May 15, 2013 – Reds @ Marlins – 7:10pm – Fox Sports Cincinnati
Reds Record (23 – 16)
Away Record (7 – 10)
Marlins Record (11 – 28)
Home Record (5 – 12)
Starters: Leake (2 – 2) vs. Sanabia (2 – 5)
The Setting: The Union Pub and Grill for the start of the game, and the trusty old couch at home for the rest of it. I am meeting with a vendor for the kitchen, and also meeting with a salesman for a vendor from my day job. As usual, I’ll hop back in the kitchen to help out and cook a little if it gets hectic.
The Game and Analysis:
•The Reds dominated the Marlins to win 4 – 0 and take the first two games of the series. The Marlins were on base often, but could never score. This has been a problem for the Marlins all year, and I welcome it with open arms as a Reds fan.
•So did Shin-Soo Choo have a heck of a game or what? He went 4 – 5 with two home runs and two singles while scoring three times. Choo lead of the game with a single to opposite field; hit another opposite field single in the second; homered to left-centerfield in the fourth inning; and then homered to right-centerfield in the sixth. Choo struck out in the ninth to prevent a perfect day at the plate, but he had already done his damage. His first single lead to the game’s first run as he scored on a Brandon Phillips double. Choo leads the National League in runs, on base percentage, and OPS (on base plus slugging). He also leads the universe in being hit by pitches.
•Phillips’ RBI in the first was his 34th on the year, which leads the NL. He went 2 – 5 and continues to maximize his opportunities with runners on. Phillips also singled in the third inning and hit into two double plays in the game, nullifying singles by Joey Votto both times.
•Votto’s two hits in four at bats raised his average to .327 on the year. His slugging percentage is still lower than the Votto of old, but his OPS is .930. In case you are scoring at home, that is pretty good. He has been getting more extra base hits as the season progresses, so hopefully he will find his form and start putting up big numbers.
•It was a tale of two lineups for the Reds today. The top five in the order went 11 – 22 with all the runs scored and the RBIs. Batters 6 – 9 and the pinch hitter were 0 – 14. Cesar Izturis spelled Zack Cozart at shortstop and in the two hole, and he went 1 – 4 with a double, a walk and a run scored. Jay Bruce went 2 – 4 with a double.
•You can’t have a shutout and not mention the pitching. Mike Leake went 6 2/3 innings, giving up nine hits and a walk while striking out six. Sean Marshall, Same LeCure, and Aroldis Chapman kept it scoreless in relief. Chapman gave up a walk and a single in the ninth in a non-save situation, but no damage was done.
•As for personal viewing, I got to watch pretty much the entire game, but I did have to hop back in the kitchen to make a few items when it was busy near the start of the game. I love to cook and I definitely like it when the business creates, well. . .busyness. So if I have to miss a couple of Marlin at bats while I make a pizza and a few sandwiches, who am I to complain.
What Worked: Shin-Soo Choo did okay, I guess. All the pitchers deserve credit, as does the defense. The Reds bent but did not break, allowing the 13 baserunners yet no runs. The entire top of the lineup did well for the Reds.
What Didn’t Work: The Reds really should have scored more with the opportunities they had. They also should have allowed more runs than they did, though, so I guess that is a fair trade off.
Where They Stand: The Reds are 24 – 16 and are 2 ½ games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central. They remain one game ahead of the Pirates.
Overall Thoughts: Choo is just such a good player. I liked watching him when he played for the Indians. He always seemed to hurt the Reds, but he was fun to watch. He is just playing at a crazy level right now, and this game showcased what he brings to the table. The pitching was also great as they combined for the shutout, and that is three straight quality starts now. The Reds have won five in a row and are 9 – 2 in their last 11 games.
Up Next: the Reds close out this series with Marlins tomorrow evening.