Three stars, All Cardinals edition
It was a rather flat night for the Reds during a 7-1 loss to the Cardinals in Monday’s series opener. Not much to like about this game from the Reds point of view.
Homer Bailey found out there is no cruising through the St. Louis lineup, even without Albert Pujols. After two quick outs in the first inning, Bailey gave up three home runs for four runs and a quick 4-0 deficit. He settled down after the first, but it proved to be already too late.
Especially when the Reds lineup totaled only three singles on the night.
On to tonight’s “Three Stars,” as selected by yours truly.
No. 3 star: David Freese, STL — 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs. Freese took a 0-1 pitch the other way for a two-run homer against Bailey for the second of three Cardinals homers in the top of the first.
No. 2 star: Jake Westbrook, STL — 7 ip, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. 88 pitches/55 strikes. Westbrook survived issuing four walks through the first two innings and kept the Reds hitless and scoreless for 5 2/3 innings. He also got a big strikeout on Joey Votto in the fifth to leave a runner stranded on second base.
And the No. 1 star: Yadier Molina, STL — 2-for-3, HR, 3 RBIs. He had the third long ball of the first inning against Bailey and it was launched to straightaway center field. Molina’s two-run double to left field against Jose Arredondo in the eighth put this game well out of reach.
News and notes:
*Brandon Phillips exited Monday’s game vs. the Cardinals before the sixth inning with a cramp in his left hamstring. Phillips legged around from first base to score on Westbrook’s error throw to first base following Zack Cozart’s comebacker to the mound. He was removed as a precaution.
“I don’t think it’s too serious, but he probably won’t play tomorrow because you’ve got to get him well,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s what you’re always guarded against, especially playing your first game in the kind of chilly air out there. It’s a thing you try to avoid. We’ve been good on leg injuries from Spring Training until now, except for Billy Bray’s groin. Other than that, we’ve had none. We just have to take caution and hope it won’t be too long.”
*The last Reds pitcher before Bailey to give up three homers in one inning was Justin Lehr against the Astros on Sept. 16, 2009.
*Bill Bray made his season debut with 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Bailey. Bray walked one and struck out three.
“I just got a little passive with two outs. I didn’t stay aggressive. Once you open that can, it’s kind of hard to shut sometimes. The wind blowing out like that, small park – it’s going to happen. After the first, I just tried to get as deep into the game as I could.” — Homer Bailey
“He got two quick outs and then made a couple of pitches that were improperly located. He had one down the middle to Holliday and then a walk and then one down the middle to Freese. And one down the middle to Yadier. After that, he settled down. But it was a little too late at that time.” — Dusty Baker about Bailey.