Every day there are three things, none worth devoting an individual post to, but each worth at least mentioning.
1) Bronson Arroyo, staff ace. OK, OK, so maybe Bronson isn't the Reds' best pitcher, and perhaps he's not the guy you want on the bump when they're trying to snap a losing skid, but among the many qualities attributable to an "ace" is to deliver a quality start when a team is absolutely begging for one.
Bronson did that yesterday. Against the Cubs. Who are good.
And the losing streak is over.
For all the talk about whether Bronson should be in the rotation, and how long before the plug gets pulled on his comeback, he's made progress in every start. His game score has increased with every outing, going from 26 in his return to a big league mound against St. Louis, to 40, 47, and yesterday, 65 against Chicago.
Against the best team in the National League, he gave lesson to some of his staff-mates in fearlessness, going right after Chicago hitters as best as a 40 year-old Bronson Arroyo can, and making more than a few of them look downright silly. Do his recent solid outings show that Bronson is "back?" No.
Is he doing exactly what most of us had hoped? Yes.
2) The Bats. I took in some baseball in Louisville on Saturday, seeing the Bats play the Durham Bulls. The weather was miserable. Rain suspended Friday night's game, so we got some free baseball - after a rain delay - on Saturday afternoon. I say this on this blog annually - a trip to Louisville to see the Reds AAA team is a worthwhile one. The ballpark is beautiful, the brewery inside the ballpark is top--notch, the people are friendly, and Louisville is a fun town to hang out in.
Tickets are inexpensive, and there isn't a bad seat in the house. Yes, you can go see the Reds. And yes, you can probably see some guys who aren't yet ready to play in the big leagues here in Cincinnati. But for a change of pace, a day trip to go see some minor league ball is an option worth considering.
3) Cavs/Pacers. There were plenty of compelling NBA Playoff games this weekend - the most interesting of them was Spurs/Grizzlies on Saturday night. Perhaps the most important one was the closeout of Cavs/Pacerrs in four. For Cleveland, the sweep gives LeBron James - who was astoundingly good while carrying a huge workload - a chance at maximum rest before round two.
For Indy, they've reached an interesting point. Competitive against the Cavs, they're still in the NBA's no-man's land of being a lower-seeded playoff team with no real chance of getting to the Finals. They have a star in Paul George who won't commit to wanting to stay long-term, and it'd make total sense to deal him now instead of losing him for nothing next summer. But the Pacers have rarely been truly awful over the quarter-century, so a rebuild may be tough to swallow, especially with an owner in his 80s. They have a piece worth building around-ish in Myles Turner, but Larry Bird's wish for the Pacers to play faster seems to clash with the way Nate McMillan likes to have his team's play. There are going to be a lot of interesting teams to watch this offseason, few will be worth paying attention to more than the Pacers.
Radio Show: First of five straight this week today on ESPN1530. Tyler Mahle, who threw a perfect game for Pensacola on Saturday is with me at 4:20. Plus, a ton of draft stuff - including the case for selecting a wideout - and a look at "bitegate" between FC Cincinnati and Louisville CIty FC. Join me today at 3:05.