This series went as expected when one team can’t afford to lose and the other can. Or when one team is better than the other.
The Reds missed a chance to win the season series against the Cardinals, which would have been the first time since 2011.
Homer Bailey pitched four innings before being lifted for a pinch hitter with the tying run at second base. Bailey had thrown 65 pitches. He struck out 3 and walked 1 batter unintentionally. The Cardinals had seven hits and scored four runs.
Bailey said before the game that he’s looking forward to offseason training. He feels like missing 2.5 months of that because of his February surgery is the primary reason he’s still “missing a little bit”” this year. He was referring to hitting an effectiveness wall around 90 pitches.
Kevin Shackelford relieved Bailey. getting four outs, striking out two and walking two. Wandy Peralta worked around a walk and hit to finish the 6th. Michael Lorenzen gave up a couple runs in the 7th. Hard to argue he’s still an indispensable arm in the bullpen. Maybe Lorenzen has pitch his way into an opportunity to start. Irony alert.
Cody Reed got an out then gave up a walk and a single. Price brought in Ariel Hernandez who got his two batters without allowing a run. Raisel Iglesias came in to pitch the 9th, his well rested arm pumping 100 mph fastballs. The Cardinals got a couple runs off the Reds closer, the first they’ve scored on him in 12 appearances.
Phil Ervin got a start in center field. He lined a 2-run homer run above the left field fence in the 4th inning. He also failed to make a couple plays on defense – a catch and a throw – that maybe Billy Hamilton would have.
Scott Schebler hit lead off for the first time all season. It was a curious decision by manager Bryan Price. Schebler is hitting .233/.311/.481 while Jesse Winker has hit well in the leadoff spot, with a .292/.375/.509 line. With a little digging, it became clear what Price was up to. In 11 plate appearances against Carlos Martinez, Schebler had two walks and two singles. If Price relied on past batter-pitcher history as the basis for his lineup, it’s more evidence that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Winker, who was making his first start for the Reds in left field, doubled and singled his first two times up, going 2-for-3 against the Cardinals starter. Schebler went deep – really deep – to right field in his fourth AB against Martinez. Schebler was 1-for-4 vs. Martinez.
Schebler hit another home run, his 29th of the year, in the 9th. Schebler > Duval.
Tucker Barnhart made a fantastic defensive play on a pop-up, sliding in front of the Reds dugout. Zach Buchanan has an interesting article about Barnhart’s relationship with Yadi Molina. Barnhart has grown up idolizing Molina. But the Cardinals catcher has notice the job Barnhart has done behind the plate. “He’s got a pretty good shot to win a Gold Glove. I like the way he catches.”
Great news via Tweet from Nick Senzel tonight regarding his health.
Feels good to be back healthy
— Nick Senzel (@LilSenzii) September 21, 2017
The Reds top hitting prospect was sidelined at the end of the season due to a case of vertigo. Recovery rates from that illness are highly variable and can last a long time.
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.