Back to the One-Run Reds? Not Yet, Thanks to CoCo!
Back to the One-Run Reds? Not yet Thanks to CoCo!
by Robb Hoff
July 24, 2012
Just when it looked safe to poke your head out and keep you eyes open, the Cincinnati Reds returned to their patented one-run ineptitude.
One run.....once again.
But then Houston Astros closer Francisco "The Ulcer" Cordero returned against his former team and looked like he has lost none of his touch to make fans of his team cringe and wince with every pitch.
And before you knew it, Reds centerfielder Drew Stubbs launched a two-run homer to take the pain out of eight awful innings at the plate.
Prior to Cordero's blown save, the Reds had a handful of chances against Astros starter Lucas Harrell to tack on runs here and there and had a golden opportunity in the top of the eighth against reliever Wilton Lopez with runners at first and second with nobody out.
But it was clear it was not to be a small-ball night, especially when Reds reserve outfielder Xavier Paul bunted straight back to the mound in the eighth and the force was made at third base to put a dent in things for the Reds.
Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake tossed a crafty eight innings against a puny Astros lineup,but his teammates squandered his toil with an even punier effort of their own until Stubbs came to the rescue.
For the Reds, the escape with a win added to their lead in the N.L. Central because the Pittsburgh Pirates lost, but the game did leave fans frustrated for most of the night once again.
If the one-run woes continue another game, the Reds are going to have to look hard at adding a better bat somewhere in the lineup before the trade deadline.
There's still plenty of room for improvement, but when you see a journeyman-bound player like Paul get three hits, a pair of RBI and a stolen base around one bad bunt, you've got to wonder if the chemistry ain't churning up the start of some special September stew.
Besides, it's really hard to complain too much about being 17 games above .500 with only one other team in the N.L. sporting a better record, especially when a fireballer like Aroldis Chapman is about as far at the other end of the closer spectrum as the Reds had with Cordero during their 2010 playoff push.