The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Cody Reed's 100th pitch struck out Yadier Molina looking, an 86 mph slider that broke hard, broke hearts, and showed an eyes wide open look at just why he's been so lauded by prospect evaluation despite the rough start to his Cincinnati Reds career.
It capped a dang remarkable evening for Reed, as the young and talented lefty entered Busch Stadium and hurled 6 innings of scoreless ball against the St. Louis Cardinals, fanning 4 against just a lone walk and 4 hits. It was precisely the kind of performance the 23 year old's MiLB numbers have suggested we should anxiously await, and we can only hope it injected the kind of confidence bolt that he'll need to build on to finish the year showing that this evening's performance is no fluke.
Congrats on a lockdown, kick-ass performance, Cody, and here's to it being a stepping stone to bigger, badder, nastier stuff in the coming years.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Zack Cozart, who went 2 for 4 with a double, run scored, and a pair of ribbies; Eugenio Suarez, who singled twice, drove in a run, and scored; Tucker Barnhart, who walked, singled, and scored a run; Billy Hamilton, who singled, walked, and stole two bases; Blake Wood, who put out a Jumbo Diaz induced fire as part of an impressive 1.2 innings of scoreless relief; and Adam Duvall, who walked twice and stole a bag.
- After flirting with the scoreboard in the Top of the 1st, the Reds finally put a solid dent in it in the Top of the 2nd. Suarez began things with a leadoff single, which was then backed by a single from Barnhart. After a failed bunt attempt (which in the 2nd inning deserves a swift shin-kick for even being attempted) and a pop-out from Hamilton, Cozart doubled to LF to drive in both runners. He then scored when Votto bonked a "triple" to CF, and for a minute we thought Votto came in to score, too, when Adam Duvall's behemoth blast was originally ruled a homer. Unfortunately, replay confirmed it was merely a foul, and the inning then ended on a Duvall groundout. Still, the Reds were up, 3-0.
- Cincinnati tacked on another off Michael Wacha in the Top of the 3rd, as BP belted a leadoff double and scored two batters later after a pair of productive groundouts. Reds led, 4-0.
- From that point forward, Wood shuttered a fire & handed off to Tony Cingrani for the 9th, at which point things began to look like April and May all over again. Cingrani yielded a single to Yadier Molina to begin things, and after Cingrani recorded a pair of outs, he walked Tommy Pham and then plunked Kolten Wong on the shoulder. Matt Carpenter then lasered a 2-run single into RF, and that was backed by a single to LF from Piscotty to make things 4-3. A walk to Matt Holliday then chased Cingrani and left the bases loaded for Ross Ohlendorf, who promptly walked Brandon Moss to drive in a run, make your supremely annoying Cardinals fan friend text you, and tie the game a 4-4.
- Then, the surreal happened, unless of course you'd seen the Reds' bullpen pitch for the bulk of the season. Ohlendorf then toed the rubber against Yadier Molina, and the Dorf promptly plunked him in the gut with the bases loaded to drive in the game's winning run and send Cincinnati to the most "Reds playing against the Cardinals" loss since most every "Reds playing against the Cardinals" loss of all time. Reds lost, 5-4, in case you cried getting to this point.
- Stephen Piscotty has played each OF position for the Cardinals this season (as well as 1B), and has made play after play against the Reds that suggests that he's less than a capable defender at most all of those positions. Votto's "triple," for instance, came when Piscotty dove in an attempt to catch it, the ball landed feet in front of him, and the ball rolled past him nearly to the wall. Piscotty has been worth a positive 4.0 in DRS according to FanGraphs and a positive 0.4 dWAR per BBRef, however, which makes everything I've read about Jay Bruce's awful defense in RF seem like a semi-calculated crock of crud.
- Yes, I promise I'll be less attached to Jay Bruce at some point in the near future. At some future, yet to be determined point.
- Brandon Finnegan will take the mound for the Reds on Tuesday, and he'll be opposed by former Red Mike Leake (who was bonked around for about a billion runs against his former club just last week). First pitch is set for 8:15 PM ET.
- C. Reed Tunes.