So this is 5th place. The Reds absolutely handled the Astros and Brian Moehler for a 10-4 win, and sole possession of 4th place. It took five pitchers, and 181 pitches to get the Reds to make 27 outs - with Moehler needing 77 pitches for 7 outs. It was Moehler's lowest game score since the Apr 8 game against the Cubs, in which Moehler gave up seven earned in 1.2IP. Let's just do the thing:
Moehler: 2.1IP, 8H/7ER, 2K:1BB, 16/16 first-pitch strikes, 18/49 non-contact strikes (7c:11s)
Wright: 2.2IP, 3H/1ER, 3K:1BB, 6/11 FPS, 10/24 NCS (7c:3s)
Lopez: 2IP, 6H/2R (0 ER), 1K, 3/12 FPS, 6/17 NCS (3c:3s)
Byrdak: 1IP, 1K:1BB, 1/5 FPS, 4/10 NCS (1c:3s)
Paronto: 1IP, 1K, 1/3 FPS, 4/7 NCS (1c:3s)
You read that correctly. Moehler threw a first-pitch strike to every batter he faced. Of those 16 batters, Moehler then threw a second-pitch ball to ten of them. That said, in PAs in which Moehler had two strikes, the Reds were 6x11 with a walk.
On the brighter side, Chad Paronto threw a perfect inning in relief, his first appearance this season (out of five) in which he didn't give up a run, lowering his ERA from 18.69 to 15.19. You gotta build on something.
Offensively, the Astros just aren't built to come back (ha!). But the Astros did have a lot of time to try, as it was 7-1 when Moehler left in the third. Three of the four Astros runs came off the home run - one by Matsui and a 2-run shot by Berkman in the 8th. I got a nice little text message from a Reds-fan buddy who said "Tejada cost you a ton of runs. Your vets have quit." Which is succinct, but accurate, I suppose.
The offense was 0x6 with RISP, including in the 3rd when, down 7-1, Coste led off the inning with a double, Wesley Wright struck out trying to bunt, Bourn struck out trying to get a hit, and Tejada grounded out. They were 3x12 with a sac fly with runners just on base.
Tejada was 1x4 with a run in his PAs last night, seeing a total of seven pitches. Chris Johnson was 0x1 with a strikeout in his pinch-hit spot, but saw a total of seven pitches. Anyhow, Lance's two-run homer was his 24th of the season, while Carlos Lee sits at 26 (last hitting one at Cincinnati on Sept 16).
Man of the Match: Kaz Matsui. Two hits, a run, an RBI. And he's hitting .312/.346/.481 in September. Any takers?
Goat of the Game: Miguel Tejada. It didn't show up in the box score, but he nutted this game.