Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Leake dominates Mets as Reds stretch win streak to five

Mike Leake was the star of the show Wednesday.

The Reds (71-46) made it two in a row over the Metropolitans on Wednesday with a 6-1 victory at Great American Ballpark. Mike Leake outdueled R.A. Dickey and the Reds bats came alive for an all-around win.

Brandon Phillips got the scoring started with a first inning RBI single, scoring Zack Cozart. After the Mets tied things at 1-1 in the fourth, back-to-back blasts from Scott Rolen and Todd Frazier gave the Reds a lead they would never relinquish.

Now for the particulars, shall we?

The Good
-Mike Leake. No question about it, Leake (5-7) was outstanding tonight, turning in quite possibly his best showing of the season and one of the best of his young career. Leake went the distance, allowing just one run on four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four.
-The win makes it five straight for the Redlegs and that little swoon of a week ago seems like a long time ago.
-Rolen returned to the lineup after several days off with nagging pain and delivered. He finished the night 2-for-4 including the game-changing home run in the fourth and a later double.
-Frazier continues to prove that he’s no fluke. His homer was his 15th of the year as he continues to make his case to be NL Rookie of the Year. He finished 3-for-4, adding a single and a double to push his batting average to .286.
-The bullpen is now very well rested. After Monday’s day off and back-to-back deep outings from Leake and Mat Latos have set the ‘pen up very well.
-The Reds offense fared very well against Dickey who, while he’s cooled off since the All-Star Break, still has been one of the best pitchers in the NL for the season.

The Bad
-Well, the Cardinals have been hot. Seriously, we have to stretch to find “bad” things about the way the Reds are going right now. Joey Votto may not be available until September, but at this point, it looks as though Cincinnati can give him the time he needs to get to 100 percent without need to rush him back into the lineup.

The Notables
-This marks the second complete game of Leake’s career in 71 starts. Both complete games have come this season.
-The Reds are continuing to gap the competition in the NL Central, as the Pirates struggles continue. Cincinnati guaranteed themselves a six game lead in the division and, as of this writing, Pittsburgh was trailing in Los Angeles, 9-2.
-An announced crowd of 26,082 took in the festivities.
-Homer Bailey (10-7, 4.08) takes the ball for the Reds tomorrow night against heralded Mets rookie right-hander Matt Harvey (1-3, 3.63).

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