A wet and wild Reds win
What a nutty game. What a messy game, too.
The rain and some inclement conditions made for a wild and wacky night, but the Reds still splashed and dashed their way to a 7-5 victory over the Cubs for a two-game series sweep and five-game winning streak.
There were five errors committed in this one, with four of them charged to the Cubs. That resulted in all seven of the Reds runs being unearned. After seeing the Cubs, Brewers, Cardinals and Astros play already, I can definitely state with some authority that there is a lot of bad defense being performed in the NL Central.
“We capitalized on mistakes tonight,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I sound like a broken record talking about defense. That’s the one difference between our club and a lot of clubs is that we generally don’t beat ourselves. It was tough conditions tonight, real tough conditions.”
*Once again, I was getting panicked tweets from fans looking for any way possible to move Edinson Volquez out of the rotation. Sure he gave up three first inning runs. There was one single, a stolen base and two-out hit-by-pitch that barely touched Aramis Ramirez. Volquez missed on a first-pitch fastball for a homer by 2011 Reds killer Carlos Pena.
*What did Volquez do after that? Allow only one more hit over the next five scoreless innings. After the first, he retired a stretch of eight in a row and 10 of 11. His line: 6 ip, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HB, 1 HR looks like a quality start to me. Like I’ve said before, Volquez isn’t where he should be, but his stuff is far too good to be pushing the button on a trap door out of the rotation.
*Baker had no intention of pinch-hitting for Volquez with the bases loaded in the fourth inning down by a 3-0 score. Good thing. Volquez hit a first pitch from Matt Garza off 1B Carlos Pena’s glove for an error. Garza retrieved the ball and threw an error ball into the visitor’s dugout, which let three runs score and put Volquez on third base.
“We’re in this streak of 20 in a row, and that comes in to play, too,” Baker said explaining a reason he stuck with Volquez. “That comes into our minds because we have 15 more to go. You certainly don’t want to get upside down that early in the ball game. … During the streak our pitching has been outstanding, taking us deep into ball games.”
*Ryan Hanigan’s sac bunt was quite the adventure in the eighth inning. RHP Kerry Wood’s throw to third base wound up all the way down the left field line as two runs scored. Assist to the ball for getting the chair out of the way as the ball rolled his way.
*I can imagine Cubs fans cringed in the eighth when Kosuke Fukudome missed the cutoff man and the relay guy with his horrible throw from right field on Joey Votto’s double. It allowed Paul Janish to score from first base.
*And in another weird moment in the sixth and two outs, Miguel Cairo struck out and headed to the dugout thinking it was the third out. Players were heading off the field. Turned out, it was a wild pitch from Garza and Cairo ran back out and reached first base while Ramon Hernandez went to second base. Umpires missed rule 609-b, which essentially says that Cairo should have been out once he leaves dirt circle around home plate. It didn’t amount to a rally since next batter Drew Stubbs struck out.
*Ramon Hernandez has an 11-game hitting streak and is batting .425 (17-for-40) during it. He had a single in the sixth inning.
*Paul Janish’s eighth-inning single snapped a 0-for-17 skid.
*The Reds have 13 come-from-behind wins this season.
“Y’all should be used to it. People that leave the stadium early, I feel sorry for you guys. You’re missing a great game. It just feels good for our team to stay within ourselves, stay positive and good things will happen. We really believe in ourselves. When everybody is picking everybody up, things like this really happen.” — Brandon Phillips on the frequent Reds comeback wins.
“I had it played out before it happened in my head. Make a good pitch here, the guy bunts it back, go to third. The balls going to be wet, so just be sure to make a good throw and I threw it to the wall. If I get the ball to Ramy, I think we have a chance to get the double play.” — Cubs RHP Kerry Wood, on his error in the eighth.
“That was unbelievable. You stay around here long enough, you’re going to see a lot of things. Boy, this feels like we’re in August, but we’re only in May. We’ve played some exciting, drag-out, knock-down baseball where every day it’s a challenge. These guys will rise to it, and the more they do it the more they believe they can do it.” — Dusty Baker said.