And, we’re back…..
So…what did I miss?
In many ways, not much. In other ways…a whole lot.
*The Reds managed to improve their first-place lead over the Pirates to 4 1/2 games, despite losing five in a row and having a 3-4 road trip through Milwaukee and Chicago. (I’m sure no Reds fans or readers of this blog panicked at all during that span).
*This team is a remarkable 19-8 without Joey Votto when many were saying, including me, that just treading water at .500 during his absence would be a respectable feat. Now they’re really getting extra tested with the setback Votto had on Friday.
*How do people feel about the big picture with this team right now? From my point of view, it seems pretty optimistic. Can it be better? Sure, but the second-best record in baseball is nothing to sneeze at.
*Can we put Todd Frazier front and center in the NL Rookie of the Year race yet? He certainly deserves the consideration.
In 88 games, Frazier is hitting .280/.339/.528 with 14 homers and 48 RBIs. He’s played well at both first base and third base.
In 92 games, Bryce Harper is batting .249/.328/.406 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs.
Left-handed starter Wade Miley (12-8, 3.02) is having a nice season for Arizona and should be a contender, and Milwaukee right-handed starter Mike Fiers (6-4, 1.80) will be part of the conversation. Am I missing any other contenders that have a legit chance to win?
Frazier could stay in the lineup even longer as Votto remains out and Rolen battles with back trouble again. That wouldhelp his chances at ROY votes.
*How about this item on Aroldis Chapman? Chapman produced saves in each of his last 16 appearances, including three in a row vs. the Cubs, to break the single-season club record held by Jeff Shaw (Aug 25-Sept. 19, 1997). With a 1.26 ERA and 28 saves in 53 games, Chapman could enter NL Cy Young talk. But he’d have a hard time getting by his own teammate, Johnny Cueto, who is 15-6 with a 2.45 ERA in 24 starts. That race, overall, is much harder to handicap.
*It appears that my taking a vacation caused a mini controversy. Thanks for all the comments, positive and negative, while I was out. I will let them stand without responding. I will be glad to be back at the ballpark again on Tuesday and hope you are back with me.