So…a lot can happen in 24 days, huh? Just a little over 3 weeks ago, I posted about the Reds’ lackluster 2020 season. At that point, the team was 15-21 and it was looking like we’d have to pin our hopes on the 2021 season.
::: Insert audio clip of Lee Corso saying, “Not so fast my friend!” :::
Since that day, the Reds have gone 15-8 and CLINCHED A PLAYOFF SPOT!!! Are you kidding me? Is this reality?
Just a few weeks ago, I though manager David Bell would have packed his bags by now. Instead, he’s getting his team ready for the post-season. Amazing.
How did they do it? Let’s look at some numbers. Eugenio Suarez found his power swing, and is now leading the team with 15 homers. Shogo Akiyama raised his batting average almost 60 points and has turned into the lead-off hitter we wanted him to be. Trevor Bauer actually LOWERED his 2.17 ERA down to 1.73. (Give that man the Cy Young Award!) The Reds added reliever Archie Bradley, and he contributed a 1.17 ERA. Rookie pitcher Tejay Antone is currently boasting a 2.94 ERA.
So the Reds are busting into the post-season where they will probably go head-to-head with the Braves. The Reds’ first 3 pitchers in that series will be Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, and Sonny Gray. Braves fans will be forgiven for sweating and/or cursing when they read that last sentence.
The Reds broke out new “Respect Cincinnati” t-shirts during last night’s celebration, and it’s a message the other playoff teams better take to heart. This team is on a flaming hot streak right now, and Joey Votto said they will be a “nightmare” for any team they face.
Three weeks ago, the idea of making the card below seemed impossible. Today, though? We know we’ll be watching Reds baseball in October.
The Reds’ 2020 season has not gone quite as well as the fans had hoped. A record of 15-21 at this point is disappointing, to say the least, after the club added Castellanos, Moustakas and Akiyama in the off-season.
Our team batting average of .217 is 2nd-worst in the NL. Eugenio Suarez is hitting .190. Akiyama is hitting .189. Barnhart is at .177. VanMeter was at .059 before being dealt away.
Some of the pitching has been horrifying, too – Kuhnel, Jones, Miley, DeSclafani, Raley, Stephenson and DeLeon all have ERA’s over 6.00
There are some bright spots, though. Jesse Winker’s hitting .327 with 10 HRs. Castellanos also has 10 HRs. And…that’s about it for the hitting highlights.
On the mound, Trevor Bauer is looking like a Cy Young candidate with a 2.13 ERA and 54 Ks in 38 innings. Sonny Gray has a 3.19 ERA with 56 Ks in 42 innings. Amir Garrett, Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone are all looking great, too.
With a 15-21 record, I think manager David Bell’s days are numbered.
As Reds fans are accustomed to by now, it’s time for us to start looking forward to next year. The three rookies below all made their MLB debuts in 2020, and they give me hope that the future will be brighter than the present.
I haven’t really felt like making any new cards in a while. But now that the season appears to be back on track, the Reds are giving me new reasons to keep supporting them.
Votto sported this BLM t-shirt during batting practice the other day, and Amir Garrett proved that he could hit the high 90’s in the Arizona heat while wearing a mask (so you probably don’t have an excuse to not wear one when you go to pick up your groceries).
With Tom Brady going to the Buccaneers for next season, a lot of fans have started Photoshopping Gisele’s husband into Bucs uniforms.
The first two card show Tommy Boy in Tampa Bay’s uniform from last season, which he will never actually be wearing. The third card shows Tom wearing the NEW Buccaneer uniform, which is based on a leak from UniWatch.
If I had to pick one Reds player who just plays the game the way it should be played, who loves the game and has fun with it, I’d have to pick Joey Votto (with Amir Garrett a close second). His leadership, humor, and talent make him one of my all-time favorite Reds.
His disappointment over last year’s performance (.261, 15 HR, 47 RBI) was evident, and he put in the extra work this off-season to make sure his 2020 numbers are better. I’m expecting a BIG bounce-back year from Votto.
As for these cards, the first one is a custom design of mine. The second card is a spin on an O-pee-chee hockey design.
I created these 1981 alternate cards for Seaver & Foster but never posted them. Foster was always the nicest guy, but he would crush the souls of opposing pitchers.
Not every design works. Sometimes, a design will just come together in a few minutes. And then there are times when I slave over a design for hours, and still never get something I feel is good enough to post (and sometimes I look back on designs I’ve posted and wonder, “What was I thinking?”). Here are a few cards that have never been posted before. They’ve been in my folder for a long time, but I’m not a big fan of ’em, for whatever reason.
If you see any of these that you like, please let me know. I’m always interested in what people think of my designs.
The Reds have finalized a deal with Shogo Akiyama. The 5-time Nippon League all-star will become the first Japanese-born player to sign with the Reds. He’s projected to start in center for the Reds in 2020.
(It’s also possible that Shogo’s acquisition puts the pieces in place for the Reds to acquire Francisco Lindor from the Indians. We’ll have to wait and see about that, though.)
I absolutely love the 1984 Topps football design. Everything about it just…works.
These guy were all part of the 1984 Reds team that won 70 games and finished 5th in the NL West. Only the 66-win Giants kept the team out last place. In 1985, though, the Reds righted the ship and won 89 games.
I’ve made cards for Davis before, but these are my first for Parker and Oester. I like seeing Parker in the red & white uniform instead of those ugly black and yellow ones.
Here are a few more 1972 Topps cards for future and current Reds.
I’m not sure how many of these guys are part of the Reds’ plans for 2020. The Reds tried to land Grandal and Gregorius this off-season, but it remains to be seen which moves the team will actually make. I’m excited to see Moustakas in a Reds uniform, at least.