By Josh Kramer
So much for the “Battle of Ohio.” The first part of the annual six game set between the Reds and the Indians became a massacre in a hurry as the Reds busted out the brooms yesterday afternoon. Matt Cain may have accomplished perfection on Wednesday night, but the Reds played pretty good in their own right this weekend.
9th. 11th. 10th. Those are the Reds ranks in the National League with regard to runs, batting average, and on-base percentage. It is no secret that every player on the Reds not named Votto has had their fair share of struggles from the plate this year. The offense we have come to know and love over the past couple of years just hasn’t shown up yet, or at least not on a consistent basis. Cleveland and a case of the stomach flu appeared to awaken a sleeping giant. In the three-game set with their in-state nemesis, the Reds powered out 24 runs and 37 hits. Averages of eight runs a game and over 12 hits a night. That will get the job done against any and all comers.
If only Brandon Phillips could play against the Indians all year. Phillips has not hid his disdain for his former team, both on the field and off the field. The Reds second baseman put on another show yesterday going 3 for 5, with a home run and 4 RBIs. In total, Phillips battered his former employer in going 8 for 13 with 7 RBIs. And as for Joey Votto, when doesn’t this guy hit? 5 for 10 with 6 RBIs in the series seemed like just another typical day at the office for Joey Votto. Please find me a better and more consistent overall hitter over the past three years.
In addition, who else is very excited for what the future holds in regards to Todd Frazier and Mat Latos? Both youngsters had great weekends in which they demonstrated what they are capable of. Cueto has been great all year, but no definitive number two starter has risen to the occasion (Arroyo has been close at times). Latos was brought in to fill this #2 spot and give the Reds a formidable 1/2 punch atop the rotation. He looked ready to fill the void with how he threw on Wednesday.
Now the Reds find themselves a season high eight games above 500 and in sole possession of first place in the NL Central. I always was under the impression that the matchup between the Reds and Indians was supposed to be a “Battle” for state supremacy. This weekend seemed more like a massacre. Hopefully the Reds good fortune continues against their in-state foe when they travel to Progressive Field on Monday.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.