It was an ugly game.
Homer Bailey started and ended up going 5 2/3 innings before being pulled. He loaded the bases in the first with no outs–an important harbinger of the day to come–and allowed a run before finishing the inning. Still, the 4 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks that he allowed over that time were somehow enough to get him his career-high 10th win.
The wind at Wrigley Field was doing crazy things to the ball yesterday, which contributed to the high-scoring affair. Ryan Ludwick and Todd Frazier were the offensive heros, with Ludwick going 3-5 with a walk, 4 runs scored, and 2 RBI from the game’s only home run. Frazier drove in 4 and scored a run, and had himself a 3-4 day with a walk.
Jonathan Broxton started the 8th inning, but was again completely ineffective. He allowed 2 runs and the 3-run lead that the Reds had fought so hard for was in danger of slipping away. A 6th loss in a row would have been hard to swallow. Manager Dusty Baker made the right call, though, and with 2 outs in the 8th, he brought in Chapman for the 4-out, 1-run save.
And Chapman did it. He struck out 3 of the 4 batters he faced, picking up his 26th save. He’s been amazing this year, and I was very happy to see him enter. It’s hard for the wind in Wrigley to do crazy things to the ball when the batters can’t put it in play.
Thanks to losses from both the Pirates and Cardinals, the Reds’ first win in a week increases their lead in the standings by a game. They try to make this winning thing a streak today when Bronson Arroyo takes on former Red Travis Wood at 4:05pm EDT.