It was not as dramatic Thursday as it was Wednesday, but the Cincinnati Reds used the home run ball to come back to take the series two games to one over the power-hitting Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
There were three home runs hit today. One by Shin-Soo Choo, one by Todd Frazier and Chris Heisey who hit the final and deciding home run to secure the victory over the Angels. There is a ton of potential for power in this lineup, and for a team who struggled out of the gate on Opening Day to come out and take the series against a very tough Angels team is something Reds’ fans should be happy about.
Another positive thing to look at was the play of Choo, Frazier and Heisey. Some fans of the Cincinnati ball club had some doubts about whether or not Choo could play center field given the fact he is not a center fielder by trade. However, in my eyes, Choo played a great center field this series and backed it up by spraying the ball all over the field on offense and getting on base.
The play of Frazier this series is something Reds’ fans should be happy about as well. Frazier has shown that he can play third base everyday, and he played an excellent third base this series as well as doing enough at the plate against a good Angels’ pitching staff to give the Reds a chance to win.
Heisey was put into a predicament that many people don’t like to face– having to fill in for someone who was placed on the disabled list. But Heisey has so far answered the bell by making plays in left. Although the hitting isn’t there quite yet, fans need to give him a little more time to warm up to playing everyday while Ryan Ludwick is out.
While the hitting for the Reds was good today, the pitching was even better. Reds’ pitchers set a new club record in strikeouts during a three game series with 36, and shut down the big trio of Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. Reds’ starting pitcher, Bronson Arroyo, had a fair outing today of six innings, eight hits, one walk and five strikeouts. If the Reds’ pitching staff can put up those kinds of numbers like they did against the Angels, then the Reds will be an absolute force to be reckoned with this 2013 season.
With all the positives that the Reds had this series, there were some negatives (I shouldn’t say that, but it’s for the lack of a better word). Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto and Jay Bruce struggled this series. Votto went 1-10 with his lone hit being the game winner on Wednesday, and Bruce went 1-13 with seven strikeouts and left 14 runners on base. While it shouldn’t be a cause for concern yet, those are the kind of numbers that you don’t want to see on a consistent basis from your two sluggers on the left side of the box.
All in all, it was a good, hard fought series for the Reds. With the possibility these two teams may meet again someday in the playoffs, the future holds well for what could be a great season for both teams.
Follow Brad Stiene on Twitter @bs_rant1