W: M. Leake (5-2)
L: F. Liriano (3-2)
S: A. Chapman (14)
– The Reds win gives them back-to-back victories and a series win over Pittsburgh heading into tomorrow’s game. The Pirates have failed to score thus far in the series.
– Mike Leake continued his streak of outstanding starts, throwing six shutout innings while giving up seven hits and one walk. Leake struck out five.
– The bullpen combination of Sam LeCure, Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman shut down the Pirates over the final three innings. Hopefully Broxton exorcised his PNC demons.
– The Reds hitters had only eight hits and one walk. But Brandon Phillips had two of them, including an RBI single. Zack Cozart scored from second on BP’s check swing single. Brilliant heads-up hustle from Zack on that play. Umpire Bob Davidson deserves an assist thanks to this terrible, awful call that he was looking right from like two feet away at but still blew. It went for the Reds this time, so fine. Joey Votto had the other RBI, driving in Shin-Soo Choo with an important insurance run in the eighth. Todd Frazier also had two hits.
– Brandon Phillips left the game after being hit by a pitch (again) in the eighth inning. Commence holding breath. [Update: X-rays negative. You are free to exhale.]
– The win gives the Reds a one-game lead (35-21) over the Pirates (34-22). Unfortunately, the Cardinals swept a double header from the Giants, so the Reds fall to 2.5 games behind St. Louis.
— Mike Leake has now given up only one earned run in the past 27 innings. His ERA has fallen to 2.75. Also a hat tip to Devin Mesoraco, Leake’s personal catcher.
— Dusty Baker pulled Mike Leake after six innings and 94 pitches. Deft touch with the bullpen usage tonight. He even had J.J. Hoover throwing after Broxton allowed the first two hitters on base.
— The Reds pitchers have shut out their opponents for 22 consecutive innings. It’s your serve, Mat Latos.
TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS
– Mwv: One thing I do love about Leake is that he gets us ground balls. With our infield that is always a high percentage play.
— steveschoen: Am I missing something? 2 on, 1 out, and Baker will give up an out to possibly sacrifice the runners up for Choo to face a left hander, who Choo is hitting under 200 against?
— George Culver: I’m really digging the high socks. Feels like watching a game in the 70′s.
— Hank Aarons Teammate: The Reds bench is some kind of awful.