Game 35, 2011: Reds 6, Astros 1

Travis Wood energized the Reds last night, scattering six hits in 6 and 2/3 shutout innings and hitting a 3 run homer to get the Reds on the board. He improved to 2-3 on the season. It was his night.

Now you see why the Reds might have chosen Wood to stay in the rotation and Mike Leake to head to the pen–even with Wood’s rough outings he endured a few times out recently, he’s still capable of going out there and blanking the other team for a better part of a ballgame. I’d venture to say that the organization feels more confident in his ability to do that than Leake. Plus he’s a southpaw.

The Reds starters are coming on strong, only allowing one run over their last 20 1/3 innings. Over the last six games, the starters are 4-0 with a 1.70 ERA.

Finally, we start to see a little bit of why this team was the favorite of so many to win the division and even the national league. They certainly have some pitching, they play good defense, and they have timely hitting.

Other offensive notables last night in Houston: Drew Stubbs had two hits and an RBI, Brandon Phillips had a couple of hits, Chris Valaika had two hits and two runs, Ryan Hanigan had three hits and a run, and Ramon Hernandez hit a two run bomb.

The lone Astros run came off a Hunter Pence home run that Jay Bruce nearly robbed from the seats. Pence also tripled.

These Reds–who I said weren’t capable of going on the same 9 out of 10 run that they pulled off at this time last year–have suddenly won 4 of 5 and have two more against the Astros in Houston before playing the Cardinals this weekend in Cincinnati.

Maybe I’m not patient or faithful enough with this group. Maybe over the course of a big league season it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that one game is just one game. Maybe that’s how it is when you live and die on every strike. It’s a roller coaster.

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