Walks are annoying. Sometimes they are a necessary evil, but for the most part they make me want to jab a sharp object into my eyeball.

The Reds tend to have this penchant for giving free passes when there are members of the opposing team already occupying the base paths (I’m talking to you Coco!). Cincinnati is playing well, extremely well, but is on pace to exceed the amount of walks issued last year when the pitching staff used home plate as a well oiled turnstile.

That’s not good.

Though I have to say Cincinnati is making up for offering leisurely strolls to first.

We all know Great American Ballpark should issue binoculars to fans so they have a chance to watch the many balls that float into the Queen City atmosphere on a yearly basis. Although this year visiting teams are finding it a bit tougher to litter fans with souvenirs.

You may not have noticed (I sure didn’t) that the Reds have played more games (86) than the number of homers allowed (82) at this point in the season. Sure the moist air of July, August and September are still ahead, but this is something Reds pitchers haven’t done for a long, long time.

How long? The last time they finished the season with more games than homers allowed was the 144 game slate of 1995 when Riverfront Stadium was home (It will always be Riverfront to me). The last time they were anywhere close was 2002 when Reds hurlers gave up 173.

Walks are annoying because batters didn’t have to do much outside of having a good eye to get on base, then have free reign to do as they please for the next three bases as long as they don’t do anything stupid. And if the next batter or two hits one deep into the Kentucky Bluegrass (or where ever it is they are playing on at the time) that team gets to tack on a free run.

That’s not really how you define it, but that’s how it is in my mind.

With that said (yes, I’m tying all this together) I have to give credit to the eight other guys who get to melt on the field every summer for our enjoyment.

The Reds’ defense is tied for first with a .990 fielding percentage, have committed just 34 total errors and are in the top ten in all defensive categories. That means those guys who get free passes end up being stranded along the bases most of time. Those walks haven’t come back to hurt the Reds more often than not.

And with fewer dingers served up, the fewer opportunities opposing teams have to tack on free runs. That equals wins my friends. They Reds are not necessarily doing everything better this year, but they are doing the right things better in order to give themselves more opportunities to win.

I know this may be a lot of hot air, but numbers don’t lie (well, not all the time). Keep pushing the pedal through the floor fellas. The Reds are on a roll

**Oh, and on a side note. You should read the article on Yahoo! Sports about how Mike Leake and Stephen Strasburg played on the same Little League team. Good stuff.**

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