|Cincinnati Reds (52-58)
|Atlanta Braves (66-47)
|W: R. Stephenson (3-2) L: S. Greene (0-3) S: D. Hernandez (2)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
“Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper, sprinkle cool patience.” —Hamlet
When Sonny Gray couldn’t make short work of Adam Duvall in the first, it portended storm clouds on the late inning horizon. This had the look of another bullpen game.
By the third inning, Julio Teheran began relying on a breaking ball he could not locate and the Reds—showing patience—allowed Teheran to walk himself into trouble, loading the bases. However, the Reds couldn’t get the big hit, stranding three, and at the time, this felt significant.
Gray’s bunting prowess came into play in the top of the fourth, plating the Reds second run on a scary play that saw him stumble and fall, attempting to avoid Braves first baseman Austin Riley, who was trying to field the ball and make a throw to the plate. It left me wondering how Gray—an American League pitcher for most of his career—could be so proficient at laying down bunts, while Billy Hamilton never could quite master that skill.
In the top of the fifth with two outs, VanMeter would patiently walk. Patiently wait for the right moment, then steal second. Seconds later, Senzel would patiently take what the Braves infield defense would give him, slapping a single the other way into right field, scoring VanMeter on a nifty slide at the plate after motoring around third at a Nascar-like pace.
By the bottom of the 6th inning, Gray had only thrown 75 pitches, courtesy of a couple of quick innings. But a leadoff walk and a deep ball to centerfield put Senzel’s back against the wall, which he misplayed, putting Gray’s back against the wall. But, then, Gray got down to business, handcuffing Braves batters, keeping Atlanta scoreless and the fans chop-less.
Gray would give way to Lucas Sims in the 8th, and Sims quickly gave the Atlanta faithful life. Sims challenged Josh Donaldson and Donaldson left the yard with two outs, then looked like he put the next batter on base when he hit Johan Camargo. But Camargo swung at the pitch, taking one off the leg for nothing. Sims then struck out Camargo, his third K of the inning.
Amir Garrett came on in the 9th. The Reds clearly are going to get as much use out of Amir as they can before he begins serving his suspension. He walked his first batter before giving up a bomb to Ronald Acuna to tie the game. Robert Stephenson came on and literally attempted to throw the game away on a pick-off to first base before finding some composure.
Onward to the 10th inning, where Aristides Aquino pinch hit and roped one for a single. Iglesias quickly singled behind him. Then Tucker Barnhart did what no Reds fans could honestly see coming. All he did was slip the surly bonds of earth for his 6th home run of the season.
Hernandez would come on in the bottom of the 10th and get two outs before surrending a home run to Flowers, his ninth of the season, before Freddy Freeman hit a heart-stopping rope that Joey Votto corralled to end the game.
Sonny Gray. No way I had Gray getting through 7 innings after that nearly 30 pitch first inning. He did walk 4, but being the pro that he is, he was always in control of his emotions on the road bump. He threw 110 pitches on this fine Sunday afternoon, 61 for strikes. Patience, Richard. Patience.
Last night, the entire Reds offense came off one swing by Aristides Aquino. Through the first 9 innings, the Reds again could muster only 3 runs on 4 measly hits. This won’t get it done.
Well, the Braves organist thought it was clever to play the theme to Happy Days when Jesse Winker came to the plate. Jesse Winkler. Ha ha ha ha ha. I just can’t stop laughing.
THIS BULLPEN. Gray did everything he could, but Garrett and Sims couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain. The Reds had the 2nd best bullpen in the National League at the All Star Break. Since then, they are next to last.
The Second Guess
Maybe Aquino should have started today?
Sonny Gray continues to troll the New York Yankees. Yeah, buddy.
Beautiful inning of patient PA by the Reds
— ???? ????y (@Nicholaspkirby) August 4, 2019
Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting. –Joyce Meyer
Sonny and Tucker could have told you that, Joyce.