| Cincinnati Reds (11-14)
| Atlanta Braves (17-7)
|W: Thomas (1-0) L: Hoover (1-3)|
|Box Score | Play-by-Play | Photos | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability|
Johnny Cueto continued his astonishing start to the 2014 season with a 3-hit performance over 8 innings. He has made six starts, throwing 47 innings. Cueto has struck out 50 and given up only 22 hits. He lowered his ERA to 1.15 and because of his new-found strikeout rate, the run-independent metrics love him, too. His FIP is 2.96 and xFIP is 2.78.
In two particularly dramatic situations, Cueto struck out Jason Heyward with two outs and runners on second and third in the fifth inning. In the sixth, Cueto struck out Dan Uggla to strand a runner at second.
Zack Cozart had a single and a walk. Ryan Ludwick had two hits.
The Reds offense struggled for the second consecutive game. It consisted largely of a bunt and popping-up the ball as high as possible and hoping the Braves fielders would lose it in the sky. From the second inning yesterday on, the Reds were shut out for 18 consecutive innings. In the two games, the Reds managed six hits and five walks. The Braves pitchers are good, but there are just too many gaps in the Reds lineup, particularly at the top, to expect consistent offense.
That said, the big hitters in the Braves lineup (Freeman, Justin Upton) came through in this series and the Reds big hitters (Votto, Bruce) didn’t. Freddie Freeman was the villain in today’s ten-inning loss.
Not so random thoughts
Bryan Price got thrown of the game in the first inning when he went on the field to complain about an instant replay review, which is forbidden. The Reds had appealed a pick-off ruling at first base. Homer Bailey was also thrown out over the incident. The replay seemed to show clearly that B.J. Upton was out at first base.
FWIW (nothing), I completely disagree with Marty crushing J.J. Hoover after the game. The Reds announcer said he thought the play on Upton’s ground ball through the box was easy and one that Hoover should have made. I thought the play was impossible and it was unlucky Hoover even got a glove on it. Otherwise it’s an easy third out by Brandon Phillips who was shaded to the middle of the field.
Top game thread comments
Tony Cloninger: Good thing they have an option for next year on Cueto. More time to figure out what Latos or where he is at…along with what the new cable contract will be.
eric nyc: The BABIP suggests (Cozart)’s still suffering from seriously bad luck. And I guess there have been instances of guys declining suddenly, I doubt you’ll find too many instances of a guy putting up consistent numbers throughout their minor league career, through 3 years of their major league career, and then losing 70 points of OPS+ overnight with no injuries. Now, he may not have a correction in the sense that he goes on a .300 hitting tear to bring his season numbers up to his norms, but there’s no reason to think he won’t at least start hitting like that 80 OPS+ guy again sooner than later and that’s fine for what he’s asked to do.
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.