After being swept by the Cubs this weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals were six games out of first place in the NL Central, with no realistic shot at the Wild Card. Their manager Mike Matheny tonight was yanking pitchers and playing match-ups with a must-win sense of urgency. His perseverance paid off.
With the loss tonight, the Reds are 9-8 against St. Louis this year and need at least one win against them this week to win the season series. The Reds had won 7 in a row at GABP before tonight’s loss.
Jackson Stephens (23) made his second start of the season for the Reds. He retired the first ten Cardinals he faced. Then he gave up five straight hits including home runs by Yadi Molina and Paul DeJong, resulting in 5 runs.
Cody Reed pitched the 5th. He gave up two walks after recording two outs, then got the last out on a harmless fly. Ariel Hernandez retired the side in the 6th and the first batter in the 7th before he was relieved. Wandy Peralta came on to pitch for the first time in more than two weeks and retired the two Cardinals hitters he faced.
The only blemish on an otherwise strong night for the bullpen came in the 8th when Kevin Shackelford gave up a home run – just over the right center field fence, a real GABP special – to the first batter he faced. The Michael Lorenzen Gun Show entered the game in the 9th, retiring the side in order in 10 pitches. Lorenzen made a nice play at first base on a rainbow throw by Joey Votto on a ground ball toward second base.
Tim Adleman pitched the 10th. After reaching an 0-2 count on Kolten Wong, the first batter, he hit Wong on an errant breaking ball. Wong stole second and scored on a one-out double down the first base line by Dexter Fowler. Adleman (29) gave up another walk, a single and a second run. Adleman ended with an ERA of 5.52 and an FIP of 5.84. Sigh.
/I’m not going to question Bryan Price in a meaningless game. I’m not going to question Bryan Price in a meaningless game. I’m not going to question Bryan Price in a meaningless game. But he coulda left Lorenzen in for a second inning./
Jesse Winker led off the game with a double to left center. He singled up the middle in his second at bat. Winker is batting .283/.372/.505 and scored twice. That’s a real leadoff hitter’s batting line.
Joey Votto drove in the Reds first run on a single up the middle in the 1st. Zack Cozart hit a laser into the left field bleachers for home run #23. It was his fourth homer in the past seven games. Jesse Winker scored ahead of him.
In the bottom of the 6th, Votto led off with a walk. Scooter Gennett followed with an opposite field double. Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler followed with sacrifice flies, scoring Votto and Gennett to give the good guys a 6-5 lead. Gennett, after swinging at ball four, ball five and ball six, hit a solo, front-row homer in the bottom of the 10th, his 26th.
Patrick Kivlehan played 3B and made a nice play in the 1st inning and another one in the 9th. The Reds put together an Adam Duvall walk, Scott Schebler single and Kivlehan sacrifice fly to deep left center for their second run. Kivlehan did make a couple wild throws to first base on which Joey Votto had to made terrific plays to get an out.
Anthony DeSclafani is in Arizona at the instructional league. He pitched 2-inning simulated game last Wednesday, throwing 75 pitches between the bullpen and warmup pitches. In early August, DeSclafani left a rehab start for Dayton after one inning citing the dreaded “forearm stiffness.” An MRI the next day revealed elbow inflammation, but no structural damage to the all-important ulnar collateral ligament he’d strained back in spring training. A second opinion confirmed the diagnosis.
Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals hit a homer tonight that was number 5,694 of the MLB season. It shattered the single season record set in PED-stuffed 2001. Seems like about 5,000 of those were either hit by the Reds or given up by Reds pitching.
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.