August 19, 2013 – Diamondbacks @ Reds – 7:10pm – Fox Sports Cincinnati
Reds Record (70 – 54)
Home Record (37 – 20)
Diamondbacks Record (64 – 58)
Away Record (28 – 32)
Starters: Delgado (4 –3) vs. Arroyo (11 – 9)
The Setting: I am watching the game at home with the family, nestled in my recliner on the couch.
The Game and Analysis:
•The Reds built up a 5 – 1 lead before Bronson Arroyo allowed the Diamondbacks to score a couple of runs to push the game to 5 – 3. The bullpen took over and held on for the victory in the first game of this series.
•Arroyo gave up a couple of singles in the first inning, but came away unscathed. The first batter of the game, Gerardo Parra, hit a rocket at Joey Votto, but Votto was able to backhand the ball cleanly and spin around to toss to Arroyo for the first out. Back-to-back singles were then erased by a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning. Good defense by the Reds there.
•The Diamondbacks had a good playoff their own on defense in the bottom of the first. With one out, Todd frazier hit a line drive to left that looked like it would go for extra bases. Jason Kubel was running back toward the wall as the ball was heading over his head. He stopped and leapt into the air to rob Frazier. It was scoreless after one inning.
•The Reds would open the scoring with a run in the second inning. Brandon Phillips tripled to lead off the inning. After a Jay Bruce walk, Ryan Ludwick popped up to first. Zack Cozart hit a high fly ball to center field to Adam Eaton, who fired home to try and nail the tagging Phillips. It was a good throw, but the catcher misplayed the hop as the ball and Phillips arrived at the same time. Phillips was safe (1 – 0), and Bruce would move up to second on the throw. Ryan Hanigan lined out to end the inning.
•Aaron hill tied the game at 1 – 1 in the top of the fourth as he lined a side-armed curve just over the left field wall. Arroyo left that ball hanging right over the plate, and Hill got just enough of it to barely scrape over the wall.
•The Reds would get that run back and then some in the bottom of the inning. Votto singled to start the inning and went to second on Phillips’ single behind him. Bruce then singled in Votto (2 – 1), and put runners on first and second with no outs. Ludwick doubled past third base to drive in Phillips (3 – 1) for his first RBI of the year. Runners were on second and third, and still no outs. Cozart grounded out to second, but Bruce came in to score to make it 4- 1. Ryan Hanigan walked, and then Arroyo hit into a fielder’s choice that got Ludwick out at home. Choo struck out to end the inning. The Reds scored three, but it could have been much more.
•Frazier led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a laser beam of a home run to dead center. Coming off the bat, it looked like a routine out. It was not routine, but it was out of the ballpark. The Reds now led 5 – 1.
•The Diamondbacks had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the sixth inning via two singles and a hit by pitch. Martin Prado blooped one over the shortstop’s head on quite possible the slowest swing I have seen at the Major League level. Arroyo threw a breaking ball, and Prado all but stopped mid-swing before following through and pushing the ball into left field. It scored two runs and brought the score to 5 – 3. Kubel grounded into a force out, but the Reds could not turn two so there were runners on the corners. Will Nieves popped out in foul territory down the first base line to Phillips, and Arroyo was able to escape with the lead intact.
•Phillips was hit on the kneecap in the seventh inning, but was called out on strikes because he could not check his swing. You don’t see that often.
•The bullpens held the score at 5 – 3, and Aroldis Chapman would get the call for the save in the ninth. He would give up a single to Kubel to open the inning, but the Reds picked up an amazing double play in the next at bat to erase the runner. Nieves grounded to Cozart at short, who fielded the ball on his right side and side-armed the throw to second. Phillips caught the ball and leapt in the air to avoid the slide. While in the air, he threw to first without being able to plant his feet, pumping his arms to get enough on the throwing motion to nail Nieves at first. I probably didn’t do the play justice with my narrative, but trust me when I tell you that was as tough a throw as an infielder can make. Chapman would go on to lock down the game and record his 31st save of the year.
What Worked: The Reds had enough offense, enough, pitching, and enough defense to walk away with the win. Phillips had a good day at the plate and had his usual impact in the field.
What Didn’t Work: Arroyo was not on point in this game, giving up seven hits in six innings. He didn’t do anything bad, but his pitching style can have the hits mount up on him at times. Today was a day where he was hittable, though he pitched well enough to give the Reds an excellent chance of winning.
Where They Stand: The Reds are 71 – 54 and trail the Pirates by 2.5 games and the Cardinals by 1.5 games in the NL Central.
Overall Thoughts: This was a hard fought game between two good teams. The Reds were able to come out on top, and that is all that matters in the end. The Pirates and Cardinals both won, but the Reds were able to keep pace.
Up Next: Game two is tomorrow.