The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It's hard to overstate just how good Brandon Finnegan was today. St. Louis didn't record their first hit of the game until the fifth inning. Their only other baserunner, with Finnegan pitching, came on a Eugenio Suarez error. This was the first start in which Finnegan did not allow a walk since May 18 against Cleveland, and comes on the heels of Finnegan allowing no runs on four hits against the Padres last week. His final line looked a little something like this: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, and 4 SO. The outing lowered his season ERA to 4.45, and by game score it was his best start of 2016. Cincinnati jumped out to a big lead in this one which allowed the Reds to keep Finnegan's pitch count to 79.
Honorable Mentions: Billy Hamilton went 2-4 and stole a base; Brandon Phillips went 3-4, scored three times, and drove in a run; Eugenio Suarez was 2-3 with 2 RBI; Ramon Cabrera went 2-4 with 3 RBI; Raisel Iglesias pitched two scoreless innings in relief.
- The Cincinnati offense got things going in the second against former Reds starter Mike Leake. Brandon Phillips led off the inning with a single, and "Smokin" Scott Schebler moved him to third on a double. With two on and one out, Ramon Cabrera singled to drive in both Phillips and Schebler.
- Brandon Phillips got things moving for the Reds once again with a leadoff double in the fourth. He moved over to third on a Scott Schebler ground out. The next hitter, Eugenio Suarez, drove in Phillips with a sac fly to right.
- Jhonny Peralta singled in the top of the fifth to give the Cardinals their first hit of the game.
- Billy Hamilton singled and stole second in the bottom of the fifth. However, the Reds were unable to take advantage. It wouldn't matter.
- In the bottom of the sixth it became official. Brandon Phillips was having himself a day. Following an Adam Duvall walk (yes you read that correctly), Phillips doubled to drive in another run. Phillips then stole third, and Scott Schebler was hit by a pitch to give Cincinnati runners on first and third with no outs. I think we're going to need a new bullet point for the rest of this inning...
- Still in the sixth, still no outs, and Eugenio Suarez doubled to left. Phillips scored on the play. That was the end of the day for Mike Leake. Seth Maness came in to pitch, and he immediately gave up an RBI single to Ramon Cabrera. Suarez would score when Tyler Holt (pinch hitting for Finnegan) grounded in to a double play.
- Zack Cozart anticipates returning to the lineup tomorrow.
- A week ago news broke that the Reds were set to sign undrafted outfielder TJ Friedl out of the University of Nevada. Today, Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline said that Friedl would make the list of the Reds top 30 prospects once the deal is official. This is looking like a shrewd pickup for Cincinnati.
- Today Zach Buchanan gave his thoughts on how the Reds should handle the development, and eventual promotion, of Amir Garrett.
- Eno Sarris took some time to break down Joey Votto's recent run of success (ESPN Insider).
- During the game C. Trent Rosecrans mentioned that Xavier University now has a vending machine which dispenses hot pizza. What a time to be alive.
I love that point in the year where God decides he wants to play some baseball without anyone noticing and assumes the form of Joey Votto— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) August 4, 2016