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Reds Back in the Saddle; Long Ball Brigade Front and Center Once Again

Updated on August 16, 2012

Reds Back in the Saddle; Long Ball Brigade Front and Center Once Again

by Robb Hoff

August 16, 2012

The Cincinnati Reds formula for success with or without first baseman Joey Votto seems fairly straightforward: rely on pitching until somebody hits a home run.

So far, so good. The Reds are adept at beating substandard teams and held to the formula once again en route to a five-game win streak on the heels of a five-game losing streak by disposing of the awful Chicago Cubs and the bad New York Mets.

In their last four wins, the Reds pitchers have held their over-matched opponents to just three runs. It doesn't take much offense to emerge victorious with pitching that dominant. Starters Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and Mike Leake have posted consecutive starts that have curtailed some of the concern that these pitchers may be hitting a late-season wall down the stretch.

And the long ball is back for the Reds.

Last night back at Great American Ball Park, N.L. Rookie-of-the-Year shoo-in Todd Frazier launched a more-like-it knuckleball from Mets one-hit-wonder R.A. Dickey some 474 feet away and Reds slugger Jay Bruce belted another Dickey doink far into the right-field seats. Third baseman Scott Rolen returned to the lineup with a golf shot down the left-field line for another dinger against Dickey.

As for the Reds biggest home run threat -- Bruce -- he has started to swing momentum back to his favor with three long balls in the last four games, including the walk-off winner against the Mets Tuesday night.

So the course of action for the Reds seems to be hold pat: dominant starting pitching against bad teams coupled with scattered long balls is enough to at least win the division, which the Reds now lead over the choking Pittsburgh Pirates and the rising St. Louis Cardinals by seven games.

Post-season success may require some tweaks, but for now, all's good in Reds Country.


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    • Robb Hoff profile image

      Robb Hoff 5 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio

      O's have been a great story this year because of their pitching, especially relief. Good to see them get a crack at their first winning season in 15 years.

    • Robb Hoff profile image

      Robb Hoff 5 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio

      Between Mammoth Cave, a stop to visit the golf pro down at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, and the Louisville Slugger museum -- hard not to be prolific

    • profile image

      HolmesUkraine 5 years ago

      Three entries in one day...very prolific!

    • TheRealAlexWise profile image

      Alex Wise 5 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Great hub...loved reading this because, as an Orioles fan, I can relate 100%. The O's also rely on their starting pitching (as bad as it may be) to hold on until someone goes yard. It's not going to get them through the playoffs, but it's working for now!