This is the picture that shows up when I GIS'd "Schierholz." Makes sense.
It was a tug-of-war throughout the game. And much like tug-of-war, it wasn't too entertaining until you see the one side fall, flung into the mud. It was a tight game; well defended by the Reds, well-pitched by the Giants. Never more than a run separated the two, but in the end, that run mattered. Giants win on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, two outs.
Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Brandon Phillips went 3-5 with a run scored and an ultimately irrelevant error. Hanigan is an honorable mention, going 2-4 with an RBI. Wood pitched 8 nervy innings, with 10 hits, 3 walks, and 4 k's. Sergio Romo had killer facial hair and a genocidal slider, striking out the side for the bad guys.
But unfortunately, the first inning. Old man Miggie hit a double with one out and was driven in by a Cody Ross single. Cody was thrown out trying to stretch into a double, but blood was drawn. Giants up 1-0.
The Reds' second inning started strange. After Rolen flew out, Heisey reached safely on an error and Hanigan reached on an infield single. The universe corrected itself as Paul Janish hit into a double play. He is now only 5 GIDP's behind Joey Votto.
The top of the fourth was more promising. Scott Rolen is triple into "triple alley" started the inning. So seriously, guys. You can put a fence in an arc. It will still be a nice ballpark. Chris Heisey then walked, and Jocko Hanigan singled in Rolen. Janish, Wood, and Stubbs then got locked in an argument over who was more redneck. The country boys didn't survive, but the score was tied 1-1.
The 5th tried to make a pattern of two. Brandon Phillips singled up the middle (all three of his hits were ground balls within 5 feet of second base), during which Freddy Sanchez dove and "made an appointment with Dr. Kremchek" if you follow my drift. Votto walked and then Jay Bruce singled to load the bases. Scott Rolen struck out, but Heisey grounded into a clutch productive out. After the dust settled, the Reds were up 2-1 when they had the bases loaded and no out. It was that sort of game.
In the bottom of the 5th, Chris Stewart, the catcher, hit a bunt single. It was that sort of game. Miguel Tejada hit another double to tie it at two.
The Giants brought out their top three arms for innings 7-8-9 and whew. Affeldt struck out two in the 7th. Sergio Romo threw 11 pitches in the 8th. 4 called strikes, 5 swinging strikes, and 2 foul balls. I have no clue how the Reds managed to foul two off. Brian Wilson only struck out one while looking nervously as Romo stole his shtick.
Wood pitched 8 innings, and while he was no Cueto, he generally kept the ball on the ground and played to the defense. It was more than his bullpen could do. While the Giants K'ed 6 through 3, the Reds managed to walk 3 in one inning pitched. Arredondo walked Torres, then got Burris to sacrifice him over. He then (wisely, I think) intentionally walked Miguel Tejada to bring up the rookie shortstop Brandon Crawford. Billy Bray came in to face the lefty, and mule kicked him with a slider. Two out, two on. Logan Ondrusek then came on to face the righty Cody Ross. He of DeLuise mein and a .289/.351/.591 career line against lefties. He walked. Up came left handed hitting Nate Schierholtz, who has managed playing rightfield for 5 years with a .713 OPS. BBRef includes Alex Ochoa and a certain Bevo LeBourveau as comps. He then singled between Rolen and Phillips for the game winning single, Giants win 3-2.
- People say they like pitching duels. They do not say they like defense duels.
- The Reds will not have 4 bullpen pitchers with sub-2.00 ERAs all year. One can only hope the starting pitching regresses before the bullpen does.
- Aaron Harang once said, "the most important pitch in baseball is a first pitch strike." Out of 36 batsmen, the Giants got 0-1 counts on 25 of them. The Reds? 15/40.