video thumbnail

CIN@CHC: Reds earn their 10,000th franchise win

CHICAGO -- The first professional franchise in baseball history has reached a milestone that only comes thanks to longevity and plenty of success.

The Reds, formed in 1882 as the Cincinnati Red Stockings, defeated the Cubs, 9-4, on Friday at Wrigley Field to become the sixth organization in Major League history to win 10,000 games.

The Giants, Cubs, Dodgers, Cardinals and Braves are the only others to reach the mark. The Yankees have the most all-time victories among American League teams, with 9,775.

"It's a lot of wins. There's only [six] that have that, so now we're the sixth," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "That means we've been around a long time, and that means they've done a lot of winning in the process."

Of the Reds' 10,000 wins, 9,451 have come in the National League. The other 549 were won from 1882-89, when the franchise was in the American Association.

"We're, what, the sixth franchise to do that?" said Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. "When you look at 30 different teams, to be one of six, it's a pretty cool thing, and to be a part of it is pretty special."

A four-run first inning and a quality start from right-hander Homer Bailey (1-2, 3.86 ERA) led to the monumental win, which came on a blustery day in Chicago. The game-time temperature was 42 degrees, and the wind blowing left to right at 17 mph -- and gusting up to 27 -- caused a 35-degree wind chill.

Prior to the game, Baker -- a former Cubs manager who knows a thing or two about playing in less-than-ideal weather conditions at Wrigley Field -- had a simple philosophy about how to make the series opener a success.

"You've got to make them earn it today," Baker said in his pregame media session. "Can't walk guys, put them on base. Got to make them earn it."

Bailey did just that, allowing only five hits and walking none in seven innings of work. He allowed four runs, but he was hampered by two errors. Only one of those runs was earned.

Cubs pitchers, meanwhile, walked six, and Chicago's defense committed three errors.

Bailey pitched with the lead from the onset as the Reds' offense quickly got to Cubs starter Chris Volstad (0-2, 6.19).

Five of the first six Reds batters reached base, with Stubbs beginning the rally and scoring on a Joey Votto single. Jay Bruce singled, and Scott Rolen walked to load the bases for Chris Heisey, who lined a two-run single up the middle. Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd charged the ball, which hit the palm of his glove and bounced away, allowing Rolen to advance to third and Heisey to second.

Willie Harris' grounder to Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair -- which could have been an inning-ending double-play ball had Heisey not advanced to second on Byrd's error -- brought home the Reds' final run of the inning.

The Cubs hung around but never seriously threatened, with a 4-2 deficit after three innings the closest they would come. Both of those runs came after an error by the left fielder Heisey -- who previously made a fully extended diving catch in the second to rob Ian Stewart of a hit.

With David DeJesus on second, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro belted a ball to left that would have easily been gone on even a normal windy day. Heisey raced to the base of the ivy, but the wind brought the ball back more than he had anticipated. Heisey turned his glove basket style to try to catch the ball, but he was unable to hang on, allowing DeJesus to score.

"It was unbelievable," LaHair said. "I think everybody hit about two balls hard. It's a tough break, a tough game. We've just got to keep doing it."

Castro later came home on a single by LaHair, but the Reds extended the lead to four in the next half-inning, when Stubbs ripped a two-run double -- his first of the year.

"The big hit of the game was Stubbs [making it] 6-2 after we just scored," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "That was kind of a backbreaker to that whole deal."

Bailey, while always thrilled for run support, said he had a difficult time staying loose while Reds batters strung together long innings. Although the right-hander said it often took him one or two batters each inning to get fully comfortable, he said he wanted to help keep the offense in its groove.

"I was trying to get out there, get back in the dugout as quick as I could, especially with the way we were swinging it today. Keep our guys warm," Bailey said.

Along with Stubbs -- who extended his hitting streak to six games -- catcher Devin Mesoraco and Bruce each knocked out two hits as the Reds put together back-to-back solid offensive games. Friday's win also was the club's first series-opening victory on its 10-game road trip, during which the Reds have gone 3-5 thus far.

With two more games remaining in Chicago, Baker said he's hoping to see Friday's offensive output continue.

"Just a good day for us to win it, and hopefully we can continue," Baker said. "We want to go home .500, and tomorrow's another day." Comments