The Taking of Game 2


It was going to happen sooner or later. It happened later actually.

In game 1 of the Reds series in St. Louis, the Reds were a lousy 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. They weren’t any better in this one either, but the one time the Reds really needed a hit with runners on base, Miguel Cairo delivered. Of all pitchers to deliver the heroics to Cairo was “former” Cards closer and former Red Ryan Franklin.

But the road getting to that point was still a little rough.

One thing to acknowledge here. The Reds did not surrender a first-inning run breaking the string of six consecutive games where a Reds opponent scored in their first at-bat. Starter Travis Wood waited until the 2nd inning instead….and again in the 3rd to see the Reds once again be in a hole, 2-0 after 3 innings.

You could say a flashback may have occurred. Seems like we’ve seen this story way too many times as of late. It looked that way until the 6th when Joey Votto took a 3-0 Chris Carpenter offering and deposited it in the stands to left-center field tying the game at 2-2. The Cards regained the lead on an Albert Pujols homer in the bottom if the 6th.

But the 8th inning would prove to be where the Reds would win. They would be aided by the Cardinals defense as well. A throwing error by third baseman David Freese allowed Drew Stubbs to reach after one was out. The wheels were now in motion for the three-run inning. And it all took place with two outs after Brandon Phillips struck out after Stubbs reached base.

Votto was intentionally walked and Miguel Batista hit Jonny Gomes. Bases loaded for Jay Bruce and Cards skipper Tony LaRussa countered with lefty Trever Miller. Here’s where it gets interesting…

Dusty considered pulling Bruce down. Lefty against lefty and Bruce hasn’t exactly been swinging well through the firs three-plus weeks of the season. John Fay takes over for a bit.

"“I thought about it,” Baker said.But Baker did not like his choices to hit off Miller. Edgar Renteria was the obvious choice but Baker would have had to use two players to make that move. Not a wise choice in a potential tie game.“Plus, I need Jay Bruce,” Baker said. “At some point in time, you’ve got to stick with them in order to get their confidence up for the whole year and into their career. Don’t think I wasn’t a little nervous. But sometimes you got to stick with someone.”"

All Bruce did was induce a walk from Miller to plate the tying run. As one fans tweeted, maybe the best at-bat Bruce has had since the clinching homer last season. And that brought Cairo to the plate against Franklin.

Yes, the same Miguel Cairo who in 2010 filled in admirably for both Scott Rolen, as he did again today, and Joey Votto.

Hard fought and the Reds bats were still extremely quiet for the game. Four hits. 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Which leads me to this…

The odd stat of the game: It wasn’t the fact that the Reds won after only collecting four hits. And neither is that the Reds overcame a deficit in a game where Carpenter was starting (he was 5-0 last year against the Reds). The odd stat was the Reds never had the first batter of any inning reach base.

And the bullpen once again performed well: 2.2 perfect innings with work from Aroldis Chapman, Logan Ondrusek, and Francisco Cordero. Yes, Cordero worked a perfect 9th for his 3rd save in as many opportunities.

I’ll take all of it and so will Dusty and the good guys.

But who’s going to start game 3? Sam LeCure is still listed. We very well may see Edinson Voluez. Dusty’s not saying.