88 down, 74 to go.
After this extremely difficult 11 game east coast trip, only 63 to go.
This has to be a good trip for the Rockies. A 4-7 or worse simply won't cut it. A 5-6 or 6-5 won't kill you, but could leave you slightly vulnerable. 7-4 and beyond would make it extremely difficult for anyone to gain significant ground.
It begins tonight in Cincinnati. The FIRST place Reds are desperate to fight off the St. Louis Cardinals. They aren't a team that's likely to fade. They're 27-19 at home. Their lineup is littered with all-stars. Their rotation is a solid mix of upcoming special talent and seasoned vets. They have a solid bullpen.
In other words, the Rockies will have to earn their keep this weekend. No gimmes here.
Rockies Lineup (49-39)
- CF Fowler
- 2B Herrera
- RF Gonzalez
- 1B Giambi
- LF Smith
- C Olivo
- 3B Stewart
- SS Barmes
- P Hammel
Jim Tracy has said he will start using Brad Hawpe at 1B tomorrow. So that's an interesting, yet not totally unexpected development coming out of the All-Star break.
Reds Lineup (49-41)
- 2B Phillips (All-Star)
- SS Cabrera
- 1B Votto (All-Star)
- 3B Rolen (All-Star)
- LF Gomes
- RF Bruce
- CF Stubbs
- C Hanigan
- P Arroyo
Reds 6, Rockies 5
WP: Bronson Aaroyo -- 7 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
LP: Jason Hammel -- 5 1/3, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
S: Francisco Cordero -- 1 IP, 3 K
Col: Carlos Goznalez, Seth Smith
Cin: Joey Votto. Jay Bruce, Johnny Gomes
Player of the Gamer -- Joey Votto