Final — 13 innings R H E
Kansas City Royals (72-46) 3 12 0
Cincinnati Redlegs (51-66) 1 5 1
W: Medlen (1-0) L: Mattheus (1-4) S: Holland (27)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Raisel Iglesias continues to impress on the mound. Tonight, he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and one walk. So good. Too bad the bullpen couldn’t get him the win.

–Eugenio Suarez hit a first-inning home run that looked like it would be the winning margin for a long time.

–No, Billy Hamilton can’t hit. But sheesh, what an awesome glove. In the top of the 11th, his spectacular defense turned a potential triple into an out at second base. Hard to describe, but go see if you can find a replay.

–Dylan Axelrod came on in a tough spot in the top of the 13th, and escaped without permitting further damage. That’s a good thing.

The Bad
–Your Redlegs are fifteen games under .500. Ugh.

–Five hits in thirteen innings. Not good.

–Aroldis Chapman — who hadn’t pitched in six days — couldn’t be used in the eighth inning of a one-run game because he’s the “closer.” Kill me now.

Honestly, I think Bryan Price isn’t an awful manager, when compared to his contemporaries around the league. Overall, I think he gets a bit of a bad rap. But his rigid use of traditional bullpen roles drives me up the wall. Especially so, when you consider that he’s been quoted as saying he’d use Chapman for more than one inning. He knows better. Which makes it worse.

–Then again, Chapman blew the save by allowing a leadoff homer to Ben Zobrist in the top of the ninth. It was his first blown save in his last 57 chances at home.

–Marlon Byrd: 0-5 with four strikeouts. I’m not anti-Byrd, and he’s been better than most Reds fans think in 2015, but if the Reds allow him to get enough plate appearances to permit that 2016 option to vest…well, that would be a disaster, frankly.

–I really don’t want to write about Ryan Mattheus. But he made a terrible throw on a sac bunt in the 13th inning and gave the Royals the lead. Then he was late getting to first on a grounder to second a few minutes later, permitting the third KC run to score. Mattheus didn’t distinguish himself tonight, as he was unable to retire a batter.

–Then again, we can blame the bullpen, but the Reds offense didn’t score a single run after the first inning. Hard to win when the offense is so punchless.

Mattheus isn’t an awful pitcher (is he?). I just wish he were better.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Tough loss. Iglesias was dominant. Get used to this as the Reds “reboot.”

–Honestly, I think the Reds go to extra innings or have a rain delay (or both) every single time I am scheduled to write this recap.

Add Homer Bailey to that group, and it makes you want to be a little optimistic, eh?

–Johnny Cueto didn’t pitch, but he returned to Great American Ballpark for the first time since his trade to Kansas City. Reds fans gave him a nice ovation in the second inning. I miss that guy.

–We always knew that Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto would be in the starting rotation of a World Series contender.

–Another former Red, Ryan Madson, pitched for KC tonight. I really don’t have anything against Madson — this wasn’t his fault — but he is the reason that Aroldis Chapman never got to be a starter. I’ll never forgive him.

–If you don’t love Ay-yoo-hay-nee-oh Suarez, despite his faults, we can’t be friends.

–Each team used eight pitchers tonight.

–In the top of the ninth, as Chapman was in the process of blowing the save, the Reds executed a fundamentally poor rundown between third and home. I mean, if the 14u girls’ softball team that I coach had performed a rundown like this, I would have been upset.

Essentially, Suarez — I still love that guy — ran a Royal towards home in the run down. It’s Baseball 101: you don’t run the guy towards home, you throw it, and run him back towards third. Then, Frazier tried to apply the tag, but the umpire called him safe, temporarily giving KC a 2-1 lead. But the runner (Lorenzo Cain) didn’t touch the plate. Instead of just going ahead and tagging him out and removing all doubt, Todd Frazier tried to convince the umpire he had tagged him. Kind of a brain-dead play all the way around.

Somehow, the Reds won the replay challenge and survived the ninth. But it could have been much worse.

–The Reds actually won two replay challenges tonight. Can’t remember that happening before.

–Frustrating game. So, instead of thinking about it, go read my latest piece (this is an order) over at Cincinnati Magazine, reminiscing over the last good Reds team.