July 30, 2013 – Reds @ Padres – 10:10pm – Fox Sports Cincinnati
Reds Record (59 – 48)
Away Record (27 – 31)
Padres Record (49 – 58)
Home Record (28 – 23)
Starters: Latos (10 –3) vs. Volquez (8 – 8)
The Setting: This is a matchup of starting pitchers that were traded for each other (with other parts in the deal). I’ll be watching via DVR for the most part. I can’t wait until this West Coast swing is over.
The Game and Analysis:
•The Reds dropped their fifth game in a row as they faltered late to fall to the Padres. The teams matched runs in a low-scoring affair, and then the Padres scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth and held on for the 4 – 2 win. The ugly, miserable details are below.
•A Joey Votto walk was the only thing of note in the first inning for either club. The Padres hit a couple of hard balls, but the Reds outfielders tracked them down.
•In the second, Jay Bruce singled and went to second on a groundout by Todd Frazier. Zack Cozart hit a hard grounder to the hole at short that was stopped by a diving Everth Cabrera. His only play was to sidearm the ball to third, but Bruce slid in safely. On the infield hit by Cozart, the Reds had runners on the corners with one out. Devin Mesoraco then grounded a ball to third, scoring Bruce. Mesoraco reached first safely, but Cozart was caught in a rundown between second and third. That was horrible base running by Cozart. Mat Latos would ground out to end the inning, but the Reds were up 1 – 0.
•The Padres would answer in the bottom of the second. After a Yonder Alonso single to open the inning, Will Venable doubled to the wall in right. The Padres had runners on second and third with no outs. With one out, Alonso was able to score on a Logan Forsythe groundout to tie the score at 1 – 1. That would be all they would be able to get, though, which I considered a positive after the situation Latos found himself in.
•Neither team did much in the third inning, though the commentators brought up something that I found simply astounding. So far in this series, Cabrera has had six plate appearances, and they all came leading off an inning. That can’t happen often, and might be the rarest thing I have heard of this year.
•In the bottom of the fourth, Alonso led off with a single and went to second on a walk by Venable. Faced with another jam, Latos caught a break when Alonso thought a pitch was going to be a passed ball and broke for third. Mesoraco recovered the ball quickly, and his throw was in time to nail Alonso at third. Back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning.
•In the top of the fifth, Cozart was on first when Latos tried to sacrifice him to second with a bunt. Edinson Volquez fielded the ball in front of the mound and threw to second trying to get the lead runner. Cabrera was trying to field the throw with a double play in mind, and Cozart beat the throw around the same time Cabrera took his foot off the bag early. Latos was also safe at first. Manager Bud Black had a two-minute civil discussion with a couple of the umpires, but to the play stood to no one’s surprise. Derrick Robinson would line out and Cozart would be doubled off second to end the inning.
•The sixth inning would see the Reds reclaim the lead. After Shin-Soo Choo grounded out, Votto and Phillips walked. Bruce lined a single to center to score Votto and send Phillips to third. Frazier popped up for the second out, and Cozart grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning. It was now 2 – 1 Reds.
•The Padres immediately got the run back in the bottom of the inning, just as they had done in the second. Jesus Guzman opened the inning with an infield single to short. Cozart dove to his right to knock the ball down, but I don’t think he would have had a play on Guzman if he would have been able to hop up with the ball cleanly. After Alonso made a long out on a fly to deep center, Guzman came around to score on another double by Venable. The line drive went to the base of the wall in the right-center gap, easily scoring Guzman to tie the game 2 – 2. Latos would retire the last two batters of the inning, so we were all tied up through six.
•In the battle of starters that were traded for each other, neither really got the better of the other. Latos: 6.0 innings, 6 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs and six strikeouts on 104 pitches. Volquez: 6.1 innings, 4 hits, five walks, 2 runs and 3 strikeouts on 105 pitches. Neither would be eligible for the win or loss when they left the game, as the Padres relievers kept Volquez’s final walk from scoring in the seventh inning.
•Nick Hundley would drive in the deciding runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Reliver Manny Parra gave up a single to Venable, and Sam LeCure gave up a single to Jedd Gyorko. With two outs, Hundley lined a shot over Frazier’s head at third that looked to have hit the chalk going down the line. Nah, on the replay it was a few inches inside the line. Either way, the result was the same; the Padres had taken a 4 – 2 lead.
•Huston Street came in to close the game for the Padres. Other than a Cozart single, the Reds did not threaten. It was another night of dead bats for the Reds.
•Of note: Frazier is now 0 – 16 in this five game losing streak. Choo started the game in left field and batted second due to his recent ankle injury. He left the game in favor of Heisey late in the game. Parra’s long scoreless streak came to an end as he had allowed the first runner in the eighth. LeCure had a long streak end as well, as he allowed his first inherited runner to score since June 22nd.
What Worked: Latos had a pretty good start, and the Reds did okay with runners in scoring position tonight. Bruce and Cozart had four of the five hits for the Reds.
What Didn’t Work: Besides Cozart and Bruce, the rest of the lineup went 1 – 23. Two of the Reds’ hits were infield singles, so they were definitely not pounding the baseball. Parra and LeCure both gave up runs out of the bullpen in the seventh, and that was the deciding factor in the game.
Where They Stand: The Reds are 59 – 49 and trail the Pirates by 6.0 games and the Cardinals by 4.5 games in the NL Central.
Overall Thoughts: Well, that is five losses in a row for the Reds. The bullpen and the bats have suffered of late, and that rang true here, too. The Reds were actually 3 – 7 with runners in scoring position in this game, but the final score of 4 – 2 is all that matters in the end. The Cardinals lost twice tonight, but the Reds only gained half a game in the standings. The Pirates gained a full 1.5 games on the Redlegs.
Up Next: The final game of the series, and this miserable road trip, is tomorrow.