The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Mike Leake didn't have his best stuff tonight for the Cincinnati Reds, but he still managed to yield just a single run in his 6 IP against the Atlanta Braves. He pitched his way around each and every jam he found himself in, and after a 1 hour and 40 minute rain delay, he did everything within his power to keep the team in the game. For that, he gets the nod, and continues the great start to his 2015 season.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tony Cingrani, who struck out the side in a perfect inning of relief, showing that - GASP - he might actually be a good reliever if used more than once per decade; Jumbo Diaz, who tossed a perfect 8th inning while touching 99 mph on the radar; and Brandon Phillips, who went 2 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base as the only member of the offense that performed worth a hoo-ha.
- The Reds jumped on Shelby Miller in the Bottom of the 2nd to get things going. Brandon Phillips walked, Jay Bruce singled behind him, and after Kristopher Negron was hit with a curveball to load the bases, Tucker Barnhart launched a deep sac fly to CF to plate BP. Bruce tagged up and went to 3B, but he was then tagged out in a rundown between 3B and home when Mike Leake laced a sharp liner that was nabbed by the Braves' 3B. Reds led, 1-0.
- Andrelton Simmons busted that lead to pieces in the Top of the 4th, though, as he ended Leake's scoreless innings streak with a solo shot over the wall in left-center. Game tied, 1-1.
- The Top of the 6th saw Leake get into a jam, but after his defense initially let him down, his defense bailed him out with some help from some wonky replay and the fact that everyone ever dislikes A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski singled with 1-out, Jace Peterson reached 1B after Joey Votto just sorta kinda kinda sorta forgot to have his foot on the bag when receiving a throw on an infield tapper, and Cameron Maybin walked to load the bases. Frazier then fielded a slow grounder of the bat of Miller, threw home, and Tucker Barnhart tagged Pierzynski out in a near collision instead of simply having his foot on the bag for the force out. The play was challenged - either for the obstruction rule or to see whether Pierzynski beat the tag - but the call was upheld, and Leake then got a groundout to end the threat.
- Aroldis Chapman was brought in for the second consecutive game in a non-save situation, and this one went similarly to the one from Sunday. Chapman struck out the first batter he faced, but a pair of singles, a steal of 3B, and an eventual wild pitch slash passed ball slash what the heck ever on a 103 mph fastball out of the zone allowed Phil Gosselin to score to take the lead in the Top of the 9th. Brandon Phillips singled in the last gasp half inning for the Reds, but that's all the gumption they could muster. Reds lose, 2-1.