Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Things Go According to Plan, Reds 8-7

Rain again delayed things for the Reds' victory tonight. The teams took a two and a half hour break from game action with the score sitting at 5-1. After the gods saw fit to cease the rapture, the Reds added three more. Owings and Bray, however, refused to bore the brave fans who stuck things out. The Nats scored 6 in the bottom of the 6th to make things a lot more interesting. But with the new 8-7 score, the bullpen - Masset, Rhodes and Coco - got their collective heads together and shut things down. Reds go home as winners, staying a 1/2 game behind the Cards and, as Thombo reminded us, retained their lead in the Wild Card race. It's important to keep things in perspective with 2 months to go in the season.

Leake, I assume, just heads to the locker room and turns off all media so he doesn't have to watch the team blow another 7 run lead during one of his starts. He contributed to the meltdown in Philly but had little to do with the Atlanta debacle and was long gone tonight when the Washingtonians attempted another comeback. I'll let the nerds at Elias Sports Bureau tell me when the last time that a team blew three 6+ runs leads for a single pitcher. My suspicions are that such a series of events has not occurred and the team decided that tonight was not the night to find out. So, Leake goes to a very solid 7-1 with an ERA under 3.50. We'll have to see how he pitches down the stretch as the innings accumulate and he's still throwing 89-91. With Wood establishing himself as a quality arm and Harang and Bailey on the way back at some point, he will have an opportunity to take a few breaks, should that be necessary.

The Phillips-less offense saw a three-run bomb in the first by Votto before an out was even recorded. Leake contributed a run-scoring single. Cork, Ray-Jay and Cabrera also drove in a run apiece. It's nice to see Bruce put a ball in play and land somewhere without being fielded by the opposition. 0 for 16 streaks tend to have a negative impact upon a player's batting average. The word from the Reds' official site is that Rolen may take some time to recuperate his aging bones on the disabled list. The Reds Rocket is just happy that it has taken this long. He is very old. Also, the Reds are rumored to have made an offer to have Jason Isringhausen joint the squad. My recollection is that his last series of appearances were particularly run-heavy. But, he and Jocketty send each other weekly emails about the kids and the current status of their lawn. So, he may get an opportunity to join up. As Jocketty said, there's just not a lot out there, which is a ringing endorsement of Izzy.

Tomorrow the Reds actually get to play before a national audience on the World Wide Leader. I'm sure the broadcasting decision is based upon Arroyo's well-known ability to throw may different offspeed pitches, not his opposition and his 103 mph fastball. Strasburg is a face that just seems natural to be broadcast into the homes of millions of people. Reds continue to dominate. Reds! Reds! Reds!

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