The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
When he's been healthy, Devin Mesoraco has been the best hitter in baseball this season.
His 4 for 4 afternoon against the Philadelphia Phillies today brought his season line up to a ridiculous .500/.541/.870, putting his slugging percentage alone as higher than any other OPS on the Cincinnati Reds, and he's really the only bat in the lineup looking remotely menacing at the moment. Mes had a pair of doubles on the day, and he's doing everything in his power to kick start this team into playing well.
Unfortunately, the bullpen.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Billy Hamilton, who had a pair of singles, a steal, a run scored, and a day in CF that featured a few nice running catches and a laser of an assist at 3B; Johnathan Broxton, who tossed a clean 8th inning in his first appearance in over a week; and Brandon Phillips, who went 1 for 4 with a walk and an RBI.
- Hamilton commenced havocking to lead off the Top of the 1st, reaching on a bunt single to the right side of the infield, and after Chris Heisey followed with a walk, they both moved up a base via steals. Hamilton then scored on a productive grounder from Brandon Phillips, and Heisey came in to score on a mashed double from Mesoraco. Reds led, 2-0.
- That lead was short-lived, unfortunately, as Jimmy Rollins and Will Nieves hit back to back dingers off Cingrani to start the Bottom of the 1st. Game tied, 2-2.
- The Phillies snagged the lead in the Bottom of the 5th. Cingrani allowed a leadoff hit to his counterpart, Cliff Lee, who smacked a liner the opposite way for a single. Rollins then smashed a hard grounder that short-hopped Todd Frazier at 3B, and after bobbling it initially, Frazier tried to nail Lee at 2B only to see the runner beat his throw. Nieves the sacrificed to move both runners up, and Chase Utley picked up an RBI when his grounder to 1B plated Lee. Reds trailed, 3-2.
- Marlon Byrd launched a line-drive dinger that cleared the wall in RF to lead off the Bottom of the 6th. Reds trailed, 4-2.
- Manny Parra came in to pitch the Bottom of the 7th and wasted no time in hitting the fan. Rollins walked to lead off, and after Parra struck out the next two Phillies, Ryan Howard walked, Byrd singled to score Rollins, and Cody Asche launched a 3-run dinger over the RF wall. Reds trailed, 8-2.
- The Reds finally scraped across another run in the Top of the 8th. Mesoraco smashed a loud single off the wall in LF, but he was thrown out at second one batter later on a grounder hit by Ryan Ludwick (who ended up on 1B). Luddy moved to 2B on fielder's indifference, and he motored around to score when Neftali Soto's sharp grounder slipped under Chase Utley's glove for an error. Unfortunately, that wrapped the scoring, and the Reds lost the game and the series. Reds lose 8-3.
- It appears that Jeff Francis, who was DFA'd by the Reds following his start in last week's doubleheader, was claimed off waivers by the Oakland A's this afternoon. THE FIRE SALE HAS BEGUN!
- Prior to Hamilton's final PA, his slugging percentage sat at .363 on the season. That was tied for the best among all Reds OFs with Jay Bruce despite the 0 for 12 start to his season that had people calling him "overmatched," among other things.
- The Reds will hop on a bus and wade through typical I-95 stop and start traffic en route to Washington this evening. They'll start a three game series against the Nationals tomorrow at 7:05 PM EST, with Mike Leake facing Stephen Strasburg. They're familiar with one another.
- The Chicago Cubs are currently locked in an 8th inning scrap with the Milwaukee Brewers, and they lead 4-2. If that result holds, the Cubs will have a better run differential than the Reds (-3 to -4), and will have scored 16 more runs on the season than Cincinnati in the same number of games (41).
- At 5.13, the Reds now (again) have the worst bullpen ERA in the NL.