Big series win, winning trip
The Three Stars after a 5-2 Reds victory that gave them two of three in the series and a 4-3 road trip. That was a big one to get in my mind.
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No. 3 star: Raul Ibanez, NY — 2-for-4, two-run HR. Ibanez was 5-for-12 in the series with two homers. His two-run homer off of Johnny Cueto in the sixth gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
“Raul has been on fire,” Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan said. “That pitch wasn’t terrible but it came back and you have to tip your hat. He’s been hitting breaking balls, heaters away and heaters in. he’s just hot right now.”
No. 2 star: Johnny Cueto — 7+ ip, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 110 pitches, 68 strikes. Cueto had base runners on each of his first six innings but he got out of jams, including two double plays, to outduel CC Sabathia.
“We were battling the whole game long. [Sabathia is] their No. 1 guy and I am the No. 1 guy here too,” said Cueto, who improved to 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA. “We both wanted to work hard and see who ends up with the win at the end. I got it done. This is a hitter’s park. They’re a really good team. I’m really happy with how the game came out at the end.”
No. 1 star: Ryan Ludwick, 3-for-5, 1 HR, 3 RBIs. — Ludwick, who came in batting .183 and was bothered lately by a sore left elbow, needed a game like that badly. His solo homer to start the seventh was a quick answer to the Ibanez homer in the sixth. Ludwick added a two-run double in the ninth that gave Aroldis Chapman less pressure to deal with in his first save situation of the year.
“It was nice to be able to contribute,” said Ludwick, who hadn’t homered since April 24. “I haven’t done a whole lot of that lately.”
News and Notes:
*I have extensively covered the closer situation in a story on MLB.com. I have quotes there from Baker, Marshall and Chapman. It should update shortly from the pre-game version.
*Today marked Chapman’s second MLB save. His first was 7/6/11 vs. STL in a 13-inning game.
*Ryan Hanigan’s homer in the seventh was his first of the season and snapped a homer-less drought of 129 ABs. His last homer came Aug. 19, 2011.
*Drew Stubbs dropped a perfect bunt single towards third base lead off the Reds’ sixth. It was Stubbs’ third bunted hit of the season.
*Reds are 11-3 in series finales and 6-1-3 in their last 10 series.
“To be able to come into their house and get two out of three, job well done. I feel like we can pat ourselves on the back a little bit leaving here. It was a good road trip.” — Ryan Ludwick
“I never felt bad. I felt great the whole time. It never went through my mind the fact that I was pitching the days before. I was getting ready. I was feeling good. Cueto did a great job so I knew I was going in either the eighth or the ninth. I was concentrating and getting ready for that.” — Aroldis Chapman on pitching for 4th time in 5 days.
“We had a talk with some of the hitters during the game and what their scouting report was and what they were trying to do to them. Stubbs was chasing high stuff earlier and we said get it below the waist. Somebody else was swinging at balls in the dirt and [we said] bring it up. You have to make adjustments during the game. To become an accomplished hitter, you make adjustment not only from at-bat to at-bat but pitch to pitch.” — Dusty Baker on the hitters getting three-straight walks against Sabathia in the seventh.
“CC did what we needed him to do, we just need to find a way to score some more runs. I don’t think we’re the only team that’s had trouble facing Cueto. We just needed to find a way to score some more runs off him.” — Derek Jeter