October 9, 2010

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds Game 3 Picks, Trends, and Preview



Philadelphia Phillies
(2-0)

Cincinnati Reds
(0-2)

After a demoralizing defeat, the Cincinnati Reds are going to have no choice but to buckle down and take care of the Philadelphia Phillies in the first MLB postseason betting battle ever contested at the Great American Ballpark on Sunday night.

The Philadelphia bullpen really did its job on Friday night. The Phillies pitched four scoreless frames, including one by Ryan Madson and one by Brad Lidge to help seal the deal on a 2-0 series lead. However, the Reds really had Philly dead to rights in Game 2, as they knocked around RHP Roy Oswalt for four runs in five innings of work. The problem really came in the seventh inning, as two of the four errors for Cincinnati in the game occurred in that catastrophic inning. LHP Aroldis Chapman allowed three unearned runs in the seventh inning, as a 4-0 lead halfway through the game ultimately went by the boards. The Phils now hold a 2-0 series lead and are just one step away from their third straight trip to the NLCS.

Getting 211 strikeouts and having a 3.06 ERA wasn’t good enough for LHP Cole Hamels to really post a good record on a good team this year, as he was only 12-11 for the season. Hamels was knocked around in his last start of the year, allowing five runs in four frames on September 26th, but he did pitch two scoreless frames on the final day of the regular season. Prior to that, Hamels had won five straight starts, as he ERA dropped from 3.51 into the high 2.00s. This southpaw has never lost to the Reds in his career. He is 6-0 with two complete games, one of which was a shutout. Hamels has a 1.07 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP, and a .163 batting average against. Needless to say, the Reds have had totally stymied by Hamels.

The last hope for the Reds sits on the right arm of Johnny Cueto. Cueto has not pitched well of late, as he doesn’t have a win to his credit since August 27th. The righty did go 12-7 on the season, a very respectable mark in spite of the fact that he had 31 starts on the year. He struck out 138 men in 185.2 innings of work and walked just 56 batters. Fortunately for Cueto, his last start against the Phils was a good one, as he only allowed one run in seven innings worth of work. Unfortunately, he is just 1-2 in his career against them in four starts with a 5.96 ERA.

We tend to believe that the Reds are going to show some fight in this series and get in the win column. No, they probably won’t ultimately get back to the City of Brotherly Love for what might be a decisive Game 5, but this could be a nice spot for Cincinnati to ultimately end up notching a ‘W’ to make the hometown crowd feel good about itself in the first postseason game that this city has seen since the mid 1990s.

MLB Free Picks: Cincinnati Reds +130

this machine charges just $2 for a category 1 ‘Hurricane’.(Daily Break) see here category 1 hurricane

The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA) September 13, 2010 Pembroke Mall was unnaturally quiet.

The carpet muffled the sounds of walkers in fluorescent-white tennis shoes. The salespeople in kiosks checked their cell phones. Three shoppers lounged in green chairs, the kind of seats bored men take when their wives are browsing.

Everyday, glass-half-empty drones might spot malaise in this scene, but businessmen from O 80 Studios in Tampa, Fla., sees opportunity. The company looked at nearly identical situations and said, “These people need a little something extra in their lives. They need a better mall experience. They need a hurricane!” So now, in five malls across Hampton Roads, seven in Katrina-ravaged Louisiana and 400 nationwide, everyday shoppers in everyday malls can swipe their debit cards and experience a simulated Category 1 hurricane.

What people want from their mall is not a pretzel or new top for this weekend’s party. They want adventure.

Simulated.

Forget that a study earlier this year claimed that, if a Category 5 hurricane struck various cities, Virginia Beach would be among the most damaged and most vulnerable in the country.

Forget that residents only two weeks ago spent hours preparing for Hurricane Earl, moving their cars, hoarding bottled water and gassing up generators, all for a light sprinkle. Hurricanes – even the threat of them – can scar the psyche.

Shoppers want to survive, to prove their mettle, to show they can handle anything Mother Nature throws at them.

So last Tuesday at Pembroke Mall, in front of Sears and a few stores down from the specialty Halloween shop, the task was clear: I must survive the hurricane simulator.

It’s about the size of two Coke machines, just 18 square feet, and costs $2. It accommodates up to four people at a time. Shoppers stared at the capsule anytime anyone walked too close. website category 1 hurricane

I got in and closed the transparent sliding door.

But before I say what happened, a note about what this simulator does not do: It does not ask you to stock up on beer, or bottled water, or gas. It does not tell you that you are about to lose power. It does not force you to grill everything in your freezer. It does not say the 15-minute trip home from work is going to take 90 minutes because of tidal flooding. It does not fill with dirty water. It is, after all, a simulator.

The experience starts nonchalantly. The wind whisks in from a black fan on top of the box. The display screen reads 10 miles an hour, then 15.

I can feel the people in the cell-phone shop looking at me. I can only guess that they are admiring the pure guts required to subject myself to this artificial and furious breeze.

In my best weathered seaman’s voice, I think to myself, “It’s really coming in now.” Forty-five.

My sunglasses fall off. I don’t pick them up. It is getting harder to take a full, deep breath.

Fifty. Fifty-five. Sixty. It feels like a kiddie ride. I want more. Finally, it speeds all the way up to 78 miles an hour.

And that’s it.

Within a minute, it is over. Not so different from the real thing.

It was a spectacle. (Again, not so different from the real thing.) I stepped out, rearranged my hair, patted down my shirt, put on my sunglasses.

Did it cause scars like hurricanes past? No. Did it scare me about Category 1 storms in the future? No. Did I want a “I survived the Hurricane Simulator” T-shirt? Of course.

Mike Gruss, (757) 446-2277, mike.gruss@pilotonline.com

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