Huge win before welcomed day off

Even if Joey Votto doesn’t agree, the Reds needed that game in a bad way. A 4-3 win over the Brewers came in the Reds’ last two at-bats on a two-run homer by Jay Bruce in the seventh and Joey Votto’s game-winner with a two-run shot in the eighth. Cincinnati was trailing 3-0 after four innings.

Votto hasn’t gotten as many pitches to hit, and especially drive, this season. But he got one very favorable matchup against Milwaukee reliever Kameron Loe, coming in 3-for-6 with two homers. Not only did Votto crush the 2-1 pitch, it was still carrying upwards as it smacked the center field batters’ eye. Estimated distance: 439 feet.

“Every single game is equally important,” Votto said. “This one was important because we’ve been losing quite a bit lately.”

Manager Dusty Baker had a different point of view about the meaning of the game, which was the Reds’ 20th in 20 days.

“Best one in a long time. That was huge that we found a way to win the game,” Baker said.

Notes:

*Francisco Cordero recorded his 300th career save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Cordero is only the 22nd player to reach that plateau and it tied him with HOFer Bruce Sutter on the all-time list.

*Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks has started three games against the Reds this season with a home run. Oddly enough, his team is 0-3 in those games.

*In his last 17 games, Jay Bruce is hitting .403 with nine homers and 25 RBIs. His long ball tonight was his NL leading 17th.

*The Reds have 15 come-from-behind wins this season.

*Before tonight, the Reds had lost their last five one-run games.

Quotes:

“It was so great tonight. We’re down by a run in the bottom of the eighth, two outs, and Joey Votto came big and hit a homer and I get the save. Now we have a great day off tomorrow and enjoy the day off and come back ready to play against the Dodgers and keep doing what we’re doing — just keep winning games, just keeping saving any time I get the chance. Who knows? Maybe next time we’re talking about 400. You never know.” — Francisco Cordero

“Shaun Marcum obviously had a lot to do with it. We ended up getting some big hits at the end of the game, myself and Jay. Jay has obviously been a go-to guy over the past month.” — Joey Votto on the Reds’ first six scoreless innings and the turnaround.

“Both of them are great hitters. Votto is always hot. Bruce has been unbelievable for the last month. When you make a mistake to them, neither one is going to miss it.” — Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.

“We finally won a series, won a rubber match game that has been eluding us for so long. Hopefully now we’ll take this day off and enjoy it. It’s been a tough run these last 20 days. Up and down and a lot of emotional swings, mostly down.” — Reds manager Dusty Baker

“Any time you’re in the central division and win, it’s always good. But going into a day off and winning, it’s a little better feeling than going in with a loss. We’ve got a tough stand coming here with L.A., we’ll have to battle.” — Reds starter Mike Leake, who allowed three runs over six innings.

5 Comments

Cordero is really pitching well this year – so far. The Reds need to make sure they don’t waste it. I was doing yardwork yesterday when it occured to me that if Bruce turned his slumps into hot streaks and his hot streaks into slumps, he’d be an MVP candidate. You think that’s what he’s done this year?

Disagree. Bruce has been hot since August of 2010 minus a few weeks in April. He is hot more than cold of late.

When is Volquez’s next Louisville start? Today? Maybe he could be back next week instead of Reineke? Go Arroyo, Cueto, Wood, Leake, Volquez? Then Homer returns in two weeks?
Curt

According to the broadcast last night – the plan is for Volquez to takr Reineke’s next start, sidetracked only if he is **horrible** tonight for Louisville. I think this season is going to be like the games they’ve won lately – fall beghind early, come back late. Go Reds!

There’s reason for a glimmer of hope, which seemed improbable just a few days back. But remember this: the overall pitching team stats remain horrible, and that was true even during the very brief stretch when both Cueto and Bailey had returned and were throwing well. And the bullpen results, while many individuals “seem” to be doing well, are not getting the collective job done. Only Houston in the NL has racked up a worse ledger. We have entered a new period of pitching dominance, and what seems okay bullpen work from just a few years ago doesn’t measure up to the new standards that exist around the league in 2011!

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