The pitching match-up lived up to the billing on Sunday when the Cincinnati Reds’ ace, Johnny Cueto, outdueled the New York Yankees’ ace, CC Sabathia, to win the rubber match between the two teams, 5-2, in New York.
Johnny Cueto pitched 7 innings and gave up 2 earned runs, both on a Raul Ibanez 2-run homerun in the 6th inning. The Cincinnati Reds tied it back up in the top of the 7th when Ryan Ludwick and Ryan Hanigan went deep on Sabathia, who then walked in the winning run four batters later.
The Cincinnati Reds completed the scoring in the 9th getting 2 runs off of Ludwick’s double.
Finally, Dusty Baker gave Aroldis Chapman his shot as a closer. He did not disappoint. Chapman struck out one and didn’t allow a hit to record his first save of the season. It was a sight to see and one I have been waiting for all year. In full disclosure, I have a dream that Chapman will be starting soon and really give the Cincinnati Reds a number 2 pitcher.
The win moved the Reds back to 2 games above .500 at 21-19 and only 1 game behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the Central Division lead.
The final line on Cueto was 7 innings pitched, allowed 8 hits and 2 earned runs. To show how dominant Cueto has been this season, by allowing only 2 runs and getting the win (5-1), he actually saw his ERA go up to 1.97. It was a very nice rebound for him from his last outing with the Atlanta Braves. He is still the best pitcher in the National League.
The Cincinnati Reds won the three-game series with the Yankees by taking the last two games and shutting down the vaunted line-up. They will come home to have a three-game set with the Atlanta Braves.
I hope we have seen the bats come alive and will hopefully stay alive in the future.