Reds 5 Royals 4 (10)
Reds rookie Ricky Karcher was asked to save the game Monday night.... in his MLB debut. He did it. Somehow, some way, in heart stopping, rollercoaster fashion as the Reds beat the Royals 5-4 in 10 innings at Kauffman Stadium.
It was an adventure for Karcher, the sixth pitcher used on the night. He walked the leadoff batter of the 10th to put runners on 1st and 2nd. He threw 21 pitches, only 9 strikes. Two strikes came in self defense by Royals 2B Michael Massey on bunt attempts that almost hit him. Another strike came on a batter pitch clock violation. Curt Casali jumped out of his crouch to catch two pitches. Karcher got a fly out. But a double steal put runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. The Reds pulled the infield in. Karcher then got a pop out and fly out to end it.
The Reds had rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 in the top of the 9th inning. But with Alexis Diaz unavailable, having worked back-to-back days, Buck Farmer was called on for a five out save. He served up a two out game-tying homer to Salvador Perez.
In the top of the 10th, TJ Friedl scored the go ahead run on a fielder's choice by Jonathan India. David Bell won his replay challenge after Friedl was initially called out.
The Reds had taken a 4-3 lead in the top of the 9th when Tyler Stephenson singled and Will Benson walked to open the inning. Stuart Fairchild bunted them over. Newman then lifted a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to bring home the go-ahead.
Game-saver I: Trailing 3-1 in the 5th, David Bell went to the pen with 2 on and 1 out before Weaver could face Massey a third time. Weaver had allowed a two-run double and another double in each at-bat. Massey entered the game 1 for his last 18. LH Alex Young escaped the jam with a strikeout.
Game-saver II: 3-3 in the 8th, the Royals put two (BB/1B) on vs Casey Legumina. Farmer came on and got a fly out and a strikeout.
Luke Weaver: 4.2 IN, 5 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 3 K, 93 pitches/61 strikes. He needed 75 pitches to record his first 10 outs. Maikel Garcia worked an 11 pitch 4th inning walk. The Royals had scored just 8 runs in their 5 previous games combined. His ERA sits at 6.23. He did keep the ball in the park after allowed 12 in 47.1 innings coming in.
Elly: GO, K, FC, SB, K, DP. Aroldis Chapman struck him out on a 100mph fastball below the knees in the 8th.
Win some, lose some: The ultra aggressive Reds had two base runners thrown out. McLain was cut down attempting to go first to third on a India single. Benson stutter stepped cutting the bag at 2nd on his way for a triple try. Both runners were cut down by right fielder MJ Melendez.
Tough luck: Benson DP line to Zack Greinke at 106.6 mph and a 2B at 106.1mph, thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
Savvy: 39-year old Greinke was working it, creating a number of 'what the hell?' looks by Reds hitters. 5.0 IN, 3 R. The Reds tied the game with 2 runs in the 5th.
Clinical: Consider the combined years of pitching experience this young Reds lineup has faced over the last five games...Greinke: 527 starts, 3,313.2 IN, 224 wins....Clayton Kershaw: 411 starts, 2,657.1 IN, 205 wins...Adam Wainwright: 397 starts, 2,604.2 IN, 197 wins. Combined: 625 wins,1,335 starts, 8,575.2 IN.
2 hits: Friedl (2 2B), India, Stephenson
Crushed: Fairchild, fighting to keep a roster spot, blasted a 421-foot home run (3) to get the Reds on the board in the 3rd inning.
Streaks: McLain extended his hit streak to seven games. De La Cruz had his streak end at six.
The Missile: Chapman struck out the side in the 8th inning....India, De La Cruz and Steer. Per Gordon Wittenmyer, Enquirer, Chapman's 99-mph pitch to India was the first pitch of the night by either team with higher velocity than De La Cruz's 97.5-mph throw to first on the Melendez infield hit in the 1st.
The inning that hurt: 3-3 in the 7th, Benson was thrown out attempting to stretch a triple to lead off the inning. Later, Luke Maile walked and TJ Friedl doubled. But McLain struck out to end the inning.
Bullpen: Alex Young 1.1 IN, 0 R.....Fernando Cruz 1.0, 0 R...... Casey Legumina 0.1 IN, 0 R......Buck Farmer 1.2 IN, HR. ...Karcher 1.0 IN, 0 R, save
Unsustainable: The Reds just can’t keep up this merry go round combo of short outings and taking one for the team outings. Eventually it will leave the bullpen in a state that no amount of calls to Louisville will be able to band-aid together.
How the Reds scored:
3rd: Fairchild HR, 3-1 Royals
6th: Friedl, RBI 2B, 3-2 Royals
6th: India RBI 1B, 3-3
9th: Newman sac fly, 4-3 Reds
10th: India fielder's choice scores Friedl, 5-4 Reds