Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Cincinnati 4

WP: Wood (1-0)
LP: Marcum (0-1)
S: Cordero (1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–The Reds reached Shawn Marcum early. Joey Votto laced a two-out single up the middle, then Scott Rolen followed that up with a two-run homer to left.

–Drew Stubbs actually led off the game with a walk, then promptly stole second base. Unfortunately, he was thrown out attempting to swipe third, so he wasn’t on base to score on the Votto single or Rolen homer. Still, Stubbs went 2-3 with a triple, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.

–Travis Wood was very, very sharp today. Seven innings, one run allowed on four hits, seven strikeouts and no walks. He can’t pitch a whole lot better than that.

–Jay Bruce made yet another great catch in right field, a leaping grab in foul territory. If there is a better defensive right fielder in baseball, I haven’t seen him.

Drew Stubbs steals second base (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

NEGATIVES
–There were a couple of small negatives, but nothing to get too worked up about.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–You can’t win ’em all if you don’t win the first two.

–The Cardinals lost today, so the Reds now hold a two-game lead over both St. Louis and Milwaukee in the National League Central race. Believe! 🙂

–Stubbs is on fire to start this season. His average is .500 and his OPS is 1806. That will probably drop a bit before the end of the season, but it looks awfully pretty now.

–As I said on Twitter during the game: “Always amazed by the maturity displayed by Travis Wood on the mound. This guy is 24 years old?”

–Edgar Renteria got his first start at shortstop, and early in the game, he screwed up an easy play (Chris Welsh maintained on television that Renteria should have been charged with an error) and allowed an infield single. On the flip side of that coin, Renteria made a brilliant diving stop that probably kept CoCo from blowing the game.

–Speaking of CoCo, Francisco Cordero was up to his usual tricks in the ninth inning. With a three run lead (the easiest save opportunity available), Cordero gave up a single on his first pitch of 2011. Renteria followed up with the great play described above; if the ball had gotten by Renteria, there’s a very good chance the Reds would have lost or been taken to extra innings. Brandon Phillips followed up with a pretty good play of his own and despite giving up two hits, one run, and a couple of hard hit balls, Cordero escaped.

–Reds go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon! Cincinnati’s attendance tonight was 37,967, the largest game two crowd since 1994. I look forward to seeing how many butts are in the seats tomorrow.

21 Responses

  1. Steve

    I wondered if Stubbs tried stealing third on his own or if he got a sign to do it. Either way, bad decision. His odds of scoring from second base with Phillips, Votto and Rolen coming up are very high.

  2. Matt WI

    Great game. Just finished watching it on dvr a little bit ago. Nothing to add to the recap other than I was glad to see Dusty actually had the bullpen up and ready if needed in the 7th. As if you need it with Travis Wood on the mound. Stud.

    Going to the laundry room to see if the broom might be around. Just in case.

    Bring it tomorrow Bronson.

  3. Matt WI

    @Steve: Yeah, good call. Kind of like bunting Phillips in the first inning on Opening Day. Let the boys swing. Might have been something in the gameplan about running on Marcum though. A couple of hit and runs spoiled by fouls along the way as well.

  4. stormbringer

    I love this Reds team!

    Way too early for me to hate on the decisions Dusty makes. I fully believe Cozart would give us more for less than Renteria, but it is what it is so let’s see how it plays out. Coco…..actually, I don’t have a problem with today. My issue last year was when he came in with a three run lead and walked two guys (no stats on me, but this seemed to happen a lot before the last 2 months or so). At least today he was pounding strikes and making guys hit it – granted they did, but he’ll be much better if he’s throwing gas for strikes than piddling on the corners and walking guys with a lead.

    I might have to get a Wood jersey this year………

  5. Steve

    It’s twice in two games that Stubbs was at second base in the first inning, and the Reds didn’t just let Brandon Phillips try to hit the ball to the right side of the field. That’s really his best side hitting anyway. On Opening Day BP bunted in the first inning, tonight, DS tried to steal third in the first inning. If BP swings away and makes a ground ball or fly ball out to the right side, Stubbs gets to third. If BP gets a hit, we’re looking at a big inning and RBI.

  6. Dave Lowenthal

    @Steve: I hope that is the last time this season Stubbs tries to steal 3rd with 0 outs. He’s batting in front of Phillips, Votto, Rolen, and Bruce. It’s an idiotic move, but praised by those who love “aggressiveness”, such as almost every color commentator.

  7. Dave Lowenthal

    Glad to see Rolen do something, though he still doesn’t look much different than the postseason last year—is there any scoop that he’s still hurt?

    Good thing the Reds didn’t pitch Wood on Opening Day. He clearly can’t handle pressure. The part of the game I saw, he was really hitting his spots. I don’t believe in big-game pitcher silliness, but if one did, Wood is THE big game pitcher on the staff. Who avoided the Cards sweep in the Labor Day series, and who pitched great in the NLCS?

    Gomes got 3 walks. That is fairly amazing.

    Cordero gets less out of a 95 MPH fastball than any pitcher I can remember.

    Overall, a great start, two wins over the Brew Crew and the Cards are 0-2 also. Let’s keep it up!

    • Y-City Jim

      Cordero gets less out of a 95 MPH fastball than any pitcher I can remember.

      BINGO!!!

  8. pinson343

    Nice win, Wood’s start very impressive and encouraging. Loved Bruce’s catch.
    Good to see Rolen homer and Stubbs hitting well in the leadoff spot.

    I agree with above comments about Stubbs on second and none out. BP’s bunting him to 3rd in the first game was dumb and you do not try to steal third with none out unless you are absolutely positively sure you are going to make it.

    Masset is looking great. Cordero did not have the easiest save opportunity available in that he was facing the middle of the Brewers lineup. His allowing the tying run to get to the plate was disappointing but I’ll take ground balls from Braun, Fielder and McGehee and a K with no walks any day.

  9. jrob45601

    No doubt Dusty has made, or will make comments about not wanting guys to go all the way to Sunday without playing (see also: Hanigan, Ryan). It will be interesting to see if Heisey gets the start tomorrow. Pretty sure he is the only guy without an AB yet.

    Also, saw the post from Steve in the game thread about the team possibly not being totally behind Renteria. If Scott Rolen is the guy everyone says he is, Renteria got an earful at some time tonight about giving up that hit. Probably something along the lines of “shouldn’t have to be told regardless, but especially after you dogged the first one.” Personally, I would take it farther, and tell him that he already said he is too old to play 3rd. If he’s also too old to play short the way it should be played, it’s time to hang ’em up.

  10. jrob45601

    @pinson343:
    Agreed. Rolen is seeing a lot of pitches, and not just flailing at the first thing that looks like a fastball. He just had to start so early to hit a fastball last year that by the time he recognized offspeed, all he could do was look silly.

  11. pinson343

    I’m glad there’s been nothing posted about Edmonds’ stupid interview comments. Having said that. John Fay defended his comments as either unsurprising or hard to argue with. That ticked me off. Here’s what I posted on his blog (as robby342).
    ———-

    John I’m a fan of yours but feel you missed the important points on this one. Edmonds is blaming the Reds and the Reds doctors for his injury and his current problems. That’s totally uncalled for and out of line. He played with the Reds because he wanted to play in another postseason. WJ gave him that opportunity. No one forced him to play. He aggravated the injury while trotting around the bases on a HR, indicating that he could have aggravated it while talking a walk around the block. And he was determined even after that to try to get well enough for the postseason. Those were his decisions yet he blames the Reds and the doctors who tried to help him.

    He didn’t just single out BP, he said “Some of them have a chip on their shoulder.” And that they choked in the playoffs. I like his friend “Scotty” but Scott hurt us more on defense and offense than anyone else in the playoffs.
    And let’s not forget, for the period he was talking about, he was a player on the Reds ! These are his former teammates he’s putting down, he wasn’t with the Cardinals then, and it wasn’t the Cardinals who gave him another shot at a postseason.

    • Y-City Jim

      I’m glad there’s been nothing posted about Edmonds’ stupid interview comments. Having said that. John Fay defended his comments as either unsurprising or hard to argue with. That ticked me off. Here’s what I posted on his blog (as robby342).
      ———-

      John I’m a fan of yours but feel you missed the important points on this one. Edmonds is blaming the Reds and the Reds doctors for his injury and his current problems. That’s totally uncalled for and out of line. He played with the Reds because he wanted to play in another postseason. WJ gave him that opportunity. No one forced him to play. He aggravated the injury while trotting around the bases on a HR, indicating that he could have aggravated it while talking a walk around the block. And he was determined even after that to try to get well enough for the postseason. Those were his decisions yet he blames the Reds and the doctors who tried to help him.

      He didn’t just single out BP, he said “Some of them have a chip on their shoulder.”And that they choked in the playoffs. I like his friend “Scotty” but Scott hurt us more on defense and offense than anyone else in the playoffs.
      And let’s not forget, for the period he was talking about, he was a player on the Reds ! These are his former teammates he’s putting down, he wasn’t with the Cardinals then, and it wasn’t the Cardinals who gave him another shot at a postseason.

      I found his “inability” to call his former teammates by name rather insulting. He played two months with the NL MVP and only refers to him by his position? Seriously? I think the only chip on his shoulder he saw was when he looked in the mirror.

  12. jrob45601

    @pinson343:
    And to think all of the announcers and people with the team last year talked about how Edmonds is such a leader and class act. Shows how important that is, doesnt it.

  13. jrob45601

    And basicly what I take from all that is “I was already hurt, hurt myself worse just jogging, and tried to come back to soon. But none of that is my fault.” And not saying that he doesnt still have some kind of injury, but if it is so bad that he cant play with his kids, he has his priorities screwed up. Kept playing when he was hurt last year…tried to come back and play again this year….doesnt seem like he was too worried about playing with his kids to me.

  14. Furniture City Red

    Renteria should have been charged with an error…It was a routine ground ball. He did make a great play in the 9th though.

    I can’t imagine Stubbs having the green light to steal third whenever he wants…Am I wrong on that? Does any one know if he tried to steal third in the 1st on his own, or was he sent by Baker? Either way…Really dumb play – Runner in scoring position, no outs and the heart of the line-up coming up…And you make the first out of the inning at third base 🙄 .

    Other than the play by Renteria and the attempted steal of third in the 1st I though the Reds looked pretty sharp.

  15. Furniture City Red

    Dang…How could I have forgot – Wood looked great…Still think he should have pitched game 1 against Halladay last fall.

  16. Matt WI

    Looking forward to today’s game. Mono vs. Braun-o.

    Feel free to use that free of charge for the game thread title Chad. 😀

  17. Fireball

    I agree with the peanut gallery that I didn’t like Stubbs trying to steal 3rd with the heart of the order coming up and no out. I like the aggressiveness, though…just have to time it better.

    I doubt that Dusty sent him, though. My guess is that Drew saw something and thought he could easily get the bad. I’m glad the the Reds didn’t let Marcum off the hook that inning and that this didn’t come back to hurt them.

  18. Fireball

    Oh, and on Edmonds…

    Quite honestly, I think he knows it was really his own fault that he tried to push it and is now in the position he is in. His comments really stuck me as someone who is lashing out because he is more angry at himself than anyone. That doesn’t excuse the comments, but it explains them. I also found it insulting that he didn’t refer to his teammates by name.

    I’m just glad I don’t have to like Edmonds anymore.