Three Stars, Getaway win again
For the third-straight series, the Reds were staring at a possible series sweep. Once again, they put it together for a getaway day win to get one game.
It might not seem like much, but it was huge to get a 6-3 win for a few reasons. If nothing else, they are 2-5 on the road trip and can still finish it with a .500 record if they can sweep the 3-10 Cubs. That didn’t seem possible a few days ago.
On to a Reds-centric Three Stars of the game….
No. 3 star: Drew Stubbs — 3-for-5 with his first homer of the season. Stubbs has a five-game hitting streak going. His seventh inning homer was a good response for the club because Matt Holliday hit a 3-run bomb in the sixth to tighten the game at 4-3. The last extra base hit he had was a triple vs. the Mets on 9/27/11, spanning 50 at-bats.
“I’m still not where I need to be or feel like where I want to be,” Stubbs said. “But a lot of times, it takes a few days like today to get you rolling. I think the home run was the best swing I’ve had this year. If I can start to get some of those, I can find my groove and hopefully take off.”
No. 2 star: Brandon Phillips — 2-for-5, 2 RBIs with his first homer that season that put the Reds on the scoreboard first in the three-run fourth inning. Phillips also had a RBI single in the fifth.
“It felt good to get my first RBI. My leg is feeling so much better,” said Phillips, playing with a sore hamstring. “I’ve been treating it every day. I feel like it’s getting stronger. I stayed back on my leg more. The more innings I played, the more I started feeling it. At the beginning of the game, I felt real good. I think the heat on my leg was wearing off … I got a lot of Icy Hot on my leg. I have to put the whole jar on me next time.”
And your No. 1 star: Bronson Arroyo — 8 ip, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 90 pitches/66 strikes. Arroyo was sensational and has a 2.91 ERA through three starts. As evidenced by his strike-to-ball ratio, he had it going all right today. His only blemish of the day was two singles and Holliday’s three-run homer in the sixth. After that, he retired his last eight batters. Dusty Baker did not consider letting Arroyo complete the game.
“The guys they had coming up were some dangerous dudes,” Baker said. “One of them was Holliday, who hit him out of the ballpark. That was enough.”
Arroyo got the rotation its first win since Johnny Cueto on April 5.
News and notes:
*Sean Marshall got his 2nd save in the ninth. After a leadoff single by Holliday, Marshall struck out the side using a lot of off-speed stuff.
*Before his homer against Arroyo, Holliday entered the at-bat in a 0-for-11 funk and had been 5-for-his-last 34.
*The homers by Phillips and Ryan Ludwick in the fourth marked the first time this season that the Reds homered twice in one inning.
*It was also the first time the Reds hit three homers in a game this season.
*The Reds took advantage of the fact that Adam Wainwright is still not 100 percent back from Tommy John surgery. Wainwright hasn’t pitched well yet and lasted five innings with 88 pitches today.
“Going into a day like today facing a guy like Wainwright, in the past you’d thinking ‘oh man, we’re down 0-2 facing a guy like Wainwright,’” left fielder Ryan Ludwick said. “But he’s coming back from an injury. His velocity is a little bit down. I feel like we were able to take advantage a little bit. In that scenario, you’ve got to because when he’s on and back 100 percent, he’s one of those guys that you’re lucky just to get one run.”
“It was big. Just as a staff for the five guys, we’ve been toeing the rubber and throwing the ball pretty decent and have not been able to pull out victories for ourselves or the team. It’s huge definitely. We’re still early in the season but you want to get the ball rolling and that if you do what you’re supposed to do out there, you have a chance to win and the club is in support of that. Today, that all fell into place.” — Bronson Arroyo on the rotation getting a long-awaited victory.
“No. 1, he’s not sick. That’s huge. Last year the guy had mono early. That takes a lot out of you for a long period of time. The guy can pitch. Plus, Steve Carlton once lost 20 games and came back and won a whole bunch of games. Sometimes, there are bad years, for whatever reason. It seems like in modern baseball, there is no room or tolerance for a guy that has a down or bad year. Those things happen.” — Dusty Baker on Arroyo
“We’re going to Chicago. It’s going to be cold up there. We’re going to have to grind. They are playing about the same type of baseball we’ve been playing right now. Obviously, these guys we just played are the guys everybody is chasing. We have to take care of business. Hopefully we finish this road trip strong.” — Ryan Ludwick
***I will not be in Chicago. Catch you next time from Cincinnati when the Reds play the Giants.