I had a lot more confidence in saying the Reds would make the playoffs about two weeks ago, but I think we all need to take a deep breath. What is that statement from “Anger Management” — Goosfraba? I think we all could say it a few times and calm down before writing this team off just yet.
As of Monday, the Reds had a record of 62-58. They were a 0.5 games back from being in the playoffs in a wildcard spot, along with being 3.5 games back of the Brewers in the National League Central. While we all are scoreboard watching the Brewers and Cubs, we need to keep a close eye on the Phillies, Giants, Marlins and Diamondbacks as well. With many significant players returning this month, I expect to see things really turnaround in the next two weeks.
It’s time to have the tough conversation. As much as I love Tyler Stephenson, I think the past week or so has solidified who our best option behind the plate really is. And unfortunately, it is not Tyler Stephenson. In limited playing time, Luke Maile is batting .252 with five home runs. His ability to frame pitches and his arm was a big reason the Reds were able to come home with a series victory in Pittsburgh. I hate to see Tyler Stephenson struggle like he has this year. He only has three hits since July 30. Tyler batted .319 last season, along with .286 in 2021 and .294 in 2020. I believe he is just having a bad year and will soon be back to form, but now that we are in a playoff push, it’s time for a more even split between our two catchers.
Matt’s schedule watch
· Reds next three opponents: Guardians, Blue Jays, Angels
· Cubs next three opponents: White Sox, Royals, Tigers
· Brewers next three opponents: Dodgers, Rangers, Twins
· Phillies next three opponents: Blue Jays, Nationals, Giants
· Giants next three opponents: Rays, Braves, Phillies
· Marlins next three opponents: Astros, Dodgers, Padres
Bengals preseason analysis
Football season is upon us at last. I am more than looking forward to Sunday recliner time along with tuning into football games all day (other than the whole YouTube TV fiasco, I despise streaming). While it was only preseason, it was great to finally watch a game, along with seeing some of our young players get some snaps. While the score ended at 36-19 in favor of Green Bay, I never put much thought into the final score during August games. We are now less than a month away from our first game clash with the Browns on Sept. 10, so it is only right to take a look at our weekly positives and negatives.
· Andrei Iosivas is going to be special. The new wide receiver had four catches for 50 yards and has proven throughout camp that he was a steal for Cincinnati in the sixth round. His ability to find the ball will land him a spot on the roster for this season.
· Chase Brown showed off his ability to catch the ball in the backfield, while racking up three receptions for 33 yards.
· Tycen Anderson made his mark on the game with two interceptions including a pick-6. Among all defenders in all first week preseason games, he had the highest defensive grade and coverage grade. Talk about making an impact.
· If Joe Burrow would be out for a significant amount of time ever, I still don’t believe we have a backup that is capable of carrying this team to multiple wins.
· Myles Murphy will be great in a Bengals uniform, but he certainly struggled in his first bit of NFL action. He didn’t make much of an impact and the Bengals really need him to be effective in the pass rush game.
· Penalties were a big issue, as Cincinnati had 10 penalties for 95 yards. In a Lou Anarumo led defense, I believe this will quickly change.
· Third down efficiency was not great as Cincinnati was just 4-15 on third down.
Matthew McAdow is a Peebles resident. He works in human resources in the nuclear industry and has been an avid Cincinnati fan his entire life. He is an Ohio Christian University graduate and has always enjoyed giving an honest opinion on multiple topics regarding Cincinnati sports.