Postgame: Wood wins No. 1
There was no shortage of highlights worth mentioning from Wednesday’s 10-2 Reds win over the Brewers. For starters, it completed a 4-2 road trip with two series wins.
The good —
*There always seems to be hand wringing about the offensive shortcomings but the NL’s best hitting and scoring team cranked out 22 runs and 32 hits over the last two games to win this series. As Larry David might say “pretty, pretty good.”
*Travis Wood finally got his first big league win. His outing was shortened by the long sixth inning and his turn coming up in the midst of a big rally. Wood pitched five innings and allowed two runs and five hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
“It feels good,” Wood said. “Coming out today, every game, I’m trying to get that first one. Today I was able to throw well and keep the team close. We ended up getting a lot of big runs late. We battled and got it done.”
*The most impressive moment of the five-run Reds’ sixth was the sound execution of Ryan Hanigan’s perfect suicide squeeze. Miguel Cairo was sprinting home from third base as Hanigan dropped his bunt back to the mound. Milwaukee was definitely caught by surprise there.
*Defense was nice today as Jay Bruce robbed Carlos Gomez with a diving catch in the fourth inning to save a run after Milwaukee had just taken a 2-0 lead. Trying for a triple in the seventh, Gomez was also nailed with a very nice one-hopped throw by left fielder Jonny Gomes.
*Brandon Phillips slugged a 450-foot grand slam off of Bernie Brewer’s yellow slide in the eighth. Other than Sammy Sosa in the Home Run Derby in 2002, no one had ever hit the slide. I even asked Bernie and his handler. Bernie replied by nodding his enlarged head “no.”
*Four more scoreless innings by the Reds bullpen gave them 15 scoreless for the six-game road trip.
*Jonny Gomes’ RBI double in the sixth gave him 300 RBIs for his career. He is still sitting on 99 career home runs.
*Joey Votto hit his 26th home run of the season in the eighth. That established a new career-high and extended his NL lead.
What happened there? —
*Wood had oops moment when he walked off the mound and to the dugout after striking out Joe Inglett in the third inning. There were only two outs. Wood wasn’t alone since Hanigan also went that way.
“He was strutting pretty good,” Dusty Baker said. “Guys were all on him for strutting like the inning was over. The second one wasn’t as good as his first one.”
Why Leake? —
Some folks on Twitter wondered why Mike Leake was sent to pinch-hit in the eighth inning for Arthur Rhodes. It wasn’t just because Leake was a .366 hitter.
“We were kind of short of people today,” Baker explained. “We tried to stay away from Scotty after his big day yesterday. He was sore. We didn’t want to use Ramon because he caught about 150 pitches yesterday. He was a little sore. I had to save Janish because Cabrera injured his shoulder a little bit on that slide into third. I took a chance of bringing Nix in early. I couldn’t afford to use anybody else and I didn’t think they’d walk him.”
Give Leake credit for working a full-count walk to load the bases just before Phillips’ grand slam.
More quotes —
“It was kind of strange to get a five-inning win, especially after all the great games he’s pitched. We needed that one badly. It was a big getaway day win for us.” — Dusty Baker on Travis Wood
“My pitches were working pretty well. I had some trouble getting the curveball at first and then finally found it. I was able to make some good pitches at some good times and get some guys out.” — Travis Wood
“You go into some ballparks and some lineups, and they’re all home run threats. You keep them in the ballpark and you’ll be alright. But I think we’re deeper than that. We’ve got some situational hitters. You saw the squeeze. The top of our lineup is going to get on and we’re going to run. We’ll go from first to third and steal bags as well. I don’t think we’re just home run threats.” — Jonny Gomes
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