Friday, April 20, 2012

Bailey, Stubbs help Reds topple the Cubs

Bailey helped the Reds franchise win its 10,000th game on Friday

Chicago, Illinois -- Cincinnati improved to 6-8 after knocking off the last place Cubs (3-11) by a score of 9-4 on Friday -- sending the Lovable Losers to their sixth straight defeat.

The Reds clearly had their fill of VottOs before the game as the club hung a 4-spot on the board right out of the gate. The inning featured four hits (all singles), two walks, and a pair of stolen bases -- giving Dusty Baker's bunch a quick 4-0 lead before Chicago ever had a chance to grab a bat.

The Cubs would cut the lead in half off starter Homer Bailey (1-2) in the bottom of the third before Drew Stubbs later delivered a big, 2-run double in the following inning, thus extending the lead to 6-2.

Each team would later tack on two more runs a piece, but in the end it was the Redlegs who notched back-to-back victories for the first time in 2012. It also marked their first win in a series opener since Opening Day (April 5th) against Ozzie Guillen's Marlins.

Here's the good, the bad, and some notables from the chilly affair at Wrigley:

The Good:
- Bailey turned in a nice outing to earn his first win of the season. The right-hander limited the Cubs offense to five hits and no walks through seven frames. He did allow four runs, however, only one of those were earned. He tossed 108 pitches, 71 of 'em went for strikes (66%).
- Stubbs had a monster game going 3-5 with three ribbies, two steals, and a run scored. He helped lift his batting average on the year to .264.
- The offense came alive for the second consecutive game (9 runs, 12 hits, 3 steals and 6 base on balls). That's good for both our eyes and the stat sheet.
- Rookie Devin Mesoraco avoided being retired in his four plate appearances. The backstop pounded out a couple of singles and drew a pair of walks.
- Aroldis Chapman was well...brilliant as usual. The Cuban Missile struckout two in a perfect inning of relief. He needed just 14 pitches to do so...10 of them strikes.
- Every Reds position player who started recorded at least one hit with the exception of Scott Rolen. Rolen did do well in drawing a couple of walks though.

The Bad:
- The Reds, who entered play on Friday with the fewest errors in the National League (4), committed two in this one alone.
- Mesoraco was charged with a passed ball.
- And that's about it. It was a pretty good, all-around performance by the men in red.

The Notables:
- The two squads labored through low-40s temperature and a brisk breeze throughout the contest.
- The victory was the 10,000th in franchise history for the Redlegs. They become the sixth National League team to eclipse that plateau.
- The Reds now improve to 3-5 on their current 11-day, 10-game road swing.
- Brandon Phillips was held out of the starting lineup as a precautionary measure as he continues to nurse a strained left hamstring. Dusty Baker thought the windy, cool conditions might cause the Gold Glove second basemen's hammy to tighten up.
- Up next: The Reds and Cubs will clash for game two of the series in a 1:05pm ET matinee on Saturday. The visitors will pit Mike Leake (0-1, 5.84) versus Chicago left-hander Paul Maholm (0-2, 13.50). Cincy will wrap up the 10-game road trip, and 3-game series, with another day game on Sunday.

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