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Mets Win Attempt Nixed

Another start for Mike Leake, and yet another fantastic performance.  Six innings, four strikeouts, and only one earned run.  Leake certainly shows no signs of slowing down after five starts.  I'll continue to mention it until he lets up: Rookie of the Year.  I've said it before, and he's definitely not shown any proof that I've jinxed him, so I'll continue to say it.  Had it not been for the awful error by the usually solid Cabrera on a throw from Hernandez, Leake would have gotten another win.  Oh well, poop happens.  More importantly is that the Reds did enough eventually to get the win tonight.

Thank you, Laynce Nix.  I understand that his first name is irritatingly misspelled, but when he gets a hold of a pitch, it has little chance.  Unfortunately, he has a hard time getting hold of pitches overall.  Tonight though, he brought Reds fans probably the most fantastic play in baseball - the walk-off home run.  Is anything greater in a baseball game than a walk-off homer in extra innings?  I think not.

In several pitching moves that I don't understand, the bullpen fared quite well tonight as well.  Pinch hitting Cairo for Leake was a terrible move.  Leake takes some good swings at the plate.  Why put in a player who's hitting 2 for 18 on the year to pinch hit?  If your looking to get Cairo's batting back on track, putting him in during a crucial point in the game while removing a pitcher who has pitched fantastically all night does not seem logical.  If Baker truly felt Leake needed to be taken out, why not pinch hit Bruce instead.  Bruce has been on a hot streak, much unlike Cairo.

Also, I hate pitch counts.  Pitchers used to pitch complete games all the time, and on less rest.  Are you telling me that there is something different in the baseball environment that is putting more stress on arms these days?  Four days is plenty of rest for someone throwing 100 pitches, but not 120?  I do not blame Mike Leake or any other starter for this phenomenon.  Most pitchers would love to continue pitching, and I think Leake could've pitched another inning, and probably two innings rather than digging four pitchers out of the pen.  But that's just me.

With the win tonight, the Reds move back to .500 at 13-13 in a tie for second place with the Cubs.  All things considered, not too bad.  The Reds just need their pitching to continue with their current level of play for the remainder of the season.  Only time will tell.

     -Mike Zimmerman
      5/3/2010

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