Friday, July 20, 2012

Vitals: Reds have pulse

In regards to the weekend matchup between division rivals and the loss of Joey Votto, 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun was quoted telling “Joey Votto is out for the next month – that completely changes the dynamic of the division…When one of the teams ahead of you loses its best player for a month that changes everything.”

After last night’s epic come-from-behind victory and massive Reds rally, the fans in Reds Country responded to the MVPs quote by saying “We don’t think so pal!” The Cincinnati Reds have had to utilize every aspect of the bench and bullpen to be successful since the news of Joey Votto’s knee surgery. The Reds split a four game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, rallying for a crucial win during Thursday’s matinee matchup. The Reds were hitless and behind 6-0 before a Brandon Phillips lead rally cut the D-Back lead in half.

Coverage of the rally and the bottom of the 7th inning:  Bryan Shaw relieved the Diamondback starter retiring Devin Mesoraco and walking Xavier Paul pinch hitting for Alfredo Simon. Shaw walks Drew Stubbs with runners now at first and second and one out on the side. The D-Back pitching staff is quick to get the bullpen buzzing trying to relieve Shaw. Wilson Valdez cracks a double through Paul Goldschmidt driving in Xavier Paul. With runners in scoring position, Brandon Phillips had a good at bat working Shaw and running the count 2-2 then slapping one into the outfield for a two run double tying the game 6-6. Shaw couldn’t keep the Reds offense at bay long enough for the bullpen to get loose, with the damage done the D-Backs finally get lefty Mike Zagurski who owns a 4.70 ERA but has kept his last 7 left hander’s hitless. Zagurski did his job by keeping Jay Bruce hitless and bringing two outs to the side. Zagurski was immediately relieved by right handed pitcher Brad Ziegler, a ground ball pitcher. Todd Frazier slaps one through into center field bringing the go ahead run home. The Reds now lead 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh. Chris Heisey comes to bat with two outs and Frazier on first, grounding out to end the inning”.

Tonight at 7:10 (EST) the Reds look to keep their offense going against Brewers pitcher Marco Estrada who is 0-3 on the season with a 4.13 ERA. Phillips is 6 for 12 against Estrada while struggling Bruce is 4 for 11 with three home runs off Estrada. The Reds pitcher tonight will be Homer Bailey, now 8-6 on the season and a 3.93 ERA. Bailey has won three consecutive starts with a 1.99 ERA.

Brandon Phillips three run home run during Thursday’s game was the club’s 100th on the season.

The Reds are now 32-2 on the season when Drew Stubbs scores a run.

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