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Game Thoughts: Reds beat the Astros 6-4 (in 11)

Yesterday might have been the most enjoyable game of the weekend for me. Friday and Saturday were no doubters, while yesterday seemed like an uphill battle all the way, and when the Reds pull these out it's awfully satisfying.

Quick thoughts:

  • Back in April it seemed like it was a different player stepping up every night, and it's been like that again the last few days. The Reds rode Austin Kearns and Ryan Freel to victory last night. They only had 8 hits, and half of those were homers by Freel and Kearns.
  • I'll just keep saying it: David Ross should be playing 4-5 times a week.
  • Quinton McCracken had yet another quality at bat.
  • Felipe Lopez showed why it's idiotic to bunt in the tenth, when he fumbled a couple of bunt attempts and then doubled down the line with two strikes. If he was hitting 7th or 8th, then sure I could see bunting. But Felipe's a pretty good hitter, and you've got a lot of good hitters coming up after him. There's never a situation where playing for one run is a good idea with Ken Griffey Jr., and Adam Dunn coming up to bat.
  • Elizardo Ramirez pitched like crap, but only gave up two runs. I'm so encouraged by that, because it seems like he's learning how to get by on nights when he doesn't have his best stuff. He's now thrown 41 innings of under 4 ERA baseball. Compare that to the parade of rejects that Cincinnati has run out in the fourth and fifth rotation slots in recent years and it's obvious that The Lizard is a big reason for the Reds success this year.
  • Esteban Yan looked pretty good to me. I can see how he'll have control problems at some point, because he didn't seem to know where the ball was going, but he throws hard (with some movement) which is something the Reds bullpen doesn't have a lot of.
  • The Reds are three games behind the Cardinals, and that's big, but what's even bigger is their lead on the Astros. Brewers, Cubs and Pirates. They're 5.5 up on the Astros, 6.5 up on the Brewers, 9.5 up on the Cubs, and 11.5 up on the Pirates. Those are all pretty big leads, certainly not insurmountable, but getting close for the Cubs and Pirates. I said it a month ago, the Reds aren't going anywhere. They're killing the NL Central (21-12), and for that reason alone they should be able to stay in the hunt for quite awhile.