|Cincinnati Reds (51-45)||3||7||0|
|New York Yankees (48-47)||4||8||3|
|W: Phelps (4-4) L: Leake (7-8)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score | Game Photos|
Help wanted When you depend on not one, but two home runs from a player who hadn’t hit a homer in over two months, or rely on the other team committing not one, but two errors on routine ground balls in the same inning, your offense isn’t gonna get it done. David Phelps is not Whitey Ford. Yet the Reds only managed six hits and one lousy walk off of him in six-plus innings.
High leverage pitching If you read the series preview, you knew about Dellin Betances and David Robertson. You knew the Reds needed to get the scoring thing taken care of before those guys came into pitch. Betances entered the game with a runner on first and one out and overmatched Billy Hamilton and Zack Cozart. Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco didn’t fare much better in the eighth.
Yankee manager Joe Girardi doesn’t hesitate to use his best pitcher multiple innings. He’s used Betances and Robertson 31 times for more than one inning. Bryan Price has used Aroldis Chapman that way twice.
Designated whiffer The Reds designated hitter, Ryan Ludwick was 0-for-4 with two pathetic strikeouts. At least it wasn’t Neftali Soto, who was the Reds’ DH when they played in Boston earlier this season. Soto has a career wRC+ of -60. Sure, other players went 0-for-4, but Ludwick looked particularly awful.
Unlucky Mike Leake wasn’t great. But three of the four runs scored against him got on base due to a hit-by-pitch, a routine ground ball that would have been ruled an error on Todd Frazier if the hitter wasn’t #2 and a 10-hopper opposite field ground ball.
Ghost ship The Ryou-Un Maru was a Japanese trawler that become disabled in the 2011 tsumani that struck the coast of Japan. It had no lights, no crew and no communications. It had drifted like a dead stick, all the way across the Pacific to the Gulf of Alaska where it was sunk more than a year later by cannon fire from the U.S. Coast Guard. I couldn’t stop thinking of the Ryou-Un Maru when I watched the Yankee lineup tonight: Jeter (40), Beltran (37), Ichiro (40), Teixeira (36), Roberts (36).
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.