Leake goes the distance

After a 6-1 victory over the Mets, the Reds have won five in a row and are 24-8 since the All-Star break…a Major League best. Meanwhile, New York is going the opposite way at 9-22 since the break.

Click here to read the full game story.

The Three Stars:

No. 3 star: Scott Rolen — 2-for-4, double, solo HR. Rolen’s return from a sore back saw him pick things up where he left off…hitting well. Rolen hit a one-out double to left field in the second and slid safely with no issues. A 1-1 game was snapped in the fourth when he took R.A. Dickey deep to left field.

“It was great to see Scotty come back like he did,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

No. 2 star: Todd Frazier — 3-for-4, HR, single, double. Finishing a triple shy of the cycle, Frazier followed Rolen to make it back-to-back homers off of Dickey in the fourth and his was a big shot into the riverboat deck above the CF batters’ eye. Estimated distance: 474 feet, the fourth-longest homer in MLB this season and tied for the 10th farthest in GABP history. Click here to see the video highlight. Frazier also made a slick defensive play at first base in the fifth when he snatched up a Jordany Valdespin grounder and flipped the ball from his glove to Mike Leake covering the bag to beat the runner by just enough.

“I knew I got into it,” Frazier said of his homer. “I didn’t know how far it was until it hit that boat out there. That’s pretty cool. Thankful for the home run and thankful to be a Red. We’re having some fun.”

No. 1 star: Mike Leake — 9 ip, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 111 pitches/70 strikes. In a crisp performance, likely the best of his season, Leake had first-pitch strikes to 21 of 30 batters and notched the second complete game of this season and his career. He started out retiring nine in a row and finished retiring 17 of 19. His lone run crossed in the fourth on a Daniel Murphy double play.

“I was attacking, hitting spots, in and out, up and down, and changing speeds,” Leake said.

News and notes:

*The game lasted a quick two hours, 21 minutes.

*There was an odd moment before the bottom of the second inning when umpires ordered Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey to cut off a couple of homemade bracelets off of his left wrist. This wasn’t a case of gamesmanship from the Reds dugout.

“I didn’t even see it,” Baker said. “Our players didn’t see it. They’re so hard concentrating on that knuckleball. Brandon [Phillips] said he could leave it on because it’s not affecting us. The umpires must have seen it. We didn’t see it. It wasn’t white. It was brown, dark thing once he took it off.”

The Mets agreed that the Reds were not behind the request to cut off the bracelet, which left Dickey irked.

“In the moment, I was a little bit angry because those were a couple of bracelets my girls had made me before I went to Kilimanjaro, and I’ve had them on every day since January whatever it was until the moment that we were in. Nobody had said anything about it, and they were real small and on my glove hand. Nonetheless, I guess it is a rule and I had to follow it…If you look around the league there are all sorts of things that go unsupervised, whether it’s a glove string that’s too long or a band-aid on somebody’s arm or an earring. It’s almost like a holding penalty. You can call one on every play.”

*Jay Bruce, who took Dickey deep in the sixth, has homers in each of his last three games.

*The Reds lead the Majors with eight complete games this season. The staff has allowed one run over its last 34 innings and the starters have a 2.03 ERA over their last eight starts. The run Leake allowed in the fourth ended the scoreless streak at 28 innings for the staff, the franchise’s longest scoreless streak since 1963.


What is Dusty going to do with Frazier when Votto returns? Sure he’ll get a little playing time at 3rd in order to keep Rolen fresh. The outfield is overstocked. You can’t get enough playing time keeping the starters fresh.(plus you already have a good outfielder on the bench) He started out as a shortstop. I would have already started giving him some late innings at shortstop and second base. If you plug him in at all infield position, plus the outfield you might keep him in your line-up on a fairly regular bases. I just don’t see how Dusty plans to keep the potential ROY in the line-up using him as a relief 3rd baseman and outfielder. Which means you can forget ROY. It will not take care of itself if everyone stays healthy. “That will be Dusty’s response.”

Dusty’s job is to win games, not get players awards. Frazier’s hit and fielded his way into the lineup. If they’re 7 up on Sept. 20, who the hell cares? I’ll trade a trip to the Bronx, or Texas the last week in October to a Frazier ROY award, and I bet you he would too.

October would cure all. I believe you’re very wrong about playing time. Dusty is not going to rest Joey every third game, nor Rolen or Ludwick. I surely don’t believe the Reds are stronger playing Frazier over those three. Rolen will rest some, but that is the only one. The Reds are stronger with Frazier’s Bat than Cozart or Stubbs. The Reds would loose same defense with Frazier with playing short as they would with some kind of outfield rotation replacing Stubbs. I have to admit it looks like they can win their division with Stubbs and Cozart. Time will tell if they can win a pennant and a world series. My point is they have a player with ROY talent and it appears he takes a seat when Joey return while less talented players will keep playing. Hopefully your right Dusty as a plan.

Magic Number down to 39.

I think Frazier will get plenty of playing time. Dusty will not play Joey everyday when he returns, he will ease him in. My guess is 2 games on 1 game off. My guess is Frazier will get 2 starts a week at 3rd and 1-2 starts a week at 1st, maybe 1 in the outfield.

Mr. Castellini you have turned Cincinnati back into a baseball town. Investing money in player developement,resigning core players,free agents and making the experience at the ballpark one Parents and Kids can cherish and remember. You run a first class organization and leave no stone unturned when trying to make the product better. You are a breadth of fresh air. Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Very well said Jim! I couldn’t agree more. Castellini has done so much for this organization. We all do need to be grateful.

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