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Barry Larkin in the Hall of Fame; Johnny Cueto on the Mound

Updated on July 22, 2012

Barry Larkin in the Hall of Fame; Johnny Cueto on the Mound

by Robb Hoff

One thing was for certain while flipping between the Cincinnati Reds game and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Reds great shortstop Barry Larkin on Sunday -- the 2012 Reds sure could use Larkin's bat in the lineup now.

The Reds suffer mightily at the plate and will probably continue to suffer in the absence of first baseman MVP candidate Joey Votto. It was no more evident than Sunday with three starters taking a rest.

All the Reds could muster was a pair of third inning runs as they attempted to keep the streaking Pittsburgh Pirates at bay in second place of the N.L. Central division. The team collectively just can not hit or do the small things it takes to scratch runs across the plate to offset the lack of hitting ability. If the team does not hit home runs, they usually do not score more than one or two runs.

Fortunately, the Reds have ace Johnny Cueto. Once again Cueto came out and shut down another opponent without giving up a home run. Cueto deserved the win after holding the Milwaukee Brewers to one run over seven innings, whiffing nine in the process. His effort to get out of the first inning after fielding miscues by substitute first baseman Miguel Cairo and rightfielder Jay Bruce led to loaded bases, was absolutely masterful.

And so was the flame-throwing exhibition by Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, who once again laid waste to overmatched hitters to preserve the Reds 2-1 win, thus securing a sweep of the Brewers and an 8-2 record during the Reds 10-game homestand.

Now maybe the Reds can ride the wave of some of the national media exposure that Larkin helped the team gain and hit the road with the air of confidence it will take to keep atop of the N.L. Central with teams starting to breathe down their necks.

Now if the Reds can continue to get it right, maybe so too can the Hall of Fame. And now that they actually let Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo in, you've really got to wonder how far behind another great Reds shortstop can possibly be -- Davey Concepcion.

At some point, Concepcion has got to get the call to the Hall of Fame.

And until the All-Time hit leader Pete Rose is enshrined, it's hard not to consider that baseball's commemorative institution for players accomplishments on the field still smacks more of Hall of Farce than Hall of Fame anyway.


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