Laughed at, ridiculed and told to cut back on the drinking (or smoking) because it was messing with my head. I was just fed up and could not take watching awful baseball anymore, that was what was on my mind when I wrote Its Getting Hot in Here, So Take Off All Your Clothes back in May.
Before my head gets too big and explodes, though, I have just a few things to back up my proud smile today.
First of all, yes, I know it takes more than just attitude to win. The missing ingredient, they said, was talent. The Cincinnati Reds apparently lacked the talent to win, or challenge, for the National League Central Division.
The following tidbits, provided by the Cincinnati Reds Team Page on Yahoo! Sports, prove otherwise:
CF Drew Stubbs robbed Houston's Carlos Lee of a two-run homer with a leaping catch at the wall. "When it was hit, I honestly didn't think I had a chance," Stubbs said. "But it hung up long enough for me to get to the wall." Stubbs batted lead-off and went 1-for-3 with a walk.
RHP Edinson Volquez went six innings and allowed two runs on the seven hits in a no-decision against the Astros. He struck out eight and walked one. Volquez, who has been effective since rediscovering his mechanics during a brief demotion to the minors, will get strong consideration for a playoff start.
LF Jonny Gomes went 0-for-4 to snap his career-best 11-game hitting streak. He went 15-for-43 (.349) during the streak.
LHP Aroldis Chapman earned the win with a perfect inning of relief, with his fastball hitting 101 mph, according to the scoreboard readout. However, one of his two strikeouts came on an 84 mph curveball.
RHP Nick Masset hasn't allowed a run in any of his last six appearances covering five innings. His ERA his last 47 games is 1.34.
REDS 3, ASTROS 2: Jay Bruce's ninth-inning homer gave the Reds their eighth walk-off win of the season. It was the 21st time they've won by scoring in their last at-bat, and it was their 45th comeback victory. Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth and was credited with the win.
Apparently the Reds have no talent, and will falter due to their lack of attitude and veteran leadership, something the St. Louis Cardinals (who were heavily favored all season) have in their possession.
This season's success must have been a mirage.
Cincinnati took care of business folks, even on the road, where they finished 42-39. It's the first winning record they've had on the road since 2000. They finished 42-39 that year, too.
Sure the Reds had their breaks and will need to step it up a thousand notches in the playoffs to be successful, but I don't care. They gave me something I've been missing for my entire adult life—a full summer of baseball worth watching or listening to.
Reds broadcaster and former pitcher Jeff Brantley was quoted as saying, "That's the kind of thing that makes the hair on your arms stand up," after Aroldis Chapman hit 105 mph once and 104 mph three times with his pitches on September 25th.
As a die-hard Reds fan, I mirror that statement today.