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David Kohl, USA Today Sports[/caption]
The Reds held steady this week with a 3-3 record. After dropping a series to the Cardinals they rebounded by taking two of three from the Brewers over the weekend. The next few weeks will likely bring a lull in news for Reds fans. Cincinnati is clearly out of contention for 2016, and it's still too early to get excited about September callups. Regardless, there's still plenty to talk about from the past seven days.
Let's get to this week's Reds Report.
1. I feel like I've said this every week recently, but Joey Votto has been insanely hot as of late. Since the All-Star break he's hitting .462/.560/.692. In April and May Votto struggled at the plate, and some wondered whether or not we were beginning to witness his inevitable decline. It turns out that he was merely going through a cold stretch, and he's about as locked in as he can possibly be right now.
2. With how important Votto is to the Reds success, it's vital that they keep him healthy. Billy Hamilton did what he could to protect Votto from a foul ball over the weekend. However, I don't know how much Votto appreciated it. Cue the Votto is "overrated" and "overpaid" comments.
3. Speaking of Billy Hamilton, the Reds center fielder has shown some nice progression at the plate. Since July 15 he's hitting an uncharacteristic .308/.379/.356. That improvement at the plate has led to even more stolen base opportunities for one of the fastest players in baseball. In the first 74 games of the season Hamilton stole 22 bases. He's stolen 29 in his last 25 games. If he can consistently get on base, he will become one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in baseball. C. Trent Rosecrans took some time to write about
Hamilton's recent stolen base binge.
Hamilton had his way with Yadier Molina and the Cardinals earlier in the week.
4. It's hard to believe after how bad the bullpen was earlier in the season, but in the second half Reds relievers have the 5th best ERA in baseball (2.80). Raisel Iglesias has been an important reason why, and this week news picked up that he ultimately wants to be the team's closer. Wick Terrell at Red Reporter took a look at the long term implication
s of a permanent move to the bullpen for Iglesias.
Mark Sheldon also wrote about the bullpen
, and how important Michael Lorenzen's newfound confidence has been.
5. Oh yeah, the bullpen still does some insanely frustrating things. Like allowing the Cardinals to win a game (they had no business winning) on a walk off hit by pitch.
6. Wednesday marked the 12 year anniversary of the longest home run in Great American Ball Park history. Adam Dunn sent a baseball into centerfield that went an estimated...535 feet!
7. While we're taking a stroll down memory lane, there was another important anniversary this week. Wednesday also marked the 6 year anniversary of a massive brawl between the Reds and Cardinals. Brandon Phillips made a few comments about the Cardinals the night before this game, and once he got to the plate...well this happened.
8. Earlier this week the Reds announced their "college weekend" ticket package. If you purchase a special ticket (details here
) you'll receive a Reds hat with the logo and colors of your favorite college team. Can you think of THE school in Ohio that feels a little left out from this promotion?
The Reds begin a ten game home stand tomorrow night. The Marlins come to town for four games, and then the Dodgers will visit GABP over the weekend.
You can follow the Reds, and Eric's writing, all season long at Red Reporter.