The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Brandon Phillips is playing with a hairline fracture in his hand after having been hit by a pitch earlier in the week, but it certainly hasn't caused his offense to dip just yet. In fact, he's had back to back solid offensive performances, and on Sunday he came up with the biggest hit of the day for the Cincinnati Reds (albeit in yet another loss).
Phillips went just 1 for 4, but his hit was the only of the extra-base variety for Cincinnati against Tom Koehler and the Miami Marlins. His double drove in two, and was the only real offensive highlight in a game that was otherwise devoid of them (and also featured a spate of poor defense). That's just how the Reds will have to roll into the All Star break, however, which won't do much to inspire any confidence.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jay Bruce, who singled twice, scored, and drove in a run; Zack Cozart, who singled twice and scored; and Raisel Iglesias, who tossed a pair of hitless innings in relief (with two walks and four strikeouts logged in the process).
- Cincinnati jumped on Tom Koehler immediately, with Cozart leading off the Top of the 1st with a laser of a single off 3B Martin Prado's glove (and had Prado not knocked it down, it'd have been a double to the LF corner). Cozart moved up to 2B when Joey Votto coaxed a walk, and that scoring position proved key when Bruce followed with a single to CF that scored the Reds' SS. Reds led, 1-0.
- The Marlins punched back in the Bottom of the 2nd, however, as a double to the corner in RF by Miguel Rojas was backed up by a single into RF by Adeiny Hechavarria, one that saw Bruce bobble it before airmailing the cutoff man as Prado came in to score. Then, with pitcher Koehler at bat, Tucker Barnhart booted a fastball right down the gut from Reed that ricocheted off his kneepad far enough from home to allow Hechavarria to come all the way in to score on the passed ball. Ugh. Reds trailed, 2-1.
- Great hitting led to a pair of runs for the Reds in the Top of the 4th. Bruce looped a single into CF on a low and away pitch - the exact type he's swung over the top of so many times when struggling - and Adam Duvall followed by pulling single into LF on a low and in cutter. That left a couple of runners on for Brandon Phillips, who smoked a 2-run double to the wall in LF. Phillips was later out trying to score on a single by Barnhart, but the Reds took the lead, 3-2.
- Miami reclaimed the lead in the Bottom of the 5th when Prado doubled to the LF corner and Giancarlo Stanton followed by hitting a ball out of the entire state of Florida altogether. Reds trailed, 4-3.
- Rojas reached 1B to lead off the Bottom of the 6th on a routine grounder to the right side after Votto broke right initially to make a play only to realize he couldn't get to it and needed to cover 1B. Phillips was forced to hesitate before throwing, and though Rojas was initially ruled out, replay overturned the call. A sac bunt and a 2-out single later, Rojas scored on a J.T. Realmuto single. Prado then walked, Christian Yelich dumped a single into CF, and both runners scored after Billy Hamilton's throw towards 3B caromed out of play for an error. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Reds trailed, 7-3.
- Votto struck out looking with 2 on in the Top of the 7th on pitch number 5 in this screenshot. This umpiring crew (which also had two plays overturned by replay at 1B) had about as good of a day as the Reds' defense. That marked the last attempt at a rally, and the Reds lost, 7-3.
- Today was probably Cody Reed's best performance since being called up, though it still didn't quite go as planned. At times, his stuff was nasty, but all too often it was over the middle of the plate, and walks and hits allowed still haunted the talented young lefty. His final line: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 7 K on 98 pitches.
- We've officially reached the All Star break, which means we've got five days until the Reds will take the field as a team. Duvall will donk dingers in tomorrow's Dinger Derby, and both he and Jay Bruce will represent the Reds in the actual All Star Game on Tuesday evening.
- Speaking of said break, it appeared that the Reds' team defense had already gone on vacation.
- This was the 57th loss of the season for Cincinnati. Only the Atlanta Braves (with 58) will enter the break with more.
- The Reds will begin the last homestand of the season before the non-waiver trade deadline on Friday, welcoming the Milwaukee Brewers to town for three of what will eventually be nine straight games at GABP (as the Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks will follow the Beers through Cincinnati). So, yeah, that means it may be your last chance to get out and see Bruce as a member of the Reds, so go do that.
- Friday's starter will be Anthony DeSclafani, as The Enquirer's Zach Buchanan detailed in his article about the shuffled-up Reds rotation.