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Who wants to join the Mike Leake fan club?

Mike Leake pitched seven innings with 5 hits, 5 Ks, and gave up only one earned run in a 6-4 win at Houston tonight.  Maybe it's too early to talk about rookie of the year, but so far, Mike Leake is making a pretty good argument for himself.  He has two wins in four games, and has been the brightest spot on the Reds rotation.  When he is scheduled to pitch, I find myself all giddy with excitement, like a little schoolgirl crush.  Okay, maybe that's pushing it, but you have to admit, it is fun to watch him pitch.  When he's on the mound, you forget the fact that he's a 22 year old kid fresh out of college.

The bullpen was also exciting tonight, but in more of a terrifying way.  After a fantastic inning by Rhodes (per usual), Nick Masset and Francisco Cordero made my heart skip a couple beats.  Before this game, Rhodes had only allowed opponents a meager .083 batting average.  Pretty good in my book.  I don't actually have a book, but if I did, that stat would definitely be in there.

I know Cordero puts up a lot of saves, but does he have to attempt to incite a heart attack every time he pitches.  I feel like I'm watching a horror movie, when the killer is about to attack the unsuspecting half-nude teenage protagonist.  I know she's going to get away, but there's always a chance she might not.  I know Cordero will get the save, but he always teeters on failure.  I guess this adds a dimension of suspense to the Reds victories, but it is a dimension I can live without.

Offensively, the Reds are looking pretty good.  Granted, tonight they got quite a few lucky breaks, but hey, that's baseball.  The nicest offensive performance tonight was by that of Drew Stubbs, who chalked up two hits this game...TWO!  This severely helps his miniscule batting average, and I am extremely happy with that.  I hate seeing the lineup posted on the television screen, and the leadoff batter has a .150 batting average.  That seems to put a little too much pressure on the rest of the lineup.  It's like leading off the game with your pitcher at the plate.

All in all, there was a good enough performance tonight to get a win.  A lot of people may say, "But it's only the Astros," and cite a bunch of stats from this season.  But in baseball, it's not about how you played two weeks ago; it's about how you're playing right now.  The Astros had turned around quite a bit from their dismal 0-8 start.  They did go 8-2 right after that, but most people will still remember that start.

One last thing: Great job by Harang last night, and let's hope he can keep it up.  Nothing would please me more than to see him back in his 2007 form.

     -Mike Zimmerman
      4/28/2010

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