Much needed getaway day win

I wrote extensively about Billy Hamilton for my game story that wrapped up a 4-0 Reds win over the Cardinals on Wednesday. It was impressive. Check out MLB.com/Reds.com for all of the stuff on Hamilton.

Hamilton’s speed and scoring doesn’t help the Reds as much without the performance of starting pitcher Mike Leake. That was as a fantastic outing for Leake.

8 ip, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 3 GIDP, 100 pitches/57 strikes.

“He just challenged them in the zone with good stuff down and let his defense work behind him and he was terrific. It was a huge boost to us right there,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Leake got 17 groundball outs in the game and he faced only 26 batters, two over the minimum.

“He was very, very good,” catcher Devin Mesoraco said. “He didn’t get ahead of as many guys as what he typically does but he was able to get some early outs with some easy groundballs. When he needed to make pitches behind in the count, he was able to drop that curveball in there and finish some guys off with off-speed pitches. He was a lot of fun to catch today.”

Leake came into the day 2-4 with a 5.96 ERA lifetime vs. the Cardinals. Last year, the Reds were 0-3 vs. St. Louis in the games he started. Double plays erased Cardinals hits in the fourth and fifth innings and a leadoff walk in the eighth.

“When I’m going well, I get more groundballs,” Leake said. “Fortunately there were situations where we were able to get double plays and I could keep the ball down in the zone.”

Other items:

*Mesoraco’s two-run home run and eighth inning single have him off to a 4-for-8 start at the plate in two games with three extra base hits.

*Today’s game was a brisk two hours and 19 minutes.

*Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina allowed three stolen bases for only the sixth time in 1,206 career games catching. It last happened on 9/15/12 vs. the Dodgers. Hamilton stole two today and Chris Heisey had the other steal in the sixth.

*The Reds finished the road trip 2-4 with one win in the three-game series. They are 3-6 to start the season. Not good by any means but not a disaster, either. They have yet to be blown out in any of their six losses. But getting this win heading into an off-day should make for a much happier flight home.

3 Comments

9 reds LOB… Great step for Mike Leake… Maybe Mes is the RBI answer…We will see…. Hamilton — what can one say but WoW….

Whoever is on-deck; that player needs to be giving Billy Hamilton the “slide” or “up” signal when he is coming around at full speed toward home plate. There was NO ONE doing that on Wednesday! Frazier was near, but not inline within the runners vision. Being the “coach” at home is fundamental baseball and is essential to scoring runs; not to mention protecting all our players…. not just Billy.
Thanks Billy, you make the game the “American Pastime” again. Give it all you got!

Yeah. You now have an excitement factor like Hamilton, you gotta know how to support it – which has not been done the first few games.

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