Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….
San Diego 2
WP: Ondrusek (2-0)
LP: Leubke (0-1)
–Sam LeCure was simply brilliant tonight, tossing six innings, while allowing just one run on one hit, striking out eight (a career-high) and walking only two. A superb outing for a genuinely good guy.
–Aroldis Chapman probably pitched the most dominant inning he’s had as a major leaguer…and he didn’t throw a pitch faster than 98 mph. I don’t know if the Reds told him to dial it back, or if he’s tired, or if he is having arm trouble, or if the radar gun was off… but he was simply dominant. Eleven pitches, some incredible sliders along with a fastball that stayed mostly 93-95, and he set them down 1-2-3. Very strange, but effective, outing.
–In the bottom of the eight, Brandon Phillips made a great defensive play that kept the Padres from taking the lead. Loving watching BP pick it at second base. That was the single most important play in the entire ballgame.–Jonny Gomes had a couple of hits, including a run-scoring double. He also nearly blew the game with a terrible defensive play in the bottom of the tenth, sprinting in on a liner when he should have been retreating. Fortunately, he recovered in time, barely, to extend the game a little longer.
–Ryan Hanigan hit a big double in the 11th to score Gomes and give the Reds the lead. He also played great defense all night long, blocking a ton of pitches that could have really hurt the good guys.
–Drew Stubbs hit a ball into the Pacific Ocean. Two hits on the night, a run scored, and 4 RBI.
–Reds pitching had retired fifteen hitters in a row when Dusty Baker decided to summon Nick Masset from the bullpen. Masset, as he always does, promptly collected another blown save, allowing the Padres to tie the game. If it weren’t for the brilliant defense from BP mentioned above, he would have given San Diego the lead.
Masset is a train wreck right now. That’s the third lead he’s blown early in the season. Dusty needs to stop putting him in the game in tight spots until he can figure things out.
–The Reds scored six runs in the 11th, all with two outs. Wow.
–With the victory, the Reds hold a 2.5 game lead in the NL Central. They lead the Whiny Little Cardinals by four games. Heh.
–You simply cannot ask for more from a fifth starter than what Sam LeCure has given the Reds. If he keeps dealing like this, the Reds won’t be able to send him down when Homer Bailey and/or Johnny Cueto return from injury. It’s a good problem to have.
–Logan Ondrusek is the first right-hander in Reds history to begin his career 7-0.
–Why is it that Joe Morgan is so entertaining when he sits in the booth during Reds games, just talking baseball…and he was so annoying when he was on ESPN? It’s a genuine joy to listen to Morgan sit in with Thom and Jeff for a couple of minutes. (It would be more enjoyable if Brantley weren’t there.)
–Lot of tense moments in this game, but a lot of fun moments too. Reds go for the sweep later today!