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Reds beat Brewers 5-4 to open season's second half

A win!

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David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

It's hard to underestimate the impact Anthony DeSclafani has had on the entire Cincinnati Reds pitching staff since his return.  He's been simply superb, and on Friday he again was nails in another quality start that should've, and could've been even better than it otherwise was with just a bit more love from his defense.

Disco allowed 3 ER in his 6 IP, struck out 8 Milwaukee Brewers, and allowed nary a walk, and his 2.55 ERA is a sparkly outlier on a pitching staff that has been more than double that (even with the nastiness of Raisel Iglesias since his return - including his electric pair of scoreless innings tonight).

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Jay Bruce, who walked twice, doubled in a run, robbed a dinger on defense, and scored; Adam Duvall, who doubled and drove in a pair; Billy Hamilton, whose 2 for 4 night woefully underrepresents his impact on the bases; and Tucker Barnhart, whose late 2-RBI double put the Reds in front for good.

Key Plays

  • Milwaukee dinked their way to a run in the Top of the 1st thanks to a trio of softly hit singles. Jonathan Villar led off the game with a single over Eugenio Suarez at 3B, and he scored three batters later after oppo-dinks by Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy.  Reds trailed, 1-0.
  • The Reds finally equalized in the Bottom of the 4th, and it was Billy Hamilton doing the heavy lifting that fueled it.  He singled to begin the inning, and ended up at 2B two batters later when Villar made a marvelous stop on a hard-hit ball by Joey Votto but could only get Votto at 1B.  Jay Bruce then walked, and Adam Duvall then hit was looked like it would be a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning, but Duvall beat out the relay.  That was only a portion of the story, however, as Hamilton rounded 3B and sprinted home in anticipation that his LF pal would beat the relay, and scored easily when Duvall beat it out.  HAVOC!  Game tied, 1-1.
  • Crap defense would be an easy way to describe how the Brewers scored again in the Top of the 5th, but it was really more mental than anything.  Ramon Flores singled to CF to begin the inning, and ended up on 2B a batter later on a sac bunt by pitcher Matt Garza.  There appeared to be ample time for Disco to try to get Flores at 2B for what could've been an inning-ending double play, but instead he opted to go to 1B, and that bit them in the butt.  Villar then hit a dribbler down the 1B line that Votto tried to patiently play, but that bit the Reds again when the ball hit the bag itself and kicked by Joey, thereby allowing Flores - who could've been out before that anyway - to score the leading run.  Reds trailed, 2-1.
  • Don't name your kid Scooter.  Scooter Gennett dingered in the Top of the 6th, a solo shot to put Milwaukee up 3-1.
  • The heart of the Reds' order came to the plate in the Bottom of the 6th, and got down to business. Votto laced a 1-out single into RF, Bruce worked a walk in a fantastic battle with Garza, and Duvall followed with a double off the top of the RF wall that was inches from a dinger (with confirmation coming after it was reviewed).  The double scored Votto and left runners on 2B & 3B to chase Garza, but after BP struck out swinging, Suarez coaxed a walk to load the bases for Barnhart.  Tucker then responded with a dink of his own, one that went just inside the LF line to score a pair on a timely RBI double.  Reds led, 4-3.
  • Billy duped the Brewers again in the Bottom of the 7th, reaching on a bunt single & then claiming 2B when Lucroy's attempt to nail him at 1B went awry.  He took 2B on the error, stole 3B, and eventually scored when Bruce roped a double to the wall in left-center.  Reds led, 5-3.
  • The Tony Cingrani Experience took over for the Top of the 9th, and a spate of walks, walks, and singles scored a run and left the bases loaded for Ross Ohlendorf to clean up, but fortunately that's exactly what The Dorf dorf'd.  Reds won, 5-4!

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes
  • Homer Bailey got another rehab start with the Louisville Bats on Friday, and he finally flashed a bit more of the Homer we've hoped to see.  He struck out 5 and allowed just a lone earned run in 4 IP against the Indianapolis Indians, scattering just 3 hits in the process.  I'd guess he'll get one more outing (at least) with Louisville before returning to the Reds.
  • Jose Peraza neither started for Cincinnati on Friday nor helped Homer while with the Louisville Bats, which is something that's becoming an increasingly annoying, frustrating, and predictable chapter in the development of another talented Reds prospect (see:  Devin Mesoraco, Todd Frazier).  Manager Bryan Price told Zach Buchanan of The Enquirer that he has "no intentions - without injury - of having him usurp" guys in front of him at the positions he plays for regular time.  That's...a pretty terrible usage of a guy with Peraza's talent, especially since Phillips' has a gawdang broken hand.
  • Speaking of BS, this is Bryan Price's quote from when the team sent Scott Schebler - the less regarded piece in the Frazier trade - down to Louisville when Adam Duvall beat him out for the LF job: "We just need to get Scott playing time," said Price to's Mark Sheldon. "Scheb, he's a young guy and I don't want him sitting on the bench. Now that it's not a platoon situation as much, I don't want Scott as a bench player, as a 25-year-old guy that we went out and got because we think he's got the potential to be an everyday player."  Either one quote is crap, the other quote is crap, or it's all just a pile of it.  For what it's worth, Peraza took over for Phillips in the Top of the 7th after BP injured his right calf while at the plate the inning prior.
  • John Lamb will start for the Reds tomorrow against Milwaukee, with first pitch set for 7:10 PM ET. He'll be opposed by Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson.
  • Tunes.