The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Juan Francisco. Juen Juan juas brought in following Brandon Phillips' injury, he looked pretty awful in his first AB. Thankfully, he was left in for 3 more ABs, and he delivered. El Nino Destructor finished 2 for 4 with a double (that scored the tying run in the ninth), and a triple (which let him score the winning run in the 13th). Quite impressive play from the young 3B. Honorable mentions to Jay Bruce (3 for 5, HR, 2 RBI), Joey Votto (HR), Drew Stubbs (3 for 5, 2B, 3B, a great suicide squeeze to plate the winning run), and the indomitable Bronson Arroyo (8 IP, 4 ER, 6 K).
- Bronson Arroyo, Dusty Baker, and the Reds desperately wanted Bronson Arroyo to get to 200 IP. To do that on the road, the Reds had to be winning or tied going into the 9th, and the Reds wasted no time. Following a Brandon Phillips groundout, Drew Stubbs walked. Joey Votto hustled out what could have been a double play, and then Jay Bruce crushed a laser into the right field bleachers for his 32nd HR. Reds lead 2-0.
- I mentioned Bronson Arroyo was pitching...which, of course, means that no lead is safe, not even for half an inning. The Mets counterpunched in the bottom of the 1st, with David Wright knocking in Ruben Tejada, who had reached by HBP and moved to 2nd by a few productive outs. Don't know what productive outs are, RR readers? Maybe you should head to the Louisville Bats website...Rick Sweet will hammer their importance into your noggins. Reds lead, 2-1.
- Both Capuano and Arroyo settled down until the bottom of the 3rd, when Arroyo opted to throw a cheeseball to Jose Reyes, who promptly hit a big league chomp into the right field seats. Game tied, 2-2.
- If this sounds like a broken record, you're right...it does. Capuano stayed settled, and Arroyo pitched generally harmless until Reyes came around again in the bottom of the 5th. Bro-yo threw a lob-yo, and Re-yo hit another bomb-yo, this time into the second deck. I thought this was a pitcher's park...? Mets lead, 3-2.
- Noticing how awesome the Mets felt after watching their star hit homers, Joey Votto took it upon himself to reciprocate, but he opted for the much more manly opposite field version in the top of the 6th. Following a meeting of large bodies and debatable minds, the umps decided (correctly) that Votto's Vottosmash cleared the wall in LF. Game tied, 3-3.
- Arroyo was clearly aware of how close he was the the all-time home run record, so he craftily allowed only a double off the wall to Nick Evans in the 6th. Josh Thole followed with a single to score Evans, and the Mets took the lead, 4-3.
- As the Reds reached the 9th inning with the score still tied, Dusty Baker faced decision time. Bronson Arroyo was at 199 IP for the season (seeking his 6th consecutive 200 IP season), but was also at 125 pitches and the game was tied. After Devin Mesoraco singled, Dusty (wisely) opted to pinch hit for Bronson, ending his chance at a 200 IP season but giving his team a chance to win. Edgar Renteria did the honors, singling to LF while 'creds fist-pumped and danced a jig. Juan Francisco proceeded to double to LF, scoring Dave Sappelt (who had pinch run for Mesoraco). Game tied, 4-4.
- Following several innings of shenanigans, bad baseball, and lackluster out-of-the-playoffs-before-they-began enthusiasm, the Reds struck in the 13th. Juan Francisco smoked one to Right-Center that went all the way to the wall, and hustled his way into a triple. Before the Mets knew what hit them, Drew Stubbs pulled a sac-squeeze, and Francisco scored. Reds lead, 5-4.
- I'm not sure I want to delve into the depths of how miserable CoCo looked in his attempt to close out the game. Just be glad that after throwing 22 pitches (and only 6 for strikes) he managed to turn a hard hit liner to 2B into a double play that ended the game. Reds win, 5-4.
- Bronson Arroyo, who had thrown for over 200 IP for 6 straight seasons, currently sits at a cool 199 IP. Here's to hoping he doesn't get a cameo relief appearance tomorrow.
- The Reds can get to 80 wins with a win tomorrow. I know, that doesn't mean a damn thing.
- Jay Bruce's 1st inning HR was his 100th career HR. He's struggled often this season, but he's still managed to hit 32 HR and keep his OPS over .815. Not fantastic, but solid.