The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Phil Ervin was summoned back to the Cincinnati Reds when fellow outfielder Scott Schebler hit the DL with his shoulder injury, and he did so while in the midst of a torrid streak of hitting in AAA Louisville. Phlerv hit a stellar .372/.446/.679 in 21 games at Louisville in between the last time he was optioned - after Cincinnati’s June 23rd game - and when he was recalled, and his hot hitting has continued since returning to the Reds.
On Sunday, he was the lone real bright spot on offense, going 2 for 3 with a pair of singles, 2 ribbies, and some solid overall defense in CF, to boot. On a day when the Reds were thoroughly throttled by Pittsburgh, that was more than enough to earn this mention.
Honorable Mention is due to: Jackson Stephens, who pitched admirably in mop-up duty after Matt Harvey was obliterated, allowing just a lone ER in 3.1 IP; and Jose Peraza, who went 2 for 4 with a double.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates wasted little time in going off on Matt Harvey. Corey Dickerson’s massive series continued with a leadoff double on a pitch above his head, and he scored two batters later on a Gregory Polanco 2-run dinger to open the Top of the 1st. Reds trailed, 2-0.
- The Top of the 2nd wasn’t any better, unfortunately. Max Moroff’s single plated Sean Rodriguez - who had doubled with 1-out - and Dickerson later tatooed a Harvey meatball for a 2-run dinger to make it an ugly 5-0 deficit for the Reds. Of course, Starling Marte had yet to hit that inning, and his dinger made it a 6-0 hole for the Redlegs.
- Harvey managed a 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd, but the 4th saw him yield more damage. Rodriguez led off the inning with yet another dinger, and after Dickerson smacked a 2-out single, Harvey was replaced by Jackson Stephens. Two more singles later, and Dickerson scored again, which put the Reds behind, 8-0.
- Pitcher Ivan Nova snapped a career 0 for 63 skid with a single in the Top of the 6th, and he later came around to score on a double to the wall in RF by Elias Diaz. Reds trailed, 9-0.
- Cincinnati finally, finally got to Nova in the Bottom of the 7th. Jesse Winker coaxed a 1-out walk, and he later moved to 3B on Adam Duvall’s double into the LF corner. Both then scored on Phlerv’s single into CF, and the Reds were on the board, albeit still down 9-2.
- That, though, was all she wrote. Reds fell, 9-2, to finish on the wrong side of a series sweep.
- Matt Harvey’s final line in what could very well be his final start with the Reds was not good: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 2 K, 4 HR on 59 pitches. It’s hard to look at one single start and make a sweeping statement about his overall trade value, but it’s hard to believe he showed anything today that will make an opponent’s front office drool. He had some trade value before today, but not a ton, and that’s certainly still the case - but he sure didn’t do anything to add to that.
- If Harvey is not traded, it appears the Reds will turn to a temporary 6-man rotation, for some reason, largely to accommodate the return of Homer Bailey, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reported earlier. If that made you feel like throwing up, just know you’re not alone.
- Jackson Stephens might well be the current bullpen piece who loses his active roster spot to fit in a 6th starter, especially after throwing 65 pitches today. The question now, I suppose, is whether the Reds will bring up a reliever for tomorrow’s game and then activate Bailey, or simply play tomorrow short a bullpen arm.
- Food for thought: Scooter Gennett entered play today the owner of a career .289 batting average and career .787 OPS; over his last 36 games played, he’s hit .288 with a .787 OPS, too.
- Getting outscored 27-5 in a home series against a division rival suuuure is one way to get back into action. I wonder if Marty has already changed his tune on this opinion.
- Luis Castillo will take the mound on Monday when the Reds continue their homestand against the St. Louis Cardinals. Daniel Poncedeleon will start for the Cards in his first career big league start, with first pitch set for 7:10 PM ET.