This guy is good. But we all knew that by now, right?
Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Scott Rolen. His pinch hit HR in the ninth inning gave the Reds the lead, 4-2. This was important since Francisco Cordero would give up two runs to tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Honorable mentions go to Bronson Arroyo (8 IP, 6 hits, 1 walk, 2 ER), Jonny Gomes (pinch hit double in his only AB), and Drew Stubbs (3 for 5 with a double and a timely single to give the Reds their final lead).
- The top and bottom half of the first were nearly identical. The Reds got an Orlando Cabrera leadoff double; Miguel Cairo then bunted him to third and Joey Votto scored him with a single to right. For the Nationals, Cristian Guzman led off with a double; Nyjer Morgan then bunted him to third and Ryan Zimmerman singled to right to score him. End result: tied at 1.
- It stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth, when Arroyo issued his only walk of the game to Roger Bernadina (with two walks, no less), who scored on an Ian Desmond double.
- The score remained 2-1 until the ninth, when Tyler Clippard struck out Laynce Nix to start the inning. He was then relieved by Matt Capps, who proceeded to give up a Stubbs double, a Gomes double, and a Rolen HR. Cabrera flied out and Cairo struck out swinging to end the inning, but the Reds were up 4-2.
- This didn't last long, as Cordero came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth and walked the leadoff man, Josh Willingham. He struck out Bernadina but gave up a Desmond single. Alberto Gonzalez then struck out, but the runners advanced a base. Pinch hitter Michael Morse then doubled to tie the game. Cordero ended the inning with an intentional walk and a Morgan strikeout, but the damage was done. On to extras!
- With two outs in the top of the tenth, Jay Bruce and Laynce Nix singled. Stubbs then scored Bruce with a single to right. Ramon Hernandez walked to load the bases, but Rolen flied out to end the threat. Still, the Reds lead 5-4.
Nick Masset did his best to make it interesting in the bottom of the tenth. After a groundout and a flyout, he gave up a single and walked a batter. He finally got Ian Desmond to ground out to Brandon Phillips to end the game.
- Bronson Arroyo also hit pretty well, going 2 for 2 with a sacrifice bunt in his third plate appearance.
- The only two Reds starters without hits were Miguel Cairo (0 for 4) and Corky Miller (0 for 3). All three pinch hitters also reached base.
- The pitch before he hit his HR, Rolen checked his swing. It was definitely borderline but he got the call. Had it gone the other way, he would have struck out. But he didn't, and the next pitch was a hanging breaking ball that he drove over the left field wall.