Reds starter Mike Leake knew coming into Saturday's game that he was going to get every chance to go deep, with little or no concern about a quick hook.

Not only because the bullpen couldn't have absorbed another game like Friday's, but neither could the manager, the fans or any extraterrestrials who had picked up the TV signal in outer space.

Leake (5-6) responded, pitching eight hits of four-hit, six-strikeout and (most importantly) two-walk ball in the 11-1 victory Saturday before 42,530 fans at Great American Ball Park.


This was the day after Reds pitchers walked nine, a "walk"-off experience Friday that deserves to "day of infamy" status more for the free passes than the four home runs the Blue Jays hit.

The Jays hit only one home run Saturday (Colby Rasmus in the seventh) to cut the Reds deficit to 8-1. It was actually refreshing, because Leake was attacking the strike zone there. He said he hadn't given himself any sort of a pep talk Saturday morning – "I'm not much of a walk guy; I never think of walks," he said – but Reds manager Bryan Price had pitching coach Jeff Pico let Leake know exactly what was on the line Saturday.

"Not that we had to have that conversation with Mike," Price said. "Everybody knew what was going on."

There was probably a little more hangover Saturday from Friday among the fans than the players, only because the fans tend to live-and-die over each game whereas the players are more 162-oriented. On the other hand, the embarrassment level for players is a lot more real the most fans imagine.

The past two games – Friday with the Reds up 8-0 after two, Saturday with them up 8-0 after four – made for strange out-of-body experiences in both, the former watching the lead evaporate, the latter watching the lead build, the eeriness of it heightened by the déjà vu potential.

Devin Mesoraco, who knows a little about repeat scenarios, being that he's from Punxutawney, Pa., home of the original Groundhog Day, quoted a sage from the past in trying to make sense of winning the game 11-1 Saturday, the day after losing 14-9.

"Dusty (Baker) always said, 'Momentum's only as good as the next day's starting pitcher,' " said Mesoraco, who hit a 3-run homer in the 7th inning Saturday to build the lead to 11-1.

That sort of thing is never unappreciated, especially by those who were around the game four years ago in Atlanta, the game everybody was invoking Friday night, because in that game in Atlanta, the Reds blew a 9-3 lead in the ninth to lose 10-9, in a game they had led 8-0 at one point also.

"Being able to put runs on the board early and keep adding on was nice," Mesoraco said.

It's something that sometimes get lost in trying to understand the dynamics of a baseball game, because there are some games in which once a starter leaves and a bullpen starts to implode - nothing is going to stop it, and other times when one's offense hits like they never forgot how.

That was the case Friday and Saturday, respectively.

There was almost a game within a game Saturday, as the Reds hitters appeared determined to not give anything away, not at-bats, not opportunities, and not even groundballs through any holes. Leake took one off the body, Joey Votto made a sweet backhand and running pivot deep in the first/second-base hole, uncorking a strike to Leake covering, and day-game-after-night-game shortstop Ramon Santiago made a series of fine plays. Third baseman Todd Frazier made a nice charging play in the ninth to preserve Carlos Contreras' 1-2-3 major league debut in the ninth.