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Eh. All the Important Playoff Games are Played at Night, Anyway. Reds lose to Pirates, 6-2.

Does Bob Steves have a pitch face like this?  No.  No one does.
Does Bob Steves have a pitch face like this? No. No one does.

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Hrmm. Alfredo Simon was tasked with extinguishing the fire that was Homer Bailey's start, and he performed admirably. Simon tossed 3 scoreless innings, allowing just 3 hits and no walks while striking out 5 Pirates. While his season WHIP of 1.37 is more Volquezian than Chapmanian, it's hard to argue with the results he's put up; yet another shrewd move by Walt Jocketty.

Hat tip to Drew Stubbs, who was 1 for 3 with a HR, walk, and 2 runs scored. Don't look now, but for the season thusfar he's put up 1.1 bWAR (as compared to, say, Jay Bruce's 1.2 bWAR...huh.)

Key Plays

  • The Reds jumped out to another quick start, as Drew Stubbs walked in the 1st, stole second, and came around to score on Jay Bruce's double. Ryan Ludwick followed with a soft line-drive single, but was picked off of first. Todd Frazier struck out, and Bruce was stranded. Reds lead, 1-0.
  • The Pirates struck back immediately in the 2nd. Garret Jones singled, and Neil Walker David Dewitt'd to right. Pirates lead, 2-1.
  • Drew Stubbs evened the score in the bottom of the 3rd, yet again taking advantage of the walls moving in for the home-half of the inning with an opposite field shot. Game tied, 2-2.
  • Homer was burned in the top of the 4th, leaving a two-strike off-speed pitch up and over the plate to rookie Starling Marte, who smashed a triple off the wall in right field, scoring two more Pirates to give them a 4-2 lead. The game settled down and the score remained the same until Logan Ondrusek was brought in the 8th. Andrew McCutchen hit a solo dinger, Walker and Gaby Sanchez singled, and Rod Barajas reached on an error by Todd Frazier which plated Walker. Pirates lead, 6-2, and despite the Reds threatening to threaten in the 9th, Joel Hanrahan locked it down for the bad guys. Reds lose, 6-2.



Other Notes

  • Until Jay Bruce walked in the top of the 9th, A.J. Burnett had retired 18 consecutive Reds batters. In fact, after Stubbs' 3rd inning HR, the Reds did not record a single hit the rest of the way.
  • The loss brings the Pirates back within 4.5 games of the Reds in first place. The Pirates will return home to host the Diamondbacks and Wade Miley, while the Reds will travel to Milwaukee for some Hot Bikram YoGa.
  • The Reds hit 4 more Pirates batters today, making it no fewer than 6 in the series. Clint Hurdle was seen listening to this in the dugout.
  • Despite the loss today, taking 2 out of 3 ain't bad.
  • What? Did you really think I was going to link to Meatloaf? Ha.