|Pittsburgh Pirates (49-46)
|Cincinnati Reds (51-44)
|W: J. Cueto (10-6) L: F. Liriano (1-7) S: A. Chapman (21)|
|Box Score | Stats | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability|
Chris Heisey’s hustle all the way into second base on a pop fly to the RF line, followed by a Devin Mesoraco walk paid huge dividends when Kris Negron slipped the surly bonds of earth to the delight of 35,022 in attendance.
Billy Hamilton followed shortly thereafter with a drive that hit the padding painted with the yellow line in left field so hard it momentarily turned blue. Hamilton would not score, but it left me thinking where this power surge from Billy’s bat has come from. The book on Hamilton was that he was a lightweight hitter who could be successfully busted inside.
That book is in the process of being re-written.
Three innings later, Jay Bruce would walk and Mesoraco would bring him all the way around on a double to deep left center field.
Heisey had three hits today. Mesoraco had two and is now batting .304 / .375 / .609.
Jumbo Diaz and Jonathan Broxton each pitched hitless innings in relief.
Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth. He’s now pitched 30 innings 95 games into the season. We need to see more of Mr. 106 in the remaining 67 games. Amirite?
In the bottom of the 4th, with the bases loaded, one out, and a 2-0 count, Todd Frazier decided that taking an ugly swing at a ball out of the strike zone was the credible thing to do. Even if Todd didn’t know that Liriano had already walked six in the game, he should have known that having walked the two previous batters, the Pirate starter was struggling mightily with his control. Once he took a called strike a pitch later on a backdoor breaking ball, he was basically swinging defensively for the rest of the at bat. Just shows how one poor choice can define an at bat. Two innings later, Frazier would hit his 19th homer of the year. Just goes to show how one swing can define a day.
Zack Cozart uncharacteristically made two errors today.
Not so random thoughts …
“Hang with us. We’re coming.”
This was Todd Frazier’s postgame comment after his walk-off double on May 4th sealed a 3 out of 4 series win against the team who owned the best record in baseball: the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cincinnati Reds Baseball Club is now as far north of .500 as they have been all season. Five Reds are headed for the All Star Game in Minnesota (none of them named Bruce or Votto). The Big 162 says make preconceived judgments at your peril. I mean, Kris Negron. You can’t make this stuff up.
After the rain delay, Johnny Cueto came within a foot of giving up the lead when McCutchen drove a ball into the right field corner that fell about a foot to the foul side of the field—then fanned the 2013 MVP with a 96 mph fastball.
Game of inches, huh?
There will surely be considerable trade talk over the break. But if you really want to see Jocketty go after Alfonso Soriano or Dan Uggla, you are arguing for change simply for change’s sake. Because nothing either of these guys have done lately suggests they could help he Reds the way the current roster is doing.
The Daily Billy: at the All Star Break, Billy is hitting .285 with an OBP of .319. He’s had 30 extra base hits so far: 19 doubles, 6 triples and 5 home runs. Oh yeah, AND he’s playing Gold Glove center field. How much would you have put down in Vegas on that happening back on Opening Day?
More on Johnny Beisbol from Nick:
Johnny Cueto finishes the 1st half with the best ERA (2.13) since 1975, and the best WHIP (0.89) since 1944 by a #Reds SP (min 100 IP).
— Nick Kirby (@Nicholaspkirby) July 13, 2014
My Knob Creek Player of the Game: Kris Negron.
I had nice week in Cincinnati watching the Reds club the Cubs at GABP. Now, five days until the Reds follow me home to Yankee Stadium.
And that’s enough.
Father. Iowa born, Kentucky raised, NYC finished. I write about baseball. I wonder what Willie Shakespeare would have written had he met Willie Mays. Richard resides in protective custody at an undisclosed location in New Jersey.