Oh yeah: on the bench. Javier Valentín, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey, Jr., and Austin Kearns all contributed RBI tonight, and three of the four were sitting when the Reds were shut out yesterday.
Bitterness aside about what I didn't get to see yesterday in Cincinnati, tonight's was a great game. Brandon Claussen pitched seven innings and allowed just two hits, which made the game go quickly even though the Reds had scored nine by the time he was done. Brian “Love” Shackleford kept it going when he pitched the eighth and allowed only one hit.
Things started to get ugly when Randy Keisler came in to pitch the ninth and gave up the shutout, allowing four runs on five hits over the course of two outs. Todd Coffey had to sprint in to get the last out, but not before giving up a quick hit to Derrek Lee.
I had just been wondering whom the Reds would send down when Josh Hancock comes off the DL; Keisler made an excellent case for himself tonight.
The big nonstory of the game was the huge shake-up of switching Ryan Freel and Felipe Lopez in the batting order. Hello? That's not a shake-up. Nor did it work particularly well. While Lopez did draw a couple walks, Freel went 0-fer again.
You know what would be a better shake-up for Freel? Now, this is pretty unorthodox, but hear me out here. It's this new-fangled thing called “a day off.” I'm just saying they might give it a try.
Lots of easy, routine stuff in the field, but young Austin Kearns did have a pretty fantastic running catch just a step short of the ivy out in right field. Amazing that this kid just came up from Louisville this year. And he wasn't even listed among the Reds' best prospects. Hard to believe.
With the 9-4 win in Chicago, the Reds make life just a little bit harder for the Cubs and make a whole game's progress on third-to-last in the division. Sounds like the sort of thing they ought to do again tomorrow.