|Cincinnati Reds (35-36)||3||8||0|
|Pittsburgh Pirates (35-37)||4||12||1|
|W: Wilson (2-0) L: Cingrani (2-8)|
|Fangraphs Win Probability | The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score | Game Photos|
Devin Mesoraco celebrated his 26th birthday by hitting a home-state, ninth-inning solo shot that tied the game. Before that, the Reds previously hot bats had been fairly quiet, with only five hits and one walk. Both early runs had scored on sacrifice flies. [If someone mentions that Joey Votto hasn’t hit a home run since he’s been back, you can point out he did hit two balls today that would have been out in GABP.]
Billy Hamilton continued to play impressive defense in centerfield, using his speed to cover lots o’ground. In the ninth inning, he stole a game-winning hit from Travis Snider, jumping up against the fence to make the catch.
The seventh inning bullpen collective pitched 2.1 shutout innings. Sam LeCure came up extra-large in the sixth, retiring rookie Gregory Polanco after a 35-minute rain delay with bases loaded. Logan Ondrusek pitched a clean seventh and got an out in the eighth, including giving up no walks! Manny Parra was on the mound for the final two outs.
Bryan Price brought in Aroldis Chapman to relieve Jonathan Broxton and face the dreaded (heh, first one to ever do that) Andrew McCutchen in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and in a non-save situation. It was a pro-active move by Price to use Chapman in a situation outside his usual role. Overall, this was a pretty fantastic managing day for Price with respect to pulling pitchers.
The 2013 MVP watched Aroldis Chapman’s 88-mph change-up sail right over the middle of the plate for the last out of the ninth inning with a runner on second. I’m not sure “lay off Chapman’s off-speed stuff” is viable going forward. AndrewMVP must not be reading Redleg Nation faithfully. Chapman threw a 2-0 change-up for a strike against Josh Harrison, who he struck out on a 3-2 slider. Chapman whiffed all four batters he faced.
Tony Cingrani worked around a lead-off double in the twelfth inning.
Another mixed day for Homer Bailey. He retired the first nine batters in order on 31 pitches. Even after allowing two runners on base in the fourth he struck out Josh Harrison on a 95-mph fastball. But in the fifth, he gave up a run on a balk when he slipped on the mound and then two more on singles by Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen. In the sixth inning, he once again seemed poised to escape trouble, but with two outs he inexplicably surrendered his only walk to Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke after getting ahead 0-2. He was lifted at that point after pitching 5.2 innings.
Jonathan Broxton walked two batters in his .2 innings of work. He’s pitched well this year. Prior to today Broxton had given up only one run and eight hits in 22 innings. It should be noted that he’s been lucky as well as good, giving up many hard hit balls that found friendly gloves. His BABIP is .143 (career .303). He’s only striking out 19% of the batters he faces, so hitters are putting balls in play.
While getting base 3 out of 5 times, base running was Super Todd’s kryptonite, twice giving up his out.
Cingrani hit, balk, walk, HBP, walk in the thirteenth.
Not so random thoughts
Even though a sweep would have been nice, the Reds did win the series and went 4-2 on the road-trip against NL Central foes.
FanGraphs had the game score wrong after the fifth inning, crediting the Pirates with only two runs. They missed Bailey’s balk. Can Bryan Price appeal that if FanGraphs didn’t get it, that it didn’t happen?
The singles by both Barmes and Chris Stewart in the pivotal fifth inning were called “lob shots” by Chris Welch and Jeff Brantley said “if you added them together you wouldn’t get a decent fly ball.”
Major League Baseball notified the Reds and Pirates this afternoon that last night’s call overruling the home plate umpire on Devin Mesoraco’s slide at the plate was a mistake. Mesoraco was initially called out. Then upon review, it was determined that Russell Martin, the Pirates’ catcher, violated the new rule that home plate cannot be blocked without the ball. MLB said today that the application of the rule was inappropriate.
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.