Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Brandon Phillips. For the second night in a row, the in-form second baseman takes top honors. He went 3-4 with a walk, a double, an RBI, three runs scored, and some sterling glovework. Honorable mentions go to Paul Janish and Francisco Cordero.
- Because the only true things of value are those that you earn when you overcome hardship, Edinson Volquez put the Reds in a deep hole from which they could emerge. He walked Michael Bourn and Angel Sanchez singled to start the game. Volquez struck out Hunter Pence but both runners stole a base. Carlos Lee walked to load the bases, but the Wagon struck out noted Reds-killer Bill Hall. But his wildness was not gone, and Volquez walked Brett Wallace to force in Bourn. Normally Wallace doesn't like to be walked by anyone but Mrs. Wallace, but realizing that getting runs against this excellent Reds team was going to be hard to do, he let it slide. Check out the big brain on Brett! Chris Johnson singled, driving in Sanchez and Lee, and J.R. Towles hit a soft liner that brought home Wallace. Even opposing pitcher Nelson Figueroa singled before Michael Bourn struck out to end the inning. Buried in the wildness was the fact that Volquez struck out the side, and that Bourn had already completed 2/3 of his three true outcomes bingo card. Astros lead, 4-0.
- Things looked grim, but there was a lot of game left to play. In the second inning, Jay Bruce singled and, one out later, went to third on Ramon Hernandez's single. Paul Janish then singled and the Reds were on the board. Edinson Volquez popped up a bunt that turned into a double play. It didn't seem like his night. Astros lead, 4-1.
- Still, Volquez was able to shut the Astros down the rest of the way, and best offense in the majors started to get rolling. Brandon Phillips drew a one out walk in the third, and went to third on Joey Votto's single, as is the Cincinnati custom. Scott Rolen then implemented the successful strategy of hitting the ball at Carlos Lee and drove in Phillips and Votto with a double. Jay Bruce singled, and the Astros were rattled. Chris Heisey hit a comebacker to the mound, but Figueroa threw it away, and Rolen scored. Jay Bruce stole third base, and came around to score himself when the throw from Towles went astray after hitting Ramon Hernandez's bat. Hernandez popped out, but Paul Janish singled and Heisey scored. Just like that, the four run deficit was a fading memory. Reds lead, 6-4.
- Because Houston is either masochistic or dumb, Figueroa was still pitching in the sixth inning. Paul Janish singled with one out, then stole second base. Pinch hitter Miguel Cairo hit a ball to third that Chris Johnson couldn't handle, and reached safely. Singles by Drew Stubbs and Brandon Phillips brought Janish and Cairo in, and finally the pitching change was made. Houston called on Fernando Abad to face Joey Votto, and the predictable thing happened when Votto faces Abad pitcher: he hit a ground rule double. That drove in Stubbs but prevented Phillips from scoring. Only briefly, as it turned out, as Phillips was able to come home on Scott Rolen's fielder's choice. Reds lead, 10-4.
- Former Red Enerio del Rosario came out to face his old teammates in the eighth, and got a rude reception. Phillips singled, his third hit of the day, and Votto walked. Pinch hitter Edgar Renteria hit a run-scoring single, and Jay Bruce drove in Votto with a smash to shortstop that Angel Sanchez couldn't handle cleanly. Chris Heisey walked to load the bases, but rather mercifully Ramon Hernandez popped out and Janish hit into a double play. Reds win, 12-4.
- On a night when some were remembering the trade that brought us Edinson Volquez a little less fondly, it's worth noting that the Reds and the Rangers are the last two undefeated teams in baseball. And for those of you missing the offense of Josh Hamilton, Cincinnati has one more run than Texas (and the most in the majors!) in one fewer game. For comparison's sake, the 43 runs they've scored in the five games to open the season is second only to the 1976 Big Red Machine team, who scored 44.
- The only Reds pitcher to not strike anyone out was Aroldis Chapman.
- Going into tonight's game, six Reds had an OPS+ higher than 200. From lowest to highest, they were Joey Votto (209), Chris Heisey (231), Ramon Hernandez (234), Drew Stubbs (260), Bronson Arroyo (308), and Ryan Hanigan (530).
- The Astros committed five errors. Yes, that's more errors than runs.
- Edinson Volquez has allowed nine runs in two starts, and seven of those runs have come in the first inning.
- Neither team homered for the second day in a row. That's only the second time this has happened at Great American Ball Park. In fact, out of 21 total hits, only four of them were for extra bases, and all of those were doubles.
|Final - 4.6.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Edinson Volquez (1 - 0)
LP: Nelson Figueroa (0 - 1)