The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Brandon Phillips grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia, just a...well, just a stone's throw from downtown Atlanta, and with his parents in the stands putting up with awkward Jim Day interviews, BP patiently took a pair of walks against Atlanta Braves pitching and even chipped in with a nifty turn of a double play with his glove.
On a day when the rest of the Cincinnati Reds bats were completely silent, that's JNMHSotG worthy, I suppose.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who had a single, walked, and got in a good scream session after being called out on strikes on a series of awful calls by the home plate ump; J.J. Hoover and Burke Badenhop, who each tossed a clean inning of relief out of the beleaguered bullpen; and Brayan Pena, who had a single.
Not the best day at the office for the Redlegs.
- Unicorns. Leprechauns. Bad pizza. Johnny Cueto allowing three extra base hits in a row. Two consecutive days where Shockwave does not crash. Good History Channel programming. Each of these are things that are never seen, yet somehow the Braves got a double from Andrelton Simmons, a double from Freddie Freeman, and a dinger from Kelly Johnson off Cueto in the Top of the 1st inning. Stupid Shockwave. Stupid 88 hour American Pickers marathon. Stupid Barves. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- Cueto continued to struggle with leaving pitches elevated in the zone, both with his fastball and with his offspeed stuff. While the Braves hit several balls hard, most fortunately managed to stay in the yard, but in the Bottom of the 3rd another hanging change-up got mashed for a solo shot by former Reds LF Jonny Gomes. Reds trailed, 4-0.
- The Reds got bit by the Balkin' Bob Davidson bug in the Bottom of the 6th, and another Braves run scored in the wake. Jace Peterson singled to lead off the inning, and he moved to 2B when Davidson called Cueto for a balk (which, admittedly, was a balk this time). That extra base proved to be costly when Cameron Maybin singled to CF and Peterson motored around to score. Reds trailed, 5-0.
- Teheran exited after the 6th, yet the Atlanta bullpen continued to keep the Reds offense bottled up, and the good guys went meekly. Reds lose, 5-0.
- Zack Cozart was hit on the left wrist in the Top of the 1st, but he remained in the game after initially reacting like it hurt like a sumbitch. In the Bottom of the 4th, however, a grounder hit by Teheran hit Cozart in his non-glove hand, and the Reds SS left the game with a cracked fingernail that was quite bloody. He was replaced by Kristopher Negron.
- X-rays on his finger were negative, though, which means it shouldn't be the kind of thing that keeps him out of action for more than a day or two, hopefully.
- In the Top of the 7th, tHom spent a few minutes lamenting that the Reds are now just 3-3 in games started by Johnny Cueto, and he continually harped on how the Reds haven't given him any run support in those starts. He never once mentioned that at this early point of the season, the Reds have often been running into the opposing team's top starters with their top starter on the mound because, well, it's called "a rotation." The pitchers the Reds have faced in Cueto's starts: Francisco Liriano, Michael Wacha, Michael Wacha, Jimmy Nelson, Kyle Lohse, Julio Teheran.
- The Reds have an off-day on Monday before beginning a 3 game series on the road against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tuesday's game will feature Michael Lorenzen against Jeff Locke, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT. Devin Mesoraco reportedly will or will not be almost ready to begin thinking about maybe catching a bullpen session in 4 to 23 days by then, maybe.