Reds on ESPN
Reds Sweep Cardinals, Redeem Themselves On ESPN
by Robb Hoff
July 15, 2012
The Cincinnati Reds and St Louis Cardinals faced off for another grueling battle in the the series finale of their three-game set Sunday night.
Reds pitcher Homer Bailey tossed a quality eight innings in place of ace Johnny Cueto, who was scratched due to a blister. Bailey's gumption in fighting back from runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the eighth inning shows how he is starting to put together the mental picture that could lead to more and more success for him at home run-friendly Great American Ballpark.
The Reds-Cardinals tilt was another ulcer-laden ESPN showcase game for Reds fans, who suffered through a heartbreaking loss to the Detroit Tigers the last time the Reds played Sunday night on ESPN.
A two-out, two-run single by former Cardinals star Scott Rolen after an intentional walk of another former Cardinals star Ryan Ludwick broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning to put the Reds up 4-2 and turn the game over once again to the Reds Cuban fireballer Aroldis Chapman.
After a 3-0 count to the Cardinals pinch-hitter Tyler Greene, it looked like it could be Deja vu all over again when Chapman melted down against the Tigers and coughed up a 6-3 lead to lose the game 7-6 the last time the Reds played Sunday night on ESPN.
But Chapman reached deep this time, striking out Greene, then the rest of the side thus preserving the Reds win and their first place lead in the N.L. Central.
The ESPN broadcast was a good one and actually another welcome change of pace on the heels of the Fox Baseball America broadcast on Saturday.
No Dan Shulman tonight but the substitute play-by-play man Dave O'Brien was enthusiastic the whole broadcast and sounds a lot like Gary Thorne. Color commentators Orel Hershiser and former Reds player Terry Francona provide an odd couple schtick that is quite engaging.
Now it's back to local broadcasts again and there's no substitute for their familiar faces and voices.
But it's all but certain that the Reds will be on Fox Baseball America and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball more in the near future as they pick up their march in earnest to their hopeful World Series destiny.