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Some might contend that the series against the Arizona Diamondbacks was the most important one of the 2013 season thus far. The Dbacks headed to GABP having recently won two of three in facing the NL Central leading Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds held a five game lead for the NL’s second and final wild card spot.
A series win by either team could certainly put a huge twist on the remainder of the season. If Arizona won or even swept the series, they would be breathing down the Reds’ neck. A Reds series win or sweep would widen their lead and create, for the moment, some breathing room.
The first game of the series featured Ryan Ludwick snagging his first RBI of the season, a Todd Frazier home run, and Brandon Phillips compiling a 3-for-4 night at the plate. BP also crossed the plate twice. Reds win, 5-3.
The next night, Reds reliever J.J. Hoover saw his scoreless streak come to an end due to a grand slam off the bat of Paul Goldschmidt. Up to that point, it was a closely contested affair with Arizona holding on the a 1-0 lead prior to Goldschmidt’s heroics.
Last night, Shin-Soo Choo kickstarted the Reds bats in taking the first pitch he saw for a home run. The Reds would lead 8-0 after four innings, but the Diamondbacks would plate seven unanswered runs. Even though the Reds notched a 10-7 victory, the game was noted for the loss of Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman recording a six-out save.
The last detail is important as heading into this afternoon’s game, it was undetermined who would get the call in a save situation should one occur.
Another close affair this afternoon. The Reds scored twice. Once on a BP groundout. The other on a wild pitch by Dbacks reliever Eury De La Rosa, leading Choo to score from third base. Didn’t help the Dbacks that it was the bottom of the 8th at the time. The Reds now held a 2-1 lead heading into the top of the 9th.
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The save situation went to…Sam LeCure. Considering Chappy’s six-out save last night, no Broxton and no Alfredo Simon as he had pitched 2.1 innings two games ago, LeCure was about the only available option in Dusty’s bullpen.
Arizona had runners on first and second with one out. After that, it was all LeCure. A whiff of Jason Kubel (looking) and a groundout off the bat of Wil Nieves and LeCure had secured his first MLB save.
The Reds are now 73-55, a season-high 18 games over .500. With the Good Guys taking three of these four games, that lead for the NL’s last wild card spot now stands at seven.
The Pirates are visiting the Giants and the Cards visit the ATL. With today’s win, the Reds have a shot of pulling within a half a game of the Cards and one and a half games of the Pirates. Yes, you gotta pull for the Giants, but only for the next four games.
Tomorrow night is the onset of a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers.