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Cincinnati Reds 1, Kansas City Royals 3 - Iglesias good, Reds not good enough

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Raisel Iglesias pitched a gem and then oof, bam, pow... the Reds lost in extras.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

The Reds have used rookies to start 19 games in a row now, as is the hand the struggling 2015 Reds have been dealt after dealing rotation stalwarts and soon-to-be free agents Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake to other teams. This has led to both predictable struggles and encouraging signs. Squarely in the "Encouraging" ledger since that time is rookie right hander Raisel Iglesias.

From the time he was inserted into the starting rotation (very) briefly to begin the season, it was evident that the Cuban rookie had the stuff to be legit, but pervious light workloads and subsequent stamina issues reared their ugly, question mark shaped heads. Save for that early May eight inning domination of the Atlanta Braves, Iglesias failed to make it to 6 innings in his first 6 major league starts.

In his last 5 starts, Iglesias has managed to go at least 6 IP while seeming getting better and better each time. It took some seasoning, some time in the bullpen, and some time on the DL, but the 25 year old Reds rookie (who's locked up through 2020) has seemingly put it together faster than many had expected.

Since Mike Leake made that last veteran start for the Reds on July 28th and prior to tonight, Raisel started 3 games of 18.2 inning ball with a 2.89 with 19 strike outs to 4 walks, allowing a .499 OPS. All he did tonight was pitch 7 innings of 3 hit, shutout ball with 3 Ks and 1 walk on 90 seemingly effortless pitches against the best team in the American League.

There is no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to young arms, but if you aren't a little excited about Raisel Iglesias, you have a cold, dead heart.

Honorable mention to: Eugenio Suarez for producing the only Reds run of the night in the top of the 1st (which felt like it happened last year), despite 3 Ks, Joey Votto who walked 3 times, JJ Hoover for allowing nothing in giving way to Aroldis Chapman (who, isn't going to be here), and, I dunno.. Badenhop, Diaz, and Parra for giving up nothing in extras? I guess?

Key Plays

  • Eugenio Suarez has no feels about Edinson Volquez returning to the mound in Cincinnati, and he promptly showed it with 1 out in the 1st inning, when he mashed a dinger to left field, drawing first blood for the Reds. Joey Votto and Todd Frazier went down in order after that, but the Henny put the Reds on top quickly, 1-0.
  • And everything just sailed on quickly until the top of the 9th, when Reds closer/dominator Aroldis Chapman was brought into the game to slam the door on the reigning AL Champion. That didn't happen, unfortunately, as Ben Zobrist blasted a home run to left center field, blowing the save for the Cuban Missile. Lorenzo Cain quickly singled to Billy Hamilton in center field before Eric Hosmer struck out. Cain stole second base, and then when Chapman neglected checking him, he stole third.
  • And then all hell broke lose: Salvador Perez grounded to Brandon Phillips, who went to Frazier at third with Cain running on contact. Cain was "caught" in a run down, Frazier to Pena to Suarez (who ran with Cain far too long), to Frazier, whose tag Cain tried to dive under at home plate. The umpire seemed to believe he had succeeded in doing, which the Reds challenged promptly, and by the thread of his thready thread thread, the replay HQ decided Frazier had indeed tagged Cain out. Perez moved to 2nd on the play, obviously, but Mike Moustakas grounded out to end the cray-cray inning and we got FREE BASEBALL in Cincinnati. 1-1.
  • In the top of the 11th, Alcides Escobar launched a shot to the gap in center field, which Hamilton promptly grabbed and fired to the infield, where Escobar was trying to stretch the play into a double. The throw came in time and the runner was called out. Royals manager Ned Yost and, from what I can tell, all of humanity disagreed that Suarez applied the tag timely. After another review, replay HQ upheld the play. Yost came out to argue, which you can't do, and was tossed.
  • In the top of the 13th, the Reds turned to Ryan Matheus. That didn't go well. Jarrod Dyson singled and then Kris Medlen bunted to move Dyson over... except Matheus fielded the ball and sailed it past Votto, scoring eventually scoring Dyson. Matheus then threw a wild one, which allowed Medlen to go to second. Escobar singled, putting runners on first and third with no one out. Zobrist sent a high chopper to the right side, but could make no play on it while Medlen scored from third and this game went downhill quickly. Matheus was lifted for Dylan Axelrod who allowed Zobrist to take 2nd base before Cain grounded out to Frazier for the first out of the inning. Eric Hosmer was intentionally walked to load the bases for Perez. Perez struck out before Moustakas ended the inning on a fly out to left fielder Skip Schumaker. Gah. Royals, 3-1.
  • The Reds went quietly into the night, bowing to the Royals in 13, 3-1.

Tony Graphanino

<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=1119332&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2015-08-18&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=2015-08-18&team=Reds&dh=0&season=2015">FanGraphs</a></span>

Other Notes

  • Johnny Cueto was in Great American Ball Park tonight. That deserves a "Other Note" all on its own. #ThankYouJohnny
  • Aroldis Chapman's blown save in this one was the first in 56 straight save chances at GABP, only his second blown save of the year.
  • So the Nationals are under .500 as of 8:30pm EDT on Tuesday, August 18th. Just imagine you, me, and collective Reds fans both pro-and-anti-Daughtery and the cumulative head explosion that'd be happening right now had the Reds come in with that kind of hype and expectations, only to be under .500 halfway through August. We'll see how it turns out, but if the Nationals miss the playoffs, boy... I guess it shows that it could be worse.
  • Raisel Iglesias got his first major league hit today. So that's hella cool.
  • Billy Hamilton erased Iglesias's first time on the base paths with an inning ended double play. So that's hella something.
  • There have been August waiver trades in the MLB, but the Reds haven't made any of them. And according to John Fay of the Enquirer, Walt Jocketty has said they haven't had any talks about trading, either. There was a lot of speculation that the Reds had some pieces that they could move post-non-waiver trade deadline, but apparently either they or nobody else is interested at this point.
  • It's been a while since I've Jason Isbell'd right? Tunes whose title felt like this game (and, also, as of today I've been at my current job for one year and, well...)