The Reds waited until the wee hours to make their presence known in this one, but then the did it in a big way. Fans who went, grumbling, to bed with the team down 0-2 in the fifth awoke to the happy news that the Reds tacked on 8 runs before the game was over.
Homer Bailey was the starter for this one, and he pitched a gem. In 8.0 innings he gave up the 2 runs (earned) on 5 hits and a walk. With 115 pitches already pitched and a 6-run lead going into the bottom of the ninth, the team called on Aroldis Chapman to close it out. Chapman’s velocity was up and he struck out 2 in his hitless inning. He did not, that I heard of, perform any sort of acrobatics after the fact.
Joey Votto was still out with that knee inflammation and Scott Rolen is still out with back spasms, but the Reds aren’t willing to put either on the DL, hoping that they’ll be back in the coming days, so the Reds were playing with a 23-man roster. That number dropped to 22 in the sixth inning when Zack Cozart took a pitch directly to the head.
Even with the helmet taking the brunt of the hit, he still left the game and was under observation for the rest of the night. He was smiling before he even left the field, though, and it sounds like he was doing OK after the game. Still, I wouldn’t be totally surprised to see him out of the line-up tomorrow. There may still be cartoon birds flying around his head.
Fortunately, the remaining members of the diminishing roster are apparently ready to step up and prove their grit. Todd Frazier put the Reds on the board in the sixth with a single to bring in Brandon Phillips, and Devin Mesoraco sent a beauty right down the line in left to bring in Frazier and Miguel Cairo. Those 3 runs were really all the Reds needed.
But they weren’t done yet. Frazier hit a triple in the eighth to bring in Jay Bruce (who’d been HBP) and Mesoraco again brought in Frazier. Chris Heisey and Cairo finally got in on the RBI party in the ninth, but not before Frazier knocked in yet another one. What a show.
The win brings the Reds record to 44-35. They continue their series against the Dodgers tonight at 10:10 p.m. ET. Johnny Cueto (9-4, 2.26 ERA) goes against a familiar foe in former Brewer Chris Capuano (9-3, 2.69 ERA).