Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….
WP: Wood (1-0)
LP: Marcum (0-1)
S: Cordero (1)
–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.NEGATIVES
–There were a couple of small negatives, but nothing to get too worked up about.
–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.