|Cincinnati Reds (11-13)||5||16||0|
|St. Louis Cardinals (12-12)||4||8||1|
|W: Peralta (1-0) L: Rosenthal (0-1) S: Iglesias (4)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score|
–With the Reds down 4-0 in the fifth, Michael Lorenzen came on in relief and promptly gave up a single that put Cardinals at the corners with no outs and an opportunity to put the game out of reach. Lorenzen calmly induced two ground balls, the second of which resulted in a double play, and the Reds were out of the jam.
–The following inning, Adam Duvall doubled and scored on a Scott Schebler single, but the game stood at 4-1 until the top of the seventh. Billy Hamilton led off with a single. After a strikeout and a groundout, Hamilton was at second base with two outs and hope for a comeback was beginning to dwindle in the hearts of Reds fans who have been beaten down over the last couple of weeks.
No worries. Duvall proceeded to do what Duvall does: a double to deep right field that scored Billy. Eugenio Suarez singled Duvall home, and advanced all the way to third on a Yadier Molina
necktat error. After a pitching change, Schebler collected his own double to deep right and the game was tied at 4.
–After Wandy Peralta came in and did what Wandy Peralta does — perfect inning, two strikeouts — the Reds took the lead in the top of the eighth. Tucker Barnhart walked, Devin Mesoraco singled, Billy Hamilton walked…and Joey Votto drove in the go-ahead run with a single up the middle.
–After that, Raisel Iglesias did what Raisel Iglesias does: two scoreless innings to pick up his fourth save. I could get used to this. From this point forward, whenever Iglesias gets a one-inning save, it’ll be startling.
–Duvall was 4-5 with three doubles and a single, two runs scored, and an RBI. After hitting .130/.172/.370 over the previous two and a half weeks (as noted by Joel Luckhaupt), Duvall looked locked in today.
–Schebler had five home runs in his five previous games and, while he didn’t hit another today, he certainly continued his hot hitting. Schebs was 3-5 with two doubles and two RBI.
–Votto had a couple of hits (and a great post-game interview; see below). Barnhart had two hits, including a double, and a walk.
–The Reds bullpen — Lorenzen, Drew Storen, Peralta, Iglesias — pitched five scoreless innings, surrendering just three hits and a walk. The relief corps just continues to get the job done. It’s incredible.
–Not much to discuss here other than the elephant in the room: Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo was kinda cruising — only one run allowed through four innings — until the bottom of the fifth, when the wheels fell off in a hurry. Single, single, walk, double, and all of a sudden it was 4-0 with no outs. His final line: 4+ innings, 4 runs allowed on five hits and four walks.
Arroyo has stretches where he looks like he looks like the Arroyo of old. For a moment, he makes us believe he can be the Arroyo of old again…and then he has innings where he can’t get anyone out. After five starts, Arroyo is 2-2 with a 7.20 ERA…though, if you want to look at the bright side, you could say that his xFIP is 4.90. Which isn’t great, but it’s better than that hideous ERA.
You have to believe that Arroyo wouldn’t be here if everyone were healthy. I’m still rooting for the old guy, and I always will. But innings like the fifth today are difficult to stomach.
–I love beating the Cardinals.
–Nice little comeback win. After going down 4-0 early, Reds fans could be forgiven for turning off the television and going outside to enjoy their Sunday afternoon. Those who stuck around saw a fun finish, and a win that the Reds really needed.
–I like having Michael Lorenzen available in the fifth inning. I wish Reds starters didn’t require Michael Lorenzen to pitch in the fifth inning so often.
–There was some discussion about whether manager Bryan Price should have had someone warming up earlier in the fifth inning, when Arroyo almost coughed up the game. Initially, I thought that was unfair criticism. Arroyo had barely thrown 60 pitches when the inning began, and there wasn’t really any hint that he would blow up like he did.
Except that we’ve seen Arroyo fall apart in a hurry before. If Price were really thinking outside the box, as we’ve given him credit for, he’d have had someone ready to go at a moment’s notice in that situation. After all, the Cardinals were getting ready to bat against Arroyo for a third time, and that’s a danger zone for any pitcher…and especially Arroyo.
The bullpen was relatively rested after yesterday’s off-day, though they have thrown a lot of innings so far this year. But if you’re looking for high-leverage spots to get a reliever in there a little sooner, that was one.
So maybe the criticism isn’t unfair. Or maybe it’s unfair to expect Price not to manage like every other manager in that situation.
But the Reds can’t do things like other teams. I hope Price reflects on that moment, and is prepared to play it differently the next time.
–How good has Wandy Peralta been?
–The ol’ Redlegs needed that win to finish off a brutal 1-4 road trip. Now Cincinnati comes home for nine in a row at Great American Ball Park.
–Did I mention that I love it when the Reds beat the Cardinals?