Me and a few hundred other people watched the Reds lose to the Brewers at GABP last night, game that featured a typically forgettable performance by Brandon Finnegan and an atypically awesome performance from Milwaukee's Josh Hader.
He faced nine hitters. He walked one. He struck out the other eight. I wrote about his stellar, historic, outing and what I came to learn about it later for The Athletic. The crux of the piece was the sometimes information can be a party-pooper, but you should still read it for my incredible writing.
(That's a joke, for the uninitiated.)
The other thing that stood out watching Hader last night was how Brewers Manager Craig Counsell used him, allowing him to throw two and two-thirds innings, bringing him in to face - and strikeout - Joey Votto in the seventh, then leaving him in to record an eight-out save.
It was very Terry Francona/Andrew Miller-esque, very progressive, and very much the way I'd ultimately like to see the Reds use Raisel Iglesias.
Hader wasn't just historically good last night, he's been that good all season. More than anything though, he's been allowed to enter game earlier than the ninth inning, often asked to get the game's most crucial outs, and he's regularly been asked to get more than three outs, retiring four or more hitters in eight of his 11 outings.
It helped his his manager's cause last night that Hader hadn't pitched since last Wednesday, and it surely helped that he was remarkably pitch-efficient - something I hope the hurlers on the other side were paying attention to - but the point remains, no?
The Reds have been a little more modern in their usage of Iglesias, of course. And as their bullpen (hopefully) improves, it will be easier to be more flexible with their best reliever, but the template for how he should ultimately be utilized is being applied within their division.
Last night, they got a front row seat to see how a dominant relief pitcher should be used.
Here's some stuff...
Here's two more draft takes: If I was running the Bengals, I would've maneuvered to draft QB Mason Rudolph, whom the Steelers moved up to take with the 76th overall pick. (There's good stuff on them not getting Rudolph here.)I think he could've been their heir apparent to Andy Dalton, and I believe he'd be a better short-term backup than Matt Barkley.
But sometimes, two kinda opposite things can both simultaneously be true. I would've liked Mason Rudolph, but I'm also pretty excited with the two players they did get in Friday's third round.
The Bengals addressed a needs in drafting Sam Hubbard and Malik Jefferson, and yes, they did (and do) have needs that go beyond the offensive line. I believe the Bengals will be better because they drafted those players.
I also believe they'd be better for drafting Mason Rudolph.
And...bookmark this, because I care so much about getting these things right:
Quinton Flowers will help the Cincinnati Bengals win a football game one day.
Your NBA opinion of the day: Brad Stevens is the best basketball coach alive.
Not most accomplished.
I will not argue this.
Friday would be a nice day for an FC Cincinnati/MLS announcement, don't you think?
Here's some other stuff...
If you don't read anything else today, at least read this story on former Bearcat Isaiah Pead.
Here's a great read on the son of hall of famer Bert Blyleven, who was one of the heroes of the Las Vegas shooting last fall.
I'm a day late on this, but Peter King's post-draft MMQB is always filled with good insight and info.
Using a position player to pitch...when you're winning? Yes!
Radio Show: Extra Innings tonight on 700WLW. I'm back on Cincy 3:60 tomorrow at noon. And I return to the afternoon show on ESPN1530 on Thursday. I bet you can't wait.
Also....wanna win a new lawn mower and tickets to every Riverbend show? Go here.
(Photo: Getty Images)