Regardless of the result from tonights 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, there are two story lines. First off that the Cincinnati Reds are still having serious Bullpen issues more than a third of the way through the season, and that Mike Leake pitched a fantastic game.
Much like the previous game for the Reds, things were going swimmingly until late in the game.
Brandon Phillips showed his critics why exactly he is having a great season. He may have started off the game with an out, but it was still a loud out in the form of a line drive to Center Field. He would continue on to have three hits including a double. And speaking of driving the ball, Joey Votto‘s wallet swing found its way into Philly for two doubles and a ninth inning 2-run bomb to Left-Center Field for his tenth long ball of the season.
Kristopher Negron, Tucker Barnhart, and Mike Leake would add hits of their own, while Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce and Zack Cozart did not have a hit. Bruce was able to extend his streak of getting on base with two walks in Wednesday’s contest. Then there’s Billy Hamilton.
While Hamilton may not have had a hit in the game, he was able to reach base on a walk which started the circus out at first base. With Hamilton leading off first, Phillips lined a base hit into Center Field. Hamilton would only reach second on the play due to the fact that he needed to hold up and wait to see if a diving Chase Utley would make the catch.
So now with Hamilton on second and Votto at the plate, Billy did what Billy does best. He got in the head of the Cole Hamels. He actually almost shot himself in the foot when Hamels caught Hamilton in no-mans land. Thanks to poor pickle practices, Hamilton was able to retreat to second base, only to preform a double steal with Phillips on the backend just a couple pitches later.
The Reds would then do what the Reds do best, and not score. The Reds would end up striking first in the fourth inning with a 2-run single into Left Field by Brandon Phillips, but that would be all the scoring until Votto blasted his bomb in the ninth to bring the score to 4-0 Reds.
Mike Leake gave Reds fans a chance to see something that many people hope to see, but his no-hit effort fell about two outs into the seventh inning. He was seven outs away when the Phillies Maikel Franco lined a single into Center Field. That would not be Franco’s only damage.
Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Reds had a demanding 4-0 leading. Mike Leake would come into the ninth inning with only one hit given up to his credit. After back to back hitters reaching base, Bryan Price would turn to his Closer in Aroldis Chapman. This is when it got bad.
Chapman was very wild until he faced Franco. The scored had moved to 4-1 after a sacrifice fly. So now with two on and one out, Franco would take Chapman deep to Left Field to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth.
It would remain at this score until Ryan Mattheus came into the game in the eleventh inning. Cody Asche would double down the Left Field line with one out, and then the Reds created a new way to lose. Freddy Galvis wold ground the ball to Votto. Votto would flip the ball to Mattheus, and Mattheus would not be able to handle the throw. The ball rolled down the first base line towards the plate, and Asche came home for the winning run.
This was the ninth time in the last 15 games in Philly that the Reds have lost by a walk-off.