UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, chomping and chewing on every snack in sight because I’m out of cigars, which makes me as jittery as a mold of lemon Jell-O.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Fox broadcaster Eric Karros, former major-league first baseman with the Los Angeles Dodgers, worked with Thom Brennaman on Saturday’s national broadcast and said, “I had a chanced to play for Dusty Baker and he is as good as there is. He has kept this team together through some amazing injuries and fans should be happy because things are going to get better.”
Reds fans happy with Dusty? If they aren’t criticizing his lineup cards, they are criticizing his custom-made toothpicks.
Some will even find fault with Baker after the Reds savaged and ravanged the San Francisco Giants Saturday, 10-2.
WHEN THEY TALKED (me, too) about the current trip on which the Cincinnati Reds are on, all the doomsdayers mentioned how poorly the Reds play on the west coast and how they had to face the pitch-infested San Francisco Giants, defending World Series champions and leader of the NL West.
They remembered a three-game series last August when the Giants swept the Reds by scoring 38 runs on 53 hits.
As everybody says and everybody knows, however, timing is everything, time is of the essence and time flies when you are having fun.
The Reds couldn’t have picked a better time to pay a visit to one of the world’s greatest cities, even with the frigid weather. The timing is perfect for playing the Giants.
The Giants aren’t hitting and aren’t scoring. They’ve searched eBay, Angie’s List and even CarFax, searching for runs.
AND TWO-TIME Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum was coming off two straight poor performances.
So Johnny Cueto shut them out Thursday, 3-0. Travis Wood held them to one run over seven innings Friday, but they scraped two off the Reds bullpen and won, 3-2, with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.
ON SATURDAY IT was Mike Leake shutting down the Giants and it was Lincecum taking the punches as the Reds went Mike Tyson on him — four innings, seven runs, seven hits. Lincecum was unable to put two good pitches together.
Meanwhile, Leake was as smooth as Sea Breeze as the Reds beat the Giants for the second time in three days.
For the second straight start, Leake pitched eight innings and he shut out the Giants on four hits with one walk and eight strikeouts during his 113-pitch outing.
And tell us again why Leake (6-2) was sent back to the minors briefly this year?
The Giants scored their two runs in the ninth off relief pitcher Carlos Fisher when Pat Burrell hit a two-run homer, the only home run hit in the first three games of the series.
THE REDS have now had nearly a full week of outstanding starting pitching, which cures a lot of aches and pains over the instability of left field and the offensive wasteland that is shortstop. Yonder Alonso, Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart wait patiently in Louisville.
Pitching, though, cures a lot over what ails a team. It is why the Giants, despite a pathetic hitting team, is in first place in the NL West.
Lincecum went 1-2-3 in the first inning and it was uh-oh time. But Jay Bruce led the second with a single, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Ryan Hanigan’s single.
The Reds gave Leake the breathing room he needed in the third with two more runs, with Leake torching the rally himself with a leadoff double. Drew Stubbs walked and Joey Votto’s singled filled the bases.
One run scored on Bruce’s grounder to first base and another scored on a wild pitch — nothing pretty, nothing powerful, but two runs nonetheless and a 3-0 lead.
The Reds put it away and rid themselves on Lincecum in the fifth when they scored four runs on three hits, a two-run double by Brandon Phillips the big blow.l The Phillips hit knocked Lincecum out of the game and the Reds remain the only National League team Lincecum has never beaten, 0-3 in three starts.
Aren’t these west coast trips fun?Tweet