Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Phillies spoil Votto's return, 6-2

So we lost. We got Joey back - that's what matters.

Wednesday’s game will go down as a disappointing, 6-2 loss at the hands of the Phillies, but what this day will really be remembered for is the return of one Joey Votto. 

Votto appeared as though he’d never been gone, stroking a single in his very first at-bat back and Reds fans rejoiced. It would be about the last thing Reds fans could get stoked for on the day as the Phillies took a 6-0 lead in the third, chased starter Mike Leake (7-9) from the game and never looked back. The notables from today’s game:

The Good
-At this stage of the season, with the NL Central all but sewn up, the actual outcome of this one isn’t such a big deal. What is important, however, is that Votto finally made his return to the lineup. It’s no secret that the Reds have done fantastically well in his absence, perhaps better than anyone could have imagined. However, there’s no question that Votto gives the Reds the best opportunity for a deep run in the playoffs. Votto looked good, going 2-for-3 at the plate, and that’s the best news of all. 

-Chris Heisey continues to make the most of his infrequent starts as of late, going 2-for-4 on the day to raise his average to .289.

-Jay Bruce remains on fire, finishing 3-for-4 including the team’s only two RBI and a run scored.

-The bullpen was excellent. Alfredo Simon, Sam LeCure, Sean Marshall and Pedro Villarreal combined to keep the Phillies scoreless over the final 6.2 innings.

The Bad
-Mike Leake simply wasn’t very good. Unfortunately, despite the work done by the bullpen, the damage had already been done. The youngster has an ERA north of 5 at GABP and that total went up today as he got just one out in the third before exiting with a line of 2.1 IP, six hits and six earned. Yuck.

-Falling behind 6-0 when you’re facing Roy Halladay is never a good plan of attack. The Doc (9-7) tossed 7.1 innings of one run ball with one walk and five strikeouts.

-Erik Kratz did much of the damage, driving in three runs. If you knew his name before today, props to you.

The Notables
-This time of the year gives fans lots of new names to see and Reds fans were treated to the debut of Didi Gregorious today. He got the start at shortstop, but is still looking for his first hit as he went 0-for-4.

-Villarreal made his first showing after his promotion as well, and was outstanding, throwing a perfect ninth inning.

-We also got a look at Denis Phipps, who struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth.

-An announced crowd of 19,267 took in the afternoon’s festivities.

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