...And Skip Schumaker as "The Fire Hydrant." (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Ramon Hernandez. A lot of folks around here scoffed when Dusty first introduced the world to the concept of "Clutch Man Monie." Nights like tonight should make us thankful that Dusty gave us the perfect description for his performance. His double in the thirteenth inning drove in Jay Bruce, and probably could have gotten more if it hadn't been a ground rule double. So kudos to the only Red that didn't make an out. Honorable mentions go to Aroldis Chapman (ended the game with a 101 mph fastball, just like Major League), and Jay Bruce (finally rediscovered his plate presence with a double, a home run, and the walk that turned into the winning run).
- The Reds offense had been largely missing from this series (and beyond!), so it was with a mixture of surprise and delight that we witnessed Chris Heisey lead off the game with a home run. Then even moreso as Edgar Renteria singled, Joey Votto walked, and Brandon Phillips hit a triple that scored them both. Not to be outdone, Jay Bruce (finally) launched a home run. Reds lead, 5-0.
- Even Fred Lewis got in on the home run parade, jacking one to lead off the fourth inning. Reds lead, 6-0.
- The good times continued into the fifth inning. Brandon Phillips singled with one out, and Trever Miller came in to relieve Jake Westbrook. And even though Miller did get Jay Bruce to fly out, Scott Rolen came up and whacked a home run of his own. Reds lead, 8-0.
- Bronson Arroyo started off the game quite nicely, but experienced some shakiness in the sixth inning. Tony Cruz and Daniel Descalso led off the inning with back to back doubles. Cruz scored, and Descalso eventually followed suit, advancing on successive groundouts by Jon Jay and Ryan Theriot. Reds lead, 8-2.
- The wheels good and truly came off in the seventh inning. Matt Holliday led off with a home run, and Brandon Dickson and Colby Rasmus followed that with singles. Bronson retired Tony Cruz and then Dusty called on Bill Bray. Bray has been stellar this season, but gave up a single to Daniel Descalso that scored two runs. Chris Heisey's throwing error didn't help matters. Jon Jay flew out, but Bray let Ryan Theriot double, which scored Descalso. He walked Skip Schumaker, concluding an ugly turn through the taint of the Cardinals order. Dusty brought in Logan Ondrusek to face Albert Pujols, but the medical miracle won this matchup. Pujols singled, and Ryan Theriot scored. Matt Holliday came back up to bat again, but grounded out, preserving the Reds now suddenly slim lead. Reds lead, 8-7.
- All of those homers the Reds had been hitting earlier were long gone, as well as most of the rest of their offense. So they turned to their closer, Francisco Cordero, to finally end this horrorshow. Well you know how this story goes. The first batter he faced, Jon Jay, hit a game-tying home run. And that's why you're not going to the All-Star Game, Coco. Game tied, 8-8.
- To extras we go! Both sides were stalemated until the thirteenth inning. Raul Valdes was pitching for the Cardinals, and walked Jay Bruce to lead it off. Scott Rolen struck out, but Drew Stubbs briefly emerged from his malaise to single. Ryan Hanigan flew out, and Dusty went to his bench, bringing on the last man available: Ramon Hernandez. Monie ripped a clutch ground rule double to give the Reds the lead!
- Aroldis Chapman had warmed up before the eighth inning, but was not used. Some thought he might not be able to go because of it, but he was the last reliever left in the bullpen. Out he came to preserve the lead. He faced four batters, and gave up a seeing eye single, but struck out the last two, including a last pitch that clocked in at 101 mph. Reds win, 9-8!
- That's a weird Fangraph.
- Aroldis Chapman earned his first major league save.
- Chris Heisey has ten home runs in 159 AB.
- I haven't heard of a lot of these Cardinals.