Did anyone else get fired up when “IN THE BULLPEN: JONNY GOMES RHP” showed up on the TV screen while Cordero was warming up during tonight’s TV broadcast?
Jonny Gomes – one of two Reds to get on base four times tonight (granted, it wasn’t as pretty as Votto’s homer, triple and two singles, but it’s still getting on base four times) – pitching the bottom of the 9th? Hellyeah! Cordero did get the job done – which the bullpen did throughout the last four innings of the game (more on that later) – but we’re pretty sure Gomes would’ve struck out the side on nine pitches. The guy proved once again tonight that he is CLUTCH! He had a gorgeous outfield assist in the first to get former Red Felipe Lopez at the plate and then a HUGE hit in the top of the 7th to drive in Votto and tie the game at 8.
Look, Votto going 4-for-5 after a six-game absence and Rolen somehow hitting another two home runs, adding a third hit and driving in four were VERY impressive and both had a lot to do (along with the bullpen) with lifting the Reds to the 9-8 win. All we’re saying is don’t overlook the role Gomes had, not only in this win but the role he’s had in helping the Reds to first place in the NL Central. All the guy did in May was hit .364 (2nd in the National League for the month for players with a minimum of 3.1 plate appearances per team game) with 22 RBIs (tied for second, along with Rolen, in the NL for the month). His slugging percentage was .636 in May (2nd only to Corey Hart, who hit 10 home runs in May).
When the Reds were 12-12 and 4 games back on May 1, Gomes was only hitting .217. Now he’s hitting .307 and they’re 31-22 and 1 game up on the Cards.
BIG night for the bullpen too. It wasn’t an easy 7th for Arthur Rhodes, but the guy got a couple of huge strikeouts of David Freese and pinch-hitter Nick Stavinoha (to end the inning) to extend his scoreless streak to 19 2/3 innings.
Also impressive was Masset getting Colby Rasmus (who was 3-for-4 on the night entering the at-bat) on strikes with two on and two out in the bottom of the eighth.