The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
As we bear down on the postseason, to me, at least, the most intriguing storyline (and one that has been very, very quietly swept under Chipper Jones' rug) is Scott Rolen getting the nod over Todd Frazier as the starting 3B. Rolen, in the last year of his contract, may well be entering his last postseason, and the decision to have him play in front of Frazier stems both from his superior defensive play and from the belief that he can be a viable middle of the order RH bat. Both he and Frazier have cooled off mightily over the last month after scorching Augusts, but tonight Rolen boomsticked a Chris Carpenter too-slickball, and looked dang good in the process. If this is, in fact, Rolen's last go around as a Red (and if Dusty is committed to him being the full-time postseason 3B), it's encouraging to see him light up a pitcher of the quality of Carpenter.
Honorable mention is due to Mat Latos, who notched his 14th win of his first season as a Red. While he missed out on reaching his 600th career strikeout, he dominated the Cardinals in an abbreviated start. Latos will finish the regular season with an ERA of 3.48 and a WHIP of 1.16. Care to know his career averages for each stat? ERA: 3.42, WHIP: 1.16. We got what we paid for, folks. Dude's a stud.
The supergrover Memorial Honorary Red Reporter(s) of the Game
Anyone and everyone who called out the Brennamen on their Bruce hate before his RBI single. On the swing before Bruce's single, Marty spoke of how that swing and a miss "stirred up a dust storm." Yeah, well, if it's up to me, they can both gladly bitch and moan about winning playoff games 2-1 and look stupid in the process.
Look, it's been well documented that the Reds have historically won with great offense and mediocre pitching. Marty's been around for 38 years and has never seen a team as effectively constructed as this one, so perhaps he just doesn't know how to value it; 'tHom, on the other hand...well, who knows what the hell his problem is. Either way, they're beginning to sound far too much like jerks while calling a team's 97th win of the season.
That's right, Brennamen. I said 97.
- It looked early as if it would be a rough night for our Reds. John Jaycob Jingleheimer Schmidt led off with a his-name-is-my-name-two-bagger, advanced to third on a Beltran grounder, and scored on a Matt Holliday sac-fly. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- In the Top of the 4th, Scotty Baseball did his damage, taking the first pitch he saw from Carpenter (a hanging curve) out to LF for his 8th butterworth of the season. Game tied, 1-1.
- In the 6th, Joey Votto walked (wash, rinse, repeat). Ryan Ludwick then cleanup'd a double to put runners on 2nd and 3rd for Jay Bruce. In the middle of Marty explaining to us radio listeners how Bruce was 9 for his last 69, Bruce laced a single up the middle to score Votto. After Rolen struck out, Dioner Struck It (tm) to right to score Ludwick. Reds led, 3-1, and though Latos was pulled early, Sam Cornelius, Sean Marshall, Broxapotamus, and Aroldis Gas-Gun combined to keep the Cards at bay. Reds win, 3-1!
- As of writing this, the Dodgers are currently losing to the Giants 2-1 in the 4th. Barry Zito is pitching, however, so who the hell knows where this won will go. The Dodgers have to win this one to remain in the race for the 2nd Wild Card.
- The Nationals defeated the Phillies 4-2 today to stay in the driver's seat for the #1 seed from the NL, meaning that the Reds will need a win tomorrow and a loss by the Nationals to get the top spot, as the Nats hold the tiebreaker.
- We have given rightful dap to Walt Jocketty for his signing of Ryan Ludwick and trades for Latos and Hoover, but it's about damn time I gave him a virtual pat on the rear end for signing Dioner Navarro. While Devin Mesoraco struggled to adapt to a MLB timeshare role, Navarro stepped right in and hasn't missed a beat. After tonight, his season line sits at .294/.310/.456. Walter, don't be surprised when I call you asking for Powerball numbers this Saturday.
- Given who the Reds faced on the mound tonight (and the way it all shook out), this song seems apropo.
- This song has had my head bobbing for nearly two years now. Bob with me.
- One more game 'til the playoffs. One more. Go Reds. Go the freakin' Go.