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Errors and Inches. Pirates 5, Reds 3.

Close plays on the base paths and errors on defense defined this series, and though both teams looked less than stellar, today's bullpen meltdown ensured a 4 game split.

This guy...
This guy...
Joe Robbins

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Shin-Soo Choo covered a million bases today, with 2 hits, a SB, and advance to 2nd on a throwing error after his bunt single, and a run scored. While his power has seemingly been sapped in the last few weeks, he's still getting on base, scoring runs, and generally havoc-ing his way across baseball from the top of the Reds order this year; if only he'd just stop trying to steal bases, though, since he was caught again and is now just 8 for 13 on the season.

Honorable mentions are due to Joey Votto, who had 2 hits; Jay Bruce, who hit his 5th HR in 7 games; and Homer Bailey, who battled his way through 6 IP despite high pitch counts to allow just 2 ER while striking out 8 Pirates and walking no one.

Key Plays

  • The Reds put the first run on the board in the Bottom of the 1st after Shin-Soo Choo opened things by reaching on a throwing error from Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez. Choo then snuck in a steal of 2nd after Xavier Paul struck out and the throw from Pirates C Michael McKenry was a bit wide. Joey Votto followed by earning his paycheck with an opposite-field RBI single to score Choo. Reds led, 1-0.
  • The Pirates got one back in a long Top of the 3rd that forced Homer Bailey to throw 31 pitches despite retiring the first two batters of the inning. With two outs, Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, and Pedro Alvarez all worked the count before singling, the last of which scored McCutchen to even the score. Game tied, 1-1.
  • Dueling solo HRs accounted for each team's next runs, as Jay Bruce launched a laser beam over the wall in CF off a Brandon Cumpton breaking ball in the Bottom of the 4th. Unfortunately for the Reds, that was matched by Pedro Alvarez in the Top of the 6th. Game tied, 2-2.
  • Unfortunately, the bullpen. Alfredo Simon was summoned from the 'pen in the Top of the 7th, and he promptly pitched like his name was Jonathan Broxton. Simon allowed back to back singles to start the inning, and after a Johnny Mercer pop-out on a bunt, he walked Andrew McCutchen to load the bases before being pulled in favor of Tony Cingrani. Cingrani managed to strike out Jones, the first batter he faced, but Pedro Alvarez, he of the .167/.224/.296 line against LHP in 2013, hit a sharp double to the RF corner that cleared the bases. Reds trailed, 5-2.
  • The Reds managed to get one back in the Bottom of the 7th. Zack Cozart led off with a double to the wall in left-center, and he moseyed over to 3B on a Ryan Hanigan groundout. Jack Hannahan, who came into the game on a double switch with Tony Cingrani when Simon and Todd Frazier went to the bench, then small-balled a grounder that allowed Cozart to score. That was all the gas in the tank today, unfortunately, and the Pirates closed things out. Reds lose, 5-3.

Less than Awe-Inspiring FanGraph Section

<iframe src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="">FanGraphs</a></span>

Other Notes