The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Going into this season, Reds fans knew that with the youth of the pitching staff that they would need a "veteran" to provide some consistency in the rotation. Most of us assumed and hoped that it would be Homer Bailey, but absolutely none of us thought that it would be Dan Straily. After a few rough starts to end the month of June, Straily entered tonight's game with 3 straight quality starts in July, including 7 shutout innings against Milwaukee last Sunday.
He ran into some trouble early tonight, but settled in to keep the Arizona Diamondbacks at bay and continue his strong month of July to the tune of 6 innings, 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 3 walks, and 8 strikeouts. For a pitching staff that is this young and inexperienced, these are exactly the types of performances that give Reds fans some relief this season. So have a trophy, Dan, and keep surprising us all.
Honorable mentions are due to: Joey Votto for continuing to mash the ball by going 1 for 3 with 2 walks and a 3-run dinger; Billy Hamilton for going 2 for 4 with a walk, 2 runs scored, and 3 stolen bases in his return to the leadoff position; Tucker Barnhart for adding a crucial run with his 5th home run of the season; and Brandon Phillips for essentially putting the game away with his 2-out RBI single in the 7th.
- Things did not start off well for Dan Straily, as it took only four pitches for lead-off batter Jean Segura to connect with a dinger to dead center to give the Diamondbacks an early 1-0 lead. Michael Bourn then came up and doubled on a line drive to left. After a Paul Goldschmidt groundout moved Bourn to third, Straily gave up a walk and stolen base to Jake Lamb. Welington Castillo would then connect on a fly ball to the track in center that would score Bourn from third. Brandon Drury flew out to end the inning, but not before the D'Backs would lead, 2-0.
- The Reds would not take long to answer back. Billy Hamilton took the first pitch he saw and hit a line drive single to center and then
was caught stealingstole second on an incredible instinctual move to get his hand out of the way of the tag. After a Zack Cozart walk, Joey Votto did what he does and took the second pitch he saw to the seats in left field for his 17th dinger of the season. Jay Bruce would follow the home run with a single off of Archie Bradley's foot and then move to second on a groundout by Adam Duvall. After Brandon Phillips was hit by a pitch and Eugenio Suarez walked to load the bases, Tucker Barnhart would ground into an inning-ending double play. Reds led, 3-2.
- Both pitchers settled down, pitched through some trouble, and kept their respective opponents off of the scoreboard through the next few innings. That changed in the bottom of the 6th when Tucker Barnhart took an 0-1 pitch to the visitor's bullpen in right for his 5th knocker of the season. The rest of the side was retired in order, but the Reds increased their lead to 4-2.
- The Reds were able to get on the scoreboard again in the bottom of the 7th. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce both walked to lead off the inning. After Votto moved to third on a GIDP by Duvall, Brandon Phillips smacked a liner into right field for a RBI single. He would move over to second after a passed-ball, but Eugenio Suarez would strike out to end the inning. Reds lead, 5-2.
- The Reds continued to tack onto their lead in the bottom of the 8th. After Tucker Barnhart and Ivan De Jesus Jr. both made outs to lead off the inning, Billy Hamilton walked on 4 pitches to reach base for the 3rd time. As Billy broke for second, Zack Cozart smoked a liner into left field for a RBI double. Votto would be intentionally walked but Jay Bruce would strike out to end the inning. Reds lead, 6-2.
- Tony Cingrani came on in the 9th and retired the side. Reds win, 6-2.
- Joey Votto's line coming into tonight for the month of July was .400/.541/.600, just in case you all wanted to be reminded of how great he is.
- Speaking of Homer Bailey, it was announced tonight that he will make another start in Louisville on Monday, July 25. I would imagine that this will be his last start in Louisville and that we will be seeing him pitching for the Reds very soon.
- John Lamb made his first Triple-A start since being sent down tonight for Louisville and gave up 2 earned runs in 5.2 innings while striking out 10 batters. Hopefully he can figure things out down there soon so we can see that golden hair throwing for the Reds again soon.
- The Reds wore their Red jerseys at night for the first time in a long time, maybe ever, at the request of Straily. Wear those Red threads whenever you want, Dan.
- Keyvius Sampson (01, 5.51 ERA) takes the mound on Saturday against Robbie Ray (5-8, 4.49 ERA) at 7:10 PM ET as the Reds look to win their 3rd series since the All-Star break.