In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Billy Hamilton checked his swing and grabbed his left rib cage. After a protracted discussion involving the Reds trainer, Bryan Price, Zack Cozart and Joey Votto, Hamilton left the game. Later it was announced the Reds centerfielder had suffered a strained left oblique muscle. Oblique injuries can linger.
If we’ve seen the last of Billy Hamilton in 2016, at least his last full game included two stunning defensive plays yesterday that took place right in front of the Redleg Nation Meet-Up section. Small favors. Best wishes to Billy (and Chad, who witnessed the injury in person).
Would a season-ending injury to Hamilton change the Reds thinking about calling up Jesse Winker? Before today, the club may have been reluctant to have Winker join the major league club just to sit on the bench. But an outfield of Duvall-Schebler-Winker could give the Reds a look at him. Winker could also bat at the top of the order.
Or the Reds may stick Jose Peraza in CF for the rest of the season. That would clear the way for them to play Brandon Phillips at 2B every day with no controversy. Is Phillips getting outsized playing time this season (outsized in the context of Rebuild) because the Reds think it could help their cause in trying to trade him?
Tim Adleman (28) pitched five innings, striking out six and walking one. Two home runs accounted for all three runs he gave up.
Jumbo Diaz (32) pitched a lousy 6th inning. He gave up a hit, a wild pitch and threw a pick-off attempt of speedster Yadi Molina into right field. This circus performance contributed to the Cardinals scoring two important insurance runs. Enjoy watching Diaz the best you can (or don’t enjoy it) this month. Jumbo will get squeezed right out of his Reds uniform by the 40-man roster crunch.
Wandy Peralta made his major league debut, pitching the 7th inning. He’s began the year at AA-Pensacola and was promoted to AAA-Louisville where he pitched most of the season. What to expect? Over seven minor league seasons, he’s had a low strikeout rate (6.9) and a high walk rate (4.0). Not a combo offering much promise.
Keyvius Sampson (25) pitched a clean 8th inning. He struck out one batter.
Ross Ohlendorf (34) came in to pitch the 9th and walked the first batter he faced on four pitches. No, really. That’s the crazy thing about baseball. Every game you see something you’ve never seen before! Then, after giving up a fly ball to the right-center fence, he hit the next batter. Ohlendorf squirmed out of his self-made trouble by retiring the next two batters. Free pizza for all.
The Reds best opportunity to score, the 7th inning, started with a single by Hernan Irribaren (32). Irrabaren was called up from Louisville for today’s game. He started at 2B in place of Brandon Phillips. Ivan De Jesus Jr. (29) followed with a double to the left-center wall, scoring Irribaren. Tyler Holt grounded a single up the middle, knocking in De Jesus. After Zack Cozart lined out to right field, Joey Votto dumped a single into right field. Eugenio Suarez smashed a single up the middle. Cardinals reliever Zack Duke got his glove down and slowed down the ball but no play was possible, loading the bases. But Scott Schebler, after swinging at ball four, hit a short fly ball out to left field. Tyler Holt was thrown out at home by ten feet.
Schebler made a nice leaping catch at the right field wall to record the last out of the 8th inning. Would have been a double, not home run, but still a nice play.
Jose Peraza was 3 for 4 today and is now batting .336. That’s his main offensive contribution. His walk rate is 2.8% and isolated power .073.
Two out of three against the Cardinals is still a good weekend. And yesterday’s game counts double because of the aforementioned meet-up.
Tomorrow, the New York Mets – and Jay Bruce – come to town for a 1:10 game. The Mets play the 8 p.m. night game tonight. Monday’s pitching match-up should be interesting, 23-year-old Robert Stephenson against eleventy-billion-year-old Bartolo Colon.