Tough way to lose, no doubt, but when you wait until the 9th inning to deliver your first clutch hit of the evening, you kind of get what you deserve.
Is there a silver lining, even when you lose to the Pirates? You betcha … OMG you know we’re all about staying positive even when our young stud right fielder STILL can’t hit lefties, we went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and our closer-of-the-future’s ERA is 9.45.
You know deep down it was killing Dusty to not have Votto – a guy who entered 10-for-16 against Zach Duke – even get a plate appearance against him. And Rolen, absent tonight, has had success against Duke too. I’ll admit I thought we were doomed with those two not in the starting lineup given the huge numbers they’ve posted against Duke. Not that I’d prefer Cairo and Janish at the corners to Votto and Rolen any night, really.
Anyway, silver linings, right?
Chris Dickerson’s pinch-hit triple to lead off the 9th. HUGE. CLUTCH. I want him in my lineup more often. He works the count. Great speed. He’s hitting .364 in 22 at-bats so far to follow up his impressive spring. And quite frankly he deserves to start more often after hits like this. I hate to say it but I sit Bruce more often against lefties until he proves he can hit better than .197 against them. He doesn’t need to be among team leaders in at-bats when it took 11 games for him to get his first RBI of the season on a bases-loaded walk.
Drew Stubbs walked not once but twice. That’s almost as many walks as he had in his first 33 plate appearances. (Yeah, he also struck out twice, but we knew he was going to do that.) I’ll take two walks from Stubbs any day. And his second walk of the game was not only the first of the “Little League inning,” (the 8th inning where Pirate pitching walked the bases loaded and walked in two runs) it was the one that chased Duke, who had baffled us for seven innings. I’d love to see Stubbs take pitches and walk more if he’s going to continue to be our leadoff guy.
Mike Leake with another quality start. He DID keep us in the game, and even if it pains me to watch him walk 5 guys, it’s tough to complain about 7 IP, 3 ER.
Wouldn’t dare call it a moral victory because the Reds have no business losing to the Pirates – ever. But would you ever expect we’d be tied in the 9th inning on a night where Ryan Hanigan was clearly the hottest bat in our starting lineup?
Final thought: When John Raynor pinch-hit in the 8th, they played Alice in Chains’ “Rooster.” If that is, in fact, his at-bat song, I think I have a new favorite Bucco. (Old favorite Bucco: none)