Monday, April 14, 2014

Home Run Derby Suspended; 7-7 Game Will Be Completed Tomorrow

Starling Marte got the festivities against Homer Bailey rolling by, of all things, going the opposite way and banging a double into the right field corner. Cutch banged one up the middle an out later, and the Bucs had an early run, another oddity, and a 1-0 lead. It didn't last long. With two down and Joey Votto on first via a walk, Wandy tossed an 0-2 fastball right down the middle to Todd Frazier (the third four-seamer in a row to a fastball hitter), and he smoked it off the batter's eye 438' away, making it 2-1.

Might be one of those nights; The Kid hammered a 3-2 fastball 442' into the right center seats, and it's 2-2. Gaby took a 2-1 fastball and launched it 418' over the CF wall. Sheesh. Clint Barmes then blooped a single into center. Wandy whiffed trying to bunt; so much for helping yourself.  Homer rectified that by tossing a wild pitch. Marte whiffed - he may not have seen a strike - and Travis Snider followed, chasing high heat. That's Homer Bailey; three straight hits followed by three straight whiffs. Wandy worked a 1-2-3 frame, but needs better command; he's been in the middle of the plate a lot in the early going.

Bailey made it six Bucs in a row in the third; he's got them chasing balls off the dish now. Wandy worked a clean frame, too, and was using the edges a little more. Neil Walker worked the count full to start the fourth,  then lined  fastball into left for a knock, but Bailey handled the 7-8-9 hitters easily. After an out, things got interesting when Snider slid for a Frazier fly along the line and had it bounce off his face. At first it was called foul, but after reviewed that call was overturned and Todd had a double. The missed grab cost the Bucs when Wandy doubled up on changeups to Ryan Ludwick and hung them both. Luwick swung through the first, but the second one flew out of the yard. All four Red runs have come with two outs and two strikes.

The 4-3 lead lasted a batter; Marte cranked a hanging curve out of GAB. Snider followed by taking a fastball the opposite way over the wall in left, and it was 5-4. Then Bailey K'ed the 3-4-5 hitters; go figure. The rain was starting to come down pretty hard now; the groundscrew began working on the mound and infield as it's supposed to be a wet evening in the Queen City. Back to them game: Pinch hitter Neftali Soto doubled just inside the third base line (or maybe just outside; the call can't be challenged unless it is an OF hit) with an out. With two down, Joey Votto took a first pitch curve, belt high on the outside black and pounded it over the RC wall, which is pretty impressive in a downpour, to make it 6-5. That could be the game winner with the weather as is.

JJ Hoover opened the sixth after the crew laid out another ton of Diamond Dri. Good move - for the Bucs, anyway, as The Kid and Gaby went back-to-back. Like Bailey, he rallied and K'ed two of the next three hitters. Bryan Morris came on, and the Reds two-out mojo was still working. Devin Mesoraco got a fastball that tailed into the middle of the plate and lined it over the left field wall to make it 7-7.

After that, crew chief Gerry Davis mercifully called for the tarp. The game is now official and all the stats count, making hitters happy and pitchers grumpy. At about 11 PM, after an hour and 45 minute delay, the game was suspended, and they'll finish it at 5: 30 PM tomorrow, before the main bout.

Gerrit Cole and Mike Leake hook up tomorrow night. It should be OK but cold, with morning snow showers and game time temp in the thirties.

  • We're guessing Gaby was chafing a little on the pine with Ishi picking up all the at-bats. Two homers tonight off RHP should earn him a little more lineup love.
  • The 10 home runs hit tonight set the Great American ballpark record. The last time there were at least 10 HRs in a MLB game was on June 18th, 2006 at Wrigley Field. The Tigers had eight and the Cubs three to set the NL mark. The MLB record is 12, twice done by the Tigers and White Sox in 1995 and again in 2002.
  • The Bucs club record for most HRs in a game is seven, done three times (last on 8/20/03 at St Louis); they still have three frames to take a shot at that standard.
  • The six Pirate homers were back-to-back jacks; all the Red homers came with two outs. The Pirates are the first team with three sets of back-to-back HRs in a game since the 1977 Red Sox. The only other team to match that was the 1956 Reds.
  • There was a considerable delay after the ball bounced off Snider. The review got it right - it was a fair ball - but the argument was where the runner should be. Frazier had barely made the turn at first, but was awarded second; that's a tough judgment call for the replay crew in NY. And not being able to challenge a fair/foul call seems a little misconceived, too.
  • More thought to chew on - in a game that's obviously going to be rain shortened, should you have your back-end relievers loose, even if it is the fifth inning? (Thx Travis Sawchik of the Trib).
  • We wonder what took so long for the Reds to put Joey Votto in the two hole, where he's a perfect fit.
  • Luis Heredia went on the minor-league disabled list, which is only seven days minimum, because of right shoulder pain.

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