W: J. Broxton (1-0)
L: J. Hughes (2-1)
S: A. Chapman (25)
–Timely hitting–again. Scott Rolen got a key opposite field hit with two outs to bring in 2 runs and stake the Reds early–and of course, that triple later.
–The Bullpen. Sean Marshall pitches a clean 7th inning and the new 8th inning guy, Jonathan Broxton keeps getting it done.
–Play of the Day: Miguel Cairo makes like Brandon Phillips to steal a hit away and end the 8th inning, much to the chagrin of Pedro Alvarez.
–The Cardinals keep winning, but can’t pick up ground. The best record in baseball. The beat rolls on.
–Mike Leake at GABP. Tonight: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 7 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP. Leake just hasn’t been pitching well at home this season.
–The Hacktastic Approach was back as the Reds were swinging at anything and everything tonight early, despite the well-documented problems McDonald has had lately.
–Scott Rolen. When he slid head first into third in the 8th, 41,000 people in attendance were thinking of You Know Who. At the All Star break, there probably weren’t 10 people who thought Scott had anything left–and that’s counting his family. Yet, all of us were wrong. When Votto comes back, Frazier’s playing time is sure to decrease, which is a problem. But a nice one to have. You have to hand it to Rolen. There is something burning deep inside that guy.
–The Pirates: They came in today looking to turn Chapman’s HBP of McCutchen last night into some sort of indignant form of motivation. By the end of the game, Jared Hughes’ frustration level showed as he tagged out Navarro with… um, a little extra emphasis. For a long time, the Reds haven’t handled the Pirates well. This weekend, it looks like the Reds have clearly gotten into the Buccos’ heads. The lead is now 5 1/2 games. The boys in yellow and black can’t afford to fall further behind. Expect to see some fireworks tomorrow.
–I don’t know what to make of these Reds. They keep losing players, yet keep winning as if none of it matters. Maybe it’s as John Erardi said, the Reds have made a pact with the devil. Whatever it is, there is some sort of magic going on down at GABP these days. I’m coming into town next week for the Mets and Cubs series and I cannot wait to see this team in person.