If the New Red Machine needed servicing, vis-à-vis an oil change, they got it at the right time.

Fresh (or shall I say stale) from a sweep at the hands of the lowly Seattle Mariners, the Reds borrowed the broom from the M’s and took it to Oakland with them.

They swept the A’s, salvaging a split of the six-game road trip.

Being only a half-game behind the division leading St. Louis Cardinals, the Reds welcomed the hapless Cleveland Indians to Great American Ball Park. With the Cards losing to Kansas City and the Reds dominant performance against the Tribe in game one, the Reds find themselves atop the NL Central once again.

It is a much better view looking down at the Redbirds and not up.

Aaron Harang pitched a quality game as he gave up only three runs and eight hits in seven innings. The blemish on the performance was the uncharacteristic five walks he issued.

Brandon Phillips, who switched places with Orlando Cabrera in the order, was 2-for-5 with a run scored. Cabrera had identical numbers. Scott Rolen smashed a two-run jack in the second inning to give the Reds a 2-0 lead which they never relinquished.

Logan Ondrusek and Micah Owings pitched near flawless relief to close the show. It was so refreshing to have a big lead in the ninth and not see it squandered.

Side Notes

What the hell do we need with “Lil Sarge?” Seriously, did Dusty’s friendship with the real Sarge have anything to do with that? The man is clearly shot, and will be brought up and will take time from Jonny Gomes, Laynce Nix, Drew Stubbs, and Chris Heisey.

Gary Matthews, Jr. only had one really decent year, and the Mets threw him on the scrap heap a week ago. When did we become junkmen or BFI investigators (trashmen)? It really bothers me that Jocketty gave him even a minor league contract. He will turn out to be the resurrection of Corey Patterson and Willy Taveras all in one.

Jay Bruce has had three multi-hit games in a row. During that time he is batting .800 with three RBI.

Heisey is only batting .250 with one HR and two RBI when he plays and is batting .400 with three HR and three RBI in only 10 PH appearances.

Gomes had cooled just a bit before the final game with Oakland. Since then he is batting .364, with two RBI. He is currently in fourth place in the NL with 51 RBI.

The month of June has not been friendly to Coco Cordero. In 10 appearances he has 10 IP, given up six ER, one HR, five BB and has an Earnie of 5.40. He has four saves and blown two saves, but not to worry, the offense bailed him out both times allowing him to back-up to a win in both cases.

It will be nice to have Edinson Volquez back in the rotation in a couple weeks. Sam LeCure will probably be shipped to Louisville when he arrives. The bullpen has improved but stills needs improvement.

All-Star Voting

Joey Votto is currently in fifth place. I can’t believe he is trailing both Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder.

Phillips, Cabrera, and Rolen are all fifth at their respective positions. That is tough to swallow.

Gomes, though leading left fielders in most offensive categories, is currently 14th in voting for all outfielders.

I would like to see the voting go to the players, managers, and coaches. They see who the best players are and if the voters were not allowed to vote for their own players, a better All-Star team would be fielded.

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