Series Preview: Cincinnati Reds

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The Mets clinched the NL East in Cincinnati last year. Never a bad time to recall such a joyous occasion.

Headlines

Yo’s not superman, you know: After heroically flying into the stands last week, Yoenis Cespedes is dealing with a lingering bone bruise and is likely to miss the entire Reds series.

Un-Familia behavior: Jeurys Familia notched another save, but gave Mets fans a heart attack in the process. Opposing hitters are now batting .325 against Familia, who is sporting a 3.00 ERA early in the season. Familia recorded 43 saves and a 1.85 ERA in his breakthrough 2015 campaign.

Not a FAN?: Mark Chernoff, radio boss of WFAN, talked to the Daily News about how no player from the Mets organization has appeared on WFAN in over three years. The Mets cut ties with their former flagship station, but you might be able to catch them on WOR-AM discussing immigration policies with Rush Limbaugh.

Seeing Red: The Reds are coming off a tough series against the Cubs – they were out scored 38-14, were no hit by Jake Arrieta, and Anthony Rizzo came alive during the series – swatting a few home runs in the process. Hopefully things start looking up for the Reds (after the Mets series, of course).

Know Your Foemrhaiku

This time around, we got a chance to ask long-time Reds fan and Mr. Haiku Baseball himself, Matt, some questions about the Reds, and of course beer.

The Reds starting rotation has been hit by the injury bug early so far. With the caveat that you’re working with fill-ins for fill-ins, what are your impressions of the staff so far?

First of all, thanks for reaching out about the glory of Cincinnati Baseball (past, and present … well, to be honest, mostly past).
Recently, the Reds have managed to make the history books in plenty of ways with the rotation. Just remember, it was only a few years ago when Cueto, Latos, and company had an extraordinary streak for maintaining the 5 person rotation. And consequently, the Reds were a playoff team with National Title ambitions. Last year, we had quite a streak with an all rookie rotation as well.
As for the staff so far…it is still a mixed bag. There are plenty of potential #3 starters in the rotation and plenty of “very good” relief pitchers. I still do not think there is an ace in the staff. The best part of the injury bugs to the rotation though is keeping Homer Bailey away. I love the guy, but he is not the future of the Reds rotation and he will take starts away from the 2-3 year plan. The dark horse to the rotation (and speaking of injury bugs) in my not so humble opinion is Mike Lamb. Watch out America.
The Mets have faced a number of rebuilding clubs in a row (Phillies, Braves, Reds), so this has been a bit of a broken record question of late: with plenty of rising talent getting plenty of time at the big league level, which youngster are you most excited about watching this year?
For youngster excitement on the Reds, it really is focused on the rotation. Brandon Finnegan, Mike Lamb, Anthony DeScalfani. Oddly, I think Raisel Iglesias is plenty hyped already so he is not mentioned in my list. I also think Michael Lorenzen is too hyped. He feels like an Austin Kearns kind of rookie (early hype, future all-star, but will be mediocre).

Jay Bruce is hitting quite well to start the year. Do you think Dick Williams finally bites the bullet and trades him? Think it happens before the trade deadline if so?

BRUUUUUUUUUUCE. Yea, that kid. It is important to remember he is still a youngster! I think the Reds HAVE to trade him regardless. They want the salary relief and the need to open the outfield and get more talent. They did themselves a disservice in a few trades this past offseason where we got pennies on the dollar. See Chapman.

What’s your plan of action for imbibing in the Queen City for a Reds game?

Well, the best thing to do is get your ticket for a work night Reds game. Before hand, save a few bucks and park over in Newport (Newport at the Levee) and go to one of the bars there. If you hit happy hour, you can get some great beer for $2 a pint! Then walk over the Pedestrian Bridge to the game. Make sure to stop by and see a pig on smokestacks en route! (Yes, it is a thing) At the ballgame, go local! The cincy beer market is coming into fruition!

It would be an absolute disservice to our 6 readers if I didn’t ask you for a Reds haiku.

Cincy at the Bat: A Great Rebuilding Story

By Haiku Baseball
Offseason Frenzy.
A firesale to many.
the old crew is gone.
The Youngsters descend
on the Great Franchise of Yore
for baseball glory.
Votto’s the captain.
Philips the midfield anchor.
JJ the closer.
(but not anymore)
Dynasty anew.
Hopefully days are a-coming.
Dark days still to pass.
Thanks again to Matt for the A’s to our Q’s, and the haiku epic!

Standings & Probables

Nationals 14-4 .778
Mets 10-7 .588
Phillies 9-10 .473
Marlins 6-11 .352
Braves 4-14 .222

Monday, April 25 Noah Syndergaard (2-0 0.90 ERA) vs. Raisel Iglesias (1-1 3.09 ERA)

Tuesday, April 26 Bartolo Colon (1-1 2.89 ERA) vs. Brandon Finnegan (1-0 2.04 ERA)

Wednesday, April 27 Matt Harvey ( ) vs. Jon Moscot ()

Beer From the Bad Guys

Great Lakes Brewing Co. Chillwave Double IPA

Pouring a gorgeous crystal clear dark orange/ruby, the nose of Chillwave is emblematic of the beer overall: boozy, malty, with pronounced citrus hops. This is undoubtedly a slow sipper, and each sip is a polished masterclass in what (I think) a double/imperial IPA should be.

The beer transforms within the taste – juicy tropical and citrus hops providing a dry chillwavebitterness give way to sweet honey malt and lofty 9.4% alcohol heat. Great Lakes only mentions Mosaic on their website, but I have to assume there are several additional hops that give this beer its effective dark citrus character.

Scouting Report (20-80 scale)

See: 75

Smell: 65

Taste: 70

Feel: 75

Overall: 70

Though the alcohol is evident, Chillwave is still a dangerously drinkable, remarkably well-balanced double IPA. This is only my second bottle, and it’s already easily one of the best five double IPAs I’ve ever had. LGM!

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