9/6 LaHair’s big blast

Bryan LaHair hit three home runs in 2008 with the Mariners, but his two-run blast into the wind on Tuesday was an impressive and also fulfilling blast. LaHair connected with two outs in the ninth to tie the game at 2 and send it into extra innings. The Reds eventually won, 4-2, in 13 innings.

Cincinnati’s Mike Leake had given up one hit through eight innings, then Starlin Castro was safe on an infield single with two outs in the ninth before LaHair stepped up.

“Before my at-bat, I talked to [Carlos] Pena about how [Leake] was pitching him and he gave me some advice on some of the balls and the way they moved and those kind of things,” Lahair said. “My whole focus was to get a good pitch and hit it hard.”

He did just that. LaHair got ahead in the count 2-0, then launched the next pitch over the right field bleachers. Give Pena an assist.

“He’s been amazing since I walked in here,” LaHair said of the veteran first baseman. “He’s really made me feel comfortable and we’re just trying to feed off each other.”

The Cubs celebrated in the dugout. Leake had been tough up until then.

“It was an incredible moment,” LaHair said. “It’s always fun when you can do something like that and your team really appreciates it. It’s a good feeling.”

It was LaHair’s fourth career big league home run and first in the Majors since Sept. 20, 2008, at Oakland with the Mariners. It was LaHair’s 39th homer this season; he hit 38 with Triple-A Iowa.

— Carrie Muskat



Pena was a waste of money in 2011 regardless of LaHair being an option or not. No good GM blows 10 million for one year of babysitting first base during what everyone knew was a lost season. To even entertain bringing back Pena is ludicrous. It’s either gotta be rolling the dice with LaHair and putting MILLIONS of dollars toward starting pitching or going with Fielder. But to actually CHOOSE Pena for 10 million (or more?) over the low cost LaHair or the RBI machine REAL clean up hitter Fielder is crazy, just crazy. Play LaHair NOW, massage Pena’s ego and pack his bag with his .160 ba with RISP and wish him good luck getting a 3-4 year deal as a clean up hitter.

He had a good night, so I’m sure he’ll be rewarded with a couple days on the bench.

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