Found September 19, 2012 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
With a win in the opener at Wrigley Field, the Cincinnati Reds' magic number to clinch the NL Central is down to four.
The Chicago Cubs have a far less glamorous magic number, one that will keep them from finishing with 100 losses.
The Reds look to move closer to their second division title in three years and continue their dominance over the lowly Cubs on Wednesday night.
Cincinnati (89-59) finished with four hits Tuesday, but took advantage of Justin Germano's command problems in 3-1 win. Germano walked the first three batters in the sixth inning - Joey Votto, Ryan Ludwick and Jay Bruce - and was promptly pulled. Ryan Hanigan then greeted reliever Manny Corpas with a bases-clearing double to help the Reds beat the Cubs for the seventh time in eight meetings since Aug. 10.
"We had just enough offense to win," Dusty Baker said after his 3,000th game as manager. "Just a big victory for us, back to 30 over and one step closer."
The Reds, who haven't been 31 over .500 since Sept. 30, 1999, when they were 95-64, also maintained their 11-game lead over St. Louis. They can win the division with a sweep over the Cubs, coupled with a pair of losses by the Cardinals.
While the Reds will be turning their attention to the World Series in October, Chicago has something to play for in the season's final two weeks.
The Cubs (58-90) need to win five of their final 14 games to avoid their first 100-loss season since the 1966 team matched a franchise record with 103 defeats.
"These guys are trying to stay away from 100 losses, and that's their goal," Dale Sveum told the team's official website. "The Cincinnati Reds, mathematically, they have (the division) locked up. ... These guys are just trying to stay away from 100 losses, and there's a lot of pride in that."
Darwin Barney has stepped up his play, recording his third straight multihit game Tuesday to extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13. The second baseman, who has stretched his errorless streak to an NL-record 133 straight games, is batting .467 with two doubles in 15 career at-bats against scheduled starter Mike Leake (8-9, 4.69 ERA).
Leake gave up three runs and nine hits in seven innings in last Tuesday's 5-3 win over Pittsburgh. The right-hander served up two more homers, bringing his total in his last five starts to eight.
Leake has been hit-or-miss in his last five games, recording a 3.20 ERA in his three victories, but a 17.55 ERA in his two losses.
In two starts against the Cubs this season - both at Wrigley - Leake is 0-1 with a 6.17 ERA.
Chicago counters with Chris Rusin (1-2, 5.06), who notched his first major league victory Friday against Pittsburgh, allowing two runs and four hits in five-plus innings in a 7-4 final.
"I located the ball, kept the ball down and got ahead of a lot of hitters," said the 25-year-old left-hander, who struck out six and walked none.
Rusin was shelled for five runs in one inning of work in a loss to Washington on Sept. 4, but has a 2.40 ERA in his other three starts. He has yet to last longer than five innings, though.
He'll be facing a Cincinnati team averaging 3.0 runs while batting .211 in its last eight games. Leadoff hitter Brandon Phillips is batting .147 in the last eight, while Bruce is 3 for 30 with 10 strikeouts in the last seven.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Reds had the lead before I even turned on the television broadcast. They were completely dominating through the first five innings, and I was ready to decrement the Magic Number.
Then, suddenly, Mike Leake gave up a 2-run homer to Alfonso Soriano in the sixth inning, plus 1 more run, that got the Cubs within 1. Poor J.J. Hoover was left to his own devices after loading...
Fact: The Cincinnati Reds will clinch the National League Central Division by weekend's end. When and how they do it remains to be seen.
Since we're on the subject of clinching, I thought it would be fun to reminisce about the last time the Redlegs were in this situation.
The date was September 28, 2010, and the opponent was the *cough* Houston Astros. The game was...
As the Cincinnati Reds inch closer to wrapping up the NL Central, they realize their offense must get going before the playoffs begin.
A matchup with the Chicago Cubs' Justin Germano could help their bats warm up.
In Tuesday night's opener at Wrigley Field, the Reds look to beat the Cubs for the seventh time in eight games and send Germano to a sixth straight loss.
I believe the video speaks for itself, but if you're looking for confirmation on what exactly the guy is doing than yes, he is indeed making sexual gestures right behind home plate.The incident occurred during Monday night's Pittsburgh Pirates-Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. The fan has his fun on national television before security eventually comes and removes him shortly...
CHICAGO (AP) -- Drew Stubbs hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the 11th inning Wednesday night and Cincinnati beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 hours after Reds manager Dusty Baker left the ballpark for chest X-rays.
A team spokesman said the tests were to "rule out pneumonia." Bench coach Chris Speier brought the lineup card to home plate and there was no sign of the 63-year-old...
Ah the folly of youth.
To some guys, there's simply nothing more amusing than a pantomimed *******. I'm guessing that's because most guys who find that particular activity enjoyable have never been on the receiving end of an actual *******. 99.9% of the time, guys who enjoy showing off their air ******* skills usually have the decently to limit it to bars...
Dusty Baker reached another milestone in his long major league career Tuesday night when he managed his 3,000th game, guiding the Cincinnati Reds against one of his former teams, the Chicago Cubs.
Baker began his managerial career in 1993 with the San Francisco Giants and led them to the World Series in his final season there in 2002. He took over the Cubs in 2003 and got them within...
With today's 5-3 victory in Chicago over the Cubs, the Reds were able to:
+ Sweep the series.
+ Be the first team in MLB to clinch a playoff spot.
+ Trim their magic number to clinch the National League Central to two.
+ Allow Johnny Cueto to become the first Reds pitcher to win 18 games or more in a season since Pete Schourek in 1995.
+ Put themself in great...
Ask anyone around baseball what they think the 2012 Reds' biggest strength is and I would bet you my bottom dollar that majority of them would point towards the bullpen. Cincinnati's relief staff has been good this season, really good actually. And Dave Cameron of ESPN The Magazine is one of several national writers to take notice of this fact.
The Reds went a quiet 5-2 last week sweeping their NL Central rivals Pittsburgh essentially ending all hope of a division title for the Buccos. Despite losing 2 out of 3 to the Miami Marlins in the fishtank, the Reds managed to drop their Magic Number to 5 games giving them a chance to clinch a postseason birth this week potentially in Wrigley Field.
In this week’s show:
Dusty Baker was missing when the Cincinnati Reds became the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot. The main man in the dugout was sidelined Thursday for a second straight game after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.
''Obviously we won the last two games for him. We have him in our thoughts, but we got good news on his update,'' reliever Sean...
I’ve been to a lot of boring baseball games, and I’ve seen fans soldier through the lulls in action by reading books, playing video games and pretty much anything else besides “watching baseball”. Now, thanks to this clip from Deadspin, I’ve seen a guy pass the time by making ******* faces.It happened during Tuesday night’s weather-delayed game between the Chicago Cubs...
The Cincinnati Reds lowered their magic number to three with their extra innings win last night over the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates lost again and have fallen to 4.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot. They are in dangerous territory and may not even finish with a winning season. The Cardinals still hold a two game lead over the Dodgers for that final Wild Card spot thanks...