A fine 2011 finish for Leake

With nine innings last week and eight innings Tuesday — both vs. the Cubs — Mike Leake finished 2011 in fine fashion.

His line tonight: 8 ip, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. 91 pitches/62 strikes. Reds win 2-1 one night after being clobbered for 12 runs.

Leake finished his season 12-9 with a 3.86 ERA. He leads the Reds in wins and with 118 strikeouts.

Quotes:

“It was nice the last two especially, to make them my best outings of the year. Five months is a long time to not pitch. You kind of forget about it a little bit. Hopefully, it will kick in right away come Spring Training.” — Mike Leake

“It seems like he reads hitters well. He had a very low pitch count and it’s a tight ballgame and I’m like, wow, this guy hasn’t thrown a ball over 90 [mph] and it just shows you how good he is with his understanding of pitching and hitting. Hats off. He’s done an unbelievable job against us. He did it before and he did it today.” — Cubs 1B Carlos Pena on Leake.

“The second year is the toughest because the hitters go to school on you. He made the adjustments. He reads swings better than any young pitcher I’ve seen other than maybe Fernando in that short period of time. He knows what he was doing. His ball was moving. He kept the ball down and elevated when necessary. He changed speeds. He was really pitching.” – Reds manager Dusty Baker

Notes:

*The Reds are 42-28 when they score first and 26-30 in one-run games.

*Brandon Phillips’ first inning HR was the first leadoff HR of his career. It was also the first time he has homered in back-to-back games.

*Joey Votto tied a season high with three walks, something he has done four times.

3 Comments

Ok, so Leake’s a keeper, along with Cueto; Phillips has to be re-signed. Anyone else ‘untouchable?’ Doesn’t this off-season need to be more active regarding free agents and trades than last winter? I hope so. Mark, do you think any of the Reds will play winter ball? Is there something some of them can do to learn to strike out fewer times, or hit better with men on base? Does the hitting coach come back next year?

Phillips hit a leadoff HR off Roy Oswalt in the 1st inning of game 2 of last year’s NLDS.

@maxblue — I should have put first ‘regular season’ leadoff HR.

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