The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
In a game where nobody else on the team could drive runs in, tonight's Star of the Game goes to Zack Cozart. Not only did Cozart break his tenure as The Kid Who Only Hits Home Runs by hitting a single and a double, but also had a solo shot accounting for the Reds' lone run. With Brandon Phillips mourning the loss of his grandfather, and Joey Votto walking three times, there were few other Reds able to hoist up the flag to overcome the premature loss of Johnny Cueto.
Cozart took advantage of the fastballs thrown to batters immediately preceding Joey Votto and ripped each payoff pitch to a different area of the park. I would like to think that this was Cozart breaking out of his slump, but then I also thought the Reds win on Monday was evidence that they'd just run away with the division by the end of May. Whoops. Instead, here's to hoping that Cozart is on his way to a repeat performance of 2012 in whatever spot Dusty bats him.
Outside of the periodic walks and hard hits by Jay Bruce and Cozart, there weren't a heckuva lot of bright spots in the Reds' lineup. Unfortunately, it appears that we may now have to revisit the "One Run Reds" monicker bestowed upon this team from years past.
Since nobody in the everyday eight deserves a hat-tip, I'll just award it to J.J. Hoover who managed to pitch another 1.2 innings without having his arm fall off. Meanwhile, Alfredo Simon was a bit of a hard-luck loser and pitched relatively well considering the circumstances with Cueto's injury.
- Shin Soo Choo started the game by being hit by Jeff Locke's pitch. Ever the professional, Choo did not break any collarbones.
- Cozart honked his third wanger of the season in the third inning giving the Reds an early 1-0 lead.
- The lead did not last for long for the Reds. Garrett Jones doubled in Andrew McCutchen from first base in the fourth inning after Choo slipped in the outfield grass.
- The Reds left the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
- In the bottom of the fifth, the wheels fell off the wagon. Ace Johnny Cueto was forced to leave the game after sustaining a triceps injury. No firm answer has been given on how much time he will miss, but he'll be analyzed by the Poking Stick tomorrow. Alfredo Simon relieved Cueto in a fashion that has happened way too often. In doing so, Starling Marte singled in the go-ahead run.
- The Reds stranded two more runners in the sixth after a base running malfunction by Ryan Hanigan that would have tied the game.
- In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Pirates scored an insurance run off a double by Jose Tabata.
- After stranding two runners in the seventh and going 1-2-3 in the eighth, the Reds split the difference in the ninth by leaving Joey Votto on when the game ended.
- César Izturis was intentionally walked for the first time since 2010
- The Reds left twelve runners on base. You're not going to win baseball this way.
- Ryan Hanigan continued his offensive slump by going 0-3. He's now hitting .038 on the season. In terms of a silver lining, he hit a few balls hard; including one that was scorched to Pedro Alvarez.
- Joey Votto non-HR watch has reached 217 PA.
- Alfredo Simon collected his first major league hit. He now has as many hits on the year as Ryan Hanigan.
- Jay Bruce was mere inches away from hitting his first home run of the season. That will come eventually. In all likelihood, before Johnny Cueto's next start.
- If Tony Cingrani is scratched from his start tomorrow in Louisville, look for him to get the call for the Reds.
- Kill everything with fire: