23 games over .500

The Three Stars from the Reds 9-4 victory over the Padres that made it three of four in the series, 13 out of their last 14 and 20 of the last 23.

No. 3 star: Johnny Cueto — 7.1 ip, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HR. Cueto, now 14-5 with a 2.52 ERA, wasn’t overly sharp in his latest start but he did some nice bullpen preservation work by gettng into the eighth inning. Given a 6-0 lead in the second, Cueto gave up three runs right away in the third…partially because a double play wasn’t converted that would have gotten him out of the inning.

“Johnny pitched well,” catcher Ryan Hanigan said. “He wasn’t as dominant as he can be. He left his breaking ball up a few times and got hit. For the most part, he managed the game. The run support help.”

No. 2 star: Jay Bruce — 2-for-4, 2 RBIs. Bruce’s two-run single with the bases loaded came during the big second inning. Has anyone noticed that Bruce’s bat has come alive lately? He’s got a five-game hitting streak where he’s 7-for-16 (.438) with four RBIs.

No. 1 star: Todd Frazier — 1-for-4, HR, 3  RBIs. Frazier’s two-run homer, his 13th of his rookie season, got the Reds on the scoreboard in the second inning. He added another RBI on a fielder’s choice in the eighth. He has homered in back-to-back games and three of the last five.

“Everybody contributed and we batted around the order,” Frazier said. “You can see everybody is having fun and doing what they have to do. You need to know your role. When everybody knows their role, it’s fun to watch.”

Click here for the game story

News and notes:

*The six-run second inning tied a Reds season-high for most runs in one inning. Not a bad day for a lineup missing Votto, Phillips and Ludwick.

*The Reds are now a Major League best 64-41. A win over the Pirates on Friday can put them better than 23 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1999 season.

*Cueto gave up the first hit of Eddy Rodriguez’s career in the third inning, which happened to be a solo home run. It ended a streak of 11 starts and 80 innings without allowing a homer by Cueto, the longest homerless streak in the Major Leagues this season. It was the longest by a Reds pitcher since Bruce Berenyi threw 85 1/3 homerless innings from June 19-Aug. 24, 1982.

*The Pirates changed their rotation for the upcoming series. A.J. Burnett, and not Erik Bedard, will start on Sunday for Pittsburgh.

*The Reds released RHP Brett Tomko, who had pitched all season at Triple-A Louisville.

Quote:

“Things are going well right now. Guys are playing loose, taking real aggressive swings on pitches in the zone. Nothing surprises me with what we can do, especially when we’re playing like this. We’ve got some momentum obviously. We expect to score runs and expect to get outs. It’s a good feeling. We’re having fun. Things are rolling. We’ve got a long way to go here but we’re in a good spot right now.” — Ryan Hanigan

8 Comments

You gotta think Bruce would be in the lineup tonight right? I know Dusty always sits him against Wandy, but that is when you are playing a crappy Houston team.
Curt

Yeah he is a must start tonight with the current injury issues. I’m very nervous about this 3 game series. I wish Dusty would have set up his rotation like Pittsburgh did and have Cueto going tonight. But were playing great ball and hitting like crazy. KEEP IT GOING REDS, GOOD LUCK FELLAS!

I think we will see a lineup looking like this tonight.

Cozart-SS
Stubbs-CF
Ludwick- LF
Bruce- RF
Rolen- 3B
Frazier- 1B
Cairo/Valdez- 2B
Hanigan- C
Latos- P

Don’t tinker with the starting rotation, especially when ahead in the standings. LaRussa did it a lot in 2010 and it seemed to backfire on him.

I would not be suprised to see Heisey in Right tonight. One thing that we have learned with Dusty this year is that if we all think there is no way he will take someone out of the lineup, than he will.

Stubbs
Cozart
Bruce
Rolen
Ludwick
Frazier
Cairo
Hanigan
Latos

I agree….I now think Bruce sits. The Reds have hit Rodriquez very well this year. Especially Ludwick and Frazier & Stubbs. Heisey has hit him pretty well too. Rolen has not and I could see Navarro or Cairo (depending on valdez’s health) start at first tonight and Frazier play 3rd. But I think Dusty will want his vet in the game tonight! Listening to Mark on the radio during the game yesterday. It seem as if the only option for BP today would be pinch hitting.

Cozart
Stubbs
Ludwick
Rolen- Could see him sit tonight, but probably not
Frazier
Heisey
Cairo/Valdez
Hanigan
Latos

This lineup

Remember this is just the next series they gotta play. The Bucs have all the pressure. Worst case scenario has the Reds still in 1st Monday am. By all means, go for the jugular, but every button Dusty’s pushed since mid-May has worked. No need to second guess now. Sit back and watch them rake, whoever he runs out there. Go Reds! (Isn’t it strange, though? Here are the Reds with the best record in baseball, and I don’t think of them as the best team. Better than New York? No. Better than the Rangers? No. Better than, well, anybody? I can’t see it. Up close all we see is flaws, and take the good stuff for granted. Starting pitching: Good. Relief pitching: Outstanding, Defense: Outstanding all around the field. Hitting for average: Coming around. Hitting for power: God bless GABP! Hitting with runners in scoring position: Coming around. Maybe it’s time to acknowledge this is a pretty good team, playing really well as a team. Keep the pitching healthy. Rest your starting 8 when you can. Aim straight for the depths of the playoffs! It’s satisfying to complain when they’re bad, but this is a whole lot more fun, isn’t it?)

They also have the best chemistry in baseball. We have a top 3 team in baseball when healthy in my opinion. I agree though, let’s stop looking at what they can’t do well and appreciate the fact that they are a great team and great group of buddies, Dusty included! Keep it going Reds. Thanks for giving us a great show this year!

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