Postgame: New Leake pitch count?

Following a 4-0 loss to the Astros, there could be a change in tactics in how the Reds manage Leake’s pitch count going forward. Today, he was at 84 pitches through six innings and then had trouble getting through the next 10 pitches.

It was 1-0 when Leake gave up three-straight hits in the seventh with one out — including Chris Johnson’s home run, a Jason Castro single and pinch-hitter Jason Michaels’ double. Both runners scored on Michael Bourn’s double off Arthur Rhodes.

The Leake line: 6.1 ip, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR….94 pitches/53 strikes.

“Maybe we’ll have to start watching him around that 90-pitch count,” manager Dusty Baker said. “It was 100 but maybe we’ll bring it down to 90. They flared that one in there, no problem. He’s got that sinker. He’s the best double play almost that we’ve got. That’s why we let him face Michaels. A sinker on Michaels came back over the plate and a sinker on Johnson came back over the plate.”

Leake also ran into trouble in the seven-run ninth inning at Philly when he was at 83 pitches coming in and started giving up hits.

*With a little better luck, you have think Leake would have double-digit wins by now and more consideration for NL Rookie of the Year votes. He was hosed from a win against the Astros on May 30 when he pitched seven scoreless and didn’t get a win because the Reds were blanked 2-0 in 10 innings. The Reds are 11-8 when he pitches. There were three losses by one run, two by two runs and six in the opponent’s final at-bat. There of course were the two heartbreakers in Atlanta and Philadelphia.

“It happens I guess. It’s frustrating. Then again, they’re not trying to do it,” Leake said. “You just have to battle, make your pitches and try to keep it low on your part.”

The good —

*The defense had some sparkling moments. In the fourth, left fielder Jonny Gomes made a fantastic diving catch towards the line to rob Jason Castro and save a run. In the seventh, Orlando Cabrera took a hit away from leadoff batter Jeff Keppinger with a pick and leaping throw from the hole.

The not so good –

*Today’s loss was the Reds’ MLB leading 12th shutout this season. They’ve been blanked six times on Sundays, including the last three in a row.

*The Reds have also been shutout five times in the last 16 games.

“That is strange. I guess when we’re good, we’re very good. When we don’t score, we don’t score at all,” Baker said.

*Wandy Rodriguez, who had a 5.11 ERA coming in, gave Houston one-hit ball over seven innings.

More quotes —

“I think those zeroes up there weren’t telling the whole story. I wasn’t locating well the whole game. I felt like I couldn’t really throw it where I wanted to today. I don’t know why.” — Mike Leake

“Wandy has been throwing the ball good, according to our reports. He’s thrown his fastball up and out of the zone away a lot and bouncing his breaking ball. And that’s what he was doing today.” — Dusty Baker on Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez

“I wish I could but I’m glad I can’t. It means it doesn’t happen very often. This game is interesting. I think we’ve done pretty good against Wandy the last couple of outings.” — Jonny Gomes on the inability to explain all the shutouts.

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