Game 41, 2011: Reds 7, Cubs 4

Last night felt like a night in which the Reds luck was going to run out a little bit, but they scored seven runs in the 6th inning and showed why Carlos Zambrano is no longer worth giving away starts and innings on any fantasy baseball team. The win was the Reds fourth in a row at home.

With the win, the Cincinnati Reds of 2011 are now one game better than the 2010 Reds were at this point.

Homer Bailey fought through tough mound conditions, loading the bases in the 1st inning with walks, and overall not having his best stuff. It’s the type of game where in the past, he would have lost. Bailey is a lot more cerebral on the mound this year and it shows. He knows when he needs a strikeout. He knows when he has to throw a ground ball. He knows when he can afford to give up a fly ball. Carlos Pena touched him up for a long one to make it 4-0 Cubs, but it was Bailey’s ability to limit damage in spots that allowed the Reds to hang around and come back and win this one.

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A lot was made after the game of Johnny Gomes being knocked down by Chicago reliever Marcus Mateo and then getting off the dirt two pitches later to fly one into the seats in right center field. It would definitely be big for Johnny Gomes to get going and be a run producer in the lineup for the Reds which has to be why Dusty Baker is giving the veteran so much rope when it would be easy to go to Chris Heisey as the everyday left fielder or a platoon of Gomes, Heisey and Fred Lewis.

Jay Bruce had his second multi-hit game in a row. He started 0 for 2 off Zambrano but then singled and doubled, scored and run and drove in his 13th run of the month.

The big moment of the game for me was when Scott Rolen hit a ball hard and back into left field and Alfonso Soriano had his almost daily ‘woopsies’ out in left-field. The misplay allowed the Reds to take the lead, and they wouldn’t look back.

Bailey improves to 3-0 for the first time in his career. This is success that really has the chance to be sustained. Bailey is pitching really well, and he’s on a truly good team. A team that; as they did in this game, can dig him out of small holes should he lack stuff on certain nights.

Clearly, the Reds are surging right now since getting pitching back from injury like Bailey and Johnny Cueto. The lineup continues to score at a consistent clip. Francisco Cordero locked down his 8th save in pitching in his 4th straight 9th inning.

Top Plays:

Stubbs throws a seed to nail Alfonso Soriano at home plate

Johnny Gomes goes oppo-long ball

Another big hit for Joey Votto (RBI single)

You want proof that I’m cursed in fantasy baseball? Here’s a screen grab of my box score from my 10-team keeper roto-league last night. This is the night that officially put me on tilt:

What the shot doesn’t include is sub-par outings from Tim Lincecum, Josh Johnson, and a blown save by Jordan Walden. The 1 for 28 actually grew to 1 for 31 last night before Mike Stanton added another hit and Jason Kubel got a mercy single late in Seattle. I ended up 3 for 39.