If you have been a Reds fan for any length of time, you know that West Coast road trips have been as kind to the Reds as Miss Hannigan* to Little Orphan Annie.** For some reason, MLB keeps making the Reds travel out to the left coast, so here we are again.

The season couldn’t have started any better, as Cincinnati is 5-1 and in a good mood as they travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks tonight. It’s the first game in a short six-game, two-series trip that will end with three games in San Diego. Arizona stands at 2-3 on the season, while the Padres are 3-2. Neither figure to be especially good this season, although San Diego certainly had an excellent season in 2010.

The strength of the opponent doesn’t usually matter when the Reds travel west, however. As excited as we all are right now, imagine how down we’ll be if the Reds fall flat on their collective faces over the next week. (Keep in mind that, no matter what happens, at least we aren’t Red Sox fans. Heh.)

I don’t see that happening, but I’m still crossing my fingers because, you know, that’s proven to bring good luck. My hope is that the Reds can come home with no worse than a 3-3 record on the trip. That puts the Reds at 8-4 on the year, and that’s just fine. If the Reds were able to win four games out west, the trip would be an unqualified success.

What do you think? What will Cincinnati’s record be when they return home?

*Not Ryan’s mother.
**Yes, I’m a little disappointed that I used an “Annie” reference.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

Join the conversation! 15 Comments

  1. Didn’t we squash that last year with a 6-3 trip to Ari, LA, and SF? I think there’s a little too much hype of this type of thing. Joey Votto said it best last year. Paraphrasing, he said “That’s not fair. I understand that this organization has struggled in the past on the west coast, but this team has not.” I would agree with that. What past rosters have done on the west coast really has no influence on what this roster will do. I’ve always hated historical stats like that. For example, “Roy Oswalt is 23-1 in his career against the Reds.” Last year’s Reds pounded the guy on multiple occasions, including playoffs. What he did against he likes of Griffey, Kearns and Aaron Boone is meaningless.

  2. The way this team is playing at home, I’ll take .500 on the road for the rest of the season. As for this trip, we always play in Arizona well, and it’s nice to get that trip out of the way so close to spring training so it’s basically just like going back to Goodyear. We never play well in San Diego, but I don’t think it will be that hard to take a game or two from them. 3-3 sounds about right, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised at 4-2.

  3. The Reds playing at night is great for this west coaster, but I also am wary of these trips because I tend to see more losses than wins in my time zone, and even despite last years 6-3 trip I’m still very aware that it’s different beast playing night ball on the coast.

    Fortunately this Reds team is a little more ready for it than the teams from the past decade, mostly because they are a more athletic bunch.

  4. I think 4-2 is very do-able for this road trip. Last year they rolled over Arizona on their west coast trip, and I like that they’re starting the trip off with Travis Wood on the mound, who has been our best/most consistent pitcher throughout spring and had a phenomenal first start.

    I also like that this is a 6 game trip, rather the the 9 game west coaster. I know you mentioned the strength of the opponent doesn’t matter, but I still like playing the Dbacks and Padres over the Dodgers and Giants.

  5. @bho52: I agree, 4-2 is well within reach. When Wood will likely pitch twice on the trip (he had a great road record last year), you have to like the way the pitching sets up.

  6. Weren’t they just out west two weeks ago? My hope is that by moving spring training to AZ that the Reds will improve on these westward trips.

  7. I think we need further analysis of this stuff. First of all, any struggles on the west coast between 1996 and 2009 can be largely attributed to bad Reds teams. When you can’t win at home, you’re not going to win anywhere. Lets look at the 80s. The Reds were bad from what, 82 until 84 and then a bit better from 85-92, but they still had tough competition out there. LA, SD, and SF had pretty decent teams over those years. I think this has a lot more to do with talent than where the games are played. I can see the first night being a little more rough due to time zone changes, but after that, its’ just another road game. I think this Reds team is all business whereas teams of the past had a more laid back approach. How did the BRM do on the west coast in the 70s?

  8. Thinking that the West Coast is going to be a problem for this team is completely irrational, yet I’m still scared of the trip.

    Yes, the good news was that the Reds had a pretty good trip record wise last August, but that series in SF at the end of it was worse than brutal.

  9. Given the consistancy of offence, defense, and most importantly, the fact that all the starters are 2s or 3s (maybe a 4), I think it is realistic for the Reds to take 2 of 3 in almost every series. Now I dont think they will win 108 games this year (maybe 107)- “stuff” happens – but as long as there aren’t major injuries that changes the basic lineup, I look at almost every series as being realistically winable. I know that wont happen, they will lose a series sometime – but for now I’ll predict winning 2 of 3 in both.

  10. In the 60’s the Reds had a reputation of tanking out west more often than not. Living out here has provided me with numerous trips to see the Reds lose more than they should have. In the 70’s they at least could come and steal the Padres lunch every day. But looking at the 60’s and the late 80’s I see a lot of what I’ve seen since 1996.

    1960 – 10-12
    1961 – 15-7
    1962 – 6-12
    1963 – 7-11
    1964 – 11-6
    1965 – 4-14
    1966 – 5-13
    1967 – 7-11
    1968 – 11-7

    1985 – 10-17
    1986 – 12-15
    1987 – 13-14
    1988 – 13-14
    1989 – 11-16

  11. This isn’t exactly a killer trip…it’s only 6 games 3 of which are to a team that is not particularly good. It’s the west coast trips that a 9 game playing the Giants, Dodgers, Padres that prove to be problematic.

    I expect 3 wins at minimum and think they will come back with 4.

  12. I got a kick out of the Miss Hannigan reference. I hope Ryan checks in here at the Nation, so he can enjoy it too.
    Actually, ever since Hal McCoy wrote about Hanigan working with the pitchers “like a lion tamer” that’s been the image I have of him.

    And the west coast? I agree with the reigning MVP. So four wins, minimum. 8)

  13. i think it should be said that three games are against arizona, which are very winnable. however, they also have young power bats all throughout their lineup and with just one or two hangers, even travis wood will be toast against drew, young, upton, miranda, etc.

  14. Wood could rack up 12 Ks tonight against the D-bags.

  15. I would predict 3-3 and as others have said, 4-2 is do-able. These are not very good teams. We beat up on the DBacks last year, they won’t be as easy this year. We had trouble with SD last year, but without AGon I think we’ll do better there.

    A trip to Denver and SF would scare me, 2 good teams and we don’t win in those places.

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.


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