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Your move, Strasburg. Reds beat the Cubs in Leake's debut, 3-1.

Thanks to Lou Piniella for reminding us just how long 20 years is.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Thanks to Lou Piniella for reminding us just how long 20 years is. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Mike Leake.  What did Leake show us today?  Guts.  His debut was very good, but not perfect.  He went 6.2 innings and only allowed four hits and a run.  He struck out five, but also walked seven.  He got in trouble, but he seemed to always be able to work his way out.  Honorable mention goes to Scott Rolen, who went 2-2 with two walks and a run scored.

Key Plays

  • Leake looked like he was in for a rough debut in the first inning.  He walked Ryan Theriot, the first batter he faced, then gave up a double to Kosuke Fukudome.  A walk to Derrek Lee, and the rookie found himself with no outs and the bases loaded.  No problem.  Leake induced a popout from Aramis Ramirez, struck out Marlon Byrd, and then ended the inning when Alfonso Soriano flied out to right.
  • After a 7 pitch second inning, Leake ran into trouble again in the third.  Leadoff singles to Theriot and Fukudome with the big boppers looming looked disastrous, but Leake struck out Lee and Ramirez, then got a grounder to third from Byrd to end the inning.
  • Leake needed to be on his game because Tom Gorzellany was shutting down the Reds.  The one player he couldn't stop was Mike Leake, who singled in both of his at-bats.
  • Gorzellany couldn't stop Scott Rolen at the plate earlier, but did erase him on the basepaths when he caught Scotty leaning after a single in the fourth.
  • The top of the Cubs order gave Leake fits throughout the game, and in the fifth inning they broke the string of goose eggs on the scoreboard.  Theriot walked and moved to second on Fukudome's sacrifice.  Lee then singled to center to bring home The Riot.  Cubs led, 1-0.
  • By the sixth inning, frustration was beginning to mount over the Reds' offensive ineptitude.  Leake collected his second single of the game, but was erased on a botched sacrifice bunt by Drew Stubbs.  Stubbs then did his Rickey Henderson impression and stole second and third.  With the speedy Stubbs on third and only one out, it seemed like a great chance to tie the game, but Orlando Cabrera struck out, and Joey Votto grounded out to first.  [sad trombone]
  • Finally the Reds broke through in the seventh inning.  With one out, Scott Rolen singled and Ramon Hernandez followed that with a walk.  Jonny Gomes hit a fly ball to left, but was safe when Soriano dropped it for an error.  The bases were loaded with one out, and pinch hitter Miguel Cairo was able to drive in Rolen with an infield hit.  Then Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs struck out.  Tie game!
  • In the eighth, Orlando Cabrera led off with an infield single, and one out later went to third on Brandon Phillips's single.  Back to back walks to Rolen and Hernandez forced in the tying run, and Jonny Gomes added some breathing room with a sacrifice fly that scored Phillips.  The Reds held on to win, 3-1.
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Other Notes 

  • Leake was the 21st player to be drafted and then make his major league debut without appearing in the minors.  He is also the first player from the 2009 draft to play in the majors.  If I recall correctly, the last Reds player who was the first player from their draft class to make it to the bigs was Ryan Wagner in 2003.
  • The last Reds pitcher to get a hit in their first at-bat was Matt Maloney.
  • Leake's game cap is going to the Hall of Fame.
  • Aroldis Chapman also made his debut today in Louisville, going 4.2 innings.  He allowed five hits, one walk, an unearned run, and struck out NINE.  He also hit 100 mph five times.

  • Final - 4.11.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    Chicago Cubs 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 1
    Cincinnati Reds 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 X 3 7 0
    WP: Nick Masset (1 - 0)
    SV: Francisco Cordero (2)
    LP: John Grabow (0 - 2)

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