Thursday, August 23, 2012

Reds settle for a series split in Philly, lose 4-3 in 11

The Reds (76-50) had their sights on winning a series in Philadelphia on Thursday night, but were forced to settle with a split instead. John Mayberry Jr.'s bases-loaded, game-winning single in the bottom of the 11th off of Alfredo Simon (2-2) propelled the Phillies (58-67) to a walkoff victory, 4-3.

A pair of Cy Young hopefuls took to the mound in this one, however neither one had their best stuff. Johnny Cueto lasted only five innings allowing three walks and two runs while Cole Hamels labored through six frames and allowed three runs of his own. Each received a no-decision for their efforts -- a rarity for Cueto this season.

Here's a recap of the good, bad and notables from the series finale:

The Good:
+ Todd Frazier, aka "The Toddfather", added three more RBI to give him 58 on the year. That leads all NL rookies. Two of those ribbies came from his 21st double of the year in the sixth.
+ Jose Arredondo hurled 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to help lower his ERA to 2.65. He threw 18 of his 25 pitches for strikes. Well done, Jose.
+ J.J. Hoover made his return to the team and promptly delivered two innings of shutout ball although he had to wiggle out of some jams to do so.
+ A series split on the road isn't the worst thing in the world.

The Bad:
- Cincy ultimately blew a 3-0 lead to lose both the game and the series.
- Wilson Valdez got the start at second base in place of Brandon Phillips and was 0-4. He's hitting .197 this season.
- Jay Bruce recorded the dreaded hat trick with three strikeouts.
- Miguel Cairo was charged with an error (4). He started to give Scott Rolen a day off.
- The team was 1-9 with RISP and left eight men on base.
- Simon better be glad the 11th inning and game ended early, or else his ERA would have taken a serious hit. He allowed three hits and a walk while recording only one out in a losing cause.

The Notables:
+ Before the game, the Reds optioned Devin Mesoraco to Triple-A Louisville and promoted J.J. Hoover to take his place on the roster. Mesoraco spent the last two games serving a suspension stemming from an incident earlier in the month.
+ A packed house of 41,972 packed the stands at Citizens Bank Park.
+ The Cardinals completed a sweep over the Astros earlier in the day to close within seven games of first with the Reds loss.
+ The Pirates were off on Thursday, but still managed to pick up a half game in the standings. They are now within eight of first place.
+ Up next: The Reds welcome the second-place Cardinals to town on Friday for a weekend set. Mat Latos (10-3, 3.56) will toe the rubber for the home team opposite of Lance Lynn (13-5, 3.73). First pitch is slated for 7:10et.

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