Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….
W: J. Cueto (6-3)
L: B. Lincoln (3-1)
S: A. Chapman (6)
–When you look at the box score, you think that Johnny Cueto had a pretty good game: 7.2 innings pitched, three runs allowed on six hits. Until the last couple of batters, however, Cueto was nothing short of dominant. Cueto entered the eighth inning with a shutout, but he surrendered one run before Logan Ondrusek entered the game (with two runners on base) and gave up a 3-run homer on his second pitch. Still…good outing for Cueto.
–I’m not sure there are any superlatives that will adequately convey how dominant Aroldis Chapman was in the ninth inning today. Just made the Pirates look like Little Leaguers, striking out the last two hitters he faced…on six pitches. The last pitch of the game was a 101 mph heater.
–Brandon Phillips was 2-4 with his sixth homer, a solo shot that opened the scoring in the second inning.
–Ryan Ludwick had the big blow, a bases-clearing double in the 4th inning.
–Ondrusek. See above. Ondru the Giant has been stingy about allowing inherited runners to score this season. Tonight, not so much.
–The Reds had a 5-0 lead in the eighth, only to see the Pirates cut it to one run. Yeah, Dusty Baker probably left Cueto in the game for a hitter or two too long. I can’t kill him for that. Cueto had been dazzling all night, he had a big lead…and he’s JOHNNY CUETO. He’s their best pitcher (Non-Chapman Division). Sure, it was the wrong decision by Dusty, but I can’t say that I would have done any differently.
–The Reds bump their lead in the NL Central back to three games. That’s a good thing.
–Cueto picked another runner off first. It’s the fourth time he’s done that this season.
Good grief. Chapman is just the best. He really needs to be the NL starting pitcher in the All-Star Game. #Reds
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) June 7, 2012
Aroldis Chapman is now within two batters of having struck out half the hitters he’s faced this year (52/106).
— Joe Sheehan (@joe_sheehan) June 7, 2012
Phillips led off the Reds’ second with a first-pitch homer, the 52nd consecutive game at Great American Ball Park with at least one homer. It’s the longest active streak for any ballpark in the majors. The last homerless game in Cincinnati was July 29.
–Okay, time to win a series tomorrow. The Reds really don’t need to let the Pirates come into Cincinnati and win a series. I’m sick of losing to these guys. Get ’em, Mike Leake.