For all of those that said the Reds would be dead in the water without Joey Votto think again. Cincinnati’s 17-3 record after the All-Star break is not only the best in franchise history, but gives the ball club the best record in the bigs.
Today’s afternoon showdown at Great American Ballpark, featured Johnny Cueto and Russ Ohlendorf on the mound. The Reds bats, which have been scorching of late got on Ohlendorf early and often driving in six runs in the first two innings, driving Ohlendorf out of the game in 1.2 innings. The middle of the lineup today for Cincinnati played crucial role in winning the ballgame and is why the team has been so successful. Everyone was getting hits when they needed to and the entire team was getting hits with runners in scoring position.
However, the player of the game and perhaps the biggest surprise of the second half is the play of Todd Frazier. After Joey Votto went down there were many analysts and pundits were ready to call this team dead in the water, but this resilient team never gave up. Frazier’s hot bat and good defensive play helped drive this team to the best record on the MLB and in my opinion has made them the team to beat in the NL. Yes, the Giants and Dodgers have made significant moves at the trade deadline that have made their teams’ better, however I still believe that the NL will have to be won going through Cincinnati. This run has shown just how dangerous this team can be when things are clicking for them and in many regards when there not. There have been many games in the last twenty where part of the Reds game has been failing whether it be the hitting, starting pitching or otherwise, but their depth and grittiness has got them through to grind out victories. This charge has been lead by Johnny Cueto, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips and has shown just how damage they can do not only when Votto is back in the lineup but when the NL Playoffs begin.
The Reds win today moves Cueto to (14-5) leaving no doubt to who the ace in this staff is, Ohlendorf (3-2) gets the loss. Friday’s matchup starts a critical series with the also streaking Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ballpark. Mat Latos (9-3) will face off against recently acquired Wandy Rodriguez (7-9), first pitch being hurled at 7:10.
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Written by Michael Passaro