Comebacks are awesome…when the Reds are the team pulling off the comeback. That’s what the Good Guys did today.
Former Red Travis Wood stymied his former teammates for seven innings. Upon his departure, he had allowed one run on five hits. He would not see the 8th inning as I can only assume Cubs manager Dale Sveum thought 99 pitches was too much or Wood had lost some steam. His fastball had lost little. His cutter had Reds hitters off balance.
Wood batted in the bottom of the 7th, and upon striking out against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo (who virtually matched Wood pitch-for-pitch), his day was done. So, too, were the Cubs.
Sveum brought in lefty James Russell, son of former Red Jeff Russell. Kind of resembled him as Russell was knocked for 3 runs and 5 Reds hits in the top of the 8th. A pair of runs crossed the plate on a Ryan Ludwick double and the other run came on a Wilson Valdez singled that scored Chris Heisey.
For the record, Jeff Russell was 10-23 with an ERA of 3.92 and a WHIP of 1.324 in two seasons as a Red. Those two season saw the Reds go 74-88 in 1983 and 70-92 in 1984.
Arroyo rewarded Reds manager Dusty Baker for allowing him to pitch the 8th with a 1-2-3 inning and turned it over to Aroldis Chapman.
Yep. Game over.
Chapman delivered numerous fastballs that were 100+ MPH. On back-to-back pitches to Darwin Barney, the reading was 103. Let me repeat: One…oh…three. Actually, all of Chapman’s 9 fastballs hit the century mark. Simply incredible when you consider he hurled 1.1 innings yesterday.
And what are we to make of Ryan Ludwick? Could any Reds player be having a more magical season? Another clutch hit driving in a pair of runs and now sees him with a slash of .266/.336/.549 with 20 HR and 62 RBI. Since the Votto-less time began, Ludwick sports a line of a batting average of .346, 7 HR, 26 RBI, an SLG of .716, and OPS of 1.127 in 24 games. (H/T to ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume via Twitter)
Now, the bad.
Today’s win was a bit overshadowed with the news that Joey Votto had suffered a setback in his rehab from surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Votto was flown back to Cincinnati after he felt pain in the surgically repaired knee. Floating cartilage was discovered and a procedure that reportedly took about 6 minutes was performed. It will be another 7-10 days added to the time the Reds will be without the 2010 NL MVP.
Once the word of this got out and spread (you know how the interwebs operate), the outcry began.
Was this floating cartilage something that should/could have been caught during the procedure to repair the meniscus? Is floating cartilage something that can develop as a result of or even after the original procedure? Don’t know the answer to either question. Not a doctor. Barely remember dissecting a frog and that does not entail repairing a torn meniscus or floating cartilage. Well, we didn’t anyway.
I am seriously scratching my head over this.
People had already questioned the timing of having the original procedure performed considering Votto had injured the knee previous to the All-Star break. Now this.
I got a feeling that somewhere, Jim Edmonds is wearing a smirk.