Meltdown. Pirates 5, Reds 4.

The Reds should hire Jack Morris to teach Mat how to win. - USA TODAY Sports

For the third consecutive Sunday, silent bats and a bullpen implosion cost the Reds a game that they'd had in the bag for hours. We can't even chalk it up to a getaway day lineup, either.

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

On a day where no Red truly distinguished themselves, Mat Latos gets the nod for his solid 6 IP. Latos cruised through the first 5 innings today having allowed just one hit, a HR by Pedro Alvarez, before running into a bit of trouble in the 6th, but he battled through it and finished with 94 pitches, 2 ER allowed (one of which very well could have been unearned), 3 hits, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts. He left in line to win, but for the 3rd time already this season he fell victim to a blown save by Big Money Jonathan Broxton, and manged to pick up his 22nd no-decision since Opening Day 2012, the most in the major leagues in that time frame (hat tip to Lance McAlister).

Oof.

Zack Cozart had 2 hits and a costly error, but that still probably earned him the an Honorable Mention in this meltdown.

Key Plays

  • The Reds burst through the starting gate today, and the hit (and hit by pitch) parade plated 4 before the end of the Top of the 1st. Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch to lead off, and he promptly scored on a triple to left-center by Zack Cozart. Joey Votto walked, and Jay "Cleanup" Bruce followed with a single to score Cozart and move Votto to 2B. Frazier singled to move each runner up, and Xavier Paul then singled to score Votto as the first 6 Reds reached base. Devin Mesoraco followed with a sac fly to score Bruce before Cesar Izturis ground into a double play to end the inning. Jeanmar Gomez was done for the day with a sore forearm and bruised ERA, and the Reds led, 4-0.
  • Pedro Alvarez is to a blind squirrel as the HR he hit in the Bottom of the 2nd is to finding a nut. Reds led, 4-1.
  • Mat Latos cruised through the first 5 innings, but he seemed to tire a bit in the Bottom of the 6th, and between that and some surprisingly iffy Reds defense, the Pirates took advantage. Alex Presley reached on what went down as an infield single, but was actually Joey Votto not fielding a throw that he normally fields (and should have fielded). Starling Marte then walked, and two batters later Andrew McCutchen singled to score Presley. Latos got a K and a groundout, though, and escaped. Reds led, 4-2.
  • Unfortunately, Jonathan Broxton. Broxton hit Marte in the Bottom of the 8th before getting Neil Walker to hit into a double play, but he then allowed a single to McCutchen. I was under the assumption that Broxton was signed to eat meatballs, not throw them, but that's apparently not the case; Broxton grooved one over the middle of the plate to Garrett Jones, and Jones hit one so far it became the second moon of the asteroid that just missed Earth this week. We miss you, Sean Marshall. Game tied, 4-4.
  • In the Bottom of the 11th, Russell Martin reached when Zack Cozart's errant throw pulled Joey Votto off the bag at 1st, and Pedro Alvarez followed with a walk. Travis Snider then singled to RF, and Martin came around to score. No win, no sweep, no happy trip home. Reds lose, 5-4.

Kind-of Miserable FanGraph Section


Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • The Reds scored their 4th and final run of the game with their first out of the game, and the Pittsburgh bullpen combined to throw a shutout over the final 10 half-innings in which the Reds came to bat.
  • Take note, I'm firmly in agreement with 'tHom for once: that was as poor of a defensive game put in by the Reds in a long, long time. Joey Votto dropped two balls at 1B (one for already his 5th error of the season, the other on what should've been his 6th), allowed one should-be pop out to drop with a miscommunication with Jay Bruce in foul territory, and nearly allowed one to drop before Devin Mesoraco made a saving grab.
  • The Reds will head home tonight and gear up for a series in GABP opposite the Colorado Rockies. First pitch tomorrow night is set for 7:10 ET.
  • The Cardinals lost today, and a win would've left the Reds in sole position of 2nd place in the NL Central, 1.5 games back. Instead, they're tied with with Pirates and sit 2.5 back. Don't fret though, Reds fans.
  • I've linked to this before. I'll probably link to it again.
  • #poopsocks
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