I know now is a bad time to be dumping on Dusty because the Reds are on a bit of a roll, but he did something Sunday afternoon which, in my mind, is unforgivable. Leake was pitching great before the Cubs put up three on him in the top of the seventh. Leake got two quick outs and then Marlon Byrd roped a double in the gap. Then a slow roller down the third base line, which Rolen watched, hoping it would roll foul, put runners on the corners. But still there were two out and only one hard hit ball. Then Leake uncorked a wild pitch allowing the run to score. He then hung one to fellow rookie Tyler Colvin who, in a nano-second, deposited it in the Cubs bullpen for a two-run homer. 3-2 Cubs just like that.
So the Reds have Ramon Hernandez, in the eighth spot, leading off the home half of the 7th. Leake comes out on deck. After the initial shock, I think Dusty just doesn't want Lou to know who the pinch hitter will be. (Because surely there will be a pinch hitter.) Hernandez rips a double off the wall. And here comes Leake. I can't believe my eyes. "It's okay" somebody said, "Leake can bunt." First of all, that is a terrible spot for a bunt. Why give up an out when you've got the tying run already in scoring position. Now it it's the fourth and your pitcher is up, go ahead and bunt. But it's the bottom of the 7th. Okay, so even if you're going to bunt, do it with a pinch hitter. So Leake bunts, and Hernandez gets thrown out at third. (He's the slowest runner on the team (non-Harang category) and maybe the slowest guy in the stadium (non-Harang, non-blogger category).) So Leake's on first, with one out. We get another guy on (first and second) so what does Dusty do? He pinch-runs for Leake. I was beside myself. I told Rachel it wouldn't matter, though, because Phillips was going to hit a three-run homer and all would be forgotten. He didn't, but Votto did. Right after Lou visited the mound and let Dumpster talk Lou into letting him stay in the game.
Best home run I've seen at GABP, non-walk-off category. (Okay, second to Dunn's opening day blast in '05 to tie it against the Mets, followed by Joe Randa's walk-off to win it.)
The Reds won, so I don't have to tell you this: we weren't in our seats, we went with friends. Still winless in our seats; still undefeated elsewhere.
Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer
3 weeks ago