Three stars, Cold bats
Two runs, seven hits….that is all the Reds have mustered through the first two games of their first showdown with the Cardinals. After one run last night, the other run came on a Joey Votto sac fly in a 3-1 loss.
My three stars of the night…
No. 3 star: Mike Leake — 6 ip, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR. Leake was kicking himself for three mistakes (homers by Beltran, Freese and a triple by Berkman) but he had a good outing. At one point, he retired 12 of 14 and also made a nice fielding play to turn a double play to end the top of the 2nd.
No. 2 star: David Freese, STL — 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBIs, 1 run scored. He’s off to a .444 start this season.
The No. 1 star: Kyle Lohse, STL — 6 ip, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB (int), 2 K. He firmly kept the Reds in check and had plenty to do with keeping the bats quiet for a second-straight night.
News and notes:
*With the bases loaded in top 1, Scott Rolen turned a very nice double play to end the inning. He fielded the ball as he stepped on third base and fired a one hop throw to Joey Votto, who made the scoop.
*In the second, the Reds blew a chance after Jay Bruce led off with a double. Both Chris Heisey and Drew Stubbs could not advance Bruce as they grounded out to third base. Heisey did try to bunt Bruce over on his first pitch but fouled it off.
“We attempted to move him and didn’t get him over,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s what we practice all the time. Get them over and get them in. We just have to do the little things, especially when you’re struggling to score runs. You have to scratch, claw and scrape any way you can to get that run in. Then you start rolling from there.”
*After his eighth-inning single, Cardinals 1B Lance Berkman left the game with tightness in his left calf.
*For the story on Brandon Phillips upon his signing a six-year, $72.5 million contract, click here.
*And for reactions from teammates about the Phillips extension, click here.
*In tonight’s notebook, seemingly sticking to a Phillips theme, updating his injury, plus Willie Harris and a Nick Masset update. Click here.
“I think Westbrook was a little more sinker heavy and letting his fastball work. And he made us beat the ball in the ground. Lohse was a little more of a mix guy, with a lot of sliders and changeups mixed to the lefties. They both had quality games where they kept the ball out of the middle of the plate, kept it down and kept us off-balance.” — Drew Stubbs.
“It might not be said but we’re a defensive team. Those plays are kind of expected to be honest with you with this team. It’s very nice to be able to have a defense play behind you like that.” — Mike Leake on the plays that ended the first and second innings.