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Reds defeat Pirates 3-1

The Reds' bats didn't do much today, but Pirates errors combined with Anthony DeSclafani's generally very good start were enough for the win.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Anthony DeSclafani may have been left in the game a touch too long, and while I have no problem with Bryan Price sticking with him a bit longer  to see what he's capable of at this point in the season, the two hits and a run he gave up in the eighth made his start look worse than it truly was.  Even with the shaky eighth inning, DeSclafani finished the game with seven and a third innings pitched, allowing one run on seven hits, six strikeouts and zero walks.  He also added a single and drew a walk.  Nice day for Disco.  This was the first DeSclafani start the Reds won since August 4.

Honorable mention goes to Jay Bruce, who singled in the second inning for his 1000th career hit.  He joins Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ted Kluszewski and George Foster as the only players with at least 1000 hits and 200 home runs in a Reds uniform.  Nice company.  Congratulations, Jay.

Key Plays

  • In the bottom of the second inning, Brandon Phillips reached on the second error in as many innings committed by Sean Rodriguez.  Jay Bruce followed up with a 13 pitch at bat that culminated in a single, and Eugenio Suarez singled to center to drive in Phillips.  Reds lead 1-0.
  • Still in the second, Adam Duvall drew a walk to load the bases with no outs.  Tucker Barnhart then hit a not-super-deep fly ball to right field, but Bruce tagged and broke for home anyway.  The throw from Gregory Polanco was off line, and catcher Chris Stewart misplayed the throw and the ball wound up in the third base dugout, which allowed both Bruce and Suarez to score.  Stewart was initially charged with an error, and although it was later changed to Polanco, either way it was the Pirates' third of the game and second of the inning.  Reds lead 3-0.
  • Then, for a while, not much happened.  Jeff Locke settled down nicely, after the disastrous second inning, and Anthony DeSclafani continued to deny the Pirates.
  • In the bottom of the fifth, the Pirates' fourth error of the game, this one courtesy of Pedro Alvarez, allowed Phillips to reach first.  Bruce followed with a walk, at which point Locke was removed from the game.  With new pitcher Jared Hughes on the mound, Phillips was immediately caught stealing, and then Hughes made it through the rest of the inning with no damage.
  • DeSclafani returned to the mound in the top of the eighth and allowed a leadoff double to pinch hitter Jaff Decker.  Two batters later, Decker scored on Neil Walker's single.  That was it for Desclafani, who left the game with one out in the eighth and with the Reds leading 3-1.
  • Jumbo Diaz entered the game at that point, and after walking Andrew McCutchen on four pitches he looked like he was about to do the same to Jung Ho Kang.  Instead, Diaz induced a ground ball from Kang, which allowed the Reds to turn a fantastic double play to end the inning.  It was a great play by all three of Joey Votto, Suarez and Diaz to get the outs.
  • In the ninth inning, Aroldis Chapman entered the game to close it out.  He struck out two and hit Rodriguez with a pitch, although he was picked off first a few pitches later.  Reds win 3-1.


Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • In case you missed it, during the game the Reds announced that they would be calling up Tony Cingrani, Brandon Finnegan, Josh Smith and Kristopher Negron tomorrow.  Noticeably absent from that list is Robert Stephenson.
  • The Pirates television broadcasters, predictably, took issue with Jumbo Diaz being excited at the double play the Reds turned to get out of the eighth inning.  The Pirates really have the perfect match between the team and their broadcasters.  Lighten up, fellas.
  • In the ninth inning, Aroldis Chapman hit Sean Rodriguez with a pitch.  It was clearly unintentional, so we can expect three or four Reds batters to be hit by pitches in tomorrow's game.  I wish I was joking.
  • Joey Votto had an uncharacteristically bad day today, grounding into a double play, striking out twice, and getting just one hit and no walks.
  • The Reds are now 10-4 against the Pirates on the season.  Oddly, the Pirates are 23-34 against the National League Central division, despite being 81-55 overall.  Even more oddly, the Pirates' best record against a divisional opponent is against the first place St. Louis Cardinals, against whom they are 8-8.  Baseball is a weird game.
  • Given that today is Labor Day, I guess it makes sense that Bourgeois didn't have a super productive day at the plate.
  • Tune!