It would be wrong to complain about the Reds offense lately. They’ve scored the third most runs this month in the National League. But tonight, they were stymied by Justin Nicolino who was making his first major league start. Less than three weeks ago, the 23-year-old gave up 7 earned runs in 3 innings to the Tacoma Rainiers. It seemed like a tiny victory in the ninth inning when the Reds (barely) avoided hitting into their fourth double play of the game.
It’s hard to remember back that far, but Reds fans, this is what our offense looks like when Todd Frazier doesn’t hit two home runs in a game.
After no-hitting his former team for the first 4 innings, Anthony DeSclafani gave up 3 runs in the fourth. Derek Dietrich blasted a looooong home run (438 feet). Christian Yelich followed with double to deep left center, Giancarlo Stanton singled and both eventually scored. DeSclafani narrowly worked out of a jam in the fifth, with the inning ending as Jay Bruce fielded the third out with his back against the fence. That was it for the young pitcher.
Burke Badenhop, who pitched for the Marlins 2008-11, worked a quick and clean 6th inning and retired the first batter in the 7th.Ã‚Â Nate Adcock retired all four of his batters andÃ‚Â Carlos Contreras had a 1-2-3 ninth.
The one negative from the bullpen was Manny Parra, whoÃ‚Â gave up extra-base hits to the first two batters he faced, two left-handers, including a second home run by Dietrich.
Meanwhile, soft-tosserÃ‚Â Justin Nicolino gave the Reds just 4 hits in 7 innings, only one or two of which could be described as even moderately hard-hit. Nicolino was in such control of the Reds that the Marlins let him bat in the 7th in a 3-0 game.
Asking Skip Schumaker, Billy Hamilton and Brandon Phillips to bat against Carter Capps in the 8th inning didn’t seem quite fair.
The only good thing to say about the Reds offense tonight: Joey Votto walked in his first plate appearance, extending his streak of consecutive games on base to 28. He also had a hit.
Brandon PhillipsÃ‚Â severe slump at the plate continued. The Reds leadoff hitter has four singles and no walks in 29 at bats since he took a few days off with a groin pull. That’s less than optimal for a lead-off hitter. Phillips has scored one run and has one RBI since June 12. He hasn’t had an extra-base hit since June 4.