The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Cueto lasted just 5 innings and allowed 5 runs - 3 earned - in a start that many have pointed to as potentially his last with the Reds, and while the overall line looked bad, it paled in comparison to how the Marlins shut down the Cincinnati offense for yet another day. Cueto, though, has a backlog of awesomeness that get him today's trophy, as if wanting to write about him one last time wasn't reason enough.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Todd Frazier, who had two hits (one a double) but a costly error; Burke Badenhop, who tossed a clean inning in relief; JJ Hoover, who did, too; Brandon Phillips, who doubled and walked; and Joey Votto, who was the only other Red to reach base twice on his own volition (on a walk and a lean-in HBP).
- Phillips started things with a sharp double to LF to lead off the Top of the 1st, and he scored two batters later when Frazier dropped a single in front of Christian Yelich in LF. Reds led, 1-0.
- Cueto breezed through the 3rd relatively unscathed, but he ran into trouble in the Bottom of the 4th. Yelich led off with a single to LF, and he motored to 3B two batters later on a Justin Bour double to the wall in CF. Casey McGehee the poked an opposite-field grounder down the 1B line at approximately 11 mph, and it rolled long enough to be a double and score both baserunners. McGehee went to 3B when Cole Gillespie singled behind him and then scored when the Reds' attempt to turn an inning-ending double play on a J.T. Realmuto grounder only got the force at 2B. Reds trailed, 3-1.
- "Defense wins championships," or so we've all been told. Well, in the Bottom of the 5th, the Reds defense derped, and it cost them another two runs. A two-out walk to Yelich didn't help, of course, and neither did Yelich's steal of 2B with Adeiny Hechavarria at the plate. Hechavarria then rolled one over for a soft grounder right at Frazier that should've been the inning's final out, but the Reds 3B booted it to leave runners safely on the corners. As is wont to happen to bad teams doing bad things, the Marlins doubled in both runners in the very next PA. Reds trailed, 5-1.
- You're still reading this? I'm so sorry. Ryan Mattheus came on to pitch the Bottom of the 7th, and he got smacked around before the defense again let down their pitcher. Derek Dietrich doubled to begin the inning, and he moved to 3B on a single from Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro then stole 2B, and Mattheus got Yelich to ground out with no damage, but then a Hechavarria grounder to Eugenio Suarez cued Yakety Sax. Suarez spun, threw nowhere close to anyone, and in the scramble for the ball nobody managed to cover home, 3B, or much of anywhere else, and both Dietrich and Ichiro came in to score. Hechahowever ended up at 3B, and he then scored on a single from Bour. Reds trailed, 8-1.
- The good news: that was the last of the Miami offense on the day. The bad news: the Cincinnati offense had already been asleep for two hours, and that was that. Reds lost, 8-1.
- If, by chance, Sunday's affair was Johnny Cueto's last in a Reds uniform, his Reds tenure will have ended with him being replaced by Skip Schumaker. If that's not the most fitting way to describe how the team's fortunes have evolved since 2012, I don't know what is.
- The Reds just got annihilated by the lowly Miami Marlins in back to back games. That's going to be fun to remember during the All Star break.
- Oh, yes. The All Star break. The Reds and the rest of baseball will be off this week while the best and brightest non-Cueto members of baseball's elite descend on Cincinnati for today's Futures Game, tomorrow's Dinger Derby, and Tuesday's actual contest. We'll do our best to keep the lights on here at RR while that's all going down.
- Friday is technically the start of the "2nd half" for the Reds, and they'll be hosting the Cleveland Indians. Should he not get traded between now and then, Mike Leake is scheduled to take the mound, with first pitch set for 7:10 PM ET.