The Reds picked up a huge victory last evening to extend their lead in the NL Central over the Cardinals to three games. Now the Reds have won the first two games of their vaunted West Coast trip and continue to look like a team that is here to stay. Not only was it great to see the Reds put up a four spot in both the 8th and 9th innings last night, but how nice was it to see the Red’s outfield provide some major production offensively?
Drew Stubbs went 1 of 4 with an RBI. Jim Edmonds, the possible Viagra user, went 2 of 5, scoring two runs and knocking in one run. Jay Bruce had his best game possibly since his opening week as a Red, banging out four hits, and two RBIs. He also crossed home for three runs. Lastly, the speedy Chris Heisey came in and got a pinch hit in his lone at bat (bunt single). He also scored a run for the good guys. This is what Dusty has been waiting for. He needs outfielders to step up and hit the ball around a little bit. Then he will no longer have to play an “outfield by committee.” It is nice that the Reds have a plethora of outfielders. But come playoff time, an “outfield by committee” approach can be dangerous. This can make it difficult for guys to develop a rhythm at the plate.
Last night’s game really made me think about a game that occurred in the middle of July (July 9th to be exact). The Reds were in the 2nd game of a four game set against the defending National League Champion Phillies. The Cardinals had just been swept by the Rockies. This was a big opportunity for the Reds to take a decent size lead into the break. After losing in extra innings the night before, the Reds looked well on their way to picking up another game on the rival Cardinals. Mike Leake was pitching one of the best games of his young career, taking a 7 to 1 lead into the 9th inning. Little by little the wheels came off, and Leake was unable to finish the game. Nor was our “sure-fire” closer, Francisco Cordero. One thing led to another, and the Phillies put up a six spot in the 9th to tie it. And then Ryan Howard, who has been Arthur Rhodes’ kryptonite, hit a two run walk off homer to secure the victory for the Phillies. That was a game that got away.
Well last night was a game that we stole. Baseball is a funny game. Lady luck tends to even itself out in time. And last night was a prime example. The Reds, led by a rejuvenated group of outfielders, stole a game in Arizona. This was all done without their best player Joey Votto, who was resting a sore back.
To add to this already stellar day, the Cardinals lost their 4th straight game. And three of these four losses were games started by their “Terrific Trio,” Carpenter, Wainwright, and Garcia. This is the first time all year where all three of these stud pitchers have all lost during the same five day rotation.
Even Dusty Baker was offered an extension yesterday. All in all it was a good day for the Redlegs and nice to see our outfield wake up at the plate.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.