The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Think for a minute about how bad not only the beleaguered Cincinnati Reds rotation would be if Dan Straily wasn't anchoring the staff, think about how many more runs the bullpen would've allowed if faux-Straily was providing the residual 3ish innings per start.
Sorry, sorry, sorry. If you're Peter Pan, that's never going to help you learn how to fly again.
Straily was naily again on Friday, limiting a rather potent Seattle Mariners offense to just a single run in his 6 IP, in the process lowering his season ERA to a shocking-for-the-Reds 2.85. That's damn good, regardless of scenario. Straily K'd 5 against just 3 walks and 4 hits, and suddenly a guy who basically missed all of Reds' Spring Training is the cog that's the only thing between the Reds and the Atlanta Braves at the back-end of the...wait, the bullpen blew this one and the Reds lost anyway? Nevermind. At least Straily's proven to be a damn fine roster move by a front office that has caught endless flack of late.
Have a trophy, Dan, and be glad that we all now realize that pitcher wins are a stupid, stupid stat.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Zack Cozart, who dingered and walked; Adam Duvall who singled twice; and Tucker Barnhart, who did, too, added a ribby, and then singled a third time after I thought I was done writing about this whatever it is on a Friday night.
- It was a bit fortunate, but the Reds scored first in this one when Brandon Phillips doubled off the wall in left-center and Joey Votto - who had walked - motored all the way around the bases to score. The fortunate break came when Mariners catcher Chris Ianetta dropped the relay throw at home, since the ball beat Votto to home by a good three steps. Good luck for the Reds? Imagine that!. Reds led, 1-0.
- Cozart continued his torrid start to the season in the Bottom of the 3rd, blasting a solo homer over the wall in CF. The Reds then tacked on a third run in the Bottom of the 4th after Eugenio Suarez took a 1-out walk, moved to 2B on a single from Adam Duvall, and scored on a single to RF off the bat of Tucker Barnhart. Reds led, 3-0.
- Seattle finally graced the scoreboard in the Top of the 6th, when Kyle Seager's double to RF scored Robinson Cano all the way from 1B (after Cano had been hit by a pitch). Reds led, 3-1.
- Dan Straily was pinch-hit for in the Bottom of the 6th, which meant that...[drumroll]...it was officially Reds Bullpen time! Blake Wood took over and promptly allowed a walk, a single or two, and then walked in a run. That brought in Tony Cingrani to face Cano, who was promptly plunked by the first pitch Cingrani threw to bring in another run to tie the game. Sigh. Have a beer, would ya? You'll be happier then when I tell you that Dae-Ho Lee then singled to RF to score another pair of runs. Had that beer? Good. Now I can tell you that Dae-Ho Lee then singled to RF to score another pair of runs. Guh. An alert play by Cozart to throw home with runners in motion and an adept tag of Cano at the plate by Barnhart fortunately got the Reds out of the inning (finally), though it needed a replay confirmation for even that to happen. Good freakin' lawdy. Reds trailed, 5-3.
- JC Ramirez took over for the Top of the 8th, walked the leadoff batter, and allowed a run. Wash, rinse, pour another beer, drink said beer, probably consider a third, and then repeat. Reds trailed, 6-3.
- Jumbo Diaz took over for the Top of the 9th, and he served up solo dingers to both Nelson Cruz (700ish feet) and Lee (which bounced off the top of the LF wall). Reds trailed...oh, I dunno, what was it? 8-3? Is that all? That's how it ended, too. So, if 8-3 is correct, that's how it was when things ended. Reds lost.
- Think about it this way: you'll be able to tell your kids, your kids' kids, and - if you're lucky enough - your kids' kids' kids about how godawful this Reds' pitching staff was. Because there will never be another as bad as what we've seen so far.
- Tim Adleman's trip to the DL meant that many eyes turned to Jon Moscot's rehab start with AAA Louisville on Friday, since it seemed plausible that Moscot would return to the rotation in Adleman's stead by early next week. Welp, Moscot got thumped and thumped hard by the Columbus Clippers, though, allowing 9 ER on 11 hits in just 4 IP. He allowed 4 dingers in that thumping and, well, who the heck knows what the Reds plan to do with their pitching sitchamacation. Whatever it is, cross your fingers.
- Felix Hernandez will toe the rubber for the Mariners in Saturday's contest, so if you're in the area, go watch one of the absolute best arms of our generation go to work. John Lamb will be on the mound for the Reds, and he'll be looking to bounce back from his awful previous outing. First pitch is set for 4:10 PM ET, so plan accordingly.
- Reds Bullpen Tunes.