Thursday, September 20, 2012

Reds shrink magic number to 3 with win in extras vs. Cubs

It's been a rough second half for Stubbs, but he was the hero Wednesday.

Wait long enough and the Cubs will end up being…the Cubs. The Reds tested out that theory on Wednesday night, and though it took 11 innings, an embarrassing error in right field by David DeJesus paved the way for another Reds ‘W.’

For all of the details including the good, bad and the notable, read on....


With two outs and no one out in the top of the 11th, Brandon Phillips hit what looked to be an easy pop up into shallow right. That’s when DeJesus put in a bid for the blooper reel and completely botched the play, allowing Phillips to reach second. Drew Stubbs singled home Phillips in the next at-bat for the winning run.

The win shrinks the Reds magic number to just three as the Cardinals beat Houston.

The Good
-Joey Votto is gradually looking more like his old self at the plate. A night after hammering a couple of balls, he drove in three runs tonight.
-Stubbs had one of those nights that makes fans think that maybe he’s close again to putting it all together – he went 3-for-5 with a walk, including the game-winning RBI single.
-Jonathan Broxton pitched a 1-2-3 11th inning for his 27th save of the season.
-Henry Rodriguez had his second major league hit – a lined single as a pinch hitter.

The Bad
-The Reds had a 5-1 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth when things fell apart for starter Mike Leake (6 innings, 6 hits, 4 earned runs). Leake certainly is doing himself no favors when it comes to his being on the playoff roster.
-At this stage of the season, the Reds really don’t need to be playing extra inning games. It’s all over except for the popping of the champagne in terms of clinching a playoff spot. The last thing the Reds need is to have to go through the extra wear and tear of extra innings.
-J.J. Hoover had perhaps his worst outing as a Red, walking in the tying run in the eighth inning and paving the way for extra innings.
-Dioner Navarro’s hot hitting likely will end up being a mirage before its all said and done – he went 0-for-5 tonight.
-Wilson Valdez was clearly safe at first base to lead off the 11th inning, but was called out following his grounder to the right side. It didn’t matter, though, thanks to the Cubs being the Cubs.

The Notables
-Stubbs’ RBI single in the 11th inning was his first since August 21. Think about that one for a second. Or don’t because that fact is kind of depressing.
-Time of the ball game was four hours and eight minutes.
-Logan Ondrusek (5-2) earned the win in relief.
-Cincinnati is 30 games or more over .500 this late in the season for the first time since 1999.
-The Reds finish with the Cubbies on Thursday afternoon as Johnny Cueto (17-9, 2.92) looks to right the ship against Chicago right-hander Jason Berken (0-1, 7.20). A lot of guys you’ve never heard of on this Cubs team, eh? Anyway, Cueto enters after losing three starts in a row for the second time in his career while posting an unsightly 8.82 ERA. Hopefully that changes in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field tomorrow, er, today. 

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