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Phillies 5, Reds 4 - Bullpen, late defensive miscues blow would-be win for Cincinnati

The end of Tuesday's game was not for the faint of heart.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Jay Bruce continued to dig himself out of the early season doldrums that plagued him so regularly, and the Cincinnati Reds RF brought his season OBP all the way up to an impressive .337 on the season in the process.  Bruce had a pair of hits against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, and he added yet another walk to his ledger for good measure.

That left Jay with 27 walks on the season, which is impressively just one walk shy of Joey Votto's team lead.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Votto, who doubled, singled, and drove in a pair of runs; Zack Cozart, who went 2 for 4 with a double, run scored, and RBI; Brandon Phillips, who had a solid display from the leadoff spot with a 2 for 5 night (with 2 runs scored); and Johnny Cueto, who returned from the elbow stiffness that cost him two weeks with a 6 IP, 1 ER outing that featured a questionable strike zone and iffy defense behind him.

Key Plays

  • The skies had opened and rain was pouring down as they dropped the puck on this one at kickoff, but that seemed to bother Sean O'Sullivan more than the top of the Reds order.  Brandon Phillips led off with a single, and he motored around to score when Votto followed with a sharp double right down the RF line.  Reds led, 1-0.
  • Defense bit Cueto in the Bottom of the 2nd, though.  Maikel Franco reached on an error by Todd Frazier, and he moved to 3B when Cody Asche followed with a double.  Franco then came in to score on a nubber to the right side of the infield from Odubel Herrera.  Game tied, 1-1.
  • The lineup rolled over in time for the Top of the 3rd, and Phillips and Votto got the Reds back on the board again.  This time, however, it was a bloopdouble from BP that landed just under the dive of Ben Revere followed by a looping single from Votto to left-center.  Reds led, 2-1.
  • Cincinnati kept the double train rolling in the Top of the 4th, as Marlon Byrd smacked one off the railing in the RF corner which was followed by a smash from Zack Cozart to the gap between RF and CF to drive in the run.  Cueto moved Cozart to 3B with a bunt, and Billy Hamilton then dropped a squeeze bunt to the 1B side that allowed Cozart to score.  Reds led, 4-1.
  • Chase Utley hit a solo dinger off Cueto in the Bottom of the 6th.  I'd elaborate, but I don't feel at all like talking about Chase freakin' Utley.  Reds led, 4-2.
  • Things were all well and good until two Phillies were out in the Bottom of the 8th.  Ryan Howard then launched a line drive right at Bruce in RF, but he lost it in the lights - or just misplayed it horribly - and it went right past his glove and to the wall for a double.  Karma, as you may expect, was then a bitch, and Franco followed by cheesing a Jumbo Diaz meatball just inside the LF foul pole for a 2-run dinger.  Dang.  Game tied, 4-4.
  • After most of the lethal lefties in the Phillies lineup had already had a chance to hit in the 8th off Jumbo, the Reds finally brought in Tony Cingrani to pitch the Bottom of the 9th.  That failed, too, as Herrera led off with a double and eventually scored on a jam-shot single to RF from Darin Ruf.  Reds lose, 5-4.

Tony Graphanino That May Make You Want to Puke

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes
  • All those awful bullpen disasters of April you thought were a thing of the past?  This one was every bit as bad, and it came at the hands of the single worst team in all of baseball.  Hoo-ray.
  • The Reds entered Tuesday's game with just 61 doubles on the season, the fewest in all of baseball.  They then proceeded to hit four of them off Phillies starter Sean O'Sullivan.
  • Manny Parra, Tony Cingrani, and Aroldis Chapman each were in the bullpen when Ryan Howard lined his "double" off righty Jumbo Diaz in the Bottom of the 8th, and each had an off-day yesterday.  Howard entered Tuesday's game with a .950 career OPS vs. RHP and just a .729 OPS against LHP.  This year, he'd put up an .839 OPS vs. RHP and just a .555 OPS against LHP.  Jay Bruce should've absolutely caught the ball hit right at him, but Bryan Price's willingness to ignore those stats completely is at least worth noting.
  • Marlon Byrd was hit by an O'Sullivan pitch in his third trip to the plate, and he was eventually removed and replaced by Brennan Boesch.  Word came out after the game that he'd fractured his wrist.  More on that as it comes, of course.
  • The recent solid performance of the Reds bullpen had pulled them from the worst overall unit in all of MLB (by ERA) to just the 4th worst unit in all of baseball.  Tonight's outing probably rectified that, though.
  • I'd be mad, but this Reds team isn't going anywhere anyway.  Not with nights like this happening on the all-to-regular.
  • Tunes.