Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cole Train Rolls But Bullpen Rocked In 4-1 Loss As Cueto Does It All

After getting a pair of routine grounders to open the game, Johnny Cueto gave up back-to-back knocks to Cutch and The Kid before getting Starling on a fly. The unstoppable Kris Negron singled hard to left against Gerrit Cole to start up the Reds. Brandon Phillips dropped a flare into center to put Redlegs at first and third, and a chopper, speared by a leaping Josh, brought Negron home. Two K's later, it was 1-0 Reds.

With two gone in the second, Stew ripped a double to left center that turned Chris Heisey around, but Cueto put Cole away on four pitches. The Cole Train picked up a couple more whiffs while tossing a clean frame. Cueto matched him in the third, with two K's sandwiched around a Travis line out. Negron kept it up against the Bucs, singling to right with an out and getting to second on a wild pitch. A roller, again nicely converted by Josh, moved him up 90', but Todd Frazier's grounder to short ended the inning without a score.

The Kid led off the fourth by going long; it's good to have his bat back after a two-week slump. Cueto polished off the remaining Buccos, one being Gaby, who came in to hit for Ike; maybe Davis' flu is acting up (it was). Two more Reds K'ed, then Heisey had the unusual occurrence of running into his own batted ball for the third out.

Stew is on a roll; he dropped a hustle double, his second, into left to open the fifth; he only had three two-baggers coming into today. So much for hustle; he was thrown out at third on a pretty poor bunt effort by Cole; all he had to do was bunt it toward third. Two flies ended the frame. The Cole Train kept on a rollin'; he tossed a 1-2-3 frame and has nine K.

Ditto Cueto, who tossed another easy inning in the sixth. Cole finally got Negron, thanks to a dandy spin-o-rama play by Josh at third. No more dramatics as Gerrit K'ed two more. Gaby drilled a fastball to left to start the seventh, but the liner was gloved by Jason Bourgeois. Two routine grounders ended the frame. And Cueto's not going anywhere at 90+ pitches; the Reds will keep him in until he's in line for a win, as he's looking for #20. After a punch out, Jay Bruce broke Cole's string of 12 in-a-row with a single to right. No prob; Stew tossed him out trying to steal followed by a pop out.

Andrew Lambo came in for Cole in the eighth; the Bucs do have another day to live for. Lambo whiffed and Josh lined out to third; even when the Bucs do square up, they can't find grass against Johnny. Travis hit one to center that the Reds couldn't flag and chugged into second, with Gregory Polanco coming in to run. Cutch got hit in the back by the next pitch, but Walker couldn't make Cueto pay, grounding out to first.

Tony Watson came on, and Bourgeois greeted him with a triple. A liner to Josh kept him there for an out; it was the fourth really sweet play he's made today at the hot corner. The Reds let Cueto (.119) bat, and it paid off; he ran the count full after being in a 1-2 hole and singled into center to plate Bourgeois.

To add insult to injury, his back swing caught Stew on the wrist, and that brought Tony Sanchez into the game to catch. Cueto was replaced by pinch runner Yorman Rodriguez; it will be Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. Justin Wilson came on and promptly gave up a homer to Negron. After an out, he walked Frazier and plunked Mesoraco, whether to avenge Cutch or out of frustration is tough to tell. He got Bruce to end an inning the pen would like to forget.

Marte opened with a knock, followed by a Gaby K. Starling stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Jordy went down looking at 100 MPH heater, and Tony Sanchez swung through a 102 MPH fastball. Guess the Redbirds get to save Adam Wainwright for another day now.

Well, see you all Wednesday at PNC Park as Madison Bumgarner and the Giants try to beat the black out against, we assume, Eddie Volquez. The game will be on ESPN and starts at 8:07 PM.
  • This was Cole Train's third double-digit strikeout game of his career. He equaled his career high of 12, set against San Diego last year.
  • Neil Walker has gone deep five times this year at GABP. He has 14 career homers against the Reds, his most versus any opponent.
  • Kris Negron devoured the Bucs this series, going 9-for12.
  • For those following the grand tour's finale, Derek Jeter legged out an RBI infield single and was removed so he could end his career with a hit.

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