|Chicago Cubs (4-3)||2||5||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (5-3)||3||7||0|
|W: DeSclafani (1-0) L: Arrieta (1-1) S: Chapman (3)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score|
–Anthony DeSclafani posted a very strong start in his second outing as a Red: seven shutout innings, permitting just two hits while striking out five. The more I look at this kid, the more I like what I see.
–Joey Votto — who is a good baseball player — was 2-3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI. No other Red had more than one hit, though Zack Cozart did have a double.
–Kevin. Gregg. The Reds had a 3-0 lead as they entered the bottom of the eighth. DeSclafani had just pitched seven brilliant innings, and the Reds were in good shape. Or so you’d think.
Gregg promptly walked the leadoff hitter, then gave up a home run to pinch hitter Welington Castillo. All of a sudden, it’s a 3-2 game and the Nation started getting really nervous.
–Bryan Price. With two outs in the eighth, a one-run lead, and the heart of the Cubs order at the plate, manager Bryan Price chose to go with Tony Cingrani. I like Cingrani, and I think he’ll be a fine pitcher for the Reds. But why not go with Aroldis Chapman there? Why wait until the ninth, with Chapman facing the Chicago 5-6-7 hitters? Why not use your best reliever at the most important moment in the game?
Cingrani gave up a single and a walk, to make things more interesting. He did ultimately escape the jam, for which I’m thankful. But Price’s refusal to use his best pitcher in the eighth inning is so very frustrating.
–Back to Bryan Price for a moment. The score was 3-2 when Cingrani entered, and it was 3-2 because Price chose to go back to Kevin Gregg as his “eighth inning guy” once again. At what point does it become clear to Price that this non-roster invitee who never should have made the roster in the first place simply isn’t capable of handling an important role in the bullpen?
Yes, he recorded a lot of saves a long time ago. Who cares? Gregg isn’t fooling any hitters these days.
–Jay Bruce made a really bone-headed baserunning gaffe in the fourth inning. On that same play, Brandon Phillips was leveled by Chicago SS Starlin Castro as he slid into third base. Phillips was ultimately forced to leave the game; he said he was “light-headed” and was replaced by Skip Schumaker, but tests after the game evidently cleared BP to play as soon as tomorrow.
–The Reds are back in first place, all by themselves. This is a good thing.
–Anthony DeSclafani’s nickname is “Disco,” acquired as a freshman at the University of Florida. This nickname makes me very happy, for some reason.
–I’ll have more on DeSclafani in Cincinnati Magazine in the morning. Suffice to say that I am optimistic about his potential.
–Reds evened the series at one game each. Rubber match tomorrow night. It will be a battle of pitchers facing their former club: Jason Marquis vs. Travis Wood.