Nice series turnaround

Just think, there was a moment on Wednesday when the Reds were three outs away from losing this series. They had only one hit through eight innings and all was bleak.

Fast forward to today’s 10-4 win. The Reds took the series with back-to-back wins, the first time they did that since April 11-12. And they did it behind a very fine season debut from Homer Bailey.

Bailey’s line: 6 ip, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. 95 pitches/62 strikes. His 1-2-3 first inning was a good barometer — 15 pitches/11 strikes. You can read more on him when my full game story is published on MLB.com.

“Pretty much, we were always in a good count,” Bailey said. “There were only a couple of batters where we fell behind. When you’re ahead in the count, good things are going to happen.”

The Reds could not have asked for a better outing for his first game back from the right-shoulder impingement. Another anticipation is brewing for Sunday when Johnny Cueto makes his 2011 debut.

Notes:

*Joey Votto’s on-base streak is at 31 with his fourth-inning single. Now that Ryan Braun’s streak ended yesterday at 28, Votto is the only big league player to reach base in all of his team’s games.

*Ryan Hanigan’s three RBIs accounted for the first three runs of the game.

*Bailey’s 1-2-3 top of the first inning was only the fifth for the rotation in that troublesome inning this season. However, it was the second in a row after Travis Wood did it Wednesday.

*Fred Lewis had the first PH homer of his career and his first homer with the Reds in the sixth inning.

*Aroldis Chapman had a rough one today. Chapman entered with two on and two out in the seventh and did not retire any of his three batters. He walked two, including one with the bases loaded and gave up a two-run single.

*Nick Masset did a nice job with a 1-2-3 eighth inning. His two strikeouts both came on 96 mph pitches.

*Jay Bruce hit an eighth inning homer during the important four-run eighth that put the game away. Bruce is tied with Jonny Gomes for the team lead with six homers.

*The Reds have had four-straight games without an error.

Quotes:

“This guy is capable of a lot of victories for us. We were hoping this injury or the layoff for him and Cueto both – we’re in September and they’ll still be strong when everybody else has another month on them. Hopefully into October, he’ll be September with innings and wear and tear. This could work out great for us.” — Dusty Baker on Homer Bailey

“I had a lot of confidence that we were going to score some runs. I had Hanigan back there doing a great job. It was more about executing pitches.” — Homer Bailey

“He’s had spurts of dominance throughout his career. It’s just a matter of consistency. He’s such a competitor and he wants it bad. He works at it as hard as anybody. He’s got the stuff to do it when he’s on. We’re just going to try and take it game by game, have a good game plan, try and stick with it, make adjustments on the fly and hopefully he can have a good year.” — Ryan Hanigan on Bailey
 
“It feels good to shut the door a little bit, not having to come from behind. It’s always comforting, especially on get-away days.” — Jay Bruce

“He didn’t have it today; I’m sure he will next time. The rest of the guys picked him up.” Ryan Hanigan on Aroldis Chapman

3 Comments

I’m glad Bailey did well yesterday, just wish it had been in Dayton. Here’s the skinny. I bought Dayton Dragon tickets for Thursday’s game on-line on Monday before the rainout here scotched Bailey’s rehab start there. Printed the tickets out, and we went anyway since we’d paid and all. When we hit the turnstiles at Fifth Third Field, I discovered I’d bought tickets to Friday’s game (!). Don’t know how. My wife would say ‘typical.’ Went to the ticket window and were initially told we’d need to buy another pair, which I expected – it was my mistake and the ticketmaster poilcy is prominently displayed on-line – no refunds, no exchanges. Then the ticket guy told me to hang on a minute and when he came back, he gave us two tickets to replace my mistakes, no additional charge! When we got to our seats, we were two rows from the field, and the third base foul line, if it had been extended through home plate and to the stands, would have run through my forehead! Best seats I’ve ever had for any ball game! I thought that was really nice of the Dragons; they took care of us when they didn’t have to. And here’s what we saw: a good game (and when you don’t care who wins, it’s easier to relax and enjoy, and try to observe the baseball part of the game). The Dragons’ starting pitcer was a kid named Corcino who throws in the mid-nineties and has an 80 mph offspeed pitch. Billy Hamilton looks like a slap hitter, but he runs like Stubbs with that same gliding speed. He made a couple of smooth plays in the field, and the right-fielder threw out a runner tagging up at second and going to third – a great throw. All in all, a terrific night in Dayton, and I urge any and all to take in a Dragons game sometime. Get the $15 tickets and sit close – that’s really the best part of minor league ball.

One last thing about A-ball: the batters don’t fidget for 20 seconds between pitches or take a stroll away from the plate or make half a dozen little Japanese bows before digging in. They step in, cock the bat and go. Is that the purpose of minor league ball; to give batters time to develop they’re personalized dance routines when batting? It really speeds the game when they don’t do it.

Glad you had fun man. I’ve only been to a few Dragon games, and that’s been awhile. Maybe I’ll go more once I get moved back to Ohio.
Curt

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