Bad Mixture Sends Reds Over D-backs

Question. What happens when you take the most potent offense in the National League and put it against one of the worst bullpens in MLB history? The mixture is volatile and it also is the recipe for another come-from-behind victory for the Cincinnati Reds.

Reds fans know how the offense has been performing in 2010. It seems like every time the Reds are behind, the offense finds a way to come up with big innings to snatch a win. Such was the case last night as the Reds plated four runs in both the 8th and 9th innings for the 11-7 comeback win.

The game started out in the Reds favor as home runs from Jim Edmonds in the 3rd (his first as a Red) and Jay Bruce in the 4th provided the difference in a 3-1 lead heading into the 5th. The Diamondbacks sent 7 men to the plate in the bottom of the 5th scoring four times, and in the process, chased Reds starter EdinsonVolquez. Volquez was not as sharp as he had been in his three previous outings as he was wild tossing 105 pitches (62 for strikes) in 4.2 innings. The big blast came off the bat of Chris Young as he sent his 21st homer of the year into the left field seats.

Arizona added two more runs in the 7th off of Jordan Smith on another two-run homer. This time, it was Adam LaRoche having the honors. His blast, also LaRoche’s 21st, gave the D-backs a 7-3 lead entering the 8th. But the lead was short lived.

The Reds pushed four runs across in the top of the 8th as Dusty Baker’s crew sent 8 men to bat. Miguel Cairo (has this guy been a gift to have on the roster or what?) started it all with a pinch-hit single. Bruce tripled him home and Bruce was chased home on a double by Ramon Hernandez. Hernandez went third on a Paul Janish single and scored on a bizarre play.

Laynce Nix, who entered the game for Jonny Gomes when Volquez was pulled, hit a fly ball to D-backs right fielder Justin Upton. Upton caught the ball and sent a throw soaring over catcher Miguel Montero. Hernandez, who initially bluffed a scoring attempt, saw where the throw was heading and he dashed toward home. D-backs pitcher Aaron Heilman was backing up on the play (great lesson for the youngsters) and recovered Upton’s miscue. He flipped the ball to Montero, but Hernandez slid under the tag to narrow the gap to 7-6. Another key play was that Janish was able to advance to second base. He scored on a ground rule double by Brandon Phillips to knot it a 7s.

In the top of the 9th, the Reds once again sent 8 batters to the dish to account for another four run inning. Jim Edmonds led off with a double and reached third on a Scott Rolen ground out as Rolen did what all good hitters do. He sent the ball to the right side of the infield to advance the runner. Baker reached in the bag o’ tricks with pinch-hitter supreme Chris Heisey.

Heisey leads the NL in pinch-hit home runs with 4. Heisey is also just one pinch-ht homer from tying the club record for 5 in a season. But Heisey didn’t swing for the fence. Far from it as Heisey laid down an absolutely perfect squeeze. It was so perfect that not only did Jim Edmonds easily score, Heisey beat the throw to first. Bruce, who went 4-for-5 after grounding into three double plays the night before, singled and Hernandez was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Janish.

It looked like Janish got enough of it. In fact, he did but to the wrong part of Chase Field. In the left field “cutout”, Gerardo Parra chased down Janish’s loud flyout just short of the fence and Heisey easily scooted across home for a 9-7 lead. Nix added a two-run double to make it 11-7.

With a four run lead, Baker handed the game to Nick Masset and Masset was spot on with a perfect ninth. Reds win! Reds win!

And they now lead the NL Central by three games as the Milwaukee Brewers sent the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-2 loss. The Brew Crew did something no on had done this season. Beat Adam Wainwright at Busch Stadium.

Yes, this team is fun to watch.

Joey Votto was scratched due to a back issue. It’s nothing to be alarmed about as the Reds do not think a trip to the DL is in the future. During his postgame interview, Baker said he already has two lineup cards for tonight’s tilt. One with Joey, one without Joey Let’s hope it’s with Joey.

Wait. The Reds scored 11 runs and Votto didn’t play? That tells you how complete this Reds team is. You take a legit NL MVP candidate out of the lineup and put up 11 runs.

One last note. BRM’s favorite Travis Freakin’ Wood takes the mound tonight. For Wood to make the start, the Reds will have to exercise another roster move.