There are certain buzzwords or phrases in journalism that are absolute no-no’s. The personal ‘you’, opening a lede with a question, getting to hear the phrase “you’re hired”, just to name a few. While it’s different for the written word compared to the spoken version, Chris Berman of ESPN fame is a walking mystery. I understand he’s been there since the start. But he’s honestly a joke these days. Literally, his entire shtick is to yuk it up with the 13 other talking heads on NFL Countdown and to turn athlete’s names into “witty” phrases. Anybody who has heard him talk for more than 30 minutes wants to kill two people – themsevles and Berman. I go on this rant for two reasons: one, because I hate Berman. Two, a certain Cincinnati Enquirer copyeditor channeled his or her own Berman for a headline a few days ago, and considering the Enquirer is one of my few sources of Reds’ news, it really ground my gears.
But that technically is neither here nor there. But do you know what is? (Boom. A question, and a personal ‘you’. In YO face, established and blog-hating journalism!)
What is here and quite possible there is a suddenly hot again Reds team that is threatening in the NL Central. After taking two of three from the Cleveland Fightin’ Jim Thorpes on the weekend, they clowned all over the Astros earlier this week.
On Monday, the Reds celebrated the holiday with a very long and drawn-out 8-5 win over Houston. Aaron Harang waited out a 2-hour plus rain delay to finish the 5th inning and notch the win. He gave up 10 hits, but just three runs. His counterpart, Wandy Rodriguez, also gave up 10 hits and six runs, but none of them were earned, so his ERA dropped to 1.71. Too bad you’re on the Astros, dude. Jonny Gomes had 3 hits and 3 RBI to show up four other dudes that only managed two knocks. The Reds won despite missing three starters, as Brandon Phillips suffered a rather disgusting hairline fracture in his hand during the Cleveland series while Votto and Bruce took the day off.
Tuesday brought out aforementioned Votto-matic, which should be enough to rescind the win, but the league let them keep the 6-4 triumph over Houston and Roy Oswalt. As I’ve documented before on this fair site, Oswalt owns Cincy. But his career record stays at 23-1 because he blew a one-run lead in the 6th inning and Joey Votto hit a 2-run jack in the 7th to seal yet another series win for the Reds. Nick Masset returned from the DL to grab the victory and Coco Cordero got the save to stay a perfect 13 for 13 on the year. The current 3-game win streak ties a season-high, but wait for it. Wait for it …
The Reds grabbed a season-high fourth straight win on Wednesday afternoon thanks to a dominant performance from the long-haired wonder they call Bronson Arroyo. Jay “Batman” Bruce “Wayne” (see, I can be a douche, too!) actually did most of the damage in the 6-1 win, hitting two dingers and a triple. It was the one-year anniversary of his major league debut, which also included a bomb. So he’s got that going for him. Note to May 27, 2010 opponent: Do not pitch to Bruce. Or else you’re an idiot. But for reals, Arroyo was on point all day. He threw a complete game 5-hitter and only needed 92 pitches to do it.
Hot Fire Player of the Series: Arroyo. The man with flowing locks mesmerized the ‘Stros and made sure the Reds locked down the sweep. Final line: 9 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K.
Weak Sauce Player of the Series: Alex Gonzalez. The Reds shortstop rocked out to the tune of 1-for-12 in the series. Considering everyone else on the squad lashed out against the Houston pitching, Gonzalez needs to re-evaluate some things. Like how to hit, for one. Get your game up, Alex.
Records: 26-20, 3rd in the NL Central, 1.5 games back. 13-12 at home.
Next up: The Reds travel to Mil-town for a 3-game series against the True Blue Brew Crew. Johnny Cueto, Aaron Harang and Micah Owings take to the hill.