August 15, 2013 – Reds @ Brewers – 8:10pm – Fox Sports Cincinnati
Reds Record (68 – 52)
Away Record (31 – 32)
Brewers Record (52 – 68)
Home Record (27 – 31)
Starters: Cingrani (5 –2) vs. Lohse (8 – 7)
The Setting: You mean I get to watch a game live without the aid of DVR? Shut your mouth. I am enjoying this experience with my family in the comfort of my living room.
The Game and Analysis:
•It was a pitcher’s duel between Tony Cingrani and Kyle Lohse. Hits and runs were hard to come by, but the Reds came from behind and secured a 2 – 1 win to start the series. Details are below.
•The Reds threatened right away in the top of the first inning. Shin-Soo Choo led off the game with a walk, and Joey Votto drew a walk of his own with one out. Brandon Phillips hit a long fly ball to center field that was caught by Carlos Gomez, but it was deep enough to allow both Choo and Votto to tag up and advance. With runners on second and third with two outs, Lohse walked Jay Bruce intentionally to load the bases for Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick lined a looping shot back up the middle and Jeff Bianchi dove out of nowhere to snag the ball and save two runs.
•In the second inning, the Reds picked up a leadoff single by Devin Mesoraco, but Zack Cozart immediately grounded into a double play. Cingrani then grounded out to end the inning.
•The Brewers put a run on the board in the bottom of the second on a Khris Davis solo homer. The other Brewers that came to the plate, including former Red Juan Francisco, all struck out. That made four straight outs via strikeout for Cingrani, but the Reds trailed 1 – 0 after two innings.
•Cingrani picked off Bianchi in the bottom of the third after a leadoff single. Cingrani has a pretty good move to first base.
•In the fourth, Phillips hit another drive to center that looked like extra bases. Gomez made a running, leaping catch and crashed into the very base of the wall with his hip. He held onto the ball for the out, but had to be helped off the field as he left with ahip/leg injury of some sort. I am continually impressed by Gomez and his efforts in center field, but I hate that they keep coming at the expense of the Reds. Bruce followed with a single once play resumed, but was promptly erased from the base path when Ludwick grounded into a double play. It appeared that would be the theme for these teams early on; get a runner on base and then have them immediately negated.
•The Reds were able to tie the score in the fifth inning. Mesoraco singled and went to second on a throwing error by Bianchi. Cozart then singled him home on a ground ball up the middle. Two things happened to the Brewers on defense on the play that allowed the score: Jean Segura was playing Cozart toward the hole, allowing the ball to get through the infield, and catcher Jonathan Lucroy dropped the ball (literally) on the throw home that had Mesoraco out by a few feet. It was a one-hopper that Lucroy just dropped in front of him, allowing Mesoraco to slide in safely. Small things from the defense manufactured that run. I have said it before, but the Reds were in that boast a few short years ago, and their improvement on defense was a major step in turning them into a playoff contender. Later in the inning, the Reds would hit into their third double play of the game., but the score was now 1 – 1.
•The Reds took the lead in the sixth on a home run by Votto. His 18th homer was in “Toyota Territory” (about 421 feet from the plate) in center field. It was a ball that was left over the plate, and Votto just crushed it. The Reds led 2 – 1, which would end up as the final score.
•Cingrani got into some trouble in the bottom of the seventh. He gave up a single to Lucroy and walked Aramis Ramirez. Logan Schafer tried to bunt the runners over, but he popped up into foul territory and Mesoraco sprang up and slid near the backstop for the catch. That was a terrific play and helped get the Reds out tremendously. Cingrani would be replaced by Sam Lecure after that out, and LeCure got Davis to ground into an inning-ending double play. There sure were a lot of those in this game.
•Choo tried his best to score a run in the eighth inning. He singled and went to second on a sac bunt by Todd Frazier. With Votto batting, Choo stole third, setting up the Reds with a prime scoring opportunity. Votto struck out, however, and Phillips lined out to end the threat.
•Manny Parra came in to pitch the eighth inning for the Reds and struck out Francisco before giving up a single to Bianchi. Yuniesky Betancourt came in to pinch-hit, and Jonathan Broxton replaced Parra on the mound. Scooter Gennett was then called on to pinch-hit for Betancourt. Sheesh, just pick someone to throw and someone to hit already! After all of that, Bianchi was thrown out trying to steal second and Gennett struck out.
•Aroldis Chapman came in for the save attempt in the ninth. Norichika Aoki singled up the middle and stole second after Segura flied out. With a runner on second and one out, Chapman struck out Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez to end the game and notch his 30th save on the year.
What Worked: Cingrani had another solid outing and allowed the Reds to stay in the game when the offense was not clicking. Votto came up big with the home run in the sixth that ended up being the winning run. Both teams came up with some great defensive plays to help their pitchers, though one run for the Reds was the result of some defensive miscues.
What Didn’t Work: The Reds needed more offense. They were 1 – 6 with runners in scoring position and hit into three double plays.
Where They Stand: The Reds are 69 – 52 and trail the Pirates by 2.5 games and the Cardinals by 0.5 games in the NL Central.
Overall Thoughts: The Reds were able to make up another game on the Pirates and are staying right on the Cardinals’ heels. Pitching and defense have carried this Reds club for most of the year when runs are scarce, and the same rang true tonight. Cingrani has been an absolute stud while filling in for Johnny Cueto this year. I hope he continues to develop.
Up Next: Game two is tomorrow.