Leake racked up the K’s
Plenty about Mike Leake to come in my game story on MLB.com after a 3-1 Reds over the Giants. It was an impressive eight innings highlighted by 12 strikeouts, a career high that buried his previous high of eight (done five times).
Leake is 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA lifetime in four starts at AT&T Park.
Manager Bryan Price was impressed by Leake’s velocity, tonight and this season.
“His stuff has gotten better,” Price said. “He’s pitching with the best velocity of his career, as a long as we’ve had him. He’s pretty consistent when he wants to go out there and get 93-94 on a fastball. That’s not a fastball you have to apologize for from a velocity standpoint. And his command has been so good and he’s working so well with Devin and he’s utilizing his defense. Even though it was 12 strikeouts today, he really does depend on that defense to pick him up. He challenges guys in the strike zone. He’s fun to play defense behind.”
Giants CF Gregor Blanco saw a good mix of stuff from Leake.
“He had a little bit of ‘whip’ to his cutter,” Blanco said. “He mixed with his four-seam fastball. He was getting everybody out of their timing.”
Here’s some extra stuff from Leake:
“I don’t know, I guess I just like to attack hitters here, I guess the ball not flying too well here, or not as well as most places, is kind of helpful,” Leake said.
“Each year I’ve gotten stronger. My first year, I didn’t know what the heck to do, but each year I’ve progressed with trying to do heavier weight and get stronger for each season. I just probably attribute it to to gaining a little bit of weight and strength each year.”
The Reds have won five of their last six games and eight of 11 and improved to 40-38 to go two games above a .500 record for the first time this season. Why are things clicking so well lately? Leake had some thoughts.
“I think we were kind of down when Joey [Votto] went down and when he came back it helped lift us a little bit because our offense has been struggling, so we felt him coming back was definitely going to help us,” Leake said. “I think it definitely has, obviously. Their confidence is coming back and that’s what we needed.”