The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Of all the boring, slow, unimportant, mid-week, rain-delayed games the Cincinnati Reds have slogged through over the years, Thursday's may well have been the boringest, most mid-weekiest of the bunch.
The Reds lone extra base hit came off the bat of Joey Votto in the Bottom of the 1st, and that promptly led to him being pitched around for the remainder of the afternoon as Michael Wacha shut down the rest of the Cincinnati offense. Votto finished the afternoon 1 for 1 with 3 walks, and that was plenty good enough to take home the day's JNMHSotG trophy.
Four times on base, zero times scoring a run. That's frustrating for all parties, I'm sure.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who had 2 of the other 4 Reds hits on the afternoon (both singles); Michael Lorenzen, who pitched decently despite the delayed start, but was bitten by a few 2-out hits with runners on in vintage Reds-vs-Cards fashion; and the combo of Burke Badenhop, Pedro Villarreal, and Dylan Axelrod, who combined to toss 4 scoreless innings from the pen.
- Lorenzen held the Cardinals lineup hitless in their first time through the order, but that changed immediately in the Top of the 4th. Jason Heyward looped a single just over the outstretched glove of Brandon Phillips at 2B to lead off the inning, stole 2B, and scored two batters later when Tony Cruz hit a cracked-bat, 2-out single to LF. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- In the Top of the 5th, Matt Carpenter flipped a double into RF to lead off the inning, Stephen Piscotty was hit by a pitch, and Carpenter moved to 3B when a softly hit grounder by Heyward resulted in a force-out at 2B (that was reviewed and upheld, likely as a "neighborhood" play). Heywards again stole 2B, and that proved important as both runners later scored when Kolten Wong hit a 2-out single up the middle off Lorenzen. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- The Reds' offense must have been sleepy after the lengthy extra-innings game from Wednesday night, since the zero runs they'd posted at the point proved to be the same number they'd finish with. Reds lost, 3-0.
- Since July 1st, Joey Votto has 33 walks, just 21 strikeouts, and 36 hits in 95 AB. Not too shabby.
- Since July 1st, Todd Frazier has 6 walks, 21 strikeouts, and 22 hits in 114 AB. Unfortunately shabby.
- The Reds will head West this afternoon, and they'll start a 3-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Land of the Endless Strip Mall tomorrow at 9:40 ET. Raisel Iglesias will take the mound for the good guys opposite Chase Anderson.