|Atlanta Braves (68-63)||3||9||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (63-68)||5||10||0|
|W: Simon (13-8) L: Harang (10-8)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score | Game Photos|
The Cincinnati Reds have won back to back games, after going 0-7 in the previous six days. Alfredo Simon gave the Reds seven strong innings of 1-run baseball, and the Reds offense scored 5+ runs for the first time since Monday. The Reds bullpen tried their hardest to give this game away, as the Braves loaded the bases down two runs in the ninth, but Broxton was able to wiggle out of the jam.
Biggest Play of the Game
According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Jonathan Broxton getting Justin Upton to ground into a fielders choice to end the game. The play increased the Reds chances of winning by 13.7% (from 86.3% to 100.0%).
Other important plays (+/- indicates how much each play increased or decreased the Reds chances of winning):
- +10.1% – 4th inning: Pena RBI single. Reds lead 2-0. Runners on 1st & 3rd, 2 outs.
- +7.9% – 4th inning: Cozart RBI single. Reds lead 3-0. Runners on 1st & 2nd, 2 outs.
- +7.4% – 4th inning: Bruce singles, bases loaded with 1 out.
- +6.7% – 4th inning: Phillips single, runners on 1st & 2nd with 1 out.
- +6.2% – 2nd inning: Simon gets Harang to ground out to end the inning. Runners stranded on 2nd & 3rd.
- -7.0% – 9th inning: Broxton walked Freeman to load the bases with 2 outs.
- -6.4% – 4th inning: Mesoraco flies out for the first out. Runners on 1st & 2nd.
- -5.1% – 2nd inning: Ludwick grounded into an inning ending double play.
Player of the Game
Alfredo Simon: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 2.28 FIP, 0.28 WPA
Alfredo Simon pitched really well today for the Redlegs. It was the first time in five starts that Simon made it into the 6th inning, and he recorded just his second quality start since the All-Star Game. He did an excellent job mixing speeds, and keeping the Braves hitters off balance, as noted by C. Trent.
Alfredo Simon’s first pitch to Jason Heyward was 93, 2nd 61, 3rd 91. #Reds
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) August 24, 2014
Todd Frazier hit his 22nd HR of the season in the 7th inning. It was the first HR by a Reds player since Tuesday against the Cardinals. Frazier is now 12th all-time in HR by a Reds 3B (minimum of 50% of games played at 3B).
Jumbo Diaz got out of Parra’s mess in the 8th inning. He struck out Upton and Johnson, stranding runners on 1st and 3rd. Diaz has been very impressive in a small sample this season (2.74 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 0.91 WHIP). Diaz strikeout rate of 10.17 K/9 is very nice.
Jay Bruce had a 2-hit afternoon.
Manny Parra was only able to get 1 of the 3 batters he faced in the 8th inning out. Parra continues to struggle this season (4.36 ERA, 4.19 FIP, 1.52 WHIP). His biggest problem this year has been the walks. Parra has walked 16 batters in 33.0 IP (4.36 BB/9).
Billy Hamilton went 0 for 4, and his OBP has now dropped all the way down to .296. Hamilton has really slowed down offensively in the second half, as he entered play today hitting .228/.254/.301 with a 48 wRC+ since the All-Star break.
Logan Ondrusek tried to throw a fastball right down the middle of the plate to Evan Gattis. The result was Gattis’ 20th HR of the season.
Not so random thoughts…….
Jason Heyward made a really nice play in the 4th inning. Ryan Ludwick hit an absolute rocket with the bases loaded, and Heyward took a big hit away from Ludwick that would have blown the game open at the time. There is no coincidence that Heyward entered the day first in the entire MLB of any player at any position with 33 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved).
Our old friend Aaron Harang didn’t pitch his best game of the year by any means, but he was just 1 out away from yet another quality start. It would have been his 22nd QS of the season, which would have tied him for the third most in the entire MLB. The only two pitchers with more are Felix Hernandez and Johnny Cueto, who both have 23 QS. That is cool for Harang, who was always such a class act here in Cincinnati.
The Giants are down 8-6 in the 7th as I type this to the Nationals. If that score holds, the Reds will be 6.0 games back from the second wild card spot. It is obviously still a very long shot, but the Reds still remain within reach from a playoff spot.