| Cincinnati Reds (11-12)
| Atlanta Braves (15-7)
|W: Santana (3-0) L: Bailey (1-2, 6.15 ERA, 3.08 xFIP)|
|Box Score | Play-by-Play | Photos | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability|
The Reds outhit the Braves. The last time I checked that doesn’t matter. But after falling behind 5-0, they’d have tied the game if the Braves’ clubhouse manager had given Freddie Freeman shoes one size smaller. Relentlessness factor: strongly positive. Joey Votto had two hits and a walk. Brandon Phillips had two hits. Zack Cozart had a hit and a key walk in the ninth inning.
The Reds pitching shut out the Braves over the last five innings. The last time I checked, that doesn’t necessarily matter either. Homer Bailey threw blanks for three innings, and then the bullpen team of J.J. Hoover, Sean Marshall and Nick Christiani added two more.
Homer Bailey gave up five runs in six innings of work. The killer blow was Justin Upton’s three run homer in the first inning. The game-winning run, however, scored on a mile-high pop-up that fell in for a hit because the Reds’ left fielder is sloooooow and the shortstop was playing in on the grass trying to stop a run at the plate. Evan Gattis was lunging out over the plate on an 0-2 count and Homer jammed him wicked with a fastball. The Braves got lucky there.
I borrowed the title for this post from a comment made at the end of the game by CharlotteNCRedsFan. I guess that makes it the ultimate game thread comment. Its full text was: Great effort just came up short. Now time to count up the wounded bodies. Boy oh boy. Now that I think about it, that could be the entire recap. Boy oh boy is right.
If you want to be the thousandth person to make a snarky comment about Homer Bailey’s pitching and his contract in the same breath, as though you’d evaluate a six-year contract on one month of work, go for it. Clever, you. But, that’s your right to do as a fan. It’s absolutely true Homer Bailey hasn’t pitched well in April. He also signed a big contract. Those thoughts belong in two different sentences, however.
But man, if you’re hung up on Homer tonight, are you missing the bigger picture.
Three Reds starters, Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco and Billy Hamilton left the game with possible injuries of varying degrees. The Hot Mes blew out a tire rounding third base and gutted out the last 50 feet to score. We aren’t worthy. Tucker Barnhart was a nice player the first week of the season, but he isn’t gonna hit .468/.509/.787 in any of our lifetimes. Mesoraco’s injury looked the most serious. It was hard to tell much about Frazier and Hamilton. Optimistically, Billy Hamilton might not be hurt and that was just a super-weird double switch.
For a roster generously described at the start of the season as tissue paper-thin to lose three starters is about a zillion times more important than Homer’s splitter not splitting far enough to Justin Upton. Horrifying doesn’t begin to describe the concept of Neftali Soto playing 3B for any length of time longer than five minutes. Boy oh boy.
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.