Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….
WP: Owings (1-0)
LP: Caridad (0-1)
S: Cordero (1)
–Drew Stubbs! None of us were having much fun until Drew Stubbs crushed a grand slam to center field in the 8th inning, giving the Reds a 5-3 lead. It was the first “jump off the couch” moment of the 2010 season, and in one fell swoop, we were having fun again.
Stubbs also had a triple in the first inning (scoring the Reds first run), and later killed a ball down the third base line that Aramis Ramirez made a great play on. Nice night for Drew.
–Micah Owings came into the game in the sixth inning and was dominant. I cannot express how good Owings looked and how much the Reds needed what he provided tonight. After Homer Bailey was shaky, Owings came in, pitched three scoreless innings, giving up just one hit, walking none and keeping the Reds in the game.
Even Marty Brennaman praised him on the radio broadcast. Too bad Owings didn’t get to hit.
–Until the 8th inning, the Reds offense was absolutely putrid. TOS*. Players swinging at the first pitch, showing no patience, making the Cubs look great. It was, frankly, disgusting, and if you’ll read the game thread below (great discussion in tonight’s game thread, by the way), you’ll see that everyone was pretty much sick to their stomachs over the display.
–The defense was terrible. Is it just me, or have Dusty Baker’s teams been worse fundamentally than any other Reds team in memory? For the second straight year, we have a starting shortstop who has no range whatsoever. Heck, in the ninth inning, the two best defensive players on the team both made errors. What is going on?
–Francisco Cordero was not very good. He wasn’t helped by two errors, but he gave up a long homer and almost gave up the win.
–That was one of the ugliest wins I’ve seen in a while, but I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss every single time.
–I guess I could’ve put Homer Bailey’s performance in the negatives column, but there were plenty of positives too. Bailey didn’t have his good command and he was terribly inefficient, but shaky defense didn’t help him either.
Homer gave up three runs in five innings, throwing 106 pitches. He struck out five and he walked two. Everyone agrees, however, that this is the type of game where Homer used to blow up and give up seven runs. Mentally, he hung in there, battled, and kept the Reds in the Reds in the game. It’s part of the maturing process, and (big picture-wise) I wasn’t displeased with Bailey’s performance tonight.
–Somehow, Jeff Brantley managed to credit Stubbs’ grand slam to smallball. Yep, you read that right.
–Cubs manager Lou Piniella forgot something.
–We had a Paul Janish sighting at Great American Ballpark tonight. He’s alive (though just for one inning) after all. Someone call his parents. I told you guys Dusty would bury him on the bench.
(Of course, Janish made an error, so he won’t play again for a month. Forget the fact that Orlando Cabrera never would’ve made that error, because OC never would’ve gotten to the ball in the first place).
–I can’t say I disapprove of Reds pitchers hitting three Cubs batters tonight. In fact, I kinda like it.
–Someone needs to photoshop a Drew Stubbs sombrero for us. Anyone?
*This Offense Stinks.