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Reds actually make it close, still lose to Cardinals 4-3

Cincinnati pitching was bitten by the long ball, something their offense can no longer muster these days.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Not a single player on the Cincinnati Reds is hitting for any power at the moment, but at least Jesse Winker is getting on base at a furious rate.

Now healthy, the Reds rookie has his OBP up to a Vottonian .444 for the season, boosting it with a great outing on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals. Winker walked twice and singled twice, and while he’s dealt with a shoulder issue and still can’t hit with a ton of authority, he’s doing absolutely everything he can to help this hapless offense with his on-base ability.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Homer Bailey, who was overall pretty solid in his 5.2, 3 ER outing; Joey Votto, who walked 4 times; Scooter Gennett, who singled twice (and drove in a pair); Jose Peraza, who singled in a run, scored, and was hit by pitches a pair of times; and Wandy Peralta, who tossed a scoreless inning of relief.

Key Plays

  • Marcell Ozuna reached on an infield single in the Bottom of the 2nd after he beat out the throw from Jose Peraza. That put a runner on base when Paul DeJong stepped to the plate, which became a problem when Homer threw him a meatball slider that was turned around for a 2-run dong into the LF seats. Reds trailed early, again, 2-0.
  • Bailey settled in fairly well after that, but Dexter Fowler clubbed a solo homer over the wall in RF to open the Bottom of the 6th, and the Reds trailed, 3-0.
  • Cincinnati’s offense finally strung together hits in the Top of the 7th, and did all of their damage with 2-outs. Phil Ervin begin things with his single into LF, and he scooted all the way to 3B on Winker’s single into RF. Jose Peraza then flipped a single into RF to bring Ervin home, and after Votto walked to load the bases, Scooter came through with a 2-run single into RF. Game tied, 3-3.
  • The good feeling of ‘hey, the Reds aren’t losing’ lasted about four minutes, as Yadier Molina hit a high fastball from sinkerballer Jared Hughes over the CF wall for a solo homer in the Bottom of the 7th, putting the Reds behind once again, 4-3.
  • The Reds threatened to threaten in the Top of the 9th, loading the bases off reliever Jordan Hicks. That, though, was thwarted as Scooter grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning, the game, and any chance of winning the series. Drat.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Homer Bailey got punished on a pair of bad pitches, but otherwise pitched a rather cromulent game. He was pulled by Jim Riggleman at 96 pitches with an out still to go in the 6th inning, leaving his final line thusly: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
  • Speaking of that out in the Bottom of the 6th, Amir Garrett came on, threw 3 pitches, and got it via groundout. That was his only action of the game, too. Before you jump to the why is he only being used as a LOOGY conclusion, though, it’s worth noting that he came in on a double switch, and his spot in the batting order came up during the Top of the 7th rally - and the Riggler went to Cliff Pennington as a pinch-hitter with a pair of runners on-base.
  • Cliff Pennington is Cliff Pennington, though. He flew out to LF.
  • Luis Castillo will get the start in the series finale on Sunday, and he’ll do so opposite Miles Mikolas. First pitch is set for 2:15 PM ET, if you’re still up for this.
  • Tunes.