-full observations from tonight:
• 3 hits from Brandon Phillips, who had had just one in 11 at-bats since returning from injury. With BP hitting and Votto almost back, I’m keeping the faith.
• Gotta love another lead-off home run from Zack Cozart in the 1st. The crazy and tough-to-swallow stat about Cozart home runs: Of his 15 career home runs (two in 2011, and 13 this season), do you know how many have come with runners on base? One (6/3/12 in Houston off Jordan Lyles). I know solo home runs are to be expected from a lead-off batter, but it’s pretty nuts that 14 of his 15 career homers have been solo shots.
• Granted, it WAS the John Morrell Hot Dog Play of the Game. But the 6-3-5 double play – where Cozart threw out Soriano at first and then Cairo gunned out Rizzo at third (with a perfect tag by Frazier) was very impressive.
• Also pretty was Mesoraco’s grab right next to the dugout, with the ball just barely in play on David DeJesus’ foul out in the 6th.
Welsh’s “Huh?” remark of the game:
As we’ve said before, we are Chris Welsh fans and we enjoy the analysis and insight he provides during the broadcast despite his questionable fashion sense. That said, about 2 to 5 times each game, he says something that makes us respond with either “Huh?” or “Wha?” Tonight, Welsh suggested that Mesoraco could’ve used the concussion he sustained against the Padres as a defense to explain why he went berserk and bumped umpire Chad Fairchild, resulting in his suspension. Really?
It is worth pointing out that Welsh was right on the money in his praise of Xavier Paul for taking as he led off against Carlos Marmol in the ninth and delivering a great at-bat that resulted in an infield single. Facing Marmol, I’m not sure why on earth you WOULDN’T take until you got a strike, especially with that strike zone as tight as it was. (Cozart, therefore, also deserves praise for his four-pitch walk against Marmol with two outs in the ninth.)