|Cincinnati Reds (43-40)||2||10||2|
|San Diego Padres (37-47)||8||16||0|
|W: Kennedy (6-9) L: Leake (6-7)|
|Fangraphs Win Probability | The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score | Game Photos|
Mike Leake didn’t have one of his best nights, but he wasn’t awful, either. He was the victim of a bunch of ground ball hits that contributed to the second and third runs the Padres scored. But Leake did give up a home run in the first inning and four doubles. He struck out four and didn’t walk anyone. The Reds were still in it when Leake left, before the rusty bullpen set the game on fire.
The Reds faced good pitching for the second night in a row. Ian Kennedy is having an excellent season. His ERA coming into tonight (4.02) was deceptive based on a high BABIP (.324). His more advanced metrics (xFIP 3.12, SIERA 3.10) told a more accurate story of how well he had pitched. The Reds saw that tonight.
Ramon Santiago (.212/.293/.231) has seemingly been reduced to leaning out over the plate and trying to get hit by a pitch, even on called strike three. In 61 plate appearances, Santiago has exactly one extra base hit. His performance shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s how he’s hit since 2011. Your craptastic bench, Reds fans, courtesy of Walt Jocketty.
Logan Ondrusek made it all the way to the fourth batter he faced before he walked someone. Progress. Of course, he had given up a base hit and home run before that. It’s obvious to any sober observer that Ondrusek has no control over his pitches because he overthrows every one. Again, this shouldn’t be a surprise as Logan Ondrusek has been a bad relief pitcher since … forever, really.
It’s a good thing the Reds are still carrying eight pitchers in the bullpen. That way they can go long stretches without pitching and be ineffective when they do appear. Seriously, Ondrusek hadn’t pitched in eight days. Hoover in seven days. Carlos Contreras in ten (!) days. And Manny Parra hadn’t pitched for ELEVEN days. Someone wake up Walt Jocketty and let him know the bullpen crisis has been over for the entire road trip. If the bullpen had been competent tonight, the little ninth inning rally might have meant something.
Meanwhile, the bench is full of gritty stiffs, like Ramon Santiago, Skip Schumaker and Ryan Ludwick, and is one player short.
Joey Votto can’t stop from falling to his knees when he swings and misses because his left leg can’t hold his weight. First of all, even on one leg, he’s a much better hitter than Brayan Peña, so he should continue to play. But he shouldn’t be batting third. Isn’t the #3 hitter supposed to be the best on your team, someone who can hit with power? Votto is obviously no longer that player. There’s no shortage of proper alternatives – either Jay Bruce or Devin Mesoraco.
That Devin Mesoraco, who hit another home run tonight, is batting sixth on this team is absurd and seriously makes me wonder about Bryan Price.
The Brewers and Cardinals lost. Silver lining.
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.