The Cincinnati Reds made it take longer than it should have, but eventually, they defeated the Chicago Cubs yesterday.
Travis Wood made his first professional start and pitched great. It helped, of course, that he was going against the Cubs, who have been terrible all year. Dusty Baker did make a questionable decision in leaving Wood in the game to start the 8th. Up to that point, though, Wood had breezed through 7 innings of shutout ball with a very low pitch count. Unfortunately, Wood was tired and walked the only 2 batters he faced.
The small, 2-run lead off of RBIs from Scott Rolen and Jonny Gomes, vanished quickly once reliever Nick Masset entered. Both inherited runners scored. Masset did shut down the Cubs for the rest of the inning, but he’s still got a ways to go to become the Masset we saw last year.
The bullpen was great from then on, with Jordan Smith getting the eventual win, and Francisco Cordero getting an almost uneventful save.
The Reds offense barely managed to retake the lead. They had opportunities in the 9th and the 10th, yet managed only 1 run, and that was thanks to Jay Bruce breaking up a double play and allowing the go-ahead run to score. 16 hits in a game is great; stranding 13 and scoring only 3 is not so great. Still, the team managed another win from their final at-bat. This team definitely has some confidence. Plus, they are in first place by 1.5 games thanks to a Cardinals loss. And that’s something that hasn’t happened this late in a season in a very long time.