Rookie Alex Reyes gets through six while fanning seven against the Reds.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Rookie Alex Reyes, St. Louis Cardinals top prospect, making his second appearance against the Cincinnati Reds. His first, in his major league debut against them was in relief, August 9. Last night's Game One, he was starting facing Reds Anthony DeSclafani. Two very strong arms on the hill. Both went six innings and both took down in the side in three of those. They both gave up two earned runs while Reyes fanned seven, DeSclafani struck out three. By games' end, they both received a no-decision.
Reyes, while pitching as a starter in his minor league career with the Memphis Triple-A Redbirds, struggled the deeper he went in a game. Issues with command and control. He was placed in the Cardinals rotation due to Mike Leake being placed on the DL, as he was diagnosed with shingles. He made his first start against the Oakland A's and retired after 4.2 IP. His second start against the Reds was a test for young hurler. His first inning, lead-off Billy Hamilton reached first on an infield single. Reyes committed his first throwing error on a steal by Hamilton to second. He then settled in and got his three outs, even as Hamilton stole third for his second steal of three for the night. Reyes learned, first hand, that Hamilton has the speed of a Cheetah.
The Cardinals scored on DeSclafani first to take the lead until the sixth inning. Yadier Molina, in his second, crunched out a solo home run over the right center wall in Great American Ball Park to take an early lead.
In DeSclafani's fifth he would serve up a pitch to Randal Grichuk who knocked the two-seamer bullet out left center for yet another solo shot to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
The Cardinals now have hit home runs in 21 consecutive games. They have hit 191 for the season. However, .675% of those have been solo shots. In those 21 games they are 11/10. Even though the solo shot is a guaranteed run in, it has been proven in ten games the RBI is a very important part of a game to realize a win.
Even though Hamilton was hard to contain from his base stealing, Molina was triumphant getting Scott Schebler at second in the fourth.
Reyes was holding the Reds scoreless until his sixth. He allowed a single and a double, two runners on and no outs. Adam Duvall cuts the Cardinals lead to one with a RBI sac-fly; followed by, Schebler with a RBI single, off the glove of SS Jedd Gyorko, to tie. He got out of his jam with a strikeout and a fly-out to close with no further damage.
Cardinals Zack Duke followed Reyes in the seventh. He allowed two hits and issued a free pass to load the bases, with one out on the board. He was retired and Matt Bowman was called to the hill. Bowman got the two outs needed to retire the Reds clogged bases and holding the tie. Reds Brandon Phillips just about took himself out of the game. Tapping a "power sinker" from Bowman into his shin. But, Bowman did his job and was well done.
Kevin Siegrist, top of the eighth, realized his own battle on the hill. He got his first out on a flier. Issued his first walk, followed by a strikeout, and saw two more walks to load the bases. However, he struck out Hamilton swinging for his final out. Siegrist had to spend 26 pitches, but he got the job done to hold the tie. Reds Raisel Iglesias in the ninth, four up and four down with the second walk issued for Cincinnati.
Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh comes to the hill looking to take the game into extra inning play. His first batter advanced on a walk. Gave up two hits, and had one strikeout. Eugenio Suarez to face Oh and connects for a single up the center for a RBI walk-off 3-2 win. That was his first game ending RBI. This was Oh's second walk-off win handed to him by the Reds. The first was August 2 by Schebler for a two-run homer. Two of his three losses have been to Cincinnati. Iglesias earned his second win.
The strike zone varied throughout the night, in my opinion. Two walks called for the Reds, 7 were called on the Cardinals. Of course being a Cardinals fan, this just seemed to me a bit heavy on one side versus the other. (Thank you for letting me vent)
However, the Cardinals had ten strikeouts versus four by the Reds. In addition, the Cardinals worked hard to strand 14 Reds on the bags. So, I suppose, the ending result could have been far worse for our visiting St. Louis team. On the flip side, our offense, once again was held to minimal action with only six hits. Out of those six, 2B Greg Garcia was 3-3 AB with two doubles, a single; but, no RBIs by the Cardinals.
GAME TWO THIS AFTERNOON, FIRST PITCH AT 3:10 CST
Cardinals Jaime Garcia (10-10/4.46 ERA) will face Reds Dan Straily (10-7/3.92 ERA).
J Garcia, in his five starts in August, has seen the "Dog Days of August". He was hand two losses in his last two starts and for the month has given up 8 HR/18 ER on 30 hits allowed for a 5.06 ERA. The Reds have been able to hit him with a .293 BA. The last he faced the Reds, August 10, he went 8 IP/1 HR/2 ER for the Cardinals 3-2 win. That was at Busch Stadium. Just so Cardinals fans are prepared, he holds a 9.64 ERA at Great American Ball Park only going 4.2 IP/2 HR/5 ER. A new month, he will be looking to change those numbers.
Straily, not much better in his month of August. In six game starts, he has given up 9 HR/15 ER on 35 hits allowed. His last start against the Cardinals, at Busch Stadium, August 2 was for a no-decision. 6 IP/1 HR/2 ER on five hits. However, his last outing against the Los Angeles Angels, he was retired after 2.2 IP/4 HR/7 ER. At home, he is 5-1 with a 2.94 ERA and has held the Cardinals hitters to a .167 BA.
With pitchers, as much as hitters, there are a lot of variables that factor in. We will see in this match-up just which pitcher has their "A" game and which offense will be successful against the one they face.