Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bruce's big fly walks off Reds to fourth straight win

If you missed the first eight and a half innings of the game between the Reds (70-46) and Mets (55-61) on Tuesday, you didn't miss much. However, if you missed the bottom of the ninth, you owe yourself an apology.

That's because with two on and nobody out, Jay Bruce belted his 23rd homer of the season to propel Cincy to a 3-0, walk-off victory before 26,113 delighted fans at Great American Ball Park. It marked the fourth consecutive victory for the NL Central leaders and kicked the 7-game homestand off to a rousing start.

Let's take a gander at the good, bad and notables, eh?

The Good:
+ Bruce delivered in the clutch. He added three more RBIs to raise his 2012 total to 72 and added a double (28) earlier in the game as well. He's been in a bit of a funk lately and hopefully this showing will help him snap out of it.
+ Mat Latos continues to look more and more like an ace. He pitched brilliantly in his seven innings of work, but couldn't muster the neccesary run support to earn the win. His scoreless outing helped lower his ERA to 3.63.
+ Zack Cozart reached base safely in three (single, double and a walk) out of his five trips to the dish. That's what you want out of your leadoff hitter.
+ The bullpen was strong and steady as usual. Both Jose Arredondo (5-2) and Sean Marshall pitched a scoreless frame each.
+ Both Ryan's (Ludwick and Hangian) boasted two-hit nights.
+ The Reds out-hit the Mets, 11-6.

The Bad:
- Cincinnati left a whopping 14 men on base and were 0-9 with RISP before Bruce's homer.
- Hanigan was charged with a catchers interference...his fourth miscue on the year.
- The Reds failed to chalk up enough runs to help reward Latos for a stellar performance.

The Notables:
+ The Reds increased their division lead to six games on Tuesday after the Dodgers manhandled the Pirates, 11-0.
+ CIN leads the season series, 5-1 and improves to 307-260 all-time vs NYM.
+ Through 116 games the Reds have used only five starting pitchers (Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake), which is a modern franchise record. That streak will likely end at 120 when they battle the Cubs in a day/night doubleheader on Saturday.
+ The team hopes to have Joey Votto back in the lineup by next weekend's (24-26) series against the Cardinals. However, Votto isn't rushing things: “I don’t want to put a schedule on it," he said. “I’m not going to come back until I can do everything as a ballplayer."
+ Injured reliever Nick Masset, who has been on the disabled list all season with a strained shoulder, is expected to pitch again for Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday at Charlotte. It will mark the sixth rehab appearance for him (4.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K).
+ Up next: The Reds will have their work cut out for them on Wednesday as they face New York's Cy Young Award candidate R.A. Dickey (15-3, 2.72). Mike Leake (4-7, 4.51) gets the starting nod to oppose him. All the action is slated to get underway at 7:10et.

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