April 28, 2010

The Daily Brief: Journey to Competence Starts with One Step

Last Game
Dusty Baker shocked everyone by changing up his lineup yesterday. The shortstop was moved to 6th, Brandon Phillips was moved to 2nd, and Scott Rolen was moved to the cleanup spot. And the universe did smile upon the better lineup, and the Reds did score 6 runs. Aaron Harang had his best start of the year, as well, pitching 6 innings of 2-run ball and getting the second win by a Reds starter this year. Sure, it was only the Houston Astros, who aren’t too far removed from a AAA team this year, but don’t forget that the Reds were swept by the Pirates already this year.

Next Game
The Reds attempt to continue their winning ways, and have their best starter to assist, when Mike Leake takes the mound at 8:05pm EDT versus Felipe Paulino.

Old Harang Back for One Night Engagement Only!
It felt like Aaron Harang was back to normal last night, like the ace he was for a couple years with the Reds. He was much more aggressive and got ahead of hitters with more regularity, which was something pitching coach Bryan Price encouraged him to do. Even Harang agreed about the change in his performance, “It kind of felt how it was a couple of years ago.”

For the Reds to even sniff a winning record, they need Harang to overcome his poor pitching from early this season. The big test will be his next start against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals lineup is far better than that of the Astros, but since he’ll be going up against Chris Carpenter again, it sure would be great to see another of their epic pitcher’s duels.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Brandon Phillips is 4 home runs away from 100 for his career.

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