The sick thing about tonight’s win is how close the Reds came to winning the first two games of the series. Nice bounce back team victory after last night’s calamity.
This wasn’t a great night for Brandon Finnegan. In his previous two starts, Finnegan had tossed back-to-back 6-inning shutouts. The latest one was against these same Cardinals. Tonight, Finnegan went six innings again, but gave up three runs on 6 hits and 6 walks. Free passes have been a problem for Finnegan at various times this season. Last week against the Cardinals he didn’t walk anyone. Chris Welsh explained that it’s hard to face the same team two times in a row. Even if you have success the first time, it’s harder to fool them (think of how much better batters do in the second and third times through the lineup in a single game). We’ve seen a few bright moments from Finnegan, but his ERA/FIP/xFIP is still 4.45/5.68/5.14.
Michael Lorenzen surrendered a run on a double and 2-out single in the 7th. That tied the game 4-4. The run snapped his streak of 11 innings without giving up a run. He returned to pitch the 8th and faced the minimum. Lorenzen had three strikeouts. Despite giving up a run, Lorenzen qualified for the win because of when the offense scored and because assigning pitcher wins is stupid.
Raisel Iglesias pitched the 9th for his first MLB save. He retired the Cardinals in order. Don’t get ahead of yourself (or the Reds). It’s unlikely he’s going to be the closer going forward. So far, the Reds haven’t let him (or Lorenzen) pitch on back-to-back days, which is a pretty important thing for closers. Maybe next year.
Adam Duvall singled in two runs in the top of the third inning. Billy Hamilton had two hits, two walks, three stolen bases and scored two runs. Zack Cozart had three hits. Joey Votto had two hits and a walk. Adam Duvall had a walk to go with his hit.
Tucker Barnhart doubled and Tyler Holt singled with two outs in the top of the 8th to give the Reds back the lead. Billy Hamilton then hit a soft grounder that Matt Carpenter couldn’t play in time. When Carpenter let the ball roll by him, Holt scored. Then Zack Cozart blooped a single into right center, scoring Hamilton.
Eugenio Suarez made a great defensive play in the 5th inning fielding a smash off the bat of Stephen Piscotty and firing a shot to Brandon Phillips at second, nailing Matt Carpenter who had run on the pitch. Phillips completed a double play with Carpenter sliding into him.
Hello from the future. The Cardinals used 21-year-old Alex Reyes to pitch in the 9th. Reyes is their #1 prospect and he’d been called up earlier in the day to replace last night’s starter, Michael Wacha who was put on the DL. Reyes struck out the first batter he faced, Adam Duvall, on a 101 mph fastball and retired the Reds in order.
For AAA-Louisville, Amir Garrett pitched 7 innings. He gave up three hits and two earned runs. He struck out 7 and walked none. He threw 93 pitches. The Bats lost 2-0.