The Reds salvaged a 3-3 homestand, one in which they really needed to perform well and now leave town headed to start a three game set with the Houston Astros tomorrow night 3.5 games out of first place.
The Reds showed some fight in the wake of a closed door meeting in which Dusty Baker declined to talk to the media after Saturday’s 5-0 nightmare loss. The Reds also ended the San Diego Padres 8-game winning streak which was the longest in baseball. They got a win on a day in which the Padres trotted out a left-hander that I figured would be an automatic loss.
When he has games like this, he’s certainly going to be highlighted on this blog. Bruce opened scoring with a single to left field through the box. A nice piece of hitting off the left-handed Padres starter. Bruce finished the day 3 for 4 with two doubles, a run and an RBI. Both of his doubles were in late/clutch spots and he scored what would be the winning run. He’s got the average up to .215, and since April 12th Bruce has posted slash stats of .283/.358/.587/.945, pay particular attention to that OPS of .945 which is right where we want him.
Bailey went 6 innings, allowing 4 earned runs but really that doesn’t tell the whole story. He had two bad pitches to Kyle Blanks and Adrian Gonzalez which accounted for all four runs but this was by and large Bailey’s best start of the year. He walked only one hitter and struck out a career high 8 batters. He had good velocity and threw a lot of first pitch strikes. His pitch count per inning was down from where it’s been all year. This is a lot closer to the Bailey we need to see out there every start to give us a shot to win and he did that. His outing counts as a ‘stopper’ outing.
Hernandez, for all the talk of his struggles and being replaced on a full-time basis by Ryan Hanigan, had two clutch hits in this game. He singled to tie the game at 2-2 in the 4th and he singled home Bruce in the bottom of the 8th to give the Reds the lead. His single was enough to give the Reds their 7th win in their last at-bat this season.
The beat rolls on for Rolen, who has been as solid as they come. His home run cut the deficit to 4-3 and he singled in the bottom of the 8th to score when Jay Bruce doubled down the right field line. When he’s in the lineup, the Reds are just a lot better then when he isn’t. He’s the leader of this club.
Coco notched his 7th save in 8 tries and other then the bad outing in Pittsburgh he’s been remarkably solid. He had a little trouble in the 9th, allowing the go-ahead run to get on base and the tying run to advance to third, but found control when he needed it and got Jerry Hairston to fly out to Drew Stubbs in center field to end the ballgame.