The Cincinnati Reds continue to demolish the teams in the lower half of the standings, yesterday finishing a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-5. The win extends the Reds’ winnings streak to a season-high 6 in a row, and they’re lead over the second-place Cardinals to a season-high 3.5 games.
The last time the Reds lost was when the Cardinals swept them. I can’t be the only one in favor of no more losses to anyone but the Cardinals. It seems a good strategy for the rest of the season.
The offense was very productive again with 2 home runs–back-to-back wackity-whacks from Ramon Hernandez and Jay Bruce in the 4th–to give the Reds a lead they would never relinquish. In the 8th, they piled on to a bad bullpen, scoring 5 more, all after a dropped ball to left-field with 2 outs. I love seeing the Reds take of errors instead if the reverse, which is how it’s been for a decade.
Yesterday, Travis Wood was recalled for the start, as promised to him earlier. Wood was great, as always, allowing just 1 run in 6 1/3 innings. He got into some trouble in the 7th, but Logan Ondrusek capably got out of that jam.
Carlos Fisher was the pitcher sent down to make room for Wood, but I have to think that Bill Bray is on the edge, especially with his performance yesterday. He started the 8th, but recorded only 1 out from the 4 batters he faced. He allowed one run all by himself, but then Jordan Smith allowed the 2 inherited runners to score, pushing Bray’s ERA to 5.40. I can’t help but think the managers noticed that Bray couldn’t pitch a clean inning against a bad team and will remember it should the Reds reach the playoffs or need a roster spot before rosters expand on September 1.
The win ended the consecutive, 100-plus days that had either the Reds or Cardinals in 1st or 2nd, with the other team 3 games or less behind.