Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Jordan Smith: Matt Maloney was unexpectedly called upon to start the game, had a rough 39 pitch first inning and started but failed to record an out in the third inning. Smith relieved Maloney, and threw 3 innings of 1 run baseball saving the bullpen from complete disaster. Honorable mention goes to Nick Masset for his two perfect innings of work, and Bill Bray for his scoreless inning of baseball, and Brandon Phillips for his 2-5 night and solo home run.
Tony LaRussa replaced his starting pitcher with Miguel Batista before the game started, while Dusty Baker stuck with Edinson Volquez. 6 pitches into the game, a 2 hour 10 minute rain delay happened. Scheduled starter Kyle McClellan replaced Batista after the rain delay. Edinson Volquez did not return either, pressing long reliever Matt Maloney into service.
Maloney struggled but didn't get blown out. The 39 pitch first inning gassed him, as prior to today Maloney has not thrown more than 53 pitches in a game. Maloney was either lucky or tough, as he only gave up 2 runs despite allowing 9 base runners.
Jordan Smith replaced Maloney and promptly recorded a double play, and got out of the 3rd with no damage. Smith got the Reds through the fourth and almost got the Reds through the fifth inning without allowing a run; but in a back breaking play immediately following Bruce gunning Matt Holiday down at third for the second out, Smith gave up an RBI single to Yodier Molina, to make the score 4-1.
Brandon Phillips hit a solo home run in the 5th, bring the Reds to within 2 before Smith allowed the run.
The Reds had a number of chances to score and a number base runner blunders too depressing to document.
Dusty Baker was asked about Volquez after the game, he said that he was told before the game there was going to be a window to play. Dusty also admitted that the Cardinals probably had "different information" than he had. But I gotta hand it to Dusty, he didn't whine, he didn't complain, we know if it went the other way a certain member of the Cardinals field staff would be writing a letter to Bud Selig right now. But do the Reds not have smart phones or internet access? I mean weather.com and Weatherunderground are amazing and easy resources to use; also more trust worthy than Tony LaRussa.
Dusty also said it is possible that Volquez can start on Sunday in place of Sam LeCure.
Dusty was asked if the Reds will make any changes to their pitching staff, he said that is possible. I really think they should send down Maloney, DFA Herrera or Fisher, and get Chad Reineke up to the big league staff to serve as an extra long man in case there is more rain, short start, or long game.
The Reds stranded 11 men on base, but made so many silly outs.
Joey Votto didn reach base.
Scott Rolen didn't play with a bad shoulder.
Nick Masset threw two perfect innings with a strikeout. Hopefully the Masset Hound has re-figured out how to pitch.
The bullpen is in real bad shape, it was starting to recover from last week, but having to cover 9 innings today hurt. Travis Wood is going to need to step up tomorrow and go deep into the game, Wood's start isn't just important for winning tomorrow but important for getting the bullpen back on track.