An important win for the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Cincinnati Reds came thanks to a Neil Walker walk-off single, but Ike Davis hitting a grand slam home run earlier in the game was possibly the more interesting moment in the 6-5 victory.
Why? Because Davis has already hit a grand slam home run this season, but that was when he played for the New York Mets. That home run came in a game against the Reds. Three days later, and Davis has another grand slam homer, once again facing Cincinnati. He is the third player in MLB history to hit Grand Slams against one team for two different teams in the same season, joining Mike Piazza and Ray Boone. He did it in the same month, the previous one coming on April 5.
Neil Walker hitting a walk off single was special as well. It is his second career walk off hit, with the first also coming this season. He was 3-for-4 in the game and is hitting .275 this season so far, reaching 12 RBIs with his ninth inning clutch moment. Davis now has 9 RBIs and Andrew McCutchen, hitting his second home run of the season on an incredible hitting day for him (3-for-3, two walks as well), gets to 11.
The Reds were in the lead for most of the game. Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier helped others reach home safely early on and after Davis gave Pittsburgh the lead in the 4th the Reds came back, scoring three runs through Hamilton, Bruce and Mesoraco to enter the ninth inning with a 5-4 lead. But McCutchen homered off of Manny Parra who blew his second save of the season, and J.J. Hoover came on to try and save the day but ended up picking up the loss.
Francisco Liriano started for the Pirates but didn’t have the best of days. He did make it all the way into the 8th, but allowed 7 hits in another demonstration of his decreasing speed on his fastballs, striking out only four players. He is using a lot more changeball and overall slow pitches to try and make his way through innings, with his fastball and sinker becoming easier and easier to hit for opponents.
Both playoff teams last season, both in the red through the first three weeks of the season. Joey Votto had an awful game for the Reds, going 0-for-5. He saw 21 pitches, 16 of which were on the outer third of the plate or off the outside corner. All five of his outs came while trying to hit those outside pitches. He has missed outside pitches at a rate that is nearly twice as often as he has missed other pitches thrown to him this season (26% versus 14%).