Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cueto silences Twins as Reds snap season high losing skid at four

Sean "The Mayor" Casey firing up the crowd beforehand

The Reds entered Saturday's contest with the lowly Minnesota Twins badly in need of a victory. Their lead in the National League Central had dwindled down to one game after suffering a string of four consecutive defeats. The main responsibility to help turn things around fell on the shoulders of diminutive ace Johnny Cueto, and boy did he ever come through. The Reds (39-31) blanked the visiting Twins (28-42), 6-0, to help put an end to their skid on Reds Hall of Fame Induction night at Great American Ball Park.

To help put a bow on the festive weekend affair, here's the good, bad and notables from the festive affair:

The Good:
- The Reds win! A rare occurrence during this brutal week.
- Cueto dazzled in seven fine innings of work to improve his record to 9-3. He fanned nine, walked only one and allowed just three hits. He's well on his way to Kansas City for his first ever All-Star game.
- Jose Arredondo and Alfredo Simon each tossed one scoreless inning of relief to preserve the shutout. Simon has turned out to be one helluva pick-up off waivers.
- Scott Rolen collected his second straight multi-hit game by going 2-3 with a double (7), two runs scored, a walk and an RBI (16). It's good to have the old guy back in the lineup.
- Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce both recorded two hits including a double a piece. Bruce also scored two runs while Frazier layed out for a great catch early in the game.
- Brandon Phillips went deep for the 10th time in 2012 -- a majestic drive over the center field wall that plated two (44). He also made a remarkable bare-handed snag and throw to retire the speedy Ben Revere in the fourth.
- The Reds outhit the Twins, 8-3.
- The stands were jampacked, which is always good to see.
- Three sno cone vendors recorded career highs in sales today. Hats of to them and hats off to the great people of the Queen City who consumed them.

The Bad:
- There's really not a whole lot of negatives to take away from this one, but here it goes...
- Zack Cozart failed to reach base in five plate appearances. That's not good production out of your leadoff hitter.
- Hitting with RISP continues to be a problem. The boys in red were a woeful 0-8 on Saturday.
- The Pirates won again, thus staying within one game of the division-leading Reds.

The Notables:
- Modern day first basemen Sean Casey and Dan Driessen, along with the late Johny Reilly were inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame prior to the game. The first 25,000 fans in attendance received a commerative bobblehead of beloved Casey.
- A soldout crowd of 41,740 was in attendance at GABP. It marked the 6th of the season at and 71st overall.
- Cincinnati lifts his interleague record to 7-7 on the year and is now 8-9 all-time vs MIN -- 6-2 in games played in Cincy.
- Drew Stubbs (oblique) was 0-2 in a rehab assignment with Single-A Dayton on Friday. The center fielder has been on the disabled list since June 15th. He's set to play in two more games with the Dragons this weekend before returning to the Cincy lineup on Monday.
- Up next: The Reds conclude interleague play for 2012 with the series finale against the Twins on Sunday. It'll be Mike Leake (2-5, 4.70) paired up against Minnesota's Scott Diamond (5-3, 2.57). First pitch is set to be uncorked at 1:10et. The first 8,000 kids 14 and younger will receive a pair of Joey Votto batting gloves.

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