From: John Kasupski on

Marlins 5, Cardinals 4 (F, 10)

Hanley Ramirez doubled in the winning run off Ryan Franklin with one out in the
bottom of the tenth. Franklin allowed the tying run in the ninth also, serving
up a homer to Dan Uggla. Cardinals waste a quality start from Jake Westbrook,
Reds get a slight bit of breathing room atop the division.

About tonight's game against the Cubs, here's a line I found encouraging:
3-for-4, double, HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs scored. Sound like Rolen? Votto? Phillips?

Well, it was the forgotten man, Drew Stubbs, the W2PIO Player of the Game. He
scored the Reds' first run of the game after his double in the first inning. His
homer broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth, and his ninth-inning single plated Nix with
what eventually proved to be the game-winning run. He's now hitting .318 with
five dingers against the Cubs this year, one of which was that go-ahead grand
salami in the eighth inning on April 9 in a 5-4 Reds victory. Then there was
that three-homer game he had against the Flubs on Independence Day.

Volquez still struggled with command (4 BB, 2K in 6-2/3 IP) but held the Scrubs
to one run for a quality start and would've gotten a win if he'd gotten more run
support earlier in the game. As it was Ondrusek improved to 3-0 with an inning
and a third of scoreless relief.

That would have been the story if Cordero hadn't imploded in the ninth. But he
did, he walked the bases loaded. So I gotta tip my hat - the one made by New
Era, all red with the wishbone C in white on the front - to Masset, who walked
in a run to make it a one-run game, but sandwiched around that walk he punched
out Derek Lee and then Marlon Byrd, both swinging, wuth the strikeout of Byrd
ending the Reds' sixth win in the last seven games and putting them 15 games
over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1999 season.

Lou Piniella looks like he doesn't even give a hoot anymore. He let starting
pitcher Randy Wells bat for himself and hit into a fielder's choice to make the
second out in the bottom of the seventh in a 1-1 game. Then Stubbs promptly hit
Wells' second pitch of the eighth inning into the bleacher seats in left. If
that had been Baker instead of Piniella, everybody in Chicago would be screaming
long and loud, blaming the manager for the defeat. With Lou...not so much as a
whimper. Maybe that's just because they realize there's not much they can say
when the team with the highest payroll in the NL has lost 9 of 10 and is now 3-9
against the Reds this season. Dusty pumped his fist when Byrd swung and missed
on Masset's curveball to end the game. Yeah...considering the Cubs fired him
three years ago and now he's kicking their butts with the Reds on a regular
basis, he earned that.

Finally - those who think the Reds have it bad because of the difficulties Jay
Bruce has had at the plate this year should look at Kosuke Fukudome's numbers,
and what the Cubs are paying him. Well, okay, I'll save you the trouble, he's
making $14 million this year (according to ESPN), with a no-trade clause that
covers 16 teams and he had hit .132 in his last 32 games prior to tonight's.

Way to go, Hendry - too bad people still blame Baker for your ineptness, but we
all know this is why the Chubs have kept their stranglehold on futility. Now
that Walt Jocketty has made you look ridiculous with two different clubs, maybe
the people in Chicago will start waking up...but I won't hold my breath.

Get your brooms ready. The Reds go for the sweep on Saturday behind Travis Wood.


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