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Ira's Weekly Column

Ira's Weekly Column
By - Ira D. Combs

Director / Syndicated Columnist
Tri State Sports Media & Promotions Service Inc.

Reds Head West On Last Road Trip Before All Star Break
“Can Offense Continue On Road Trip And In 2nd Half Like In Last Three Series“

The question that begs to be ask as the Reds head west for their last and longest road trip before the all star break is , have they finally got healthy and started turning the season around heading in the right direction ?

It’s definitely not to late since they have crawled back to the .500 mark at 37 – 37 here in late June and although these upcoming (10) games are on the road (6) of them are against the hapless Chicago “Cubs” & San Diego “Padres” . There is light at the end of the tunnel especially if they can pull say six or seven wins out of this road trip coming up .

Only time will tell if the Reds have truly come out of their 2 ˝ month long injury ridden mess but they have won (2) out of (3) in their last three series and all (3) series were against teams that are playing above five hundred with two of those teams leading their respective divisions and had the Reds middle relief staff and closer all not had a complete meltdown against Toronto last Friday night they would have won (7) of their last (9) games .

Question # 2 that needs to be ask is what has brought on the encouraging turnaround of late ?

Can’t put my finger on it completely but some of the recent success has to be due to Joey Votto and Jay Bruce getting back on the field and giving a few quality at bats to the offense and Matt Latos the teams # 2 starter is back off the DL and has given them (1) quality start and had a 9 – 4 lead before leaving the game in the 6th inning of his 2nd start . Other than that the two big surprises so far in the 1st half and possibly why the Reds have been able to keep their head above water is the offensive output they’ve been getting from their 3rd baseman Todd Frazier and catching duo of Devin Mesoraco & Brayan Pena . Frazier is hitting .278 with 17 “Big Taters” and Mesoraco & Pena are averaging .276 between them with Mesoraco hitting a scalding hot .310 and combined they have 15 “Big Taters” .

However , due to this teams past performances against quality competition and pitching ( especially the Cardinals ) you have to believe this team is still a work in progress at best even with everyone important off the DL at the moment .

In my eyes for this team to qualify for the playoffs which was the original goal by everyone involved back on April 1st it must have some solid offensive production from Joey Votto and Jay Bruce in the 2nd half and I’m talking like numbers they’ve both put up in past years not the .273 Votto is presently hitting nor the .218 clip that Bruce is presently at .

Schedule Takes A Turn For The Good Beginning With July 4th Holiday Weekend

When the Reds return home to GABP after this 10 game road trip they will end the 1st half of the season with an (11) game home stand in (10) days with a day/ night DH with the Cubs on (Tues.) July 8th highlighting that home stand . As a matter of fact the entire month of July schedule calls for the Reds to have (17) home games and only (8) away games sandwiched around the MLB all star break which should be an asset in the comeback to hopefully place them back into playoff contention come September .

Several special weekend dates should be attractive to the Reds fan base across the Commonwealth to make the trip up 1 – 75 to the Queen City and Tri State area . All friday home dates of course are highlighted with a 30 minute post game fireworks show that can be seen right from the comfort of your seat in GABP and with a popular music theme playing in the background on the stadium public address system . Also , the Reds will have (3) special saturday giveaways to the first 20,000 fans who go thru the turnstiles . The saturday giveaways start on July 5th when a special military themed Joey Votto t-shirt is given away then the next saturday July 12th the Reds will give away a Billy Hamilton Bobble-head then on the last saturday in July the Reds will give away a Mr. Redlegs Mustache & Hat .

All Sunday home games are family days and one family member can buy a ticket at the regular price then up to (3) other family members can buy a ticket in the same section for ˝ the ticket price as long as it’s a ticket in the non premium sections at GABP .

You can go online to www.reds.com and order tickets by clicking on the green square across the top of the main page or you can call (513) – 381 – reds . Every section on every level in Great American Ball Park has a row of handicap / senior citizen seats in it and if your interested in that number it is (513) 765 – 7500 .



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