|Cincinnati Reds (11-11)
|Pittsburgh Pirates (9-14)
|W: Cingrani (2-2, 2.86 ERA, 3.41 FIP) L: Cumpton (0-1) S: Broxton (4)|
|Box Score | Play-by-Play | Photos | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability|
With the win the Reds take the series from the Pirates 3-1. That’s three straight series wins and 5 of 7 against the Pirates in the past ten days. With this 5-2 start on the road trip and three-game winning streak, the Reds have evened their record at 11-11 as they head to first-place Atlanta for a three-game series this weekend.
Ryan Ludwick (.293/.354/.431) drove in both runs for the Reds, taking a Brandon Cumpton fastball deep into left center field. Joey Votto and Todd Frazier were on base due to being hit by pitches. Manager Bryan Price’s decision to start Joey Votto during Brandon Phillips’ at bat avoided a certain 6-4-3 double play.
For the second game in a row, a Reds starting pitcher struggled in the first inning. But despite throwing 32 pitches, Tony Cingrani allowed the Pirates only run on a walk and an
error by Brandon Phillips infield single. Cingrani, in what was his first start against the Pirates, settled down to finish six innings, striking out seven, walking two and giving up a streak-snapping sixth hit. The close-up camera caught a vintage Cingrani snarl in the bottom of the sixth as the pitcher faced his final hitter with two runners on base.
The bullpen pitched three shutout innings. Logan Ondrusek looked sharp, retiring the top of the Pirates order, including Andrew McCutchen to end the seventh. Sam LeCure needed just 11 pitches to strike out the side in the eighth. It was LeCure’s second appearance in a row and his fastball sat consistently at 88 mph, once reaching 89. Jonathan Broxton pitched a clean ninth. The pen has acquitted itself fabulously the past two games.
Chris Heisey and Todd Frazier made a couple nice defensive plays. Heisey saved a run in the second inning with two plays. One held Chris Stewart to a single and the second was a diving catch in right-center to rob Starling Marte of extra bases.
Brandon Phillips had a shaky series defensively. Pittsburgh’s one run today scored from second base on the kind of ground ball that Phillips has handled easily. The scorer ruled it a hit, though, for now.
Not so random thoughts
Let’s hope Ike Davis doesn’t show up in Atlanta wearing a Braves uniform this weekend.
The Reds came within a stupid broken-bat home run from sweeping the four-game series in Pittsburgh. I know any series is just a snapshot of a long season, but the Pirates sure don’t seem like the team they were at the end of 2013. That’s not to say they aren’t dangerous or won’t be in contention at the end of the year. But for the moment, I’m a lot more worried about Milwaukee than I am Pittsburgh.
The Reds streak of ten games scoring at least four runs came to an end. They managed just five hits and two walks. On the other hand, it was a one-run win, as that number for the Reds starts to even out.
Top game thread comments
Al: Brewers are off today, STL is down 2-1 in the 7th. A loss for them puts us .5 games back of second place.
YorktownRed: Lower the Jolly Roger. Nice series win.
CI3J: Take the walk they are trying so hard to give you.
JDX19: It will be interesting to see if the defensive metrics this year will line up with all of our eye tests. To me, BP is clearly failing on many plays he would have easily made the in the past.
Sergeant2: Ludwick is due for a HR. (comment in second inning)
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.