Fay: Reds' Wojciechowski steps up, gets first big league win

CINCINNATI — The guy with the 13-letter name saved the day for the Reds. It’s too early to say if saved the season. But Asher Wojciechowski stopped the spiral around the drain for at least one day.

Wojciechowski, unemployed until late April, got his first big league win in the Reds’ 12-8, comeback victory over the Colorado Rockies at Great American Ball Park. He allowed one hit over 3 2/3 innings.

“To be home a month ago, then to have this happen today is pretty remarkable,” Wojciechowski said. “I’m on cloud nine right now. It feels so good.”

The win snapped a seven-game losing streak. They could start another one tomorrow, but it was clear that some pitchers have to step up or this season is going to continue to go bad.

Wojciechowski did that for at least one day. He was brought from Louisville — he got the call at 1:30 Saturday morning — to save the weary bullpen.

He did a little more than that.

“Asher was sensational,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He came in attacking the strike zone. Again, it comes back to throwing it over the plate and opposing hitters let you know what you need to learn to pitch successfully at this level. And he did that. It was a really nice recipe for success.

“. . . He couldn’t have come up bigger and to come out and throw another scoreless inning, and do it again and then take himself into the ninth was beyond impressive in my opinion.”

The Reds signed Wojciechowski, a 29-year-old right-hander, after the Diamondbacks released him at the end of spring training. The signing did not happen immediately.

“I was home for three weeks and didn't have a job and just wondering what was going to happen,” Wojciechowski said. “Then the Reds gave me an opportunity and said they needed me to start in Triple-A, and next day I was there.”

Wojciechowski wasn’t just an available arm. He was the best available arm to save the bullpen. He was 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA in five starts for the Bats.

Saturday’s game went like a lot of the other on the skid. A bad start. The bullpen couldn’t douse the flames.

The Reds gave Wojciechowski the ball with club down 8-4.

He pitched a 1-2-3 sixth. After the Reds rallied for six in the bottom of the inning, they trusted Wojciechowski enough to continue. He came within one out of finishing the game.

Is it a season saver? Again, too early to say. But it’s hard to imagine any good would have some of the season if Wojciechowski hadn’t stepped up Saturday.

John Fay is a freelance sports columnist; this column represents his opinion. Contact him at johnfayman@aol.com.

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