29th one-run loss
I remember in June of 2008 when the Reds were at Toronto and had a crunch at third base. Because of injuries at shortstop, Jeff Keppinger had to move over and play there. And catcher Javier Valentin started at third base. As luck would have it, not a single ball was hit his way.
That’s exactly what happened with Yonder Alonso at third base on Monday night vs. the Phillies. Of the 27 outs made by Philadelphia, not one was made at third.
That was only a small subplot to the big story — Homer Bailey pitched his best game of the season, and still lost in a 3-2 decision. His line: 8 ip, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, a season-high 9 K.
It was the one bad pitch Bailey will be thinking of — a hanging first-pitch curveball to Shane Victorino. It was clubbed for a two-run homer to right field and snapped a 1-1 game.
“Homer threw great,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “It was as sharp as I’ve seen him – from the very first pitch until the end – other than that one pitch to Victorino. When you’re playing against a team that has the pitching that they have and are accustomed to playing low-scoring, close games like that, one pitch could be the difference.”
*The Reds are 23-29 in one-run games this season. The 29 one-run losses leads the Majors, one ahead of the Royals.
*Alonso went 0-for-4 in the game on the offensive side of his first start at 3B.
*Brandon Phillips extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a 2-for-4 night that included a strange triple for the Reds’ first hit. On his drive to right-center field, right fielder Hunter Pence slipped and fell down at the warning track.
*Joey Votto walked in the seventh and has reached base safely in 32 straight games and 122 of 133 games this season.
*Phillies lefty Cole Hamels gave up two hits and one run over six innings for a no-decision. He was lifted after only 76 pitches in his first start back from the DL (shoulder inflammation).
“We always like playing the Phillies. They’re a good team. We always play really good games with them. I think they’ve probably won their fair share of them but we always play good baseball against them. Obviously with the pitching staff they have, they’re always fun to watch. And the lineup they bring to the table. We’re a pretty good team too. We can play right there with them.” — Homer Bailey
“I think Homer pitched a great game but don’t forget about our guy either. Our guy pitched a wonderful game. Coming off the DL, he went out there and pitched six strong. That was great. I tip my hat to Cole. He looked very sharp and very good. If you would have told me he was on the DL for 15 days, I would have said no chance. That’s very good. It’s a good sign.” — Shane Victorino on Bailey and Cole Hamels.