Thursday, May 18, 2006

They Did It

It wasn't pretty, but they did it. After these last couple of weeks no one would have believed the Reds could come back from a 1st inning 6-run deficit, but they did. By the 7th inning they were tied at 7. By the end, they were ahead 9-8. And so, the losing streak ends, and it looks like the offensive slump might be coming to an end, too. Now, I say that after only one finally decent game from the offense, so don't put too much stock in it. The bats were finally there to bail them out, though. The pitching, however, was the reason they needed bailing out.

The teams went through a combined 11 pitchers during the game. Dave Williams only made it through 3 innings. To be fair, he was doing marginally better in the 2nd and 3rd. He only walked one and allowed no runs, but he also struck out zero batters. Obviously not riding the high of his season-best last outing, Williams gave up 6 earned runs in the 1st inning. 4 were thanks to a Jason Bay grand slam (which, combined with the fact that I think of Overbay every time I hear his name, has helped Mr. Bay usurp Chris Duffy's place as my Least Favorite Pirate, though I was about to bestow the honor on the whole team), while the other two were the result of an error by Jason LaRue and a single from Jose Castillo. Elizardo Ramirez pitched in place of Williams in the 4th and allowed 1 hit, which happened to be a solo homer off Jeromy Burnitz. Belisle came in for the 5th and 6th, allowed 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, and struck out 0. That's a lot of zeros, but they're mostly of the good variety. Weathers got 2 innings of work as well. He, however, allowed 2 hits and 1 run. Todd Coffey closed the game without shenanigans, and that should total 8 runs for the Pirates and 1 save for Coffey.

The Reds offense finally looks to be waking up. All of the starters, save Williams, had at least one hit. Ryan Freel went 3 for 5 and LaRue went 4 for 5. Lopez, Griffey, Kearns, Encarnacion, LaRue and Freel all contributed RBI. Half of them had 2 each. LaRue and Kearns each had a home run (though Marty had me fooled into thinking Kearns had two). They still left a lot of runners on base (12), but they got more than 2 or 3 home this time, too, so I'll take it. Final score was 9-8.

Hopefully this was a harbinger of a return to good ball playing. It will be very useful against the Tigers this weekend. Brandon Claussen pitches in Detroit tomorrow. Rumor has it that Rich Aurilia could be reactivated tomorrow and Eric Milton is supposed to start Saturday. Go Reds!!

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