Johnny Cueto didn’t give up an extra base hit, just four singles – none of which was hit particularly hard. I don’t believe there was anything wrong with Cueto today other than the emotion of it being the last game he’ll pitch for the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
It’s hard to command the strike zone when your heart is breaking.
Reds 3 Cleveland 5Ã‚Â | FanGraphs |Ã‚Â Better Cueto Day
Johnny Cueto gave up two runs in four innings, throwing 94 pitches. I suppose there’s a chance he’ll pitch July 30 at home against Pittsburgh although the game before against the Cardinals at St. Louis would be his normal rest. With the trade deadline looming just a day later, even if he hasn’t been traded by then, the Reds could hold him out.
Jumbo DiazÃ‚Â pitched a clean fifth inning. But Ryan Mattheus walked the first batter he faced (the bullpen’s signature move) in the sixth, then he couldn’t field a bunt right to him, then he grooved a pitch which Jason Kipnis hit off the right field wall. It says a lot about the bullpen that Mattheus is in the better half. Then lefty-specialistÃ‚Â Manny Parra walked a left-handed batter (signature move, see previous reference) forcing in Cleveland’s third run.
J.J. Hoover pitched a clean eighth. Bryan Price brought Aroldis Chapman in for the ninth inning, as the Reds closed to within a run. Then Price *kept Chapman in for a second inning* after the Reds tied the game. I guess he figured Chapman’s workload would be someone else’s problem pretty soon.
It was Chapman’s first appearance since the All-Star break and possibly his last in front of the home crowd at GABP. John Fay reported yesterday that Chapman’s name was on the list of players that owner Bob Castellini had approved to trade. Chapman recorded his 500th strikeout, setting an all-time major league record for speed at accomplishing that feat. Chapman did it in 292 games, besting the previous record of 305 by Craig Kimbrel (Joel Luckhaupt).
While that’s a happy thought, as our glorious leader, Chad Dotson points out, it’s sad that Chapman has pitched fewer than 300 innings for the Reds over 5 years. Here’s another depressing fact: Chapman’s 44 pitches today were a career high as a Red.
As Wes pointed out in the game preview, Carlos Corrasco can pitch. He’s been a top 10-20 pitcher this year, depending how you measure it. The Reds managed four hits and one walk against him in six innings. The lone run off Carrasco scored on a homer by Eugenio Suarez.
The Reds scored a second run on a single by Brandon Phillips (his second hit of the game), a walk by Ivan De Jesus and an *RBI* single by Joey Votto. Votto also stretched a single into a double in the tenth inning and is now hitting .289/.401/.503.
Suarez also doubled to left center with two outs in the ninth inning and was knocked in on a single by pinch hitter Jason BourgeoisÃ‚Â to tie the game. Bourgeois advanced to second on the throw to the plate where he was stranded by Skip Schumaker, who struck out on three pitches.
Every time Brayan PeÃƒÂ±a hits a soft fly ball it reminds me how much the Reds miss Devin Mesoraco. PeÃƒÂ±a has 0 home runs this year. He ranks 184 out of 185 in power among major league players with at least 230 plate appearances. Doug Gray adds that PeÃƒÂ±a ranks 304 out of 332 in average exit velocity among players with at least 50 balls in play. PeÃƒÂ±a’s on-base percentage is excellent, though, at .348.
PeÃƒÂ±a and Marlon Byrd were a combined 0-10.
By the end of the game, Eugenio Suarez was playing third, Brandon Phillips was playing shortstop, Skip Schumaker was playing second and Tucker Barnhart was playing right field. Skip Schumaker is the only utility infielder I’ve heard of that can only play one infield position. Perhaps “limited utility player” should be his position. Barnhart made a couple strong throws from right field.
Pedro VillarrealÃ‚Â in a tied game was a bridge too far. He gave up three singles and (yet another) bases loaded walk to force in the winning run for Cleveland in the 11th. Villarreal gave up an insurance run on a sacrifice fly. His ERA and FIP are both over 5. Old-school and new-school agree about Villarreal. Yet he’s in a major league bullpen. This tweet won the internets today:
Coming into today’s game, the average attendance at GABP is nearly 1,000 people more than last year.