Cincinnati Reds 4
Pittsburgh Pirates 3
WP: Marshall (5-5, 2.55 ERA)
LP: Hanrahan (5-2, 2.72 ERA)
S: Chapman (37)
• With the win, and a loss by the Washington Harpers, the Reds (96-63) would be tied with Washington for the best record in baseball and top seed in the postseason. The Harpers have the tie-breaker edge since they won the season series against the Reds.
• Joey Votto had two hits and knocked in his seventh run since coming off the DL. He has yet to hit a home run since his return. If I was the Reds manager, I’d have him batting leadoff in St. Louis and the postseason. His OBP in September is .528. If his knee prevents his power from returning until next year, I’d have him bat first and put Jay Bruce in the three hole. Of course, if JoeyMVP hits a few home runs in St. Louis. Great. And never mind.
• Johnny Cueto pitched well today, giving up only one earned run, a home run to Andrew McCutchen. He was victimized by two unearned runs that followed a Votto error at first base. Cueto gave up six hits, struck out six and walked one. He deserved his 20th win.
• Sam LeCure and Sean Marshall combined for a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
• Xavier Paul hit a game-tying home run in the top of the ninth inning.
• For the second game in a row, Ryan Ludwick had a pinch-hit double. Luckwick, nursing a groin injury, was initially on the lineup card today, but was scratched because of the rain and fear of slippery ground.
• Zack Cozart delivered the game-winning double down the left field line in the ninth inning.
• Miguel Cairo continued his poor defensive play, muffing an easy play at 3B and botching a routine rundown. If he makes the postseason roster it will have to be based on something other than his offensive contribution or defense.
• Brandon Phillips left the game with “tightness in a leg muscle” which he seemed to aggravate rounding second base early in the game. It didn’t seem serious. But it sure would be nice to have our regular lineup in a couple of the games in St. Louis.
• Aroldis Chapman gave up two walks and a single before striking out the last two hitters. He was aided by terrible base running. His velocity was fine, nothing to worry about.
• The Pirates (77-82) will complete their twentieth consecutive season with a losing record. After mid-season echos of the 1970s, the Pirates folded through August and September. Arrrrrmagedon turned into yaaaaaawn. Pete Rose and Willie Stargell into Wilson Valdez and Clint Barmes. After all their tough talk, they never retaliated for the HBP. Enjoy watching us in the postseason, Pirates.
TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS
• Mwv: Super Todd! Another crazy swing to the left side for the run.