Jaime Garcia, in his second start after returning from a year-long DL stay, faced off against the Reds Tony Cingrani (2-3, 3.76 ERA, 4.62 FIP, 4.16 xFIP) at the Great American Smallpark. This was Cingrani's second start after returning from the disabled list for left shoulder tendinitis.
According to the Reds game notes, they're in first place! ...but only if the season started on April 13.
Earlier today, Kevin Siegrist was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left forearm strain. Sam Freeman was recalled from Memphis. In other injury news, Keith Butler is likely to have Tommy John surgery.
Mark Ellis and Shane Robinson were started against the lefty Cingrani over Matt Adams and Kolten Wong. Allen Craig moved over to first. This is the second time this week that Adams and Wong have sat against a lefty starter. Could Matheny be moving towards straight-up platoons at 1B and 2B?
Peter Bourjos was a late scratch due to a stomach virus. Jon Jay took over in center field and Suga Shane moved to #2 in the lineup. Because when you can put Shane's .276 OBP and 48 wRC+ in the two hole, you gotta do it.
For the Reds, Brayan Pena started at first again for the disabled Joey Votto. Chris Heisey got the nod in center field and lead off over Billy Hamilton.
- Redbirds were able to get on the board quickly in the first. Matt Carpenter led off with a double and Matt Holliday drove in the MMI. 1-0 Cardinals.
- In the 4th: Yadier Molina, fueled by the boos of Reds fans, drove a Cingrani fastball over the center field wall for a solo home run. 2-0 Cardinals.
- In the bottom of the frame, Jhonny Peralta made an excellent bare-handed play on a Todd Frazier grounder.
- Garcia continued to challenge Waino for the NL Silver Slugger, getting a basehit in the 5th. Unfortunately this would be erased by a Robinson GIDP. Because he was batting second.
- After getting 1-pitch groundouts from Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick in the 5th, Garcia allowed a double to whatever spirit of batting is currently possessing Brayan Pena. Then Zack Cozart slapped a belt-high inside fastball for a base hit, driving Pena home. A perfect throw from Holliday might have made for a close play at the plate, but he airmailed it. 2-1 Cardinals.
- Going to the 6th, Matt Holliday ripped a single off Cozart's glove and Allen Craig walked on 4 straight. Yadi hit a fly out to left field that Ludwick made a nice diving catch on after getting a bad jump on the ball. After Jhonny also walked on 4 straight, Ellis managed to drive a sac fly to deep center field, sending Holliday home. Jay singled up the middle off Cozart's glove to bring around Craig, and the Cardinals were up 4-1.
- Up to now, JAIME was looking very JAIME-like. He was getting nice movement and sitting 91.7 MPH on his four-seamer and 92.2 on his two-seamer, per Brooks. Both a touch higher than what he showed before his shoulder injury.
- In the 6th, Jaime started giving up a lot of hard contact. Leading off, Heisey nearly drove over the left field wall, but was held to a double. Frazier singled, then Brandon Phillips nearly hit it out again. DatDude admired his handiwork, but was also limited to a double, scoring Heisey. Devin Mesoraco ripped a line drive that Ellis made a fantastic leaping catch on, to save at least one run. Jaime was able to strikeout Bruce, then he was lifted for Carlos Martinez. Carlos K'd Ludwick and the crisis was averted. 4-2 Cardinals.
- Jaime ended his day giving up 6 hits, 2 earned runs, striking out 7 and allowing no walks in 5 2/3 innings.
- In the 7th, Martinez would get into a bit of trouble, allowing consecutive singles to Cozart and Skip Schumaker. He would come back to strike out both Heisey and Frazier, but not before uncorking another wild pitch to make things interesting. Frazier's K was a third strike foul tip that Yadi somehow through sheer force of will managed to hang on to.
- Against Logan Ondrusek, Yadi singled, Peralta drew a walk, and Ellis laid down a sac bunt. Reds manager Bryan Price (this still sounds weird) brought in lefty Sean Marshall to face Jay. Price was rewarded with Jay's second RBI single of the game. Matheny brought in Matt Adams to face (the lefty, right?) Marshall and he promptly lined a RBI single of his own. 6-2 Cardinals.
- Sometimes a player brought in to cover a late scratch just has a heck of a night. Jon Jay had one of those nights tonight. This is, essentially, Ordinary Baseball Weirdness, but it's sure fun to watch.
- Seth Maness was brought in to cover the 8th. He allowed Phillips a single, because he needed to set up the double play. Mesoraco obliged with the GIDP in short order.
- With a non-save 4 run lead, Jason Motte came in for the 9th. Ludwick lofted a deep fly ball over the left field fence for a lead off dinger. Mottenchops would come back to get Pena and Cozart, but was lifted after walking Skipperdoodle.
- Trevor Rosenthal was brought in to get the last out, part of a double switch that put Daniel Descalso at shortstop. Pinch-hitter Billy Hamilton clunked the first pitch he saw to Dirty Dan for a single. But Rosie was able to get Frazier swinging on a sequence that went changeup, curveball, fastball, changeup.
Highest WPA: Martinez .164, Holliday .124, Jay .117
Lowest WPA: Robinson -.117, Craig -.005, Motte .002
The Next Game
The Cardinals wrap things up in Cincinnati tomorrow with Adam Wainwright (7-2, 1.85 ERA, 2.47 FIP, 3.10 xFIP) taking the hill against Mike Leake (2-3, 2.91 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 3.66 xFIP) in yet another appearance on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. First pitch at 7:05 Central.