August 20, 2013 – Diamondbacks @ Reds – 7:10pm – Fox Sports Cincinnati
Reds Record (71 – 54)
Home Record (38 – 20)
Diamondbacks Record (64 – 59)
Away Record (28 – 33)
Starters: Corbin (12 –3) vs. Cingrani (6 – 2)
The Setting: I am watching this via DVR after my evening class and the long drive home. This has become my Tuesday: get up for work at 6am; work; drive for over an hour; class for three and half hours; drive for over an hour; get home around 9:30pm and try to watch the Reds game.
The Game and Analysis:
•This was a tight game that saw the Reds behind 1 – 0 coming into the eighth inning. Tony Cingrani had left the game due to an injury, and the bullpen was left to face Patrick Corbin who was mowing down the Reds batters. The Diamondbacks broke it open in the eighth inning, and went on to win 5 – 2.
•Both Cingrani and Corbin were sharp early. Cingrani was perfect through the first three innings, throwing 36 pitches. Corbin gave up a leadoff double to Devin Mesoraco in the third, but stranded him at third after Cingrani bunted him over. Corbin was at only 30 pitches after his first three innings.
•In the top of the fourth Cingrani ran into trouble and then things got worse. After a quick groundout, Martin Prado hit a solo homer to put the Diamondbacks up 1 – 0. Cingrani walked Paul Goldschmidt in a grueling at bat. After a couple of pitches to Aaron Hill, Cingrani picke doff Goldschmidt with a pretty good move to first. Hill then hit a long fly ball that hit the base of the wall in left-center field for a double, and then the trainer and the coaching staff came out to the mound to talk to Cingrani. Uh oh! Cingrani was pulled from the game with an injury and was replaced by Alfredo Simon. Simon would retire Matt Davidson to end the inning, and the Reds would hope to get at least two more innings out of him I would guess.
•Simon would give the reds just that, as he went 2.1 innings overall, giving up just one walk. The walk was to Corbin, who made it over to third after a sacrifice and a groundout, but he was stranded there. Goldschmidt was batting with two outs and Corbin on third when he sent a sinking liner to right field. Jay Bruce laid out to rob Goldschmidt of a hit and prevent the run from scoring. Corbin sat the Reds down in order in the sixth, and the score remained 1 – 0 after that inning.
•Sam LeCure came on for the Reds in the seventh, and the only person to reach was Will Nieves on an error by Brandon Phillips. In the bottom of the seventh, the Reds would threaten to put a run on the board. Ryan Ludwick hit a two out single to move Phillips to third. Phillips had singled earlier in the inning, but he and Ludwick would be left on base as Mesoraco popped up to the shortstop to end the inning.
•The eighth inning saw the Diamondbacks blow the game open in a hurry. After Sam leCure struck out the first batter, he gave up three consecutive singles to load the bases. Corbin got the first single, helping his own cause. LeCure would be relieved by J.J. Hoover, who would come in and face Goldchmidt with the bases loaded. On a full count, Goldschmidt swatted a Hoover fastball into the stands for a grand slam, putting the Diamondbacks up 5 – 0. Those RBIs gave Goldschmidt 100 on the year. That would be all the Diamondbacks would get in the inning, but the damage was done.
•The Reds started off promising in their half of the eighth inning. Zack Cozart singled, and Chris Heisey followed with a two run homer to left field. The score was now 5 – 2 and there were no outs. Shin-Soo Choo followed with a liner to center that was caught by a diving A.J. Pollock, and then Frazier grounded out and Votto struck out to end the inning. So much for the thought of a big inning comeback to take the lead like it played out in my mind.
•Corbin would stay on the mound, trying to close out the complete game. He entered the ninth with 94 pitches thrown and the 4-5-6 batters in the lineup due up. He got Phillips to fly out on two pitches, and Bruce to ground out to first on four pitches. Ryan Hanigan then hit a sinking liner oto right on the third pitch he saw, and Gerardo Parra made the diving catch to end the game. The Diamondbacks won 5 – 2.
What Worked: Cingrani looked good early and the Reds got some great work by members of the bullpen given the circumstances. Simon in particular stepped up with two-plus innings of great pitching to help the cause.
What Didn’t Work: LeCure gave up harmless singles, but they were all in a row and set up the Goldschmidt grand slam that Hoover gave up. The Reds managed only six hits off Corbin and struck out against the lefty 10 times. They were 0 – 5 with runners in scoring position and stranded six runners on base.
Where They Stand: The Reds are 71 – 55 and trail the Pirates by 3.5 games and the Cardinals by 1.5 games in the NL Central.
Overall Thoughts: The Reds better hope Cingrani is okay. He has done an amazing job filling in for the injured Johnny Cueto this year, and has put up terrific numbers as a rookie. If he has to go on the disabled list, they better hope it is short-term because he is needed if they want to make a push for the division. The Reds’ offensive woes baffle me, as this team should be putting more runs on the board consistently.
Up Next: Game three of this four game series is tomorrow.