Positive posts concerning the Cincinnati Reds have been rare this year; as rare as a Reds series win or winning streak. This weekend of baseball in the Queen City was different, special even. For starters, the Cleveland Indians were in town, and that always seems to be a special series. I am not a fan on Interleague play. Personally, I’d rather see Dodgers vs. Reds as opposed to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Reds. The novelty of Interleague play has worn off, and with cable, sat TV, and MLB.com, it’s not like I only see AL teams during the Series. Isn’t ESPN the alternative Yankees network? Maybe they are the Red Sox channel, because it seems as if those two teams are always playing on ESPN. No one suffers from lack of AL exposure. To be sure, there is too much exposure to the DH league.
The Reds vs. Indians series is the anomaly for me. I do enjoy this series. It has nothing to do with the Reds and Indians being historic rivals. They aren’t. But the cities of Cincinnati and Cleveland are, and always have been bitter rivals. That is what makes this series fun. Cincinnati wants to beat Cleveland, and vice a versa.
Friday night was a great leadoff game. The Reds had finally called up top pitching prospect Homer Bailey, and this was his inaugral start in the big leagues. He did not overwhelm the Indians, however; neither was her overwhelmed. Cleveland has a potent offense, and Bailey pitched well for five innings.
Cincinnati fans have been eager for this young man; not only for his call up, but for him to be successful. The last pitcher drafted and developed by the Reds who enjoyed big league success was Tom Browning, and he debuted in the mid-80s! Cincinnati won Bailey’s first start, and that not only sent the fans home happy on Friday it infused some life and hope in the fans as well.
Cincinnati won the home series, ending the three game set on Sunday with a good ol’ good one; a 1-0 12 inning delight which displayed phenomenal pitching by both units as well as spectcular Cincinnati defense (can’t believe I just typed that). Encarncion made a brilliant stop and throw from his knees early in the game, and hopefully this will boost his confidence in the field. Josh Hamilton continues to impress. This young man needs to start in CF ever game. He has an absolute rocket of an arm, and sooner or later teams will have to respect his cannon.
The good vibes might not last long, but this was a fun weekend of Cincinnati baseball!