Every inch a king, Lehr shuts out Cubs 4-0

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Justin Lehr.  The 32-year old journeyman minor leaguer, in just his 2nd career big league start, shut out the first place Cubs on just 4 hits and 1 walk.

Key Plays

  • Brandon Phillips led off the 2nd inning with a single.  That was followed by Scott Rolen's first hit as a Red, a two-run home run to deep left center.  It was his 9th home run on the year.
  • The 2nd inning continued with Wladimir Balentien singling and then moving to second on Ryan Hanigan's walk.  Lehr attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but it turned into much more as Cubs pitcher Rich Harden threw the ball away, allowing Balentien to score and Hanigan to go to third.  Alex Gonzalez walked to load the bases with 2 outs, but Joey Votto struck out to kill the rally.
  • The Cubs had runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs in the 4th after Derrek Lee and Milton Bradley both singled, but Lehr struck out Alfonso Soriano looking to snuff out the threat.
  • Of the Cubs remaining two hits, Harden doubled with two outs in the fifth but didn't move and Soriano singled in the 7th, but was picked off by Lehr.
  • The Reds tacked on one last run in the bottom of the seventh as Willy Taveras led off with a single and then HAVOC'd his way around the bases, stealing 2nd and 3rd and scoring on Gonzalez's sacrifice fly.
  • Despite being over 100 pitches, and being set to face the middle of the Cubs order, Lehr came out to pitch the 9th inning and put the Cubs hitters down 1-2-3.

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via www.fangraphs.com

Other Notes

  • The win tonight ended the Reds 8-game losing streak.  It is only the 2nd win in the last 16 games for the Reds and it bookends a home stand where the Reds won the first game and then lost 8 in a row before winning the last game.
  • Lehr is only the 3rd Reds pitcher in the last 56 years to throw a complete game shutout in one of his first two big league starts.  The others both happened back in 1970 - Wayne Simpson (4/9/70) and Milt Wilcox (9/9/70).  Clay Buccholz was the last starter to do it for any team (9/1/07), but his was a no-hitter.
  • Taveras' 2 SB leave him needing only 77 more in the last 55 games of the season to reach 100.  It was the 3rd time this season he's stolen multiple bases in a game.
  • Rolen's home run was also his 9th all time at Great American Ball Park.  He now has 19 RBI in 28 career games at GABP.
  • The off day tomorrow means the Reds will go 2 days in a row without a loss for the first time since July 1st and 2nd the All Star Break.


Final - 8.5.2009 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chicago Cubs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1
Cincinnati Reds 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 X 4 5 0
WP: Justin Lehr (1 - 0)
LP: Rich Harden (7 - 7)

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