Apologies for the untimeliness of today's last night recap. I wasn't about to ruin what was an otherwise wonderful Wednesday by jumping head-first into uncovering the details of last night's game when I made it home during the 8th inning.
I'm sure you all understand.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Jay Bruce had a rather Brucey road trip. The Cincinnati Reds RF managed three multi-hit games and four 0-fers during the most recent week away from home, and since last night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals was one of the multi-hit variety, well, have a trophy, Jay.
Bruce went 2 for 4 with a walk, which managed to eek his season OBP back over the .300 mark. Small victories, folks.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Ramon Santiago, who also went 2 for 4 with a walk; Devin Mesoraco, who had a pinch-hit double; Kris Negron, who had a pinch-hit RBI single; and J.J. Hoover, who tossed a scoreless inning that included two strikeouts and zero walk-off hits allowed.
- Start this by trying to stick a fork up your nose. Trust me.
- Johnny Cueto made it through the first two inning scoreless (thanks in large part to a nifty double-play turned by Billy Hamilton in the Bottom of the 1st), but the Cardinals broke the seal in the Bottom of the 3rd. A Matt Holliday double followed a single from John Jay to score the 1st run of the evening, and that stayed the same until the wheels came off for the Reds ace in the Bottom of the 5th. An infield single, HBP and a walk allowed by Cueto came back to haunt with a pair of outs, as Jhonny Peralta dhoubled to shcore all of them. Reds trailed, 4-0.
- A 5th run was tacked on as Cueto departed and Logan Ondrusek took over, but considering the bases were loaded at the time it wasn't the worst way the Bottom of the 6th could have gone. In the Bottom of the 8th, Carlos Contreras was tasked with retiring Cardinals, but he managed to allow a pair of runs to score thanks to work from Daniel, Descalso, a Peter Bourjos double, and a single from Jay. Contreras was then pulled with an injury before Sam LeCure was brought in to escape things. Reds trailed, 7-0.
- The Reds finally put something together offensively in the Top of the 9th against Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal, which was nice to see. Jack Hannahan (Jack Hannahan!) got things started with a pinch hit single, and the Cardinals defense then self-destructed their way into allowed a pair of runs to score. Brandon Phillips reached on an error two batters after Jack, and both then scored on a Santiago single that was badly misplayed by Jay in LF. Santiago scored on an infield single from Santiago, and despite the Reds ability to load the bases later in the inning, the potential game tying run grounded out to end the game. Reds lose, 7-3.
- Had I written this last night, I would have probably compared the last handful of season in Reds history to that of the 1990's editions of the Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners. Both sent copious players to All Star games, both had multi-year runs of sustained success, neither won a World Series, and both teams got summarily dismantled in the wake. Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Roberto Alomar, Jr., Ken Griffey, Jr., Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Albert Belle...yeesh.
- On a side note, has there been a single team in baseball who has produced more different All Stars than the Reds in the last handful of seasons?
- Joey Votto should not play again in 2014. There's no real reason.
- After watching Cueto struggle through tonight's start and looking at his gaudy IP numbers this season, perhaps an early September shutdown for him wouldn't be a terrible idea, either.
- In fact, maybe they should just shut it down, shut it down.