Rolling into an Off Day

Three starters were relegated to pine duty yesterday. Scott Rolen, Drew Stubbs and Ramon Hernandez didn’t see their names in the Reds lineup. Reds skipper Dusty Baker gave Rolen and Hernandez the day off due to soreness associated with the long game and evening on Tuesday. Stubbs has been in a slump seeing his batting average drop to .235.

And the Reds didn’t need any of them yesterday. Two separate innings (6th and 8th) resulted in 5 spots on the scoreboard en route to a series clinching 10-2 rout of the Milwaukee Brewers. There were many factors leading to the victory.

1. Bottom of the 4th. The Brewers had already plated two and were looking to add more. Right fielder Jay Bruce’s diving catch prevented the Brewers from adding even more.

2. Top of the 6th. With one out and runners on first and third and the Reds now leading 4-2, catcher Ryan Hanigan made an excellent effort to put down the perfect suicide squeeze. Miguel Cairo scored from third and that led to the Reds final run of the inning.

3. Bottom of the 7th. Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez drills a ball into the left field corner off of Jordan Smith. Gomez is fast. Really fast. Jonny Gomes ran (as he always does) into the corner and delivers a strike to Cairo at third. Gomez was called out on a very close call. Don’t they say never to make the first and third outs at third base? Gomez did.

4. Top of the 8th. Chris Heisey, drawing the start in center, starts off the inning with a bunt single. Hanigan laced a single into right. 1st and 2nd and the pitcher’s spot is due up. Baker sends Mike Leake to the plate. At first, Thom Brennaman questioned the move. It was later “discovered” the matters of Rolen and Hernandez. Orlando Cabrera got banged up on a steal attempt making Paul Janish unavailable there. Layne Nix had already been used. The only other option was Stubbs. Leake’s hitting .366. Why not? On the first pitch, Leake attempted to bunt. 0-1. And on the third pitch. 1-2. After four more pitches, Leake had drawn a walk to load the bases for this…

And Travis Freakin’ Wood is finally presented with his first major league win. Long overdue and not because of Wood’s lack of effort. And the bullpen (again) showed its collective teeth. 4 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 4 K. Smith, Arthur Rhodes, Nick Masset and Francisco Cordero accounted for the once again brilliant performances.

If you’re considering catching a game on the short homestand against the NL East leading Atlanta Braves, you’ll want to get tickets as soon as possible. Friday night’s game has the most seats available…and it’s Fireworks Friday. Saturday’s game, moved to a 4:10 PM ET start, has standing room only tickets available.  It’s also fans choice bobblehead night with the man of honor being Homer Bailey. The first 30,000 take Homer home. He’s doing a rehab assignment in Dayton, so maybe Homer will have time to jet down I-75…Sunday has limited seats available with the first 10,000 kids 14 and under receiving a t-shirt designed in part by Brandon Phillips. Plus, there’s a concert after the game by MercyMe.

John Fay just posted on his blog that SRO is all that is available for Saturday and now Sunday.