|Cincinnati Reds (43-40)||0||3||0|
|San Diego Padres (37-47)||3||7||0|
|W: Ross (7-8) L: Cueto (8-6)|
|Fangraphs Win Probability | The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score | Game Photos|
The Padres scored all three runs in the first inning on soft hits that fell in. Johnny Cueto has enjoyed above-average fortune with that for most of the year, but not today. (Cueto’s BABIP this game was .368, compared to .221 for the year and .276 for his career.) After the Padres loaded the bases with one out, it looked like Cueto would work out of the threat by retiring Will Venable on a fly ball to Jay Bruce for the second out. Bruce’s arm deterred the runner from attempting to advance from third.
Then backup catcher Rene Rivera lifted a “dying quail” (Padres announcers) to short right-center field. Billy Hamilton didn’t get a good break and took a drifting backward course even though the ball was in front of him. But Hamilton’s great closing speed still allowed him to get to the play. He dove full-out and the ball hit just off the heel of his glove. (video here) It’s the kind of spectacular play we’re used to seeing Hamilton make. But today, he missed it. A good throw might have prevented the third run but Hamilton’s peg drifted up the third base line.
Johnny Cueto pitched well the rest of way, striking out eight, but he did allow three walks.
The real culprit, obviously, was the lack of offense. The Reds were shut out for the second time in this series and managed only three hits.
Tyson Ross had the ninth worst walk-rate in the National League coming into today’s game. The Reds drew nary a free pass against the tall right-hander. I can’t remember a hitter working a three-ball count, although I’m sure someone must have. Ross was superb and the few line drives the Reds managed (Bruce twice, Heisey, Pena) mostly found their way to Padres’ gloves.
The Reds, with a couple exceptions, played like a team worn out from a long road trip. The schedule put enough wear-and-tear on the team that Bryan Price felt the need to rest Joey Votto and Devin Mesoraco even with a day off tomorrow. Milwaukee lost again today, so you can safely classify the past three days as a missed opportunity. But the Brewers limp into GABP this weekend for a Fourth of July weekend series starting Friday. We’ll see a different Reds team then.
Ramon Santiago (.196/.274/.214) was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Brandon Phillips’ OBP is .297.
MLB announced today that Billy Hamilton was named N.L. Rookie of the Month for June. I’ll be surprised if that’s the last time he wins that award this year.
The Reds traded Jair Jurrjens, who had been pitching for Louisville, to Colorado for Double-A first baseman, Harold Riggins. Riggins is 24 years old and right-handed. He doesn’t appear in any prospects rankings for the Rockies that I could find, including one from March of their top 38. The Reds aren’t looking at Riggins as a player who could help the major league club, but as organizational depth. His acquisition could foreshadow the club promoting first basemen up the chain, with an eye toward putting Joey Votto back on the disabled list. Doug Gray has more details and analysis.
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.