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Bunts and pants and bunts and pants and bunts and pants...

The bunt of the litter.
The bunt of the litter.
Kirk Irwin

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Kris Negron went 2 for 3 today with a triple, a walk, a nifty play against the rolled up tarp along the 1B line, and a pair of runs scored, and that's the kind of day that deserves recognition regardless of circumstance.  That he did it against the Boston Red Sox - the team that originally drafted him in the 7th round in 2006 before trading him to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Alex Gonzalez in 2009 - makes it just a little bit sweeter, though, and he therefore takes home today's JNMHSotG.

Factor in that it was also announced today that Brandon Phillips - the guy he's mainly replaced on the roster - is about to begin a rehab stint, and it may have been the kind of performance that could ultimately help determine whether he stays on the roster much longer or not.  Big hits in should-win games in August never hurt.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Skip Schumaker, who walloped a dinger as part of his 3 hit afternoon; Mike Leake, who dingered, too, despite an otherwise below average pitching performance; and the bullpen, who got 4 no-hit innings combined from J.J. Hoover, Sam LeCure, Manny Parra, and Aroldis Chapman.

Key Plays

  • Mike Leake struggled early and often in this one, and it bit him from the get-go beginning with the leadoff walk to Brock Holt to start the Top of the 1st.  A wild pitch moved Holt up to 2B, and he then scored on a single from Daniel Nava.  Nava took 2B on the throw, moved to 3B on a productive grounder from Yoenis Cespedes, and then scored on a groundout from Mike Napoli.  Reds trailed, 2-0.
  • The Reds put a run on the board in the Bottom of the 3th thanks to a 1-out walk from Kris Negron, a ground rule double from Frazier, and a deeply hit sac fly from Devin Mesoraco that allowed Negron to score from 3B.  Reds trailed, 2-1.
  • The boomsticks got to Anthony Ranaudo in the Bottom of the 4th, and they came from the bottom of the Reds lineup.  Schumaker walloped a 400+ foot no-doubter well over the wall in RF with 1-out, and Leake mashed the 4th dinger of his career over the wall in LF two batters later to give himself the lead.  Reds led, 3-2.
  • Said lead was short lived, however, as Boston promptly re-took control in the Top of the 5th.  A 1-out double from Holt was followed two batters later by an RBI single from Cespedes, Napoli followed with an oppo-dinger that just cleared the RF wall.  Reds trailed, 5-3.
  • Negron continued to be a menace to the team that originally drafted him when he led off the Bottom of the 5th with a triple to the wall in left-center, and he scored a batter later on a deep sac fly hit by Frazier.  Reds trailed, 5-4.
  • The Reds got singles from Schumaker and Cozart to lead off a would-be rally in the Top of the 9th (despite Cozart first being asked to bunt unsuccessfully).  Santiago was then also asked to bunt and K'd trying, and after Billy Hamilton flied out on the first pitch he saw (for the second time on the day), Negron's comebacker was knocked down by the pitcher for the final out of the game.  Reds lose, 5-4.

FanGraph That's Not Actually a FanGraph Because FanGraphs was Broken When Writing This and That Game was Too Damn Ugly Anyway

Other Notes
  • Neither David Ortiz nor Dustin Pedroia started for the Red Sox today, though Pedroia eventually pinch-hit for Daniel Nava.  Yoenis Cespedes was pinch-hit for by Will Middlebrooks in the Top of the 7th, too, after suffering what the team has called a "bruised right hand."  That means that an August 2014 game between two teams from the 2013 postseason saw none of Ortiz, Pedroia, Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, or Brandon Phillips play the entire 9 innings.  That's so 2014.
  • I suppose it's also worth mentioning that today's game was supposed to be started by Homer Bailey, but he was bumped back to Saturday due to elbow soreness.  That, too, is so 2014.
  • Billy Hamilton entered today's game having hit just .198/.221/.275 in 97 PA since the All Star break.  His 0 for 5 day didn't do anything to improve those numbers.  Dang.
  • Fat, drunk, and terrible in one-run games is no way to go through life.  Today's loss means the Reds are now 1-10 in one-run games since the break and a putrid 17-28 in them on the season.  I'd have a joke for that, but I'm not that funny.
  • Since the All Star break, the Reds are dead last in the majors in runs, hits, AVG, OBP, caught stealing, extra base hits, and OPS.  They're 28th in walks and 29th in SLG, so they've got that going for them...which is nice.
  • The Reds head to Denver later today and will begin a four game series against the Colorado Rockies tomorrow that is as near to critical as it gets.  I'll be at Coors Field tomorrow and on Saturday with no press pass and no access to anything at all.  Thanks, Rob!  Blogs are sooooo two-thousand and late.
  • 60 wins, 60 losses, 42 games to play.
  • Ugh: