I must say I am shocked at how well the team has played since the debacle in Atlanta. I expected a slump and extended losing streak. I expected mental errors and poor fundamentals. None of that happened and I am starting to think it has something to do with a certain veteran infielder.
Scott Rolen is having his best season in 5 years and the rest of the team is feeding off him. His stat line is very impressive at .272/.341/.556/.897/134 for an above average, 35 year old thirdbasemen. The young guys see what he does and learn from it. Phillips has learned to take more walks, walking at a rate of 9.4% when his previous high was 6.8%. Joey Votto has improved his defense and has an Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) of 3.9. The next closest firstbaseman is 2.2. Bruce, who had been in a bit of a power slump until last night, hasn't let that bother him. He has put up .278/.379/.457/.836/121 while playing the second best rightfield according to UZR. Johny Gomes is have a career year. Drew Stubbs has turned it around after a terrible start. Janish and Hanigan have played so well that they could be starters at any time. And Cabrara has.....well he has some RBIs. Yeah. The big change the Reds made between last year at this time and now is Scott Rolen. Everyone talks about how seriously he takes his job and how much he works at his game. It seems to be working. As long as he is in the lineup, the team looks very confident. They are fun to watch, something that hasn't been true in recent years. So from everyone in Reds Country, thanks Scotty.
(Yeah, I am totally glossing over the fact that some of this may have to do with Dusty not sucking but I don't buy it. He still sucks. If you want to hear how great he is, you probably shouldn't visit a website entitled Fire Dusty Baker)
3 hours ago