Final R H E
Tampa Bay Rays  (6-5)
 2  6  0
Cincinnati Reds  (3-7)
 1  4  0
W: D. Price (2-0)   L:  J. Cueto (0-2)   S:  G. Balfour (3)
Box Score   |   Play-by-Play    |    Stats    |    Depth Chart    |    FanGraphs Win Probability

The Good

Johnny Cueto had far from his best stuff tonight. No matter. He gave the Reds another superlative performance on sheer guts, fighting his stuff, the Rays and the umpire for 119 pitches before turning it over to the bullpen. This is what an ace does. Brandon Phillips seemed unfazed by David Price, going 2-4, with a single and double after being robbed of an extra base hit in his first at bat of the night. BP also made another wonderful play in the field throwing out a runner going the other way in the 7th. It’s always a mystery how he can not only have enough juice on the ball to beat the runner, but make such an accurate throw while going headlong in the opposite direction–but Brandon makes it look routine. Devin Mesoraco had another extra base hit, showing signs that he just might be able to make a significant offensive contribution this season. Joey got his first dinger of the year, driving Price off the mound in the 9th.

The Bad

D.J. Reyburn. I don’t know whether it’s that much harder to call balls and strikes than we think it is, or whether there are politics at play that keep bad umpires working, but something is really wrong when you cannot get more consistent umpiring than what we witnessed tonight.  The whole affair behind the plate in blue was borderline incompetent.

The Ugly

Hamilton, Bruce, Ludwick and Frazier all went a combined 0-14, with 2 walks. Yes, it’s David Price. And yes, these guys have seen very little of David Price, but it looks as though other than a couple of players, no one can make adjustments as the game goes on. The inconsistent umpiring didn’t help, either.

Not so random thoughts …

Some of this is merely the ugly confluence of injuries and a difficult schedule. And it’s still early. But that doesn’t make it any easier to witness. Just as it seems that players are slowing making their way back (Mesoraco, Broxton), we get word that Mat Latos has pain in the flexor mass–otherwise known as forearm pain. It’s not the elbow, but it’s still a setback–and lord knows the Reds need Mat Latos ASAP.

The second-guessing of Joey Votto’s plate approach continues unabated by our fine TV announcing crew.

My Big Red Smokey Play of the Game: To cap the evening off, even the called strike three that ended the game was off the plate according to FoxTrax.