Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle…
Cincinnati Reds 5
Pittsburgh Pirates 0
WP: Latos (2-2, 4.93 ERA)
LP: Morton (1-3, 4.61 ERA)
• While it took Mat Latos a half-inning to realize the calendar had turned from April to May, in his best game of the year, the 24-year-old from Alexandria, VA, struck out eleven (career high), gave up only two hits, and shut out the Pirates over six innings. More of this, please.
• Drew Stubbs scored three of the Reds five runs and got on base four times. His home run (3) drove in Zack Cozart who was clogging the bases after drawing a walk. Stubbs also had a walk, two singles and a stolen base. Someone ought to look into the question of whether there is a correlation between getting on base and scoring runs.
• Todd Frazier (.389, OPS: 1.365) made a solid case for playing time at Louisville with a home run, a double and another hard hit ball to right field that Jose Tabata stuck out his glove and caught on the run. Maybe most importantly, in the first inning, with the bases loaded and one out, Frazier dove to his right to rob Casey McGehee of an extra base hit, saving 2-3 runs. Marty initially announced that Scott Rolen had made the play. Later, Jeff Brantley described it as Rolenesque.
• JJ Hoover, (0.00 ERA) pitching in his hometown of Pittsburgh, continued to look sharp on the mound. He struck out two. The two runners who reached base on him hit routine ground balls. One reached on an error by SS Zack Cozart. The other, a single by Tabata, trickled over second base and barely into CF. Hoover had great command of both his fastball (94 mph) and breaking ball.
• Aroldis Chapman pitched 1.1 clean innings, with 2 Ks. He’s now thrown 14 2/3 innings without giving up a run. He’s allowed five hits. He has struck out 25 and walked only 4. He’s pitched more than 1 innings five times. Look! Up in the sky!
• Reds pitchers struck out the Pirates 17 times.
• Clean-up hitter Brandon Phillips (.215) hit into a double play, but he hit from the right side of the plate.
• Key-situational hitter, Willie Harris (.086) weakly grounded out to 2B, but he hit from the left side of the plate.
• The Reds won the series against the Pirates 2-1 and moved a game back above .500 as they head to Milwaukee for a three-game series.
• Going into today’s game, Dusty Baker had a 335-339 record (.497) as manager of the Reds. It’s the identical
winning losing percentage he had with the Cubs. Baker has managed 18 full seasons in a league of 16 teams and won one league pennant (2002, SF Giants).
• Friend and fellow Reds fan, Tony Liao, points out that with Chapman’s 10 consecutive scoreless appearances he only has 23 more to go to catch Arthur Rhodes.
• Top game thread comment (lookatthathat): Frazier is having himself a baseball game.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.