With today’s exciting extra-inning victory, the Cincinnati Reds sent 45,000 Cardinals fans home unhappy and as the best fans in baseball, undoubtedly aware the Reds have now won three straight series against their beloved Cardinals. The win also put another tiny dent into St. Louis’ postseason hopes.
The Reds head to Pittsburgh for a 3-game series, starting with a 1:35 p.m. Labor Day special tomorrow.Ã‚Â
Cincinnati Reds 6 (59-78)Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Â¢Ã‚Â St. Louis Cardinals 4 (76-61)
Anthony DeSclafani clearly struggled with command throughout his 3.2 innings of work. He had shut out the Cardinals through the first three innings, but manager Jim Riggleman yanked him after giving up two runs in the fourth on a HBP, single, double and bunt single. With two on and two out, Riggleman brought in Wandy Peralta to face Matt Carpenter (lefty on lefty) instead of having DeScafani face Carpenter for a third time. Peralta induced Carpenter to ground out to Joey Votto. It was the only batter Peralta faced.
DeSclafani was making his 16th start of the year. In his 7 previous appearances since the All Star Game, he had struck out 40 batters and walked just 8 in 43 innings. Today, he struck out four and walked two. Over that stretch, DeSclafani’s ERA was 3.35 and xFIP was 3.39.
Lucas Sims (more on him below) made an impressive debut with the Reds, pitching a clean 5th and 6th inning, with three strikeouts. He gave up a lead-off walk in the 7th before being pulled for Jared Hughes. Let’s see plenty more of Mr. Sims, please.
Hughes gave up a line shot down the first base line to Matt Adams, but fortunately it found Joey Votto’s glove for a double play. But Hughes gave up a lead-off walk in the 8th, followed by a single and an intentional walk to load the bases. After recording a pop-up for the second out. The speedy Harrison Bader hit a soft ground ball to SS and beat out Jose Peraza’s throw, scoring a run. Ground ball pitchers are good. Strikeout pitchers are better.
Michael Lorenzen pitched a dramatic bottom of the 9th. The Cardinals loaded the bases on an emergency-swing double, an intentional walk and a bunt that stayed fair, all with no outs. Riggleman brought in Brandon Dixon off the bench for an extra infielder. Lorenzen reared back and struck out Jose Martinez with 98-mph fastballs, induced a ground ball force at the plate and a pop-up to short right field to get out of the inning. That meant free baseball.
Raisel Iglesias gave up a run and two more base runners before locking down the win in the bottom of the 10th.
The Reds jumped on Cardinals starter Luke Weaver for two runs in the first. But it could have been much worse in the 40-pitch inning for Weaver. Billy Hamilton doubled, Joey Votto walked, Scooter Gennett singled and a wild pitch scored Votto making the score 2-0 with one out. Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler walked to load the bases. But Mason Williams, who for some reason was batting ahead of Curt Casali, hit into a double play. The Reds also loaded the bases in the second inning against Weaver, before Gennett grounded out.
The Reds took the lead in the 7th on another double by Billy Hamilton, a sacrifice bunt by Jose Peraza and a 380-foot sacrifice fly by Joey Votto. But HOF manager Earl Weaver used to say, when you play for one run, that’s all you get.
Joey Votto led off the 10th inning with his 94th walk of the season. Only Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have more. After Scooter Gennett popped out, Eugenio Suarez followed with his 31st home run of the season, a 405-foot majestic blast into the Reds bullpen. Seconds later, Brandon Dixon followed with his own homer into the bullpen and the Reds had a 6-3 lead. So much for small ball. Both homers came off the deserving Bud Norris.Ã‚Â
Dilson Herrera Waves Hello (from the bench) Lucas (Luke) Sims made his Reds debut. The 24-year-old RHP was the headliner in the 3-player return from the Atlanta Braves for Adam Duvall. It wasn’t Sims’ major league debut, as he made 20 appearances, including 10 starts, for the Braves. “I’m sure the Reds didn’t bring him up here to pitch out of the bullpen,” said Chris Welsh.Ã‚Â
The Cardinals Way (more on TCW in the morning) The Cardinals, who I do believe practice The Cardinals Way, use a leadoff hitter with 35 home runs, the N.L. leader in that, and a 15% walk-rate. He’s sixth in the NL in OBP (.388).