Thursday, June 20, 2013
Reds-Pirates was familiar and unfamiliar
By ESPN Stats & Information
Frank Victores/USA TODAY Sports
Brandon Phillips recorded his 5th career walk-off hit on Wednesday.
The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates played a game Wednesday that featured feats both rare and familiar.
Pirates closer Jason Grilli had been automatic entering Wednesday’s game, converting on all 25 of his save opportunities. He blew his first save since September 29 of last season when he allowed Jay Bruce's ninth-inning home run. That was also a 2-1 loss to the Reds.
Bruce homered off of Grilli’s fastball, which held opponents to a .167 batting average with no homers on the season before Wednesday.
Grilli fell just one save shy of Joel Hanrahan’s franchise record of 26 consecutive saves converted to begin a season set in 2011.
The Reds got a rare good start out of Bronson Arroyo against the Pirates. Over the previous two seasons, Arroyo was 0-3 with an 8.40 ERA in three starts against Pittsburgh. He delivered a quality start this time though, allowing just one unearned run in seven innings.
Pirates two-time All-Star Andrew McCutchen has experienced a recent power outage. He failed to homer in his 22nd consecutive game, the third-longest streak in his career.
McCutchen is representative of a larger scoring problem with the Pirates. Wednesday marked the 18th game this season that the Pirates scored one run or fewer, the third-highest total in the majors.
The Reds won in dramatic fashion, as has become customary for them. This was their seventh walk-off win this season, tied for the most with the San Francisco Giants.
Most Game-Tying or Go-Ahead HR 9th Inning or Later Since 2008
>>Rookie season was 2008
It has become a frequent occurrence for Jay Bruce to step up for the Reds in the closing moments of ballgames. Including Wednesday, Bruce has 10 career game-tying or go-ahead homers in the ninth inning or later since he entered the major leagues in 2008.
The only player with more such homers in that span? Miguel Cabrera with 14.