Reds win the battle of starters; relief, not so much. Final: Pirates 3, Reds 1.

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

I guess this has to go to Andrew McCutchen, who batted with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth...and hit an absolutely horrible 1-2 pitch from Francisco Cordero for a double to clear the bases and put the Pirates up 3-1.

If not for the craptastic ninth inning this would have gone to Johnny Cueto, who pitched a great game: seven shutout innings.  He only allowed three hits and two walks.

Gray's Slightly Sarcastic Star of the Game Award goes to Francisco Cordero, who blew the game in the ninth by walking one and allowing three hits.

Key Plays

  • The Reds only managed four hits and a walk in seven innings off of Brian Burres, who came into the game sporting a gaudy 5.75 ERA.  Two of those hits were consecutive doubles by Orlando Cabrera and Joey Votto, which scored the Reds' only run.
  • Two of the Pirates' three hits (both singles) in the seventh put runners on the corners with two outs, but Cueto struck out Ronny Cedeno to end the threat.  Reds still up, 1-0.
  • Logan Ondrusek started the eighth, getting two outs before giving up a single.  Dusty pulled him in favor of Arthur Rhodes, who walked the first batter he faced but got a Pedro Alvarez groundout to end the inning.
  • Dusty of course put Francisco Cordero in to try to get the save.  He did not do so.  Instead, he started out by walking John Bowker and giving up a single to Ryan Doumit.  Lastings Milledge tried to bunt them over, but the Reds got the lead runner to keep runners on first and second with one out.
  • This didn't last, since pinch hitter Garrett Jones singled to load the bases.  After Jose Tabata grounded into a fielder's choice that caught the lead runner, McCutchen came to bat.  We already know what happened next.
  • The Reds made two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth, then loaded the bases on a HBP, a single, and a walk.  Chris Heisey struck out looking to end the game.

Other Notes

  • Three Reds went 0 for 4 today: Brandon Phillips, Jonny Gomes, and Chris Heisey.  Sigh.
  • Reds starters Edinson Volquez, Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto combined to give up 1 run in 21 innings this series.  None of them was credited with a win, since the bullpen combined to give up 9 ER in 10 innings, four of these extra innings necessitated by the bullpen's work.
  • In those 21 innings, the starters gave up 9 hits and walked 3.  In the 10 innings of relief?  13 hits and 4 walks.
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