|St. Louis Cardinals (2-2)||4||8||1|
|Cincinnati Reds (4-1)||1||6||2|
|W: Wacha (1-0) L: Cueto (0-1) SV: Rosenthal (2)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score|
Well, the magic couldn’t last forever, right?
– Johnny Cueto had some ups and downs, but put together a good final stat line (7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K). His breaking pitches were working pretty well, his sinker was a little less effective than it was on Opening Day, and he only had one real mistake on the mound today, coming in the form of a Matt Adams home run. Tough loss for the ace and the team, but Cueto did all he could do to prevent it.
– It was business as usual for Todd Frazier today, smacking a line shot on a 3-0 count (you’ve got to think he has the perpetual green light to swing this season) for a homer in the first and lacing a single to left in the fourth inning. On his bobblehead day, Frazier raised his season stats to a .316 average with three homers and a 1.175 OPS.
– Yadier Molina looks mortal, guys and gals. Though the Reds didn’t do much with these gifts, Yadi helped Devin Mesoraco get his first stolen base of the year with a throw well on the shortstop side of second base and allowed Reds’ baserunners to advance on pitches in the dirt on multiple occasions. Though Wacha and Rosenthal were charged with wild pitches, those were both balls Molina used to pick or smother with ease. Alas, he did have an RBI single in the top of the ninth, so his reign of terror isn’t quite over yet.
– 41,525 attended today’s game. Keep it up, Cincinnati.
– Michael Wacha was very, very good. The Reds apparently had a game plan to swing early against Wacha in order to prevent him from utilizing his changeup effectively. That backfired in a couple innings, giving Wacha a four-pitch inning in the second and nine-pitch frame in the sixth. That kept his pitch count down, allowing him to throw effectively into the seventh inning. Mike Matheny put on his Tony LaRussa wig and relieved Wacha by proceeding to trot out four pitchers in a row who each faced a single batter. It worked well enough, with Trevor Rosenthal keeping the Cincinnati bats quiet through the last pitch. The Reds’ lineup was kept off-balance all game, resulting in only six hits.
– On that note, it was a tough day for most of the starters at the plate. Billy, Bruce, Byrd, and Brandon were whatever the opposite of Killer B’s is, going 0-for-15 with four strikeouts. Devin continued his slow start to the season but managed a base hit when Matt Adams whiffed on a tough scoop of Matt Carpenter’s throw. Joey’s march to the MVP award took a slight detour with a 1-for-4 day, though he had two loud outs.
– Jumbo Diaz not pitching the top of the ninth was unwise on Bryan Price’s part. Burke Badenhop entered with just eight pitches heading into the inning, butÃ¢â‚¬â€with Chapman needing the day offÃ¢â‚¬â€this spot should have belonged to Diaz in order to get to the bottom of the ninth with only a one-run deficit. Obviously, that did not happen, as Badenhop gave up four hits and two runs after Joey Votto made a nifty play for the first out.
The Good and Bad:
– The defense, which has been so good to begin the season, was a bit Jekyll-and-Hyde today. A couple of great diving plays by Billy and Byrd early helped Johnny out, but Todd’s error in the top of the second eventually led to the Cardinals tying the game. A Cozart throwing error (that I did not actually see because my Time Warner box decided to do a dial-up modem impression for the eighth inning) allowed Randal Grichuk to reach to lead off the eighth inning, which was fortunately nullified by a nice double play to end the frame.
– I like how Cozart’s been swinging the bat so far this young season and after his double in the fifth, I was curious if he had made any adjustments to his stance or swing. It looks like he’s tweaked a couple things: I noticed his knees were bent more, his hands were held further back with his front elbow tucked in a little more (akin to Dustin Pedroia or Joe Morgan’s stance), and he’s raising his foot a little higher on his leg kick. It’ll be worth keeping an eye on to see if this pays dividends.
– Thom and Chris were talking during the first inning about Cueto looking “bored” on the mound, partially as reasoning for him switching between the exaggerated twist during his windup and a more straightfoward delivery. I don’t know if that’s really the case, but Chris talking about it made me think of one of Kenny Mayne’s best catchphrases from his old SportsCenter days: “I am amused by the simplicity of this game!”
– Tomorrow’s rubber match is going to be a lot of fun, made even more intriguing by Raisel Iglesias’ debut. He’ll be opposing the Cardinals’ young starter Carlos Martinez in another afternoon affair. First pitch: 1:10 PM.
– It sure is a banner year for regular olÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ folks appearing on commercials during Reds games. Thanks to Cincinnati Bell, I get to see my ex-girlfriendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fiancÃƒÂ©e plan their wedding every half hour. I guess that’s my Gigalife.