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The phrase "Walks Will Haunt" doesn't quite cover it. Reds lose 5-3

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An uncharacteristically ugly start by Johnny Cueto was just one part of one of the strangest games of the season.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

By all rights, Cleveland should have destroyed the Reds in regulation in this game, but they squandered a number of opportunities and left a small army on the bases.  As it happened, of the five runs they did score, four were on bases loaded walks in four separate innings - two off Johnny Cueto, who pitched as poorly as I've ever seen him pitch -  which wound up being enough to win them the game, despite one add-on run.

But I guess somebody needs the JNMHSotG, so how about Joey Votto?  He had two singles, a double and an RBI.  Honorable mentions are due to Eugenio Suarez, who had a single, a double and a home run, and to Brandon Phillips, who had two hits and scored a run.  Additional honorable mention is due to Aroldis Chapman, who set a record today by becoming the fastest pitcher in Major League history to record 500 strikeouts, a feat he accomplished in just 292 innings.  Congratulations, Aroldis.

Key Plays

  • In the top of the first inning, Johnny Cueto gave up a leadoff single to Jason Kipnis, and a one out single to Michael Brantley.  With runners on first and third and one out, Cueto managed to get out of the inning with no damage.  The final out of the inning was a strike out of David Murphy, which was interrupted by a 47 minute rain delay.
  • In the top of the second, Cueto got two quick outs, then loaded the bases on two walks and a single.  He then walked Francisco Lindor to force in the game's first run, before getting Brantley to ground out to end the inning.  Cleveland up 1-0.
  • Eugenio Suarez homered for the fifth time this season in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 1-1.
  • The fourth inning was a replay of the second: Cueto loaded the bases on a hit and two walks, then walked in a run (Brantley this time) to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead.  The inning and Cueto's outing ended with a strike out of Carlos Santanta.
  • Ryan Mattheus was tapped to start the fifth inning and he promptly loaded the bases.  He was then replaced by Manny Parra, who walked Brantley (again!), forcing in yet another run.  Cleveland up 3-1.
  • The Reds put together a little bit of a two out rally in the eighth, when Phillips singled and Ivan De Jesus Jr walked, bringing Joey Votto to the plate.  Votto singled to right center to score Phillips and cut the Cleveland lead to 3-2.
  • In the ninth, against Cleveland closer Cody Allen, the Reds had another two out rally, as Suarez doubled, then scored on a Jason Bourgeois RBI single to tie the game at 3.  We're heading for extras.
  • In the tenth inning, De Jesus appeared to tweak something in his leg and had to be removed from the game.  This led to some creative shuffling by the Reds, which resulted in Tucker Barnhart playing right field, and Phillips returning to his roots at shortstop for the first time since 2007.
  • Pedro Villarreal came in to pitch the eleventh, and after getting a quick out, he allowed three straight hits (all in the general direction of right fielder Barnhart).  Then, unbelievably, Villarreal walked Yan Gomes to force in yet another run.  Cleveland up 4-3.
  • Kipnis then hit a sacrifice fly to tack on another run.  Cleveland up 5-3.
  • And that was it.  Cleveland wins 5-3.

Fangraph

<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2015-07-19&team=Reds&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=2015-07-19&team=Reds&dh=0&season=2015">FanGraphs</a></span>

Other Notes

  • Assuming no trades and regular rest, Johnny Cueto's next start would come during next weekend's series at the Colorado Rockies.  It is conceivable, then, that he could even squeeze in yet one more start after that as a Red before the trade deadline, either at St. Louis or at home against Pittsburgh.  I don't think it's going to happen, although after today's start, who knows?  The saga continues.
  • This game included the 18th rain delay of the season for the Reds.  It was their 89th game, meaning one in every five games this year has been delayed.  Is that a lot?  Seems like a lot.
  • Cleveland's Michael Brantley earned two RBI today, both on walks.
  • Cleveland left 18 runners on base in this game.
  • The Reds went 1-5 against Cleveland on the season.  While the novelty of the Ohio Cup series has long since worn off, Cleveland is just barely ahead of the Chicago White Sox to stay out of last place in the American League Central.  This was an incredibly poor showing against a mediocre Cleveland team.
  • <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">This is the 2nd time in his career Cueto has walked 2 batters with the bases loaded in the same game. Last was way back on 9/16/2014.</p>&mdash; Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) <a href="https://twitter.com/jluckhaupt/status/622847380380098562">July 19, 2015</a></blockquote>
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  • In his two innings of work, Chapman threw 44 pitches, a new career high for him.
  • Tunes!