Halley’s Comet comes more often than Gerrit Cole gives up four runs in one inning. At least before tonight. Cole had never done it while pitching for the Pirates. Gerrit Cole hasn’t given up four runs in any game this year. He’s only given up three runs twice. Cole and Max Scherzer are the leading contenders to start the All-Star Game for National League three weeks from now. But tonight, the Cincinnati Reds scored four runs in the first against Gerrit Cole and knocked him out in the fifth inning.

Reds 5, Pirates 2 | FanGraphs Stuff | Positive Iglesias Update

Billy Hamilton drew an 8-pitch walk leading off the first (more of that, please). It looked for a moment like Hamilton’s two subsequent stolen bases might go to waste as Cole retired Ivan De Jesus and Joey Votto. But Super Todd Frazier came to the rescue as he lunged across the plate to poke an 89-mph slider into right field that Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco just missed catching. Jay Bruce followed with a 7-pitch at bat that ended with Bruce lining a 98-mph fastball to the left-center gap, scoring Frazier. Then Marlon Byrd turned around the first pitch he saw from Cole – a 97 mph fastball – and knocked it over the centerfield fence.

Reds 4, Halley’s Comet 0.

The Reds had kicked Gerrit Cole’s asteroid.

The question then became run prevention, could Mike Leake and the defense make the four runs stick. Answer: yes. Leake gave up a run in the second inning, but worked around a lead-off double in the fourth. He gave up another run in the fifth, when it could have been worse. Leake then finished his seventh inning of work striking out Starling Marte with Pirates on second and third. Leake struck out five and didn’t walk anyone.

After giving up the obligatory first-batter walk, Ryan Mattheus retired the next two in the eighth. Manny Parra was brought in to LOOGY Pedro Alvarez, which he did. Pittsburgh native J.J. Hoover, the Reds’ next closer, filled in for Aroldis Chapman who is on paternity leave. (Hint to Reds’ scouts: Check out Li’l Missile’s left arm.) Hoover ran his streak of scoreless innings to 26.2 dating back to April 21.

Ivan De Jesus had two hits and a walk. Eugenio Suarez had two hits. Tucker Barnhart recorded his first three-hit night as a major leaguer. Joey Votto walked twice. He’s now reached base in 31 consecutive games.

Note: 45 years ago tonight the Reds played their final game at Crosley Field. Check out Chris Garber’s photo vault and the story about John Ring’s amazing ball.

The Reds are now 6-2 against Pittsburgh.

42 Responses

  1. Dr. K

    Thanks for the recap. Didn’t see or hear a minute of tonight’s game, but glad to hear the Reds won, and really appreciate the work that is done here. I don’t agree with everything that is said on this sight, but I do appreciate and respect the work that is done daily to make this sight what it is.

    • greenmtred

      I agree, Steve. I don’t know how you are able to summon that much wit late at night, but I appreciate it.

      • tgarretson82

        I agree. Amazing work done on this site! Great recaps and articles. Love the minor league recaps also. It really gives you a sense of the progress of the organization as a whole.

  2. Wallyum

    That means that 45 years ago tonight I was mad at my Dad for not taking me to the last game at Crosley. I got over it.

    • sezwhom

      45 years ago I thanked my Dad for taking me to the last game at Crosley Field. Still have the ticket stubs, program and newspaper articles framed.

      • doctor

        that is awesome. what great keeper items

  3. Tom Reed

    Thank you for the pictures of Crosley Field. It wasn’t the easiest place to get to and it was usually tough to find a parking place, but Crosley had a lot of character and warmth.

  4. msanmoore

    Very nice … Hoover looked like he owned that mound in the 9th tonight. We’ll be fine in that department.

  5. Grand Salami

    Great game. Tonight was one of those games you just had the ‘feeling’ they’d win before they played. Cole has had more trouble against the Reds than most of the lineups he faces. Leake has pitched his best against the Pirates throughout his career.

    The Reds played competitively last night despite a pretty weak outing from their rookie starter and that ugly error.

    This team is showing a lot of resiliency and don’t look now but the corner outfielders are turning into an offensive strength . . .

    • pinson343

      I also liked the pitching match up, mainly because of Leake vs. Pirates. The Reds have small sample sizes with Cole, of course, but a number of them have hit him well.

  6. jdx19

    I’m not a fan of Cole, so tonight was a welcome sight for me!

  7. jdx19

    From an interesting article on Grantland about the use of sports metaphors in politics. Never thought I’d see Votto and Obama mentioned in the same article!

    “‘Every once in a while,’ he told NPR, ‘a pitch is going to come right over home plate that you can knock out for a home run. But you don’t swing at every pitch.'”

    “Notice how Obama reframed his modest approach. He was no longer saying he wanted to be a singles hitter, which sounded unambitious. He was saying he wanted to have a good eye, which was unimpeachable. Someday, if history is kind, this will be known as the Joey Votto Doctrine.”

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/mlb-major-league-baseball-us-politics-senate-baseball-metaphors-political-speech-barack-obama/

  8. G.K.

    Thanks for all the work you guys do night in and night out. I know I appreciate it as a huge reds fans. Now let’s win the series!

  9. Ryan Lykins (@ryan_lykins)

    I haven’t been able to watch a game in almost 2 months thanks to a weird work schedule I’ve been on of late so this site has been a God send for me with the recaps and I thank the editors for he remarkable job you all do here.

    With that said I do have 1 quick question. Is Suarez really this good of a hitter? I have looked at his stats and I understand small sample size and what not but just curious. Has only a 5% walk rate so that doesn’t seem great to me but his walk rate in the minors last year was 10.9. His BABIP is 333 but I didn’t really have time to see if that was in line with anything he’s done in the past. From just looking at minor league stats he seems like an average hitter but I have yet to see him have 1 at bat so if anyone could share their thoughts on him I’d really appreciate it.

    • Jeremy Conley

      Thanks for your readership and dedication to the Reds Ryan. I’m going to have a post up about Suarez and what to expect going forward with him (and implications for the Reds’ roster this offseason) up shortly, I hope you give it a read. I’ll definitely address your questions directly.

  10. cfd3000

    Really solid at bat by Hamilton in the first. Especially from his weaker left side I want to see a LOT more of that from him. The difference between Hamilton on base once a night and twice would be gigantic for this team. Nice win for the Reds.

    • Aaron Bradley

      OK I watched that at bat.. his bat looked slow on a fastball that he whiffed on for the 2nd strike. Then he fouled a couple off and drew a walk and I think that AB def. got in the SP’s head and he veered off course as a result. My point is, I think right handed maybe he catches up to the fastball earlier in the AB. He was lucky to walk … he did fight off pitches foul, but it took a wide pitch to give him the base.

      • redmountain

        He did exactly what you want him to do! He saw about 9 or 10 pitches and took a ball outside the zone and got on base. That is not luck that is skill. He fouled off pitches that may have been strikes but he did not feel he could do anything with. In addition, he saw all the pitches that Cole could throw. Then he got on base and got Cole’s attention, which helped the hitters that followed.

  11. VaRedsFan

    Shout out to the Virginia Cavaliers. Improbable run to win the College World Series.
    They had to win their last Series of the year just to make the ACC tournament. They were the 3rd seed in the regional. After losing the 1st game to Vandy, the buckle down to take the next two.

    It just goes to show that if you can somehow squeak into the playoffs, that anything can happen.

  12. Aaron Bradley

    Supposedly Leake was being scouted by KC.. he looked good. The Reds have enough young pitching where he becomes expendible, but it would be nice to get some return.

    • Carl Sayre

      I am not locked up on shipping Leake, it would depend on what kind of contract it would take and how much value he would be worth. I kind of like a proven Major League pitcher even a middle of rotation guy like Leake.I think he will demand more than is prudent for the Reds but if the value isn’t there for a trade then maybe we try to extend him.

  13. Jake

    Good win for the Reds. I’d like to see what Suarez can do over the rest of this season. Side note, the Dodgers will be scouting teams starting pitchers for the time leading up to the All Star Break. Potential Cueto trade?

    • pinson343

      I would think the team most interested in Cueto would be the Toronto Blue Jays. By far the best offense in baseball, but a weak starting rotation. Haven’t been to the playoffs for a long time, and the AL East is surprisingly winnable this year.

  14. pinson343

    Leake is so quick that it’s like have an extra IFer. He helps himself a lot with his glove. So does Lorenzon.

    • lwblogger2

      Yes, they both provide really nice up the middle defense.

  15. wizeman

    I think that Leake is going to bring a decent return of prospects although I am going to be sad to see him go. Really conflicted on this. Nova pitched last night after his Tommy John. Took 14 months which puts Bailey into next June. Moscot hurting a shoulder… even though it was non pitching shoulder has to give you pause. Shoulders are really tricky.
    My point after wandering around is this. The trading Gods are against us on the Cueto deal. Teams will shy away. Chapman brings huge prospects… Leake solid. However.. I know Castellini trying to figure out who to make a run at Leake or Cueto.

  16. Evan armstrong

    I keep reading here where people really believe that Bob C. is going to allow Walt to deal Chapman. I just don’t see it. Chapman lights up a stadium when he ccomes in and Bob sees that. I think Walt may try to convince Bob moving him is wise but I think that in the end not only does Chapman not get traded that over the winter a contract extension is worked out.

  17. wizeman

    Chapman is going to be really expensive. I understand totally what you are saying. This decision more than any other will really give us insight to what we can expect in years to come.

    • lwblogger2

      The only way it makes sense to sign him long term is if he agrees to become a starting pitcher. I think that ship has sailed. It will be interesting to see what the Reds do with him.

  18. wizeman

    Two more points.
    While we saw a 27 year old make his major league debut in an important game { by itself that should give you pause} our number one prospect who has been absolutely dominant in Pensacola pitched in the All Star game in AA.
    Secondly… Waldrop promoted to Louisville. No way Byrd gets to 550 plate appearances.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah Price had a big part in blowing that game. A filler at best rookie followed up by Villareal is something you should only see in a Sept play out the string game.

      • Carl Sayre

        My 8 year old grandson asked why Price left the starter in so long and then when he saw Villareal getting loose his exact words “is this guy serious”? I about lost it he is only 8 and he gets it, I am sure his Dad would let him manage a whole lot less than Price is making. The child labor laws would be an issue though.

      • redmountain

        And who do you suppose should have started? This guy (Smith) .has done a good job in AAA. It was his first start in the majors so you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. He has been quite successful in the minors.

  19. earmbrister

    Leake looked solid last night, which only increases his value. Looking forward to seeing Johnny Biesbol pitch Friday night.

    Liked seeing Tucker B. bunt to beat the shift to get his third hit. He made it look easy, even with squaring up early.

    • lwblogger2

      I said “he should bunt” right before he did so. But, Barnhart can indeed bunt and he doesn’t have a lot of power, so it makes sense. I don’t want to see our power hitters doing that unless it means driving in a run. I really liked Barnhart doing it there though. Very nice.

  20. sultanofswaff

    Great job by Leake last night. Without Chapman, it was important to not overextend the bullpen, especially on the heels of Smith’s 3 inning start.

    When dealing Cueto/Leake, I’m looking for quality over quantity. I’m talking one cost controlled player who has already had success in the bigs. Our position players moving forward are almost all set, but we need that one big piece—-either a LF or CF who can lock down the position for the next 5 years. I don’t think a 3 month rental of Cueto will land that player, so to increase our chances I’d be looking to package the two together.

    • Evan armstrong

      I hope you are right…but if I were to bet I think at best we are looking at midlevel prospects for either Leake or Cuteo and as I said earlier I don’t see Bob letting Chapman go.

    • jdx19

      A cost-controlled player who is a successful big leaguer is worth more than Cueto or Leake… and packaging them together for 1 player who is already in the bigs seems like a poor move to me. Get as many prospects as you can and some of them should turn out to be cheap contributors.

      Because, let’s face it, even guys who have had success in the bigs aren’t guaranteed to continue that success. Just ask the Padres.

      • sultanofswaff

        Multiple prospects are nice, but where are you going to play them? The return we’re going to get will likely one of 2 things: high minors/major league position player, or low minors pitching. We already possess surplus pitching prospects in the lower minors, so it doesn’t make sense for us to acquire multiple players who will be blocked. Teams trading for pitching don’t have upper level pitching prospects to trade either. The Reds are weak in position prospects in the upper minors, yet at the same time at least 6 everyday spots on the Reds are taken for the foreseeable future. To me, that means a position player would be the only kind of trade that would work for both sides. CF would be my top priority.

      • PDunc

        I think it is unlikely that another team is going to give up a “cost controlled player who has already had success in the bigs” because that player will probably be a starter for that club.
        Teams looking to trade for Cueto Leake or Chapman are trying to win this year. Trading a starting position player for a starting pitcher would most likely be filling one hole but creating another therefore they are going to want to be trading prospects not current major league players.
        I am in general agreement with you though that the targets in any trades should be outfielders, middle-infielders, or pitchers that could contribute to the Reds big-league club in 2016, or 2017 at the latest.