As I'm sure everyone knows, the Reds beat the Astros yesterday in a rain delayed game at GABP. More importantly, the Reds beat the Astros in a game at GABP. Berkman & Co. own the Reds here in Cincinnati, and the fact that we beat them yesterday means we're doing some things right. Here's what I think has been going pretty good lately:
1.) Jonny Gomes. Finally, we all get what we've been screaming about all 40 games this season. It was probably a good decision to let Gomes find his stride in AAA before moving him up, but it was getting pretty painful watching Darnell McDonald try to hit off major league pitchers. Anyway, Jonny's been killing it since being called up, and is finally some sort of a right-handed power bat, as well as good protection should the Reds ever get in a bench-clearing brawl.
2.) We have depth. It seems like half our team can play any position in the infield, and win while doing so. Our opening day lineup (minus Darny McDoogle, of course) hasn't played much together this year because of all the injuries. Edwin went out, Rosales came up and gave us all something to laugh about every game, but we're able to laugh because we're winning. Votto went out, Hernandez moved to first and did an amazing job, and seemed to enjoy himself while doing it. This, of course, gave Ryan Hanigan some more well-deserved playing time, and he's been contributing too. Speaking of catchers...
3.) Wilkin Castillo was just called up. I'm excited to see this kid play. You gotta love a guy as versatile as he is. After all, what are the Reds without 3 catchers?
4.) Alex Gonzalez turned it around at the plate. His defense is obviously helping the team out up the middle, as it seems like everytime he touches the ball he's turning two, but he's finally on that confidence-building run at the plate he's been looking for. Granted, he's barely hovering over the .200 mark, but he's definitely picking it up and his doing so is one of the keys to the Reds' success this season.
5.) No one is all that excited about Homer Bailey anymore. As Jeff mentioned in an earlier post, he's only 22 and hasn't pitched much in the majors so we can't expect too much, but now that we have a decent #5 guy, there's not much pressure on him anymore. He shouldn't have expected more than a spot start on Saturday, but he certainly didn't show anyone he was worthy of a rotation spot. Last year, I think Bailey's start on Saturday would depress Reds fans, but now I think a lot of us couldn't care less at this point.
6.) Bring on the rain delays! Fox Sports Ohio is so much more entertaining when there's a delay. Brantley and Thom Brennaman were great, and Brandon Phillips was truly hilarious. Even Jim Day had some classic moments. I usually switch over to the banana phone on 700WLW during rain delays, but I couldn't stand to miss any more of Brandon Phillips' antics. Also, they showed him talking to Jeff Keppinger, one of my favorite Reds of all time.
Basically, whoever is on the field, this team is finding ways to win. Votto, Phillips, and Masset coming back can only mean good things, but our bench has proven recently that they can win without the big stars.