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Reds bounce back in a big bad way: CIN 11 TOR 1

Mike Leake answers the bell and gives the Reds a much needed win

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

 Mike Leake gave the Reds exactly what they needed today. The day after the Reds scored nine runs and still lost by a considerable margin, Leake pitched eight innings, giving up four hits, one walk, one run and striking out six over 113 pitches. Given how impressive Toronto’s offense has been, and how badly they embarrassed the Reds last night, that Leake was able to shut them down so thoroughly and for so long was great to see.

In fact, so impressive was Leake’s outing, and so badly needed, that I’m not even going to diminish the accomplishment with any honorable mentions despite yet another big day from the Reds’ bats. It’s all you today, Leake. Congratulations, and thanks.

Key Plays

  • The Reds again jumped out to an early lead. After quick outs by Billy Hamilton and Todd Frazier to start the bottom of the first, Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ issued back-to-back-to-back walks to Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce. That brought Ryan Ludwick to bat with two out and the bases loaded, and Ludwick delivered with a two run single. One batter later, Bruce scored on a passed ball. Reds up 3-0.

  • In the bottom of the third, Bruce launched his seventh home run of the series into the sun deck in right field. Reds lead 4-0.

  • In the fourth inning, Ramon Santiago laced a one out single down the right field line. Leake singled to advance Santiago to third, and then Hamilton singled to score Santiago. Leake advanced to third on the play, and on the very next pitch Hamilton stole second. Frazier then drove Leake in with a sacrifice fly that just missed being a home run. Votto followed that up by drilling a two out, two strike double off the wall in left field to score Hamilton. Phillips then doubled to center to score Votto. The Reds again led 8-0, striking fear in the hearts of superstitious Reds fans everywhere.

  • In the top of the fifth inning, Munenori Kawasaki drew a two out walk, and then advanced to third when pinch hitter Adam Lind singled to right, and the ball got past Bruce for the right fielder’s first error on the season. But Leake induced an infield pop up from Jose Reyes to end the threat.

  • In the top of the seventh inning, Colby Rasmus led off with a solo home run, his tenth of the season. Reds lead 8-1.

  • In the bottom of the seventh, the Reds would get that run back and more, as Devin Mesoraco blasted a three run home run to put the Reds up 11-1.

  • In the ninth inning, Carlos Contreras made his big league debut.  He pitched a clean ninth inning to nail down the win.  Congratulations, and welcome to the big leagues.


Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Billy Hamilton is now the proud owner of a ten game hitting streak.

  • Is that more or less impressive than the fact that Devin Mesoraco now has a three game home run streak?

  • A lot of Reds players did that thing they do today. Votto had a walk and a double. Hamilton stole a base. Bruce had a home run. Leake chewed up innings and did his best Bronson Arroyo impression. Everybody was doing what they get paid to do.

  • Jose Reyes took a foul ball off his knee in the fifth inning. He would finish the at bat, but he left the game afterwards. Here’s hoping he’s okay.

  • Seriously, what has gotten into the Reds offense lately? And where was it earlier in the year? I don’t know how long this offensive explosion will last, but I’m sure enjoying it while it does. I recommend all Reds fans do the same.

  • Tomorrow's game will be the rubber match of this series, and will pit Johnny Cueto against R.A. Dickey.  Should be something to see.
  • Summer Solstice Tune!