The Cincinnati Reds are 7-3 in the month of June. Read that again.
They have won three of the last four series and head Monday to play four games in Atlanta (17-43).
Bring your broom tomorrow.
Dan Strong Start Another excellent start for Dan Straily, who was facing the club that drafted him in 2009. Straily pitched for the A’s from 2012-14. Today, he worked seven innings, with three walks and five strikeouts. Eventually, his walk-rate, among other things, will catch up with him a bit. But hopefully that’ll be after the Reds move Straily for a good prospect or two at the trade deadline.
Just Enough Batting The Reds were facing the A’s 23-year-old Daniel Mengden (who I think is still in the middle of his wind up), making his major league debut. In 5.2 innings, the Reds managed 10 base runners but only two runs. Speaking of the trade deadline, both Reds runs came on an enormous (439 ft.) blast by Jay Bruce in the third inning. His homer almost cleared the right field stands. Joey Votto, who had walked, was on base.
Bullpen Artists Give Bryan Price credit for not being locked into a single pitcher with the closer role. You wonder if he’d be doing that if any of his relievers were consistent. Tony Cingrani pitched a clean eighth inning. Ross Ohlendorf came in to pitch the ninth. He gave up a couple hits. Jay Bruce made an outstanding play at full sprint in the right field corner, preventing the tying run from scoring. Ohlendorf struck out Billy Butler to close out the game.
Questionable Strategy In the bottom of the sixth, with runners at first and second and two outs, Bryan Price kept pitcher Dan Straily in the game and had him sacrifice bunt. Straily had already thrown 94 pitches and was scheduled to face the 7-8-9 hitters in the A’s lineup. Successfully getting the bunt down (which Straily had failed to do earlier in the game) lowered the Reds run expectancy for the inning from 0.90 to 0.57. They got 0.00.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.