Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

Chicago 3
Cincinnati 5
WP: Leake (3-0)
LP: Dempster (2-3)
S: Cordero (10)

How great a story is this whole Mike Leake thing? From the game recap over at ESPN:

The Cincinnati Reds got a gutsy effort from Mike Leake, and Joey Votto took care of the rest.

Votto hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning to help Leake and the Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 5-3 on Sunday.

Votto connected on Ryan Dempster’s first pitch after he was visited by manager Lou Piniella. The two-out drive was Votto’s seventh of the season and handed the decision to Leake, who wasn’t feeling well but managed to hold the Cubs hitless until the sixth and finished with seven solid innings.

“I didn’t feel the strength today,” Leake said. “I felt a little achy going into last night, and I tried to get some rest last night, but I didn’t sleep real well. I was going to pitch. I was going to go as many innings as I could and see what happened.”

Then, there’s this:

“He’s a little dude with a big, old heart,” manager Dusty Baker said of Leake, generously listed as 6-foot-1 on the roster. “His heart’s 6-6.” …

Leake, the eighth overall selection in the 2009 draft, allowed four hits, struck out six and walked one.

“It’s my first time facing a second lineup — a big league lineup,” he said. “Every outing’s a test. It’s just going out there and pitching your game instead of trying to overpower them.”

Jay Bruce and Gomes led off the second inning with back-to-back doubles to give Cincinnati a 1-0 lead. Gomes stole third and scored on Stubbs’ grounder to shortstop.

Mike Leake