Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Los Angeles 5
Cincinnati 8
WP: Leake (1-0)
LP: Kuo (0-1)
S: Cordero (6)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–The Reds won a series? Sweet!

–Mike Leake’s first major league win. More on Leake later.

–Jay Bruce hit a two-run homer in the sixth to give the Reds the lead. Bruce’s approach at the plate is so much better than it was next year. You can just tell he’s starting to get on a good roll (since April 12, he’s hitting .278/.357/.611). The next month or two may be fun to watch.

–Ryan Hanigan (remember him?) went 3-4 with an RBI. Hanigan is now hitting .409/.458/.591 with 6 RBI. It’s a crime that he can’t get in the lineup more often.

–Orlando Cabrera is now my favorite player. No, not because he went 3-4 with a walk tonight (yeah, they were the three weakest hits ever, but I’ll take that every single night). No, OC is now my favorite player because he was rocking the stirrups tonight! Here’s hoping the rest of the team succumbs to his veteran leadership and starts wearing stirrups too.

–Drew Stubbs batted somewhere other than leadoff for the first time in his major league career, and he responded with a glimmer of hope that he’s breaking out of his slump. Stubbs went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

–Arthur Rhodes is flat-out dominant. Period.

–Every starter got a hit, with the exception of Leake. TOIA*.

NEGATIVES
–None. I’m not going to nit-pick after winning a series.

ETC.
–Dusty Baker didn’t hit the center fielder leadoff for the first time in seventy-nine seasons! It’s amazing. Prepare for the apocalypse!

–Mike Leake gave up eight hits and five runs in 7 innings, which isn’t great…but I swear he really pitched pretty well, even though the final line doesn’t show it. Leake gave up a couple of runs in the first, then made one bad pitch in the seventh, but in between, he was very, very good. This kid’s maturity is amazing. He has a chance to be a good one.

–Fun times. Let’s hope for more of that against San Diego this weekend.

–Keep up the hot hitting, Jay…and celebrate with a sombrero!

*This Offense Is Awesome.

30 Responses

  1. mike

    Bruce is on Fire!
    and one of our bat boys is hitting .400!
    and a starter got a win!

    best game of the short season, hands down
    from a good (not great because he took an odd path the the ball) play by Dickerson to a GREAT play by Hanigan to gun down a runner at 3B to the team hitting the seams off the ball. Even some of the outs, like Phillips, line shot to 2B were well hit

    now if just one…..and I mean one, of the other starters can have a good outing…..wouldn’t it be nice to get 7 or 8 shutout innings from one of Cueto, Arroyo or Bailey? It’s SD for @#%@#$% sake.

  2. VTNReds

    I loved the way the team kept coming back tonight. Congrats to Mr. Leake on his first ML win (and the first win for a Reds starting pitcher this season–I had a feeling it was gonna be him). Oh, and by the way–a lineup re-shuffling can really do you some good sometimes! 😆

  3. VTNReds

    And to top it all off, those dirty Cubs lost. 😛

  4. jkthompson0408

    It is becoming pretty clear that Chapman needs to be on this team sometime in May. He is clearly not being challenged by minor league hitters. With that being said you can’t send down Leake, because he has also been pretty good. What should the Reds do? Do they pull a Cubs and move someone like Harang to the bullpen or should they send down Cueto or move Cueto or Bailey to the pen. Personally I believe the Reds need another long reliever due to the young pitchers and the threat of a large pitch count. I would like to see a rotation of Arroyo, Chapman, Cueto, Leake, Baily. With a Pen of Harang, Maloney, Owings, Herraera, Massett, Rhodes and Cordero.

    I think this could keep us competitive.

  5. pinson343

    I for one really needed this win, especially after hearing how the Brewers just swept the Pirates by 36-1. Yes those same Pirates that Dusty said are really tough right now after they swept us.

    When I was listening to early to mid innings on the radio, Leake was pitching really well, twice fooling Manny Ramirez on changeups. I don’t know if there was much cursing on the game thread (will check it out later) when Leake lost the lead in the 7th, but (it’s easy to say now) who else was Dusty going to put in for the 7th ?

    I had a real good feeling about Bruce this year, and it’s unfolding. His striking out on that big curve ball and then hitting the same curve ball out of the park the next time up, speaks volumes.

  6. pinson343

    Hey maybe Dusty actually reads RN and, thanks to us, put CD in LF and batted him leadoff, moved Stubbs down to 7th, and played Hanigan. Not to mention promoting Fisher and demoting Ondrusek.

    Don’t really think so, but that was a nice lineup tonite. If only we could see it more often.

  7. pinson343


    jkthompson0408:

    It is becoming pretty clear that Chapman needs to be on this team sometime in May. What should the Reds do? Do they pull a Cubs and move someone like Harang to the bullpen or should they send down Cueto or move Cueto or Bailey to the pen. Personally I believe the Reds need another long reliever due to the young pitchers and the threat of a large pitch count. I would like to see a rotation of Arroyo, Chapman, Cueto, Leake, Baily. With a Pen of Harang …

    Reply

    Chapman’s coming up will create a good problem . What happens then will obviously depend on how people are pitching and who’s healthy. But if the move were made right now, I too would favor making Harang the long man. Who would go down ? Can’t say right now, have to see how Fisher does. If he pitches well, then I think that Lincoln is the weakest link.

  8. Bruce in the OV

    “since April 12, (Bruce) is hitting .278/.357/.611”

    Bruce had alot of hard hit balls in the first week, as well. I’m feeling pretty optimistic about him right now.

    I just hope the pitching isn’t going to be as bad as it has been so far.

    I was at PNC for the Saturday and Sunday games last weekend. Those were two long walks of shame across the Clemente Bridge.

  9. pinson343

    PS to the Chapman post: But he’s not coming up in May if he’s still walking so many guys.

  10. BJ Ruble

    @mike: And Wood…Chapman has to get the walks down or he will get eaten alive at the ML level.

  11. Furniture City Red

    TOIA*. 😆

    The Dodgers have a pretty good team, and they can just flat out hit. Taking a series from them is nothing to sneeze at.

    I liked Dusty’s line-up last night. I’m even starting to warm to Cabrera – just a little bit, Would still like to see what Janish could do at the plate everyday if given the chance, but that’s just not gonna happen.

    Leake is the real deal, or as my Grandpa Milt woulda said…”That kid’s a helluva ballplayer!”…coming from Milt “Helluva Ballplayer” was about as big a compliment you as you were gonna get 🙂

    Bring on the Padres!!! 😈

  12. Jason1972

    I feel ok with both Leake’s and Bailey’s starts against a brutal offensive team. LA might even be better than the Phils on offense, and they were hitting hot against almost every pitcher the Reds threw out there.

  13. RiverCity Redleg

    Even though Leake’s pitching line doesn’t look great, you can tell he was dealing by the fact it only took him 93 pitches to get through 7 innings.

  14. RiverCity Redleg

    And I’m with you Chad. Cabrera has won me over with the stirrups.

  15. Matt WI

    Right… He may not be challenged by the hitters, but he’s being challenged by the strike zone a bit, and that only gets smaller… ask Leake.


    pinson343:

    PS to the Chapman post: But he’s not coming up in May if he’s still walking so many guys.
    Reply

  16. Greg Dafler

    @Matt WI: I don’t see how the ML K-zone could be smaller than what he was getting, at least early, last night. The Indians weren’t swinging at anything, and the ump wasn’t calling anything on the outside part of the plate.

  17. Sultan of Swaff

    I too like the stirrups from Cabrera. The only time I trust that guy, suprisingly, is with men on base. He seems to be able to dial up the focus there. As for his defense, I see one or two balls a game where I tell myself Janish would’ve had that one.
    Stubbs is ideally suited for the 7 hole w/ his occasional power and the speed that can create Rickey rallies.
    I’d like to see Hanigan as the full time guy. His hitting is a blessing, but he calls a better game than Hernandez.
    Finally, we gotta do something about the short porch in right center field. Raising the wall would do wonders for our pitchers. That ball by Ethier should’ve been a warning track shot.
    I’m off to Cincy for this weekend’s series!

  18. Jason1972

    Also did it seem that Joey Votto was crushing the ball last night? Both of his long fly outs were really strong off of not necessarily great swings. He came within a tiny bit of timing from hitting two homeruns.

  19. Matt WI

    @Greg Dafler: I’ll take your word on that, but are you still comfortable with his ability to get out of some of those jams once major leage hitters get used to seeing him? That said, I see his current WHIP would place him only outside Arroyo in terms of Reds starters this far into the season.

  20. The Mad Hatter

    Great outing all around last night. Great taking two of three from the Dodgers, will be even better when we do it in LA. The first homer Leake gave up was a great piece of hitting by Ethier, down with movement and Ethier still golfed it out. I’m hoping this new shipment of bats that came in on the road trip will still work this weekend. Back to 50 50 on the pessimism/optimism scale.

  21. Steve

    It never occurred to me last night that we should take Leake out after the 6th inning. He was really pitching well — especially compared to how the rest of the staff had been doing against the Dodgers. He did run out of gas against the Cubs in the 7th inning. But the home run pitch to Anderson last night was just an issue of his ball moving back across the middle of the plate late.

    Regarding Chapman’s walks. To keep some perspective on the number of walks he has given up, check out Randy Johnson’s career BB%. Johnson is the other LH 100mph pitcher I can think of. Early in his career Johnson had two years of giving up well over 6 walks per nine innings. And it took him about 10 years to get his bb/9 below 3, where it stayed for the second half of his career.

    I’m just saying, with the right fast ball, it’s possible to give up a higher number of walks.

  22. Glenn

    Good series for the Reds, but especially hard on the pitching staff. I’d love to see Harang come back to form, but I’m afraid its not going to happen. What a shame.

  23. Greg Dafler

    @ Matt WI: Yes, I think he will be a good major league pitcher. I think he will be able to work out of jams in the majors, but I don’t know if today is that day. He wasn’t consistently working the fastball in excess of 94-95. He did show some very good secondary pitches, but not consistently for strikes.

    I think they made the right decision to have him start the year in the minors, and although I earlier was in agreement with the line of thought that he should start in A+ or AA and work his way up, I believe that they started him at the correct level. And it should help his cultural adjustment to know he is with one minor league team in this organization, and won’t be changing addresses every month for 3-4 months.

  24. davidmp2


    jkthompson0408:

    It is becoming pretty clear that Chapman needs to be on this team sometime in May. He is clearly not being challenged by minor league hitters. With that being said you can’t send down Leake, because he has also been pretty good. What should the Reds do? Do they pull a Cubs and move someone like Harang to the bullpen or should they send down Cueto or move Cueto or Bailey to the pen. Personally I believe the Reds need another long reliever due to the young pitchers and the threat of a large pitch count. I would like to see a rotation of Arroyo, Chapman, Cueto, Leake, Baily. With a Pen of Harang, Maloney, Owings, Herraera, Massett, Rhodes and Cordero.
    I think this could keep us competitive.
    Reply

    If Masset has a few more bad games, I’d expect him to hit the DL in May with Chapman taking a spot and Harang being skipped in the rotation.

    I’m fairly certain there is someone being paid to simply tell the Reds when the arbitration clock is peaked.

    Until then, the Reds are going to give Harang and Homer every chance to be mediocre.