May a big month for Redlegs
My story for the Tuesday paper is about how big a month May is for the Reds. They only have one day off all month (May 17). Tomorrow's game with Astros starts a stretch of 16 games in the 16 days. After the off day on the 17th, they play 17 games in the 17 days. That stretch will tell a lot about the season.
Six key games of the month are May 11-13 in L.A. and May 14-16 in San Diego. Last season was lost in those two places. The Reds were 0-3 in L.A. and 1-2 in San Diego. The 16-inning loss at Dodger Stadium -- lost on Ryan Franklin's only pitch of game which was hit for a walk-off homer -- was the toughest loss of the year.
The Reds' success for the month -- really for the season -- will come down to whether they hit enough. They scored 40 fewer runs this April than last, hit 10 fewer home runs and hit 21 points and went from an .830 OPS to .712.
I'm sold on the starting pitching. Everyone but Eric Milton has been good. And you have plenty of re-enforcements at Louisville. But the jury is still very much out on the offense. The last two games were either a good sign or a mirage.
Milton hasn't been much of an issue but he's 0-4 and 4.71 ERA. Is he going to keep getting starts?
You probably heard that Alex Gonzalez was named co-NL player of the week. The guy is so good defensively that the offense is a bonus.