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Reds take late lead, lose anyway. PIT 2, CIN 1

The rain in Spain stays mainly in a cartoon cloud that just follows the 2014 Reds wherever they go.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Mike Leake pitched a heckuva game this evening, and he did it largely in the shadow of his former teammate, Edinson Volquez, who was busy tossing a near no-hitter for the opposing Pittsburgh Pirates.  While the offense gave him nothing, Leake tossed 7 innings of scoreless baseball while scattering 6 hits and a lot of balls in play in the process, and considering the offense (and later the bullpen) managed to fart the game away late, that's plenty good enough for Leake to take home tonight's JNMHSotG.

Have a trophy, Mike.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Billy Hamilton, who had a single, a walk, a pair of stolen bases, a run scored, and a nifty full-dive catch in CF; Devin Mesoraco, who had a pair of singles, the latest of which scored Hamilton for the Reds' only run of the game; and Jay Bruce, who got a hit while not striking out five times in a game for the second game in a row.

Key Plays

  • Fans of offense were treated to a big fat heaping helping of squat through the first 7 innings of tonight's game, but the Reds finally broke through the near no-no Volquez had cooking in the Top of the 7th with back to back singles from Mesoraco and Bruce.  Unfortunately, the Reds squandered that opportunity thanks to a GIDP off the bat of Kris Negron and a Zack Cozart K.
  • After Leake was pinch-hit for in favor of Chris Heisey to lead off the Top of the 8th inning (with a groundout), Hamilton smacked a single to RF, stole 2B, and eventually came around to score on the other single from Mesoraco.  Unfortunately, Brandon Phillips attempted to score thanks to a bobble in the outfield from Starling Marte, but the throw beat him to the plate to run the Reds out of the inning and end the threat.  Reds led, 1-0.
  • As mentioned, Leake was pulled in favor of Heisey after having thrown just 82 pitches, which meant that Jonathan Broxton was being summoned for the Bottom of the 8th.  That went very, very not swimmingly.  Broxton allowed a single to Andrew Lambo with 1-out on a grounder off Todd Frazier's glove at 1B, and Lambo scored when Josh Harrison hit a meatball off the wall in RF that ricocheted past Bruce and went for a triple.  Jose Tabata followed with a single to drive in Harrison, and that was mostly that.  Reds lose, 2-1.
FanGraph Packed Full of Bad

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes
  • Leake - a career .236 hitter - was pinch-hit for in the Top of the 8th with the game in a scoreless tie and Leake having throw just 82 pitches.  Chris Heisey - a career .249 hitter - was the pinch-hitter used.
  • That marked the third time in Leake's last four starts where he has thrown fewer than 95 pitches.
  • Before the game, word trickled out that Joey Votto's comeback has taken a turn for the worse after he experienced pain while moving laterally in the infield during a workout.  Sigh.
  • Tunes.