Another Epic Comeback?

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Perhaps this was the game the Reds needed. Not because it was a win, which is a HUGE bonus, but because we may now see a bit of swagger from the good guys.

Or maybe this was a haunting reminder of what 2011 has shown us.

A comeback win is always a good thing as it generates more enthusiasm. But today felt a little different. Well, a lot different.

First, the Reds bats were completely lifeless for 8 innings. Aneury Rodriguez kept the Reds in check for five innings before giving way to the Astros bullpen. He allowed only a Chris Valaika triple. Then. Houston manager Brad Mills paraded four relievers over three innings that also held the bats at bay. Then, the 9th inning came…

Mills inserted his closer, Brandon Lyon, to close out the game. Think about this. The Reds had managed only one freakin’ hit until the 9th. One. No signs of life at all. And then the gates to another Reds comeback opened.

The 9th inning went as follows:
Drew Stubbs walked (yes, he walked) and took second on Lyon wild pitch.
Chris Heisey, getting another start, singled. Stubbs to 3rd.
Joey Votto singled to RF. Stubbs scored, Heisey to 2nd. Astros lead 2-1
Brandon Phillips also singled to RF. Heisey scored, Votto to 2nd. Game tied 2-2
Jay Bruce doubled to RF. Votto scored. Reds win 3-2. Yes, Bruce the hero in a game against the Astros.

I repeat, only one hit through the first eight innings and then five straight off of Lyon to snatch a win from the jaws of defeat.

This game was a microcosm of the Reds 15-15 season. Bats are quiet, but suddenly awaken. Could this be that one game that gets Cincy over the hump? Only time will tell on that, but I insist that we be cautiously optimistic on this. We’ve seen too many times that the bats can come alive only to be silenced over a short period of time. Sure, the Reds have comeback before. We’ve also seen comebacks fall short.

There were other positives to be gained from today’s win. Travis Wood permitted only two runs in the 3rd. Aside from that, he was pretty darn good. The four walks are a little concerning, but he did manage seven strikeouts. Getting a quality start is usually a good sign as well especially considering the Reds starters went a whole pass through the rotation without a single QS. The line for Wood: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 SO, 104 pitches (65 strikes). Yes, he was a bit erratic, but he fought through it. You could say this game was a gut check for him.

And the bullpen did more than hold the Astros in check, too. Bill Bray, Logan Ondrusek, and Francisco Cordero authored three innings of one-hit ball (Cordero allowed the hit and got the W).

Baseball is a funny game though. So funny that I had already a completely different post ready to go up when the rally began.

I hope I never have to retrieve it either.

Other Notes:
– The Reds called up Fred Lewis from his rehab assignment and sent Jeremy Hermida to Louisville. Lewis served as a pinch hitter in today’s game.
Homer Bailey will make his 2011 debut tomorrow. Another 12:35 PM ET start time as this game is the makeup from Monday’s postponement. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Ohio. A roster move will have to be made prior to the game to accommodate Bailey.
– After the three game series in Chiacgo, the Reds will have played in five straight day games.
Johnny Cueto is set for his 2011 debut on Sunday in Chicago. One more roster move to make within the pitching staff. This move will be the really interesting one.