September 28, 2012

Which Reds will play in the first round of the playoffs?

Last Game

The Reds celebrated their regular season home finale walk-off win like they hadn’t had anything to celebrate for a while.

Mat Latos turned in another excellent outing, allowing just 1 run over 7 innings. The bullpen, no doubt thoroughly shamed by the previous game’s suckitude, was lights-out, too.

Unfortunately, the Reds were again without offense and unable to score one measly run. Then Todd Frazier stepped up to the plate in the 9th inning with two outs and hit a solo shot to center field to tie the game. Jay Bruce followed with a single, and Dioner Navarro hit a walk-off triple to bring him in and win the last regular season game at Great American Ball Park.

Next Game
Cincinnati travels to Pittsburgh to start their final regular season road trip of the year. The Pirates–one of the sadder stories of the season–will be fighting to finish the year with their first winning record in a generation. The Reds will be fighting for home field advantage in the playoffs. It will be A. J. Burnett versus Homer Bailey at 7:05pm.

No surprises planned for post-season roster
With just 6 games left in the regular season, thoughts among Reds fans are turning towards who will be named to the roster for the first playoff series. The managerial staff is thinking about it, too.

Acting manager Chris Speier says don’t expect any shockers.

“A lot of it is you want to have the best roster you can,” Speier said. “But you take into consideration the contribution people have made throughout the year. I’m sure the final roster won’t have too many surprises.”

Speier met with manager Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty once to discuss the potential roster, and there isn’t much capability for surprises. Short of calling on Billy Hamilton–who hasn’t played a Major League game–Cincinnati is likely to go with those who got them where they are this year.

From the rotation, Mike Leake is the likeliest to be left off. Five starters aren’t needed in the playoffs, and the bullpen is packed with proven successful options.

For the position players, Wilson Valdez will probably make the team, as much as I might not like it. Didi Gregorius would be a better option, but that promise of no surprises removes him from the running. Devin Mesoraco, the catcher of the future, is not the catcher of the present, so he is unlikely to make it.

The final roster won’t be decided upon until after the final game with the St. Louis Cardinals.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
The Reds’ season attendance total was 2,347,251. That puts them at second place in Great American Ball Park history. First place goes to 2003, when the park opened. That year, the team drew 2,355,259. Missed it by 8,008.

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