Nothing witty. We just lost a series to the Astros after the trade deadline. Reds lose, 5-4.

That brown stain on the seat of his pants? Nick Masset. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Joey Votto.  I understand the Bautista trade talk, but I don't like it.  Votto's something special, and I like deluding myself into believing that he'll play his whole career in Cincinnati.  Anyway, he had three hits tonight, including two doubles, and a run.  Honorable mentions go to Dontrelle Willis (a credible six innings, giving up only two runs, and a home run of his own), and Todd "Please Frazier Answer in the Form of a Question" (home run!).

Key Plays

  • Dontrelle Willis, like some 18th century French peasant, found himself victimized by the Bourgeois when Jason Bourgeois led off the bottom of the first with a dribbler of a single to third.  One out later, J.D. Martinez hit a home run.  Astros lead, 2-0.
  • The Reds couldn't answer at all until the fifth inning.  Then Todd Frazier hit a home run.  Astros lead, 2-1.
  • Next inning, Joey Votto hit a one out double, and scored when Brandon Phillips singled.  The Astros might have had a play at the plate on Votto, but there was no throw.  Game tied, 2-2.
  • Willis escaped a situation with runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the sixth.  He was set to leave the game as a pitcher, but stayed in to hit... and socked a homer!  Reds lead, 3-2.
  • Unfortunately, the pitching.  Logan Ondrusek and Nick Masset, two former stalwarts, seem utterly unreliable these days.  Tonight it was Masset's turn.  He walked pinch hitter Brian Bogusevic, then Jason Bourgeois and Jose Altuve both reached on bunt singles.  Bases loaded, no outs, and J.D. Martinez sent a double into the left field corner.  Two runs scored, and hopes of Dontrelle Willis's first win as a Red vanished.  Masset intentionally walked Carlos Lee, loading the bases again, then gave way to Sam LeCure.  Sam Wow needed only five pitches to get out of the threat, coaxing a double play out of Jason Michaels and a pop up from Jimmy Paredes.  Astros lead, 4-3.
  • But because baseball is cruel, Sam LeCure, the hero of the seventh inning, gave up a home run to Humberto Quintero in the eighth.  Astros lead, 5-3.
  • And because baseball is cruel, the Reds launched an insufficient rally in the ninth inning.  Jay Bruce singled off Mark Melancon, and advanced a base each time as Fred Lewis and Ramon Hernandez grounded out.  Pinch hitter Yonder Alonso singled, bringing in Bruce.  Miguel Cairo pinch hit, and flew out.  Astros win, 5-4.



Other Notes

  • Dontrelle Willis has started five games for the Reds.  Reds relievers have blown saves in three of them.
  • Let's just say it again.  The Reds dropped a series to the Astros... after the trade deadline.  Time and again, the Reds have wilted at a moment when they need to do well.  And if J.D. Martinez plays all his games against Cincinnati, he's going to make Albert Pujols look like Paul Janish.



Final - 8.3.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati Reds 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 4 8 0
Houston Astros 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 X 5 12 1
WP: Jordan Lyles (1 - 6)
SV: Mark Melancon (11)
LP: Nick Masset (1 - 5)

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