Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….
W: Simon (1-1)
L: Cishek (1-2)
— The Reds prevailed in their first extra-innings win this year, raising their record on the homestand to 5-1. They are now 10-8 overall, tied with St. Louis and a game ahead of Pittsburgh. The Marlins may not be good at baseball, but as yesterday showed, you can’t take wins for granted.
— Bronson Arroyo pitched eight strong innings, giving up two runs on six hits and one walk. He struck out six Marlins and finished the game recording ten straight outs.
— Joey Votto struggled to go 4-for-6 while hitting a home run and another RBI single. He’s struggled to a .305 average. His struggling on base percentage is approaching infinity.
— Shin-Soo Choo got on base in six of his seven at bats today, with three hits and three walks. He didn’t score any runs (see first Negative below) until the 13th inning. More Choo, please. Like four years at $60 million more.
— Devin Mesoraco, starting in place of Ryan Hanigan who was resting his sore left thumb, had two hits, walked once and scored a run. His growing confidence is obvious and a huge positive. Einstein said the future comes soon enough, but he’d never seen Dusty Baker manage.
— Brandon Phillips had a hit and drove in the game winning run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 13th inning.
— The bullpen combination of Aroldis Chapman, Sam LeCure and Alfredo Simon pitched four clean innings. J.J. Hoover also pitched a shutout inning.
— Zack Cozart, strategically placed in the batting order between Choo and Votto, was 0-for-6. Now batting .225. He’s walked twice in 72 plate appearances. It’s also an enormous possible negative that Cozart left the game after being hit by a pitch on the hand as he was trying to bunt in the 13th inning. Think of Cesar Izturis batting second. Commence holding breath. [UPDATE: X-Rays negative! Feel free to breathe again.]
— Chris Heisey went 2-for-6. The two hits went a total of 40 feet. The Reds’ starting LF is now hitting a whopping .177, plus he’s walked twice in 63 plate appearances.
— The Reds traded Wily Mo Pena for Bronson Arroyo during spring training in 2006. Since then, Arroyo has earned 19.3 WAR for the Reds, while Pena earned -0.3 for the Red Sox. Safe to say the home team won that trade. In seven seasons, Arroyo has made 237 consecutive starts for the Reds, winning 93 games. Today, he recorded his 1,000th strike out in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. Hats off to Bronson.
— I love it when Devin Mesoraco heads to the dugout before the ump has a chance to signal the third strike on the third out of an inning. Love it.
— If you were ever wondering about the difference between a broadcaster having a talent for play-by-play calls versus the ability to be an analyst, consider a certain Hall of Famer’s (name rhymes with Smarty) opinion yesterday that not only was Joey Votto struggling, but there “appeared to be no light at the end of the tunnel.”
— The same broadcaster loudly lamented today that “the Reds lead all of baseball in runners left on base.” That’s actually something to celebrate because it indicates the Reds are excellent at getting runners on base. The Reds are 11th in the majors in batting average with RISP, are 8th in baseball in OBP with RISP, and fifth in all of baseball in AVG with bases loaded. Most importantly, the Reds are third in the majors in runs scored. Harping on the raw number of runners left on base is about as brain dead as it gets.
TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS
— BenL: 1000 Ks for Arroyo as a Red. Love it. What a great acquisition he was.
— ColumbusRed: Hate the bunt with a force at 3rd, even with the pitcher up. Just got take your chances that Arroyo can avoid the double play
— Mwv: You don’t throw strikes to Joey Votto. Pitchers see Votto struggling and decide they can throw him more strikes. If you do that, Joey is going to make you pay. It’s just how good a hitter he is. The Marlins have been trying to throw inside against him this entire series. He has looked bad while they’ve done it. You can’t keep Joey down by doing the same thing over and over though. He’s just that good and he’ll keep proving it until we get right back to people not wanting to throw him strikes.
— AndyS: The 1976 Cincinnati Reds hold the all time NL record for runners left on base with 1328. That team was pretty good as I recall.
— Redgoggles: The way these teams are hitting the ball, Ludwick’s going to be eligible to pinch hit here soon.
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.