WASHINGTON – The Cincinnati Reds offense was found dead today on the field at Nationals Park by a member of the grounds crew around 4:10 pm of an apparent homicide. Early reports are that no suspects are in custody but authorities say that Bryce Harper is a person of interest.
The Reds offense had recently been in the spotlight after a successful 8-2 homestand. Although no stranger to the limelight, the Reds Offense has been making plenty of enemies over the last few seasons and has rekindled some old rivalries.
Mike Leake set the stage early giving up six hits and four runs (three earned runs) through just three innings of work. He struck out one and walked three. Perhaps it wasn’t a homicide. Stats like that from a starting pitcher, especially on the road, are more like a self-inflicted wound. Alfredo Simon also turned in three innings of work giving up four hits and two runs, both earned.
There were a couple of brief bright spots. In the fourth inning, the semi-struggling Joey Votto hit a double and was promptly driven in by Brandon Phillips giving the Reds their first run and then Choo hit a solo homerun in the sixth making it 6-2. Hopes were again high in the top of the seventh inning when Zack Cozart stepped into the batter’s box with the bases loaded, two outs and Votto on deck. Cozart made solid contact and hit a rocket into center field that was tracked down again by a sprinting Span. Denard… again…
To add insult to injury, the Nats turned a double play in the top of the eighth inning which proved to be the dagger. Xavier Paul was up with runners on first and second and one out when he hit into a routine 6-4-3 double play.
The eighth inning also saw the triumphant return of Sean Marshall. Prior to today, Marshall had only pitched one inning this season. Marshall looked fantastic, fanning two and popping up Espinosa to turn in a scoreless eighth. Thank God he is back! This Reds club has sorely missed Sean. Manny Parra was placed on the 15 day DL yesterday to make room on the roster for Marshall.
Nationals closer, Rafael Soriano, came on in the ninth and put the Reds to bed in order. Nats win 6-3 and own the series so far 3-0.
Cards of sympathy and letters of condolonces can be sent to 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati.