Before their extra-inning loss to the Boston Red Sox Tuesday evening, the Cincinnati Reds have shown signs of improvement.
Cincinnati (15-17) currently sits third in the NL Central standings before Wednesday’s action. While still trying to reach the .500 mark, the Reds are coming off a successful home stand, which includes taking three out of four games against the first place Milwaukee Brewers.
Sunday’s tilt went into extra innings, where the Reds prevailed after Chris Heisey walked on four pitches and later scored the game-winning run after Todd Frazier lined a double down the left-field line.
After the contest, Heisey spoke to reporters about the confidence level in Cincinnati after the victory.
“Winning ball games is big right now but it’s good for our confidence,” Heisey said. “They got off to a great start. They have the best record, I don’t know in baseball, but in our division. It’s good for our confidence to know we can beat that team. Later in the year, if we play some big games against them, we have that edge on them.”
Heisey went on to give a brief synopsis of the central division as a whole.
“For as long as I’ve been here, the Cardinals have been one of the best teams in baseball,” Heisey said. “With the way they have been in our division and with the emergence of the Pirates last year; the Brewers have been on and off. They had some injuries last year, they’ve always had a pretty good team … So, yea, I feel like the division has gotten better every year …”
In his five-year career, Heisey is a career .254 batter with only 66 walks to his credit. So, to draw the game-winning walk is an amazing feet for an aggressive hitter.
“I’m not necessarily known for my eagle-eye at the plate,” a joking Heisey said after drawing a walk in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday. “I get a lot of criticism from fans and what not for being to aggressive at the plate. Here lately, I’ve had a couple walks and that one turned out to be a big one …”
However, the home stand wasn’t a total success as right fielder Jay Bruce was replaced in the starting lineup by Heisey. Bruce was suffering from a sore knee, which turned out to be more serious that originally expected. Bruce recently had surgery on his knee but the left handed power hitter could miss a month or more of the season.
With Bruce out of the lineup, Heisey will have another opportunity to play every day. However, despite his role on the team, Heisey keeps himself prepared for all possibilities.
“I always come prepared, just because in my role you never know if I’m going to pinch hit in the fifth inning, or if I’m going to go in for defense in the seventh, whatever it may be. I approach every day the same, even if I’m not starting, I have to be fresh enough to play a big portion of the game if someone gets hurt.”
Cincinnati finished up a two-game set Wednesday night in Boston, before an off day on Thursday. Friday, the Reds welcome the Colorado Rockies to town for a three-game set.
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or on Twitter @PDTSportsEditor