|Cincinnati Reds (9-11)
|Pittsburgh Pirates (9-12)
|W: Cueto (2-2, 1.38 ERA, 3.22 FIP) L: Volquez (1-1, 1.93 ERA, 3.01 FIP)|
|Box Score | Play-by-Play | Photos | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability|
With the win, the Reds evened up the series. Come Thursday night, the Pirates may look back and consider their good fortune yesterday that Ike Davis somehow managed to hit a home run on a Mike Leake pitch that broke his bat. Otherwise, they’d have been swept in this series.
Johnny Cueto has now faced the Pirates twice in 2014, throwing two complete games and allowing just one run and six hits in 18 innings. In the two games, Cueto has walked three and struck out 16. Kwaaay-toh … Kwaaay-toh …. indeed. In his five starts this year, the 28-year-old from the Dominican Republic has made it through at least seven innings, never giving up more than two runs or five hits.
The Reds had managed just one hit and one walk off of Edinson Volquez heading into the seventh inning. Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier lined singles into center field. Ryan Ludwick had a good at bat that ended with a long fly ball to right field, moving Bruce to third. Brayan Peña laced a single to right field, scoring Bruce. Peña was thrown out at 2B on an ill-advised attempt to stretch his hit into a double. With Johnny Cueto on deck and two outs, Clint Hurdle curiously decided to pitch to Zack Cozart. The Reds shortstop crushed a line drive down the left field line to score Frazier. Bruce added an RBI-single to right field to score Billy Hamilton from third base in the eighth inning. Bruce is 9 for his last 22 at bats. Cueto knocked in Peña with a single to right in the ninth inning to finish the scoring.
The Reds had nine hits in the last three innings. They kept alive their streak of scoring at least four runs, now in nine consecutive games.
Not so random thoughts
The early returns on “aggressive base running” have been decidedly negative thus far in 2014. Risky chances with bad outcomes seem a near nightly occurrence. The Reds lead the major leagues in outs made at the plate. Somehow the word “smart” needs to find its way into this philosophy. It doesn’t matter if Peña was safe tonight or if Bruce was safe last night. The situation dictated caution in both cases.
Outstanding bullpen management by the Reds tonight. I recommend more of this in the future.
Top game thread comments
CharlotteNCRedsFan: Pena was a nice signing by Walt.
DoubleNoHitter: Cueto has never thrown back-to-back complete games. But he did have two in the same month in July 2011.
PreacherJ: The combination of Pena’s ‘speed’ and Cueto’s ‘power’ extend the lead!
Sergeant2: The Cincinnati Cueto’s took care of business tonight. Good win for the Reds, might as well get another tomorrow.
CP: I watched the PIrates’ feed and their TV crew was excellent. They were amazingly positive the entire game. They spoke glowingly of Cueto. Nice change of pace!
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.