|Washington Nationals (28-20)||2||10||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (20-27))||5||11||0|
|W: DeSclafani (3-4) L: Jordan (0-1) S: Chapman (8)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score|
–What about Zack Cozart out of the leadoff spot? 3-5 with an RBI. Sure, Cozart has no business hitting leadoff — he’s been scuffling lately, despite a pretty good start to the season — but he had a nice game tonight.
–Todd Frazier was 2-4, and he absolutely destroyed a ball for his 15th homer in the seventh inning.
–Pretty good start by Anthony DeSclafani, who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite players on this club. Disco went six fairly strong innings, allowing two runs on eight hits. His ERA dropped to 3.41.
–Skip Schumaker had two hits, including a double, and scored a run. Joey Votto homered in the first inning to give the Reds their first lead.
–Good work by the Reds bullpen tonight, for the most part: three shutout innings. JJ Hoover may have gotten the biggest out, however. With a 5-2 lead in the eighth inning, after Tony Cingrani walked the bases loaded. Manager Bryan Price inserted Hoover into the game, which is fine, since Hoover is a good pitcher. (BUT WHY CAN’T CHAPMAN COME IN TO GET FOUR OUTS?????!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!). But Price is a genius, evidently, because Hoover struck out Ian Desmond to end the Nationals rally.
–Aroldis Chapman finally came on in the ninth; he gave up a single to Bryce Harper, but was otherwise dominant in nailing down the win.
–No bad tonight. It feels good to write that.
–Impressive win for the Redlegs. Honestly, the Reds looked like a competent major league baseball team tonight for the first time in a very long while. Enjoyable game.
–Once again, permit me to express my amazement that Todd Frazier isn’t a bigger star in this city. (For what it’s worth, 30 of Frazier’s 44 homers in the last two seasons have come at GAB. Which is good news for those of you who intend to place wagers on next month’s Home Run Derby in Cincinnati.)
–I know I said above that Cozart has no business leading off, and I stand by that. But I don’t want anyone to think that I am critical of Cozart’s performance this year. Frankly, when you consider how well he plays defense, Cozart (.272/.327/.450) has been an All-Star level performer thus far this season, in my opinion.
–In the seventh inning tonight, Bryce Harper was hit in the small of the back by a Cingrani pitch. I’m sure it hurt, but Harper — who, if I’m being honest, is one of my favorite non-Reds in all of baseball — danced around, and took his time going to first base like a little bit of a prima donna. Joey Votto seemed to take offense, and appeared to tell Harper to act like a pro. I’ll take Votto’s side on this one, because he’s our guy, even though I’m not a fan of these silly “unwritten rules” about how you’re supposed to act in a baseball game. But it was an interesting moment, with two of the best players in baseball jawing at each other around the first base bag.
–Stephen Strasburg started the game for the Nats. He gave up the homer to Votto, but made it through the first inning. He walked Brayan Pena to open the second, however, then had to leave the game with an undisclosed injury.
–My daughter has declared that Skip Schumaker has her favorite name in all of sports. She makes no claims about his playing ability, however.
–I like JJ Hoover. Really, I do. But there may never be a better opportunity to bring Chapman in for a four-out save than we saw tonight. Honestly, I just don’t know what Bryan Price is thinking most of the time. But he must be smarter than me, because his gambit worked tonight, I guess.
–I have high hopes for DeSclafani. No, he isn’t going to be an ace, but the kid just turned 25 and he could be an important piece of this Reds rotation for the next few years.
–Raisel Iglesias will pitch tomorrow, as the Reds attempt to accomplish the unthinkable: a two-game winning streak.