athletes by their merits alone. Forgetting that halfin
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CINCINNATI -- Matt Wisler got a little tentative with the top of the Cincinnati Reds order, and it cost him a game.Zack Cozart, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez homered off the right-hander in the fourth inning as the Reds got the better of a matchup between the NLs two worst teams, beating the Atlanta Braves 8-2 on Monday night.The Reds (35-58) have taken three of five this season against the Braves, who have the majors worst record (32-61). Atlanta is 19-31 all-time at Great American Ball Park, including five losses in its last six games.Wisler (4-9) has given up five homers in his last two starts. Cozart led off the fourth with his 15th homer, and Votto extended his second-half resurgence with a two-run shot. Suarezs two-run homer just inside the left-field foul pole made it 5-1.The ball started getting up, Wisler said. Once the ball started getting up, they started teeing it up on me. I cant keep having outings like this. Its frustrating.After facing only nine batters in the first three innings, Wisler appeared to get a little tentative with his pitches -- a bad thing in a hitter-friendly ballpark.He just wasnt aggressive, I think, interim manager Brian Snitker said. The ball kind of ran back over the plate, the ball to Votto. He kind of lost a little aggressiveness in his pitching and it hurt him. Youve got to be on the attack. Youve got to be the aggressor.Votto later added an RBI single. In four games since returning from the All-Star break, Votto is 8 for 15. His homer came on a 2-2 pitch that wandered over the middle of the plate.I had him right where I wanted, and I missed with a pitch, Wisler said.Left-hander Brandon Finnegan (5-7) pitched into the sixth and gave up seven hits -- three of them by Adonis Garcia, who hit a solo homer in the sixth. Finnegan had lost three of his last four starts, giving up 20 runs in 19 innings.Wisler won his last start, 11-8 over the White Sox in Chicago on July 8 despite giving up six runs, including two homers. Since the start of June, he is 2-4 in eight starts with a 7.06 ERA.Billy Hamilton singled three times, scored a run and stole three bases for a total of 27, the third-most in the NL.STATSWisler also gave up three homers in an inning on June 11 against the Cubs. ... It was the third time this season that the Reds hit three homers in an inning. They also did it April 23 against the Cubs and May 4 against the Giants. ... Garcia has hit safely in all five games against the Reds this season, going 11 for 22 with two homers. ... Cozarts 15 homers match his career high. He most recently hit 15 in 2012. Twelve of his 15 have been solo shots.MESORACO SURGERYReds C Devin Mesoraco had surgery on his right hip Monday, his third major operation in a year. He had surgery on the left hip last season and was back for opening day. He had surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder in May. The right hip started bothering him early this season, and doctors advised that it would require surgery at some point as well.TRAINERS ROOMBraves: RH Shae Simmons threw a simulated game on Monday. Hes recovering from Tommy John surgery in February 2015.Reds: 2B Brandon Phillips was back in the lineup after missing two games with a strained right calf. He went 1 for 3 -- extending his hitting streak to seven games -- and left for a pinch hitter in the seventh.UP NEXTBraves: RHP Tyrell Jenkins (0-1, 4.50) makes his second career start and sixth major league appearance.Reds: LHP Cody Reed (0-4, 8.39) makes his sixth career start. He has failed to last five innings in his last three starts.---Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay Robby Scott Jersey . Louis Blues teammates who would also be participating in the Olympics, Alex Pietrangelo felt right at home, no different in some ways to the travel experience of any old road trip – save for the length of the journey, that is. Bobby Doerr Jersey . Miller finished in two minutes, 6.09 seconds, one day before the first medal race on the Alpine schedule. The 36-year-old American also turned in the top time in Thursdays opening training session. http://www.cheapredsoxjerseys.com/?tag=cheap-drew-pomeranz-jersey . - Blake Griffin had 30 points and 12 rebounds, J. William Cuevas Jersey . -- Sergey Tolchinksy scored his second goal of the game 3:56 into overtime as the Sault Ste. Ian Kinsler Jersey . What general manager Dave Nonis called "short and productive" negotiations ended with Kessel signing a US$64-million, eight-year contract on Tuesday. Katie Ledeckys Olympic Games are off to a flying start: The 19-year-old swimmer took gold in her first individual event Sunday night. And she didnt just win -- she blew her competition out of the water, finishing with a nearly 5-second lead and breaking her own world record in the 400-meter freestyle.By holding world records in the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyle, Ledeckys dominance continues to be astounding. During Sunday nights broadcast, as Ledecky quickly pulled ahead of the pack, NBCs Rowdy Gaines proclaimed: A lot of people say she swims like a man. She doesnt swim like a man -- she swims like Katie Ledecky.Indeed, the tendency to compare women athletes to men seems to arise no matter what, in an attempt to contextualize female athletic achievement in the male terms we understand as default.This girl is doing respectable times for guys, 11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte told USA Today. Olympic silver medalist Connor Jaeger took the comparison beyond her impressive times. Her stroke is like a mans stroke, he told the Washington Post. I mean that in a positive way. She swims like a man.Lochte, Jaeger and most people comparing Ledecky to male swimmers are trying to be nothing but praiseworthy. And the idea that she has a mans stroke isnt entirely hyperbolic. As espnWs?Philip Hersh explains, her coach tweaked her mechanics to employ techniques rarely used by female swimmers:And yet, its easy to see why many on social media reacted strongly to the idea of comparing Ledecky to a man in the first place. Ledecky uses a stroke traditionally ascribed to men, but theres nothing about the skills required to employ that stroke that are uniquely male. Strength and timing can be acquired, and history has shown us that both improved training and increased access to sports helps close the gap between men and women athletes.This is demonstrably true in swimming. In 2012, the Atlantics Robinson Meyer found that womens world-record times in the 100 free have improved at a greater pace than the mens times since 1905. Interestingly, he also compared mens and womens world records across events and found that women come closest to men in longer races, particularly the 1500.Thats noteworthy with regard to Ledecky because, while she holds the world record in the 1500 free, she wont have the chance to swim the event in Rio. The womens mile is glaringly absent from the Olympic program, which has featured the mens 1500 since 1908.The reasons are vague and unconvincing -- everything from a lack of global reach to a dearth of public interest. But while the 1500 requires more patience from viewers than shorter races with more immediate excitement, theres no explanation for why that same reasoning isnt applied to the men -- nor why it also doesnt hold true for the 10K open-water swim, which was introduced to the Olympics for both men and women in 2008. As for the global naature of the womens mile, since the 1500 was added to the FINA world championship program in 2001, the event has hailed medalists from 11 different countries.ddddddddddddThe International Olympic Committee has thus far rejected FINAs attempts to push for the womens 1500 in the Olympics, citing too many events on the schedule. Thats a very real concern, and has led the IOC to foolishly eliminate other essential events in the past. (Welcome back, baseball and softball.)Having men swim a 1500 while the women swim an 800 harkens back to a time of immense resistance to all womens events, particularly those endurance sports thought to be too physically strenuous for delicate female bodies. And while that might not be the intention, its not happening in a vacuum. Its happening in a sports climate that tells women tennis players they cant play five sets, that belittles womens basketball and soccer players for hypothetically not being able to compete with the men, that delegitimizes womens sports entirely when athletes like Serena Williams or the UConn basketball team are deemed too dominant -- dominance for which Ledecky receives praise when its framed in mens terms.Its a vestige of still seeing sports as inherently male space, and of mostly male fans and commentators unable or unwilling to consider female athletes by their merits alone. Forgetting that half of sports fans are women, the narrative takes shape around terms to which the prototypical mens fan can relate. But when women are derided when theyre not as strong or fast as the men, yet simultaneously scorned when they dominate other women, we miss the point of womens sports entirely. We miss the fact that playing like a girl means something entirely different today than it meant 50 years ago.Its important to remember that Ledecky, who is going for a medal Tuesday night in the 200 freestyle, doesnt swim like a man -- she swims like Katie Ledecky. Mone Davis indeed does throw my curveball like Clayton Kershaw and my fastball like Mone Davis. There isnt a ceiling on womens athletic achievement, and strong female athletes will continue to innovate and evolve their events in terms of womens sports, not mens, even if and when that means competing on the same level.Regardless of comparison, womens sports need to be celebrated and enjoyed on their own merits -- by men and women alike. Whether you watched Michael Jordan as a Knicks fan, Mariano Rivera as a Red Sox fan or Nadia Comaneci as an American, you were still watching greatness, even if you were on the other team.So savor the moments you get to watch Ledecky and Williams and Simone Biles. 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