| Cincinnati Reds (21-24)
| Washington Nationals (24-22)
|W: Simon (6-2) L: Roark (3-2) S: Chapman (3)|
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Alfredo Simon continues to defy the odds. He gave up five hits and one walk, striking out six over seven innings. The one run Simon gave up was on his second pitch of the game. He’s now pitched 58 innings in 2014. Simon averaged 73 innings the previous two years pitching out of the bullpen.
Jonthan Broxton rallied against the top of the Nationals lineup to throw a shutout eighth inning after allowing Denard Span a lead-off single. Chris Welsh referred to “562 pounds of right-handed muscle” referring to Broxton following Simon to the mound. Aroldis Chapman pitched a clean ninth to earn his third save.
Zack Cozart had three more hits. Time to change the narrative on him. Brandon Phillips had two hits and drove in a run. Todd Frazier walked twice.
Jay Bruce was activated from the DL today, just two weeks after surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee, yet he didn’t start. My guess is that Bruce was available for emergency use only today, given the reported injury to Ryan Ludwick. Otherwise, Bruce would have been activated on Friday for the Cardinals series.
Joey Votto was placed on the disabled list. Votto did not accompany the Reds on the road trip. His DL assignment is backdated to May 16, which means Votto will miss the St. Louis series this weekend, the Dodgers series in LA next week and the first part of the Arizona series to complete the road trip. Here’s hoping the Reds come up with solutions to first base other than Neftali Soto and Todd Frazier.
Not so random thoughts
Bryan Price held an impromptu meeting in the dugout before the fourth inning that reminded me of a scene with Al Pacino in the film Any Given Sunday.
When the Reds left for Philadelphia without Joey Votto, already down Jay Bruce, even the sturdiest Reds fan would have been satisfied with a split of the six games on the road trip. And there were ugly moments. But a split is exactly what they did. The Phillies and Nationals teams aren’t what they have been, but who cares. Bryan Price’s team proved quite resilient these two series.
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.