Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….
St. Louis 7
W: T. Wood (3-3)
L: C. Carpenter (1-3)
S: F. Cordero (7)
–I’m not sure what happened in the second inning, when he gave up two runs on three very hard-hit balls, but Travis Wood was excellent otherwise. Six innings, two runs allowed on seven hits. A good start, especially since St. Louis had their ace on the mound.
–Ramon Hernandez had two more hits, including yet another homer. He’s hitting .349/.393/.627. That’s just unreal.
–Drew Stubbs (.282 /.371/.468) had two more hits. Jay Bruce had two, including a double. Scott Rolen had two, including a triple (!). Chris Heisey entered as a late-game defensive substitution, and hit a homer.
–Brandon Phillips had a huge bases-loaded double that scored two runs and drove Chris Carpenter from the game (and he scored two himself). BP also led the league in big smiles and dugout dances today.
–Logan Ondrusek and Jose Arredondo (in his Reds debut) pitched excellent innings of relief.NEGATIVES
–Well, you know where this is going. The Reds had a 9-2 lead going into the ninth, when Aroldis Chapman entered the game. Four walks, four runs, and one out later, the game was suddenly more interesting. Nick Masset came in to face one batter, and surrender one hit before CoCo shut the door.
That shouldn’t have been as nerve-wracking as it was.
–Sweep! It was Cincinnati’s first home sweep of the Cardinals since 2007, and the first time they’ve beaten Carpenter since 2006.
–It just seems like the Reds got several monkeys off their collective backs this weekend, doesn’t it?
–Cardinals arrive in Cincinnati 1.5 games up. They leave 1.5 games back. Life is sweet.
–I had no issue whatsoever with the decision to bring in Chapman in the ninth. Aroldis had had two rough outings, but he’d been the best pitcher on the staff before that. He’s still the most talented pitcher on the roster. There is no reason not to believe that he can’t do the job there, and if you can’t trust a pitcher in a 9-2 game, they need to get rid of him.
Perhaps you can argue that Dusty Baker left him in the game a hitter or two longer than he should, but it was not a poor decision by Dusty to bring him in. Oh yeah, and the “fans” that were booing Chapman as he left the field are idiots. Period.
–I’ve never seen an organization with less class than the St. Louis Cardinals. I’d be embarrassed to be a fan of that team. To wit:
Francisco Cordero hit Albert Pujols with a pitch in the ninth inning. Pujols was the tying run, the count was 0-2, the lead had been cut to 9-7…yet the Cardinals stood in the dugout and screamed at CoCo as if he had intentionally hit Pujols. A Little Leaguer would know that no one would hit a batter on purpose in that situation, but then, the Cardinals are dumber than most six year-olds that I know.After the final out, a bunch of Cardinals stood at the railing, jawing at CoCo. It was a joke. CoCo stood his ground and yelled right back at them, which was kinda awesome. Then, after the game, Cordero said this about St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan, who was leading the dugout whining (I’ll use the paraphrasing left in the comments by Loyal Citizen Jason1972): Ã¢â‚¬Å“He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even play, he just sits there. Like I would put Pujols on and bring Holliday to the plate. Be smarterÃ¢â‚¬Â
(For what it’s worth, one of the St. Louis beat writers — who is generally reasonable, even if he’s said some nutty things this week — tweeted this: “Cardinals are overreacting to Pujols getting hit. I don’t think it was intentional. Why intentionally hit Pujols there? Makes no sense.”)
–In 14 games at home this season, Ramon Hernandez is hitting .489 with a .520 OBP, 5 HR, and 12 RBI. Wow.
–Paul Janish has no business batting second, but he made a great defensive play today.
–When is everyone going to realize that Aroldis Chapman needs to be in Louisville preparing to be a starter? He has no business being a relief pitcher. What a waste of a wonderful talent.
–Wow, St. Louis may have the worst defense in the league. That’s a big difference between these two teams.
–I could not be happier. There are very few things which bring me more joy than watching the Reds sweep the Cardinals. Outstanding.