The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Adam Duvall was once traded for Mike Leake. Remember?
The former San Francisco Giants AAAA 3B came to the Cincinnati Reds in that deadline day deal in 2015 as a complementary piece to pitcher Keury Mella, and has mostly done nothing but rake as the Reds' everyday LF since. He's also done nothing but rake when facing Leake in his career, which is exactly what happened again on Sunday.
In 3 PA against the now St. Louis Cardinals righty, Duvall went 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles, part of his overall 4 for 5, 3 double, 2 run scored afternoon. That leaves the Cincinnati slugger now 8 for 19 with 2 dingers and 2 doubles in his career off Leake - who just so happened to enter today's start with the best ERA+ in the National League.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Scott Schebler, who doubled twice and drove in a pair as part of his 3 hit day; Michael Lorenzen, who cleaned up Bronson Arroyo's residual mess and kept the Cardinals scoreless in his 1 IP; Drew Storen, who fired another scoreless inning; Wandy Peralta, who logged one, too; Tucker Barnhart, who went 2 for 3 with a walk; Joey Votto, who went 2 for 5 with an arrby-eye; and Raisel Iglesias, who picked up another 2 inning save.
- After easily recording the first 2 outs in the Bottom of the 1st, Bronson Arroyo lost Matt Carpenter to a walk. And yes, it haunted. Carpenter scooted around to 3B on a double off the LF wall by Jed Gyorko, and the St. Louis 1B snuck home a batter later on a wild pitch with Stephen Piscotty at the plate. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Old friend Mike Leake began the Cardinals' half of the 5th inning with a single up the middle, and Dexter Fowler followed by singling into RF on the 12th pitch of his at bat. Arroyo then walked Aledmys Diaz to bring Carpenter to the plate, and despite Michael Lorenzen warming in the bullpen, Price stuck with Arroyo against the St. Louis star, and that was rewarded with a 3-run double to the wall in RF. Reds trailed, 4-0
- The Reds finally got in on the action in the Top of the 6th, spearheaded by Duvall's leadoff double into the LF corner. He scored two batters later on Schebler's opposite-field single, which was nice, but the Reds eventually stranded two more baserunners to exit the inning still down 4-1.
- The Top of the 7th finally saw some floodgates open, and Billy Hamilton was finally the instigator. The struggling CF smacked a single into LF off Matt Bowman to lead off the inning, and he finally scored 2-outs later on Duvall's double over the head of Stephen Piscotty in RF. Eugenio Suarez followed by dumping an RBI single into shallow RF, and Suarez later scored when Schebler smacked a double over Piscotty's head, too. Game tied, 4-4.
- Former closer Trevor Rosenthal goes by 'former closer' for a reason: he's struggled a lot over the last year. He was brought into a tie game in the Top of the 8th, and proceeded to load the bases by walking Barnhart, allowing a pinch-hit single to Devin Mesoraco, and walking Billy Hamilton. Arismendy Alcantara came on to run for Tucker, and he scored the go-ahead run when Votto smacked a single up the middle. The Reds only got one out of it, but it put them ahead, 5-4.
- After that, Iglesias put the clamps on, and Cincinnati left town as 5-4 victors.
- The 3-run double by Carpenter against a pretty gassed Arroyo was the early turning point in this game. If you think back to the first week management of the Cincinnati bullpen by Bryan Price, you might well be frustrated with the decision to stick with Arroyo in such a tight spot. However, there's been three weeks of incredibly short outings by Cincinnati starters - as well has important injuries to the likes of Brandon Finnegan, Sal Romano, and Tony Cingrani - which means you can chalk up the decision to keep Arroyo in the game to Price's increasingly difficult task of getting innings out of the beleaguered starting corps. He's being forced to roll the dice more than I'm sure he'd like to, and this particular fingers-crossed attempt to get a starter past 4 IP didn't pay off.
- Once again, a reminder that Cincinnati starting pitchers have thrown the fewest IP of any staff in baseball, which is probably obvious at this point.
- Speaking of which, Arroyo's final line: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K on 87 pitches.
- The Reds will return to Cincinnati later Sunday, and on Monday they’ll open a series in GABP against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Amir Garrett will look to right his ship while starting for the Reds, while the Buccos will send ace Gerrit Cole to the mound.
- Sharon Tunes & the Dap Kings.