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Reds 3, Cardinals 4 - Late dinger by Randal Grichuk proves decisive

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The Reds were winning, at least until they weren't.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

David Holmberg didn't exacly flash the kind of electric stuff that would make you think he's a future cog in the Cincinnati Reds rotation, but that's not ever something he's really been able to claim.  Holmberg is what he is, which is a guy with a tall build, a great pitch angle, and the ability to throw a handful of different pitches with reasonable accuracy around the plate when he does.  He won't fool or overpower opponents, but when he's locating, he can take command of most any game in which he's pitching.  That was the case against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, at least through the first half the evening.  Holmberg held the Cardinals to just a single hit through the first 5 innings, and eventually exited after having allowed a pair of runs in 5 IP, with 3 BB, 3 K, a walk at the plate, and a run scored to boot.

He's in the mix with a bevy of other rookie pitchers, but Holmy's holding his own despite not being as overpowering as most of the rest.  Have a trophy, Dave.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Jumbo Diaz, who K'd 5 St. Louis Cardinals in his 2 IP; Manny Parra, who was great in an awful situation in his 1.1 IP return from the DL; Aroldis Chapman, who K'd 3 in his lone inning of work; Joey Votto, who walked thrice (and should have on another occasion); Brandon Phillips, who had a 3 single evening (and stole his 16th base of the season); and Brayan Pena, who went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and 2 ribbies.

Key Plays

  • The Reds put a 2-spot on the board in the Bottom of the 3rd thanks to Pena's bases loaded double, a cue-shot down the LF line that scored Votto - who had walked - and Todd Frazier - who had reached on a slow grounder down the 3B line that managed to eek fair before being picked up.  Reds led, 2-0.
  • Another slow-rolling grounder from Frazier got the Reds a third run in the Bottom of the 4th, as that came after a leadoff walk to Holmberg, a single to RF from Phillips, and the second walk of the game from Votto.  Frazier rolled over softly enough on a 1-out pitch from Carlos Martinez that SS Jhonny Peralta could only go to 1B, and that brought in Holmberg to score.  Reds led, 3-0.
  • The Cardinals got on the board against Holmberg in the Top of the 6th.  Peter Bourjos pinch-hit for Carlos Martinez to lead things off, and he reached after being hit by a pitch.  Holmy then walked Matt Carpenter before allowing a crushed meatball to Randal Grichuk, a blast that hit off the top of the wall-ish in CF.  The umpires took a millenium to review things, and they eventually determined it was merely a 1-run double instead of a 3-run dinger, a decision that the Reds should've been super excited about since it appeared that it hit an unpainted fence behind the yellow stripe on the top of the wall.  That chased Holmberg in favor of Manny Parra, who yielded an RBI single to Peralta before getting a GIDP to end the inning.  Reds led, 3-2.
  • The Cardinals have perfected the act of being amorphous globs of untenable goop for years, and they wore that badge proudly in the Top of the 8th when Carpenter blasted a solo dinger off J.J. Hoover, a donker that leveled the score at 3-3 and pushed all post-deadline plans to the backburner.
  • After a pile of effective relief pitching, Dylan Axelrod finally had a meatball cranked by Grichuk with nobody out in the Top of the 13th.  It was a solo blast, and one the Reds couldn't match.  Reds lost, 4-3

Tony Graphanino

<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2015-08-05&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=2015-08-05&team=Reds&dh=0&season=2015">FanGraphs</a></span>

Other Notes

  • Joey Votto's pair of walks pushed his season total to 80.  He's struck out just 80 times so far in 2015, also, which leaves him in pretty phenomenally elite company with just four other players that currently have as many or more walks as strikeouts:  Jose Bautista, Michael Brantley, Buster Posey, and Ben Zobrist.  Some my even define that as "elite."
  • What's funny, though, is that Other Note numero uno was written prior to the Bottom of the 9th, when Votto was rung up on an #UmpShow of a strike three call that Kevin Siegriest threw no fewer than four inches off the outside corner of the plate.  So, Votto now has one more K than BB on the season, but the general gist of Note 1 still stands.
  • Then, because nothing comes easy, Votto walked again when he was completely pitched around in the Bottom of the 12th, which means he's now back to the positive side of the ledger walk-wise.  Dear lord, this now reads like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" recap.
  • Todd Frazier's OBP is down to .319.
  • Brandon Phillips' OBP is up to .321.
  • Day game tomorrow (Thursday), with first pitch set for the series finale set for just after half past noon.
  • Tunes.