Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds (61-65) 4 7 0
  St. Louis Cardinals (68-57) 5 14 3
 W: Neshek (6-0)    L: Hoover (1-10)
 FanGraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

Alfredo Simon limited the number of runs he surrendered, but ran out of gas early. He threw 109 pitches over 5.1 innings and too early put the game in the hands of the bullpen which has not been a particularly great recipe for success.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, like four games in a row. The Reds bullpen (Manny Parra excepted) once again provided the opposite of relief. Sam LeCure gave up two hits and a run finishing off the sixth inning. Jumbo Diaz gave up two hits, two walks and the tying run in the eighth. “The Cardinals are coming to the plate looking for the fastball, getting the fastball, and executing.” — Brantley on Jumbo Diaz. Then came J.J. Hoover.

On the bright side, Todd Frazier smashed a home run to deep centerfield, his first dinger in over 100 plate appearances, driving in Billy Hamilton who had reached base on an infield single. “Frazier hit that one like he knew it was coming.” — Brantley again.

In the sixth inning, the Reds took advantage of two Cardinals errors to score two runs. Jay Bruce reached second on an error by Matt Holliday, Todd Frazier walked and Devin Mesoraco (who is 0-for-20) reached first on an error by Matt Carpenter. With the bases loaded, Ryan Ludwick lined the first pitch he saw down the left field line for a 2-run double. But the Reds stranded Mesoraco at third as Brandon Phillips grounded to third.

Zack Cozart made yet another outstanding defensive play in the second inning, fielding a sharp ground ball deep in the hole between short and third, to get a force play at second base ending the inning. Cozart is leading all shortstops, all infielders for that matter, in baseball and is the #4 player in baseball (both AL and NL) in defensive runs saved at 19.

Billy Hamilton‘s strengths and weaknesses in centerfield are becoming more apparent each game. Tonight, he made two more spectacular plays. He nabbed a sinking line drive off the bat of Matt Adams (which proved important at the time since the next batter hit a home run). And he also made a great play chasing down a ball over his head. Range, check. On the other hand, it’s clear that other teams have zero respect for his arm. In the third inning, pitcher John Lackey — John Lackey — was sent home from third even though Hamilton already had the ball in hand on a routine single. Hamilton’s throw landed short of the pitcher’s mound.