| Cincinnati Reds (15-17)
| Boston Red Sox (16-17)
|W: Breslow (1-0) L: Ondrusek (0-2)|
|Box Score | Play-by-Play | Photos | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability|
Skip Schumaker had his first two hits as a member of the Reds, including an RBI single in the second inning. Todd Frazier singled, walked, scored a run and drove one in. Ryan Ludwick had a hit off the left field wall, a walk and drove in the Reds’ third run with a sacrifice fly. Brandon Phillips had a walk (!), two hits and scored a run. Zack Cozart had two more hits, bringing his batting average above .200.
Joey Votto hit a single, walked and scored a run. His OBP is .425 (yawn) and he’s fifth in the major leagues in that category. One of the players he trails is Shin-Soo Choo, who’s OBP is .491. Votto’s OBP with runners in scoring position is .517. But please ignore that statistic because, among other reasons, it’s based on a really tiny number of at bats this early in the year.
J.J. Hoover, who pitched for the first time in May, threw a 1-2-3 seventh inning, retiring the middle of the Red Sox lineup. He gave up a single to Grady Sizemore in the eighth inning before striking out the next batter. Manny Parra retired the three batters he faced, including two strike outs. Sam LeCure did let three runners on base, but also recorded five outs.
Tucker Barnhart nailed Dustin Pedroia on a stolen base attempt in the bottom of the ninth.
St. Louis and the Brewers lost tonight.
The Reds failed to turn an easy double play in the first inning, allowing the Red Sox to score their first run. Without that run the game never reaches extra innings. Zack Cozart missed touching second base by a couple of inches.
Homer Bailey struggled with his command in several of his six innings, walking a season-high five. Two of the three runners who scored against him got on base via the walk and one of them was walked in with bases loaded. On the other hand, Bailey avoided a big inning, didn’t surrender a home run and kept the Reds in the game. He struck out five. Homer threw his slider more than usual tonight and hardly threw his splitter at all.
The Reds had their chances to score more runs, leaving ten runners on base.
The Reds TWICE sent Billy Hamilton to the plate, when all he can do is bunt. The Red Sox likely knew this, as the odds are high that someone in their organization can read. It was widely reported earlier today that Hamilton tried to swing a bat and literally dropped it. Not only does using Hamilton this (ineffective) way continue to re-set his DL date, if that becomes necessary, but it’s the most pathetic use of the Designated Hitter in the history of the rule. Mike Leake is a great bunter, is fast and can, you know, hold on to the bat so the defenders can’t stand ten feet from home plate. He’s also hit a home run this year.
Just as Marty Brenneman was opining with great certitude that Grady Sizemore would surely be bunting in the bottom of the twelfth, the former Cleveland center fielder drove the ball off Logan Ondrusek to deep left field to knock in the winning run.
Not so random thoughts
I don’t know about your browser, but when I type the words “game six” into Google Chrome, the third prompt is “1975 world series.” I’m not sure why it isn’t first. On October 21, 1975, the Reds and Red Sox played one of the iconic games in Major League Baseball history. Carlton Fisk’s home run in the bottom of the twelfth inning is so memorable, plenty of smart people think the Red Sox won the series. Sparky Anderson used eight pitchers that game, pulling starter Gary Nolan after just two innings. Stupid twelfth inning.
The Atlanta Braves won their first game since they swept the Reds in Atlanta over a week ago, defeating the Cardinals after losing seven in a row.
With Zack Cozart on second base, Tucker Barnhart hit a ball to deep right field in the eighth inning that would have been in the fifth row of Great American Ball Park. In Fenway, it was a long fly ball out by a couple of feet.
Tonight was the Reds’ first game in Fenway Park since June 15, 2005. The winning pitcher that night was Bronson Arroyo, who started for the Boston Red Sox. Arroyo struck out eight Reds in seven innings, including Wily Mo Peña twice, who was batting clean up for the Reds. Peña would be traded for Arroyo the following off season. Ken Griffey Jr. scored the lone run for the Reds that night, knocked in by Adam Dunn. The Red Sox offense was led by David Ortiz, who drove in three runs.
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.