The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The Cincinnati Reds did their best to make the first 7 innings of tonight's glare like a spotlight on the lack of additions by today's trade deadline, but they persevered thanks to some bad defense and an awkward rule to get the win. That was possible thanks to the deft and guile of Johnny Cueto, who gets tonight's JNMHSotG thanks to 7 innings of one run, nine strikeout ball. The Reds' ace allowed just four hits and a single walk, and the wise decision to lift him in favor of a pinch hitter despite having thrown only 93 pitches proved to be one of the moves made by Bryan Price of late. He even chipped in with a single for the Reds first hit of the game.
The Reds didn't trade from their great pitching to fix the offense, but that means the Reds still have a damn fine set of pitchers.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Ryan Ludwick, who smacked a 2-run single to give the Reds the lead in the 8th; Chris Heisey, for saving a run with a pretty spectacular diving catch in the 4th; and Brayan Pena, who went 2 for 4 with a double.
- Gianmike-o Stanton did what Gianmike-o Stanton does in the Bottom of the 1st as he laced a Cueto pitch over the wall in LF for a solo dinger to get the scoring started. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Tom Koehler blew through the makeshift Reds lineup for the first 7 innings, but some poor defense, timely hitting, and creative umpiring let allowed Cincinnati to not just get back into the game, but to take the lead. Zack Cozart reached on an error to start the inning, and he moved to 2B when Devin Mesoraco singled while batting for Cueto. Hamilton then bunted after being flipped to batting right-handed by a pitching chance, but new reliever Mike Dunn bobbled the bunt and the bases were left loaded as a result. Negron struck out on an awkward swing, and Todd Frazier followed with a looping shallow fly ball to RF that resulted in the defining play of the game. Cozart attempted to tag from 3B and score, and he was thrown out by a stride-and-a-half, but replay ultimately ruled (after over six minutes of deliberation) that the catcher was blocking the path to the plate before the ball got there, and Cozart was granted the run (and the runners that moved up were allowed to move up, too). Marlins manager Mike Redmond argued and was tossed, and Ludwick followed with a 2-run single to CF. Reds led because new baseball rules are nebulous and silly, 3-1.
- Jonathan Broxton pitched himself into (single, walk) and out of (strikeout of Stanton) trouble to get the Reds through the Bottom of the 8th, and Aroldis Chapman got a ground ball double play as help in the 9th to wrap it up. Reds win, 3-1!
- Chris Heisey stole a would-be double form Adeiny Hechavarria in the Bottom of the 4th that would have driven in the Marlins' 2nd run of the evening. I'm not entirely sure Jay Bruce would have tracked it down with his balky knee.
- Chapman appeared to limp a bit while pitching to Marcel Ozuna with 2 outs in the Bottom of the 9th, but stayed in to finish the PA, which happened to end in a swinging strikeout. That means Chapman's streak of at least one strikeout in every appearance moves to 46 consecutive games.
- That the Reds again went a game without taking a walk makes Joey Votto's absence that much more glaring.
- The idea of "Kris Negron, future utility infielder" is actually kind of growing on me. The guy was once a sorta-decent prospect, too, who owned a career .267/.362/.405 line in 623 Double-A PA while primarily playing SS.
- Speaking of which, I think that's a byproduct of today's Trade Deadline having come and gone with the Reds making no moves at all. If the front office is really as satisfied with the current roster as it appears, we're going to get a 55+ game preview of guys like Negron.
- The de-dangled Mat Latos will take the mound for the Reds tomorrow against the Marlins in the second game of the series. The Marlins will send Jacob Turner to the mound.
- Back to .500 on the season!
- Cy's favorite Tunes (in honor of the many trades made by the Reds today).