CINCINNATI -- Sam LeCure knows his role as a long relief man. If the Reds right-hander enters a game, usually it's because a starter exited early.
"I haven't pitched much, which is good for the team," LeCure said. "It means our starters are going deep. I have to swallow my pride a bit. But that's the way it goes."
LeCure, who has allowed nine earned runs in 19 1/3 innings, tossed two scoreless innings in Saturday night's victory, with a walk and three strikeouts. "It felt really good," he said.
LeCure has been a workhorse this season, pitching more than one inning in 14 appearances, and two innings on six occasions. With the Reds starting staff pitching well, LeCure hasn't had many opportunities to work on things in game situations.
"He's a team man," said Reds manager Dusty Baker of LeCure. "If he's pitching a lot, things aren't going well."
The mustachioed LeCure said he's tabled his personal frustrations and has enjoyed being a spectator for the Reds' team success, and the success of his bullpen mates.
"We know we can be the best bullpen in the National League," LeCure said. "We all pull for each other, and push each other. I've felt like I'm the caboose, bringing up the rear."