Travis Freakin’ Wood, v 2.0

Here at Blog Red Machine, we’ve made no excuses how enamored we are with Reds starting pitcher Travis Wood. Call it a man-crush, if you see fit, but Wood showed the whole nation why he’s a key cog in starting rotation.

Wood hurled 7 masterful innings allowing only one unearned run on only five hits. That unearned run was due to his own error in the bottom of first on a pickoff attempt of John Jay. Jay would score on a sac fly by Matt Holliday. The only saving grace was that the Reds already had a 3-0 lead due to a fielding error by Aaron Miles. That would be the only mistake Wood made all game.

And what about his three plate appearances? We’ve been hearing that Wood can handle the bat, but his batting average hasn’t really shown that. He only had two sacrifices coming into the game. Maybe the opportunities just weren’t there…until yesterday.

In the 2nd, a sacrifice bunt advanced Chris Heisey to second. Brandon Phillips followed with an RBI single to plate Heisey and a hush fell over the St. Louis crowd that had mercilessly booed him up until that hit. In the 4th, Wood took an Adam Wainwright fastball over the left field wall for his first MLB home run. It was the third homer by a Reds pitcher this season. Bronson Arroyo and Micah Owings own the others. And in the 6th, Wood executed another sacrifice bunt to advance two runners.

All in all, another great performance from Travis Freakin’ Wood. And the lead in the NL Central is back to 8 games after that 6-1 win.

It wasn’t only his arm yesterday. It was the bat, too.

Other game info:
Pujols finally snapped out of an 0-for-18 skid in the 6th with a single. It marked the worst “slump” of his career.

We saw why the Reds released Miles during spring training. A costly error on an inning-ending double play grounder off the bat of Joey Votto led to the three unearned runs the Reds scored in the 1st. He didn’t help his cause by going 0-for-4 at the plate with a couple of whiffs. The Reds are still paying Miles on a $2.7 million deal.

Chapmania visited Busch Stadium for the first time. Chapman did have a slight control issue in walking his first batter in the bigs (Jay). He threw 15 pitches with only 6 for strikes. He did coax a double play out of Pujols in his inning of work and threw all fastballs (101, 100, 100, 99) to Pujols.

With the loss, Wainwright has lost his last four outings. He was quoted saying he “won’t lose again” according to B.J. Rains of Fox Sports Midwest.

The Votto/Pujols matchup went the way of Joey. Votto was 2-5, scored a run and drove in one. Pujols was 1-for-4.

The Reds snapped a five-game losing streak to the Cards and go for the series win today at 2:15 PM.