Smooth 5-0 blanking of Rays
As far as games go, the Reds could not have asked for one to go much better or smoother. They were more than pleased to leave Monday with a 5-0 win.
“First day into a new city, pretty much for a lot of guys, [the Rays] had just come off a great series in Houston, swinging the bat well and pitching well,” Jonny Gomes said. “It all starts with Mike Leake. Pitching and defense win you a lot of games.”
Leake provided 6 ip, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K….99 pitches/57 strikes. He is 4-2 with a 2.49 ERA in seven games since returning from Triple-A Louisville.
*Another strong night for Brandon Phillips — 4-for-5, 2 RBIs. Phillips has multiple-hit days in six of his last seven games. His average is up to .299.
*Pregame, I was curious about the Tropicana Field catwalks. Gomes appeared to be the right guy to take care of that. He went deep to left field for a homer off of the catwalk over left field leading off in the fifth inning. It was Gomes’ ninth career homer off the catwalks. He was tied for the Rays team record with eight catwalk shots.
*I saw something you don’t see often…a runner called out for passing a teammate on the bases. It happened in sixth when Evan Longoria passed Ben Zobrist at second base on Matt Joyce’s fly ball to Fred Lewis. It was huge break for Leake, who started the inning with runners on first and second with no outs. Zobrist, who tagged up on the play, was left stranded at third base. If you’re scoring at home, it’s a flyout 7 on Joyce and 6 unassisted for the Longoria out.
*Nice middle relief from Sam LeCure, who allowed one hit over a scoreless seventh and eighth innings.
*Like many managers, Dusty Baker didn’t see everything through rose-colored glasses. He pointed out some missed chances as the Reds went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight runners.
“We still could have tacked on a few more runs, which is something we’re still in the process of learning,” Baker said. “To throw the knockout punch when you get them.”
*The Rays winless lifetime vs Reds (0-7).
*I learned who DJ Kitty was for the first time.
“It was a good opportunity to show the Reds the guidelines on the catwalk.” — Jonny Gomes on his home run.
“The results are showing up, and I’m happy it’s finally showing. I’m trying to stay positive and keep grinding. I talked to my Dad, looked at some old video and decided to go back to my old ways go up there and drive the ball instead of just guide it. It’s paying off. I’m just going to stick with that.” — Brandon Phillips
“I didn’t put any balls over the middle, maybe just one or two. Luckily they didn’t do anything with them. I was just nibbling a little too much and a little more side-to-side with my mechanics than normal.” — Mike Leake
“He’s an absolute pitcher. He knows what he’s doing out there. He knows how to change speeds and he can throw a strike when he wants to. … I can understand why he has been successful.” — Rays manager Joe Maddon on Leake
“That was a double play that we’ll take. It’s probably something you’ll never see Longoria do again. That ball did look like it was in the game. Freddy closed the gap pretty quickly and made a fine running play.” — Dusty Baker on the Longoria base running gaffe.