Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….
New York (NL) 1
W: M. Leake (5-7)
L: R. Dickey (15-4)
–Brilliant outing by Mike Leake tonight. Leake tossed a complete-game gem (his second of the season), permitting just one run on four hits with no walks. He struck out four. Perhaps the most dominant start of Leake’s young career. Oh yeah…and he also singled in a run at the plate.
–Todd Frazier had a great night: 3-4 with a double, two runs scored, and an absolute moon shot of a home run. For the season, the leading Rookie of the Year candidate in the National League is hitting .286/.343/.541. Fantastic. (I still can’t believe that the Reds didn’t think he was good enough to have on the Opening Day roster a few months ago.)
–Zack Cozart was 2-3 with two doubles, a walk, and two runs scored. Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen were each 2-4 with solo homers. Rolen added a double.
–That’s five straight wins for the Redlegs, and they’ve bumped their record to 71-46. Yep, twenty-five games over .500. Whoa.
Even better, the Pirates look destined to lose again tonight, which would give the Reds a seven-game lead in the National League Central. Think about that: when this club wakes up on August 16, they will have a seven-game lead in the division with 45 games to play.
Now think about this: they haven’t had Joey Votto for a month. It’s kinda scary how good they’ve been in the MVP’s absence. Is it possible that they could be even better when he returns? I’m not sure how the Reds can improve over recent results, but the offense would have to be better with Votto in the middle of the lineup. If the pitching stays good…watch out.
–Frazier’s bomb — 474 feet to center field — was the 10th-longest homer in Great American Ballpark history, and the fourth-longest in the major leagues this season. Wow.
The kid’s legend is growing. I can’t decide if Frazier is the next Chuck Norris or the next Bill Brasky.
–Jay Bruce has now homered in three consecutive games; it’s the second time this season he’s accomplished that feat. The start of one of his patented hot streaks? Let’s hope so.
–I can’t stop thinking about it. How in the world are the Reds 21-8 without Joey Votto? It seems almost impossible.
–Before the Mets scored in the fourth inning, the Reds had held opponents to 28 consecutive scoreless innings. Evidently, that was the longest streak for the franchise since 1963.
–Welcome back, Scott Rolen.
–The Redlegs helped Johnny Cueto’s Cy Young campaign tonight by roughing up Cueto’s primary competition, RA Dickey. Nice outing for the offense against a good pitcher.
After a little hiccup, I’d say
#Reds SP are back: last 8 starts: 57.2 IP, 2.03 ERA including 32 IP, 0.84 ERA in their last 4 starts.
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) August 16, 2012
–This Reds team is just fun. Crazy fun. They go for the series sweep tomorrow, with Homer Bailey on the mound.