Reds lose a home series
It was a decision that will bring out second guessers when Dusty Baker let Mike Leake hit for himself with two on and two out in the seventh. Leake had 96 pitches during seven very well pitched innings. Sean Marshall and J.J. Hoover were warming in the bullpen. The safe move would have been to bat for Leake.
Leake batted and flied out and then gave up two hits that led to a five-run top of the eighth in a 7-2 Reds loss.
With bench options thin, Leake was the best hitting option from the right-side vs. LHP Mike Minor.
“Not to take anything away from our guys, he’s the best right-handed hitter we had on the bench,” Baker said of Leake. “It didn’t work. I’m not going to make alibis or whatever when it doesn’t work. It’s not always going to work.”
Atlanta did have two lefties bat in the 8th in Schafer and Freddie Freeman with the right-handed Simon in between. Sean Marshall was 100 points worst last season vs. righties (.273 to .173). Leake was in command of the game until the eighth. I get the decision. It just backfired.
I go into more detail on Baker’s thought process — click here to read my full game story on MLB.com.
The Reds streak of five-straight winning home series to start 2013 is over.
No. 3 star: Zack Cozart — 2-for-4, HR. Cozart also made a nice diving stop and throw to the plate for a fielder’s choice play on Dan Uggla in the eighth. It only temporarily held off Atlanta, who got a grand slam from Juan Francisco off J.J. Hoover on the next at-bat.
No. 2 star: Dan Uggla, ATL — 2-for-4, 2 HRs — Uggla took Leake deep for solo homers in the fourth and six innings.
No. 1 star: Mike Minor, ATL — 7 ip, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 117 pitches/74 strikes. — Left-handed hitters had a particularly tough day vs. Minor. Joey Votto was 0-for-4 overall to snap a 10-game hitting streak. Shin-Soo Choo was also 0-for-4.