The Cincinnati Reds have been finding ways to lose games all season. Coming into Sunday’s game against Washington, they had a Pythagorean of 71-61, although only a .500 record. That is one of the best indicators of the luck, whether good or bad, of a team.
Yesterday was no exception. Flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman blew his second game of the year, and Nick Masset allowed the go ahead run to score in the ninth inning. Rookie Yonder Alonso sent the game into overtime with a solo blast in the home half of the ninth.
After 4 1/2 innings of frustration, the scene was set for MVP Joey Votto. He took Collin Balester into the left-field seats for his second career walk off home run, his second of the day.
That win pushed the few-and-far-between winning streaks to four games, propelling the Reds to a game above .500. The Cardinals won and the Brewers refuse to lose, keeping the Reds at 13 games back with only 29 left to play.
The win streak matched the longest for the Reds since winning five in a row from May 13-17. They now have won 12 of 17 games dating back to August 10.
National League ERA leader Johnny Cueto pitched well enough to win but was a victim to the bullpen again. It marked the 19th time he has pitched a quality start in 21 outings. His 2.05 ERA continues to lead the senior circuit. Giants’ Tim Lincecum is a distant second at 2.46.
Both managers, Davey Johnson for the Nats, and Dusty Baker of the Reds were ejected during the course of the game.
The Philadelphia Phillies begin a four-game series with the Reds tonight at Great American Ball Park. The series opener will feature southpaw Cole Hamels (13-7) facing Homer Bailey (7-5).
The Phillies haven’t played since losing to the Florida Marlins at home Friday night. Hurricane Irene forced the postponement of the remainder of that series. They are sliding on a two-game losing streak, their first since July 28.
I am looking forward to the September call ups.
- Cueto struck out a career high 11 batters on Sunday.
- Jay Bruce’s HR was the 96th of his young career. He was 24 years, 147 days when he hit 96. For comparison purposes: Willie Mays was 24 years, 91 days when he hit 96.
- Alonso’s HR was his second PH HR of the year.
- This was the first game Ryan Hanigan has caught Cueto this year.
- Votto has reached base by a hit or walk in 31 straight games. The last time he failed to produce was July 25 as a PH.