Cincinnati Reds Fall 3-0 to Pirates, Altercation Breaks Out Between Teams


4. 0. 61. . 3

W: Charlie Morton (7-4)

L: Keyvius Sampson (0-1)

S: Joakim Soria (24)

The Cincinnati Reds offense fell silent against Charlie Morton and the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 3-0 loss on Sunday at GABP to split the four-game weekend series. To be honest, it wasn’t one of the more exciting games to watch.

The drama came in the eighth when Pedro Villarreal threw a pitch at Andrew McCutchen that hit him in the back. The Pirates decided to retaliate in the bottom of the inning and hit Brandon Phillips with a fastball between his shoulders. Phillips did not take to that kindly and the benches cleared. There were some arguments and yelling, but it looked like it would break up with no punches thrown. Unfortunately, that did not happen and there were some pushing and shoving. Ultimately, Pirates infielder Sean Rodriguez, Marlon Byrd and Joey Votto were all ejected.

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In the ninth, Mark Melancon came on to close it out for Pittsburgh. After giving up a double to Jay Bruce, he hit Tucker Barnhart (albeit accidentally). However, the rules state that after a warning has been issued, if a pitcher hits an opposing batter, that pitcher gets ejected. I don’t understand why Melancon and catcher Francisco Cervelli insisted on arguing this rule.

As for the rest of the game, Keyvius Sampson made his first career start and started off strong. He retired the first six batters he faced, including striking out Andrew McCutchen. He ran into some trouble in the third when he gave up two-run double to Starling Marte. In the fourth, Neil Walker hit a ball that was misplayed in right center field by Marlon Byrd and Jay Bruce. Walker initially ended up on third, but the umpires reviewed it and ruled that the ball hit a bar just above the wall for a home run.

Sampson pitched five innings, giving up three hits and three runs, while walking one and striking out six. Not bad for his first major league start. As with all the Reds’ rookie pitchers, Sampson has room to grow. It’s going to be very interesting to watch all of these young pitchers develop and as much as I will miss Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake, I’m looking forward to watching the rookies get better with every start.

Other Notes:

  • Ivan De Jesus Jr. went 2-for-3 with two singles. Of the Reds’ five hits, he had two of them. De Jesus has been a nice surprise this season as a utility player, much like Kristopher Negron in 2014.
  • Kyle Waldrop made his major league debut on Sunday, pinch hitting for Sampson in the fifth. He struck out swinging on three pitches.
  • The Reds and Pirates meet again twice this season, once in Cincinnati and once in Pittsburgh. It’ll be interesting to see if anything else transpires as a result of the altercation.

Up Next: The Reds enjoy a rare off day in Cincinnati on Monday and then will start a three-game series against St. Louis on Tuesday at GABP. In a rematch of last Wednesday’s 1-0 Reds win at Busch Stadium, Anthony DeSclafani (6-7, 3.75 ERA) will square off against John Lackey (9-6, 2.78 ERA).

Next: Getting to know Keury Mella