A whole lotta offense, and more
There was so much going on in the Reds 13-4 win over the Brewers, I couldn’t get it all into my story on MLB.com/Reds.com.
Some quick items of note:
*Billy Hamilton hit the Reds’ first leadoff homer of the season in the top of the first inning. Hamilton, who homered in his final at-bat on Saturday, has four total.
*Ryan Ludwick had three doubles, a career-high.
*It was the club’s season-high in runs, hits (19) and margin of victory.
“As much as I loved those 13 runs, we had a lot of great two-strike at-bats where we were fouling off pitches,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “We got Estrada’s pitch count up to 85 or so after four innings. When he got that infield hit off of Leake, I thought maybe they might hit there and see if they can do some damage because at the time it was 3-0. He ends up getting the infield hit and Gennett gets the hit and they ended up getting themselves back into the game. That in large part wasn’t necessary his ineffectiveness as much as our guys grinding out at-bats. It was just tremendous, one after the other. Four, five, six, seven-pitch at-bats. It was impressive.”
*Since the bullpen has taken its lumps of late, time to give some credit. After Mike Leake departed after five innings and a 5-4 lead, Reds relievers Manny Parra, Sam LeCure and Tony Cingrani worked four scoreless innings. The big inning was the sixth when Parra and LeCure combined to work a 1-2-3 inning.
“We’ll just try to keep nailing it down the best we can, nobody’s lacking effort, that’s for damn sure,” LeCure said. “We’ll keep going out there and figuring out what we can do to get the ball to those last two guys and try to win all our games.
“I’d read something the other day … it might have been Ron Roenicke and he was saying there’s not going to be a lot of lopsided games, a lot of these games are going to be decided by the middle — those sixth-, seventh-, eighth-inning bullpen guys, and I agree with that,” LeCure said. “I kind of thought to myself, damn, you know? These couple of guys that I’m talking about could potentially decide this race in this division. I thought that was an exciting challenge for me and hopefully for the rest of the guys to go out there so that we can say we can go out there and make a big difference here. We’re not going to get the glory for it — and nobody wants it — but at the end of the day if we lock those innings down and get the ball to those last two guys, we’re going to be in good shape and be there right at the end.”
*Leake has allowed 14 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings over his last three starts.
“I think every pitcher goes through a little spurt where they don’t do exactly what they want,” Leake said. “I don’t know, maybe you could chalk it up to the neck or a little bit of arm tiredness, I don’t know. It’s just probably one of those little runs that you’d like to take away, but really you’ve got to go through it every year and work through it.”