Another series win over tough team
Well, we didn’t get the double perfect game everyone expected from a Johnny Cueto-Stephen Strasburg matchup on Sunday. I know I’m stretching the hype there but I’m sure more was expected. Neither pitcher was very crisp but Cueto was the winner in a 6-3 Reds victory.
Cueto: 6 ip, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 108 pitches/71 strikes. (including 30-pitch, three-run top of the 2nd)
Strasburg: 5 1/3 ip, 9 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 114 pitches/73 strikes
“I talked to Johnny Bench today before the game. Nobody can figure it out,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “What appears to be a low-scoring pitching matchup ends up [with] both sides scoring, seeming early, at will. Neither one was real sharp. Johnny wasn’t real sharp. He threw a lot of pitches in six innings, same as Strasburg. Who’s to know?”
Click here for the complete game story on MLB.com.
No. 3 star: Kurt Suzuki, WAS (3-for-4, two doubles, 3-run HR) Suzuki’s homer off of Cueto made it a 3-3 game and took away the early advantage the Reds had early as Cueto admitted to being less than 100 percent.
No. 2 star: Derrick Robinson (first Major League hit, scored go-ahead run in the seventh inning) Robinson slashed a hard single on the ground into left field, booked from first to third on a Choo single to center field. His speed came in very handy as he scored on a groundball to second base. He beat Danny Espinosa’s on-target throw to Suzuki at the plate. I don’t think any other Reds player on the roster could have scored there.
“It was a great feeling to get that first one out of the way, especially in that situation – starting a rally right there to help us get ahead and win the game,” Robinson said. He got a big cheer when his first hit was acknowledged on the video board.
No. 1 star: Jay Bruce (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) Bruce staked the Reds to 2-0 lead with a double to left field off of Strasburg and reached on an infield high bouncer to shortstop for a RBI hit.
“It was a curveball that he left up,” Bruce said of his first inning hit vs. Strasburg. “I was able to do something with it. Especially against a guy like that, you have to take what he gives you. You’re going to get a whole lot to hit. With two strikes, you just have to see the ball as deeply as you can and try to put it in play.”
*Brandon Phillips was 2-for-5 with an RBI single in the sixth. Through the first two series, Phillips is 9-for-27 (.333) with one homer and five RBIs.
*Strasburg did have one very positive moment in the game when his 89 mph changeup faded outside against Joey Votto in the second inning. It was 100 percent filthy. Votto could only muster a lunging type of swing for strike three.
*After all the wondering about Sean Marshall earlier, he debuted in the seventh inning and looked very good retiring the side in order. His 75 mph curveball struck out Bryce Harper to end the inning.
*As pointed out by Jamie Ramsey, the Reds were retired in order twice during this series.
*The pitching staff now has 62 strikeouts through six games.
*The Reds defense has gone 39 innings without committing an error.
*The Reds are off to a 4-2 start after a pair of nice series wins over the Angels and Nationals. St. Louis is next.
“We can hit. No matter who is out there, whether it’s Joe Schmo or Strasburg, we’re hitters. It’s not going to deter from what we’re supposed to do in our mindset, no matter who it is.” — Todd Frazier