Alternate Title: CoCo wins one more for the Reds. As an Astro.
This is a win that feels really good. Perhaps that’s a little ironic considering how crappy it felt at the end of the eighth inning. Only scoring 1 run off of Houston Astros pitching was very concerning, and feel like an uncomfortable preview to the rest of the Vottoless era – yes, even though we’ve already won a ton of games since Votto had his surgery.
And I can’t really blame myself for getting down – I have been a Reds fan for the last whatever year. A lot of times, a 2-1 loss going into the ninth inning has been a 2-1 loss, while I’ve been watching.
But 1 run is an awfully small margin – “easily” overcome, for example, by, oh, say a single for your rookie shortstop, and a short home run from your much maligned, recovering center fielder. Walks from Bruce and Rolen prolonged the inning, and a basehit by Xavier Paul added a run to make the Astros’ 9th inning comeback challenge harder than our own.
Of course, Chapman is a better closer to have around than Francisco Cordero.
In addition to the satisfaction of a comeback win, it was great pitching performance by Mike Leake, who allowed just 2 runs in 8 innings – hanging on long enough to be the pitcher of record when the Reds took the lead. It was especially gratifying to show off our pitching dept on a night when our big division rival shored up their starting rotation by trading for Wandy Rodriguez.
We finally gained some ground on the Pirates, who lost to the Cubs – putting our division lead at 2.5 games, though the Cardinals remain 6 games back, after creaming the Dodgers. It’s six wins in a row – and that’s the fourth six game win streak this year.
Also, we got to show that our lineup has some late life in it, even without Joey Votto – this whole Votto injury break has maybe even been a blessing in disguise. We get to prove to all of baseball, and maybe more importantly, to the Reds – that this team can win, and though I don’t much like our chances getting to the playoffs, or surviving long in them, without Joey long term, it’s great to see that we can get along without him. I know we can’t really win them all – but it’s good that we’re winning a lot now, in this slightly soft spot in the schedule.
I will say one thing though, with Votto out, and Bruce in a slump, our lineup is really right-handed, and REALLY pull-happy.
Oh well, I can complain about that another day.