Cole Hamels’ major league debut for the Phillies was an afternoon game against the Reds in May 2006. The lineup he faced that day was Freel, Lopez, Griffey, Dunn, Kearns, Encarnacion, Phillips and Valentin. Hamels pitched five shutout innings. The Reds pitching staff of Elizardo Ramirez, Chris Hammond, Matt Belisle, Brian Shackelford and Rick White gave up eight runs.
Ten years later, he’s still dominating the Reds.
The Reds missed an opportunity to sweep the Texas Rangers, the team with the best record by far in the American League. With a win, they also would have had a winning road trip. They head back to Cincinnati for Pete-apalooza and four games against the last-place San Diego Padres before the Cubbies come to town.
One Bad Inning Dan Straily pitched five excellent innings and one awful one. Facing the top of the Rangers order in the fourth, he walked Shin-Soo Choo, hit Rougned Odor and walked Nomar Mazara – his only two walks. The Rangers ended up scoring four runs. Otherwise, Straily faced the minimum. He struck out three.
Bash Brothers Jay Bruce (double) and Adam Duvall (single) combined in the sixth inning for the Reds first and only run off Cole Hamels. Duvall and Bruce rank first and second respectively in the National League in power hitting.
Suarez Strikes Eugenio Suarez drilled a three-run homer in the eighth inning to bring the Reds within one. Bruce, who had doubled, and Duvall, who had walked (his second BB in the game!), were on base. You can have all the fast guys. I’ll take the ones who hit three-run bombs.
Bullpen Artists J.J. Hoover pitched the seventh. He served up a home run on a grooved fastball to Ian Desmond. It was the 15th time the Reds have given up a home run to the first batter. Make that 16. Tony Cingrani pitch the eighth and surrendered a home run to Shin-Soo Choo on a 96 mph fastball. Micheal Lorenzen, who was activated today and tweeted “go time” didn’t get in the game.
Ongoing Lineup Stupidity 255 major league players have had at least 150 plate appearances this year. Billy Hamilton and Brandon Phillips rank in the bottom 20 percent of that group in terms of run creation. They were batting second and third in Bryan Price’s lineup. Since it’s Price’s 54th birthday, we’ll add that lineups don’t matter much and leave it there. We won’t mention that Hamilton and Phillips got the last two at bats, with the tying run at the plate. See, when you bat higher in the order you get more chances.
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.