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Reds try for late rally, fall short against Cardinals, lose 3-2 in series finale

A tough loss to wrap the divisional series.

Perhaps my favorite Votto picture ever.
Perhaps my favorite Votto picture ever.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

On a night where the starting pitcher was merely OK, the bullpen allowed some runners and escaped by the skin of their teeth, and the overall Cincinnati Reds offense was rather lackluster, Joey Votto at least provided what you'd hope Joey Votto would provide against a pitcher he's seen time and time again over the years.

Votto went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored, and while Jaime Garcia kept the rest of the Reds offense off-kilter, he was once again the battleship in the lineup the team has hoped for (and, yes:  paid for).  So, have a trophy, Joey, and here's to bonking some Milwaukee Brewers pitching once the Reds take the field again this weekend.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Blake Wood, who fired a perfect inning in relief (that featured a pair of Ks); Eugenio Suarez, who launched an early solo dinger; and Adam Duvall, who singled and walked.

Key Plays

  • Matt Carpenter turned around the second offering of the game from Anthony DeSclafani, hammering a fastball over the inside of the plate over the LF fence for his 11th career leadoff dinger, putting the Reds behind 1-0 in the Bottom of the 1st.
  • The Cardinals tacked on another in the Bottom of the 3rd, and again it was Carpenter doing the heavy lifting. He tripled off the wall in left-center and scored two batters later on a double by Brandon Moss, and the Reds trailed, 2-0.
  • Suarez got the Reds on the board in the Top of the 4th, however, poking an opposite field dinger over the RF wall with 2-out, leaving the Reds trailing just 2-1.  That run was quickly poached back by St. Louis, however, as Jhonny Peralta mhauled a mheatball well over the wall in LF in the Bottom of the 4th to leave the Cardinals in front, 3-1.
  • After that, the lone real Reds threat came in the Top of the 9th against a tiring Jaime Garcia, as Votto donked a leadoff ground-rule double and moved to 3B a batter later when Duvall singled.  That chased Garcia in favor of Seung Hwan Oh, and after a GIDP scored Votto, Oh got Tony Renda to strike out swinging to end the threat and the game.  Reds lost, 3-2.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Anthony DeSclafani didn't pitch terribly in this one, but when he missed his spots, he was missing in the middle of the plate, and that burned him several times.  His final line:  5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, on 96 pitches.  He's been better, and he'll be better.  Still, for an off-day in terms of location on the road against a team with postseason aspirations, that's not too bad, all told.
  • Eugenio Suarez entered tonight's game with a .650 OPS against RHP in 323 PA and a robust .910 OPS against LHP in 106 PA.  Then, he honked a homer against lefty Garcia.  This has been your "you've probably already been eliminated from your fantasy baseball playoffs, but here's a tip anyway" tip of the day.
  • The Reds will have a Midwestern off-day on Thursday, though I'm not sure if they'll just hang in St. Louis tonight or head on to Milwaukee and spend their off-day on the shores of Lake Michigan.  I know what I'd do, but whatever.  They'll tangle with the Brewers over the weekend, with Friday night's game set to start at 6:10 PM ET.  Homer Bailey will be on the mound for Cincinnati in his 3rd start since returning from Tommy John surgery, and he'll be opposed by Jimmy Nelson.
  • Tunes.