The game resumed this morning* in the top of the 8th with no outs, Kozma at first, and J.J. Hoover on the hill. The Cardinals were unable to get anything across despite getting two base runners on. Kozma was eliminated on a broken hit-and-run play. With Yadi at the dish, Kozma went but the pitch was well down and away. Yadi didn't have much chance of making any contact at all with it. Yadi ended up striking out. Moss drew a walk and went to second on a wild pitch, but Garcia K'd to end the inning.
* Unless you're in the Eastern time zone, then noon-thirty-ish.
Jonathan Broxton was handed the bottom of the 8th. Frazier grounded out 6-3 on the first pitch of the inning, but then things went off the rails. Suarez singled and Adam Duvall followed up with a home run to right. It was a wall scraper and had just enough to elude Heyward's glove. That put the Reds ahead 4-2 with the ever-nasty Aroldis Chapman laying in wait.
In the top of the 9th the ever-nasty Aroldis Chapman was nasty as ever, blowing away Tommy Pham (pinch hitting for Jay), Mark Reynolds (pinch hitting for Broxton), and Matt Carpenter, striking out the side. He threw 11 pitches to close out the game.
The loss puts the Cardinals at 3.5 games ahead of the Pirates.
What came before:
Tonight it was ol' crusty barnacle John Lackey (2.90 ERA, 3.64 FIP, 3.99 xFIP) and Reds rookie Michael Lorenzen (5.54 ERA, 5.60 FIP, 5.06 xFIP) with the pitching duties.
It's been a tough slog of late for el Birdos. I'm not going to rehash the recent unpleasantness, but I can assure you it has been decidedly unpleasant.
The weather promised to bring it's own particular type of unpleasantness tonight as well:
Looks like the #Reds got most of their BP time in, but tarp is now coming back out. Rain forecast here in Cincy throughout the evening.— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) September 11, 2015
Also, this happened:
Well, the weather made good on its promise and here we are two innings shy of a complete game with a tie score to boot. The portion of the game that was played was fairly frustrating, with the Cardinals racking up 10 hits but plating just 2 runs. At least they aren't on the wrong side of a comical blowout.
Billy Hamilton has had quite a game, going 3 for 4 with a double and swiping 2 bases. Each said swipe also induced a less-than-great throw from Yadi that Jhonny couldn't handle. The throws ended up in center field and Billy ended up at third. The Reds made this count once, scoring Hamilton from 3rd in the bottom of the 1st for an early 1-0 lead.
Brandon Phillips grounded to Brandon Moss to get Hamilton home. Inexplicably Moss went home with the throw although he had no play at all there and gave up a chance for an out at first. Thankfully, Lackey was able to close the inning without further damage.
The Cardinals tied it in the top of the 2nd with a Moss walk, Greg Garcia single, and Jon Jay fielder's choice which moved Moss to third. Lackey's little infield chopper brought home Moss for a tally.
Someone named Ramon Cabrera hit his first career big league home run in the bottom of the 2nd to put the Reds ahead again.
Greg Garcia liked that idea, so he smoked a home run to knot things back up in the 4th. The remainder of the 4th typified the night for the Cardinals. Jay doubled, but tried to stretch it after bobbles by both Jay Bruce and Hamilton and was out at 3rd. Lackey singled into the LF corner (I mean, it was a double and Lackey just declined the extra base). Matt Carpenter singled. But Steven Piscotty lined into a double play to end it.
Lackey's line for the night: 7 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 112 pitches.
Lackey was in and out of trouble most of the night, such as the 5th when he struck out Todd Frazier with runners at second and third, and the 7th when he struck out Brandon Phillips... with runners at second and third.
As we left Our Heroes in the 8th, Jhonny Peralta just reached first on a rain-aided error by Eugenio Suarez. Pete Kozma was brought in to pinch run. He's probably standing there still, just waiting for his chance to shine.
Also, a big thank you to dr. howl for taking over the Tuesday recap on short notice after I fell victim to whatever that diabolical crud was that knocked me out for three days. I reeeeally appreciate it.
Tomorrow (after whatever happens with this game) it's game 3 of this 4-game set as Lance Lynn (3.12 ERA, 3.38 FIP, 3.84 xFIP) and Anthony DeSclafani (3.75 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 4.09 xFIP) do their pitching thing. Get some burgers and brats on the grill for this 12:05 Central start.