BIG MOOD pic.twitter.com/Zi3Nppo0zY— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) May 11, 2018
Maybe because when he was in New York, Matt Harvey was too busy enjoying himself after-hours to pay attention, he was blissfully unaware of how bad the Reds were, meaning that his first impression of his new team once he joined them would be when he watched them up close.
If this is the case, then Matt Harvey must be basking in the good fortune of being traded to such a good team.
He sat in the dugout and watched his new teammates deliver a reasonably crisp 4-1 win over the Dodgers.
He saw Tyler Mahle dance around trouble, overcome some crappy defense, and gut through five innings of pitch-inefficient, yet effective, one-run ball.
He saw a bullpen that's actually been pretty decent this season, cruise through the final four frames without giving up a run.
He saw some timely hitting, he witnessed what happens when Scooter Gennett connects with a mistake, and he saw the majesty that is Billy Hamilton running the bases when he's hit one into the corner.
And he got to laugh in amusement as Jesse Winker dicked with Dodgers fans....
Jesse learned from the best. pic.twitter.com/2yprGUlkWl— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 11, 2018
Matt Harvey' gets the ball tonight, with a chance to help his new club extend its winning streak to four. Hopefully it's a long time before he finds out that what he saw last night is the exception, and not the norm.
Here's some stuff...
About that Cueto trade....Brandon Finnegan is headed to Louisville, where he'll presumably try to learn how to pitch past the fifth inning. You could argue that the Reds should move him to the bullpen and keep him in the big leagues, but it's not like the relief corps needs much tinkering with, and I guess they still fancy Brandon as an eventual starter.
The problem is that as we close in on the third anniversary of the Johnny Cueto trade to Kansas City - the move that kinda symbolically began the ongoing (and after listening to Dick Williams yesterday, I can confirm that it's still ongoing) rebuild, the haul for Johnny has yielded one halfway-passable season from Finnegan and nothing else.
John Lamb is no longer with the organization. Cody Reed is in Louisville. He was just joined by Finnegan. The lack of return for Johnny Cueto isn't THE reason that the Reds have been such flops this season (aside from the last three games, of course), but it sure is one of them. And for now, at least, it illustrates how poorly-timed the beginning of this seemingly never-ending process actually was.
Conference Finals guesses....
Golden State/Houston is a fascinating matchup, statistically the best offensive matchup in modern NBA history. (Since 1973-74, there has never been a series featuring two offenses scoring more than 112 points per 100 possessions.) And two teams that have drastically different ways of achieving the same result. Most Warriors possesions include a series of passes that lead to a shot. Most Rockets offensive trips see a shot go up after just a pass or two. Golden State rarely runs isolation. Houston runs isolation plays more than anyone. Steve Kerr's team runs an intricate offense that's been crafted over time. Mike D'Antoni's looks like it was cobbled together just prior to his team getting next.
I like Golden State in six, for the nerdy basketball reasons like Kevin Durant being able to solve Trevor Ariza's typically stout defense against him, to Klay Thompson being just capable enough to take James Harden off his game. Mainly though, I just don't see Houston outscoring Golden State four times, unless Chris Paul is absolutely brilliant, and unless the Warriors hand over a game by making a bunch of mistakes. This is going to be a really fun series, and it will probably yield this year's NBA champ.
Warriors in six.
As for Boston/Cleveland...first, let's have someone as eloquent as Rachel Nichols make a point that's a little overdue...
Can we stop calling the Celtics undermanned? Clearly - they're manned: their starting lineup is largely elite-level draft picks who’ve gotten some hard-fought seasoning in these playoffs. Why we should look at this team through the lens of who they are, not who they’ve lost. pic.twitter.com/lNpWgVmgNi— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 10, 2018
Well-said, and accurate.
But they don't have LeBron James. Cavs in six.
Condoleezza Rice says college basketball must be fixed, or it will collapse.
Which, you know, it won't.
As scholarly journalists and academia wrestles with ways to get rid of corruption in college hoops, let me ask you this...
If I gave you a choice between cheating in college basketball being completely eradicated or your favorite team's chief rival cheating and getting caught, what would you choose?
I rest my case.
Here's some other stuff....
I liked this look back at the 2001 76ers.
Andre Dawson runs a funeral home? Andre Dawson runs a funeral home.
Radio Show: The Reds are good again! Plus, sounds from Bengals rookie mini-camp, why fans shouldn't be surprised that starting pitchers are becoming an endangered species, and we'll examine if there's really a demand for Major League Soccer here. Why not? Noon on ESPN1530. 3:05 on ESPN1530. And all weekend long in your heart.
Also....wanna win a new lawn mower and tickets to every Riverbend show? Go here.