Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Anthony Desclafani pitched 7 very strong innings, allowing only a single run on three hits and two walks, tallying 6 Ks against an Indians lineup jam packed with lefties specifically to face him. And not to mention the Indians offense is just pretty good even without having the platoon advantage from 8 of the 9 spots in the lineup. The lone run came after Boesch failed to make a rather difficult catch on what would have been the third out of the inning, so Deslafani really put in some quality work in this outing.
Honorable mentions are due to Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce on 2-4 days, Joey Votto for also having a 2-4 day at the plate and a great leaping catch to keep the floodgates from opening for the Indians offense, Billy Hamilton for his 1-3 and also a top-play-caliber diving catch, and Zack Cozart for driving in the lone Reds run on a sac fly.
- The game started out promisingly. In the top of the 1st, Votto and Phillips both singled, though unfortunately these events were sandwiched by a Schumaker double play grounder. In general, you probably want to avoid having one of your worst hitters at the top of the lineup. In his half of the inning, Deslafani started the game by fanning the first two Indians hitters, and then getting Murphy to fly out.
- The Reds offense struck their blow in the 2nd inning. Bruce singled to lead off, Peña doubled to put runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs, and then Cozart battled for a 9-pitch AB that ultimately ended in a sac fly. Boesch struck out and Billy popped out to end the most promising rally the Reds would muster on the day. Reds led 1-0.
- Deslafani and Kluber both cruised through their innings with little trouble until the 6th. With two outs, Boesch kind of tripped over trying to catch a low liner in front of him, nearly grabbed the ball as it bounced out of his glove and off his arm, but in the end it hit the grass in front of him before he could manage to grab it - all that amounted to a single for Jason Kipnis in the boxscore. Deslafani then walked Carlos Santana. David Murphy then singled cleanly up the middle, and Billy unleashed a wayward throw to home plate that Kipnis scored on easily. It was lucky Peña was able to block the throw with a dive to prevent further advancement/scoring. Votto then made an excellent leaping catch on a line drive off the bat of Brandon Moss which, if it had gone down the line, would have had the feel of completely blowing the game open. Game tied, 1-1.
- Deslafani pitched a clean 7th, and Cingrani was called on for the 8th. He started the inning by walking catcher Roberto Perez (who walks almost a fifth of the time despite hitting .180 and striking out like crazy). Michael Bourn laid down a poor bunt that resulted in trading him as a baserunner for Perez. Good trade for the Indians. Kipnis then doubled, driving in Bourn to give the Indians the lead. 2-1.
- The Reds went quietly in the 9th, losing 2-1.
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2015-05-23&team=Indians&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2015-05-23&team=Indians&dh=0&season=2015">FanGraphs</a></span>
- When the Reds entered the top of the 3rd with their 1-0 lead, it was the latest they had held a lead at any time during their (now) 7-game losing streak. That...is not good baseball.
- The Reds defense giveth, and the Reds defense taketh away. Hamilton and Votto both made highlight worthy defensive plays (Votto made two of them, in fact), but the lone run allowed by Deslafani came on a makable play that Brennan Boesch just couldn't quite manage to make. Also, have any of the Reds outfielders managed to make a single good throw this year when actually trying to throw someone out? Billy's throw home was so far off the mark it took a diving attempt by Peña to prevent an error, much less an actual attempt at the runner.
- The baserunning continues to be good, for what that's worth as the losses pile up. Votto created a double for himself in the 3rd by hustling on a ball to CF on which most batters content themselves with a single. Peña (Peña!) stayed out of a double play with alert baserunning on a Cozart grounder in the 4th. Frazier was able to stay out of a double play off the bat of Peña in the 6th due either to a hit-and-run or a stolen base attempt. Billy got caught stealing on a curveball from a RH pitcher, but you can't win them all.
- In honor of our finest muffins, Tunes which have a suggestion for a course of action for the front office. Or the fans, whoever. The first line of the song is just too appropos...