Monday, July 18, 2011

Reds Like a Stepping Razor - Dangerous - Reds 3-1

Nice weekend series with the Cardinals to start the second half. After blowing a couple of leads late on Friday, the Phillips showed the thinking behind the suspect late inning pitching - to energize the fan base. Down one with two outs in the 9th, B. Phill deposited a pitch over the left center field wall allowing the Reds to win in walk off fashion. That's one of my favorite fashions. He did a pirouette after hitting first and later said that he considered taking his bat on a tour of the bases with him, like Pedro Serrano, now known as the guy who does the heartwarming insurance commercials for State Farm. I guess I really am in good hands. He left the bat at the plate and, as you can see in the photo above, the crowd, which was another sell out, seems pleased with his actions. Nice win.

Preceding Phills' big hit were a couple of bombs from Heisey out of the lead off spot, which gives him 12 for the year. That trails only Votto (13) and Bruce (21) for the team lead in the same amount of at bats as Ryan Hanigan (175). That's some pretty solid power, especially when you combine his 12 with Gomes' 11, from the left field position (remembering, of course, that Heisey plays a fair amount of center). Cueto pitched well until the 7th. Phillips' error didn't really help anything but if you're going to make an error, at least make sure everyone forgets all about it. Chapman, facing Pujols in the 8th due to Masset and Ondrusek joint inability to ever get him out, added his name to the list of people who can't get the best hitter in baseball out when he gave up a two-run bomb which gave the Cardinals the lead heading into the 9th. But, the conclusion is sufficiently briefed above, so I'll end the recap there.

Saturday was less significant because the Cardinals won. Arroyo fooled everyone again by pitching well up until total implosion. Though, I guess 3 runs isn't implosion, it provided the margin, since the Reds weren't scoring any runs that day. He usually make the play on Jon Jay's bunt, which wouldn't have put runners at first and third for Pujols to hit a three-run bomb, but he didn't make the play and the Reds just put people on base against Carpenter, not interested in bringing anyone to the plate. So, they lost. But yesterday was much more positive. Bailey was excellent, going 7.1 and allowing just 3 hits and threw less than 90 pitches. He was quite good. Bray, Masset and even Coco were effective in closing things out and preserving the 3-1 win. Though, I think my, and probably Cordero's stress level halved following Cozart's first big league homer. He's worked out pretty well so far. Janish-Yanish, on the other hand, is 1 for 22 at Louisville. Not ideal for those interested in returning to the majors.

Two out of three versus the Cardinals is a positive way to start the second half of the season. The trip to Pittsburgh beginning today will also be telling. Willis makes his second Reds start which, undoubtedly, will go as well as his first. So, you can chalk tonight up in the win column as well as Tuesday and Wednesday. After the Pirates, they come home to play the Braves, Mets and Giants. Easy pickins'. Reds! Reds! Reds!

No comments: