The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
I watched the whole game, I'm pretty sure I didn't miss a single at bat by the Reds, and I just stared at the Box Score for about five minutes. On a day where no one really stood out as a player to be reckoned with, I figured it might be time to let you fine Red Reporters decide who you think deserves the JNMHSotG.
Ryan Ludwick was technically 1 for 4 with a 2 RBI single in the top of the 9th to send the game into extra innings, but had the official scorer been paying attention, he likely should have given an error to Ryan Zimmerman; that said, Ludwick didn't strike out after having Bruce IBB'd in front of him, so there's that.
Jose Arredondo came on to pitch more than one inning for the second day in a row, and though he gave up 3 hits over 2 innings, he induced a huge 1-2-3 double play to end the Nationals' scoring threat in the bottom of the 9th.
Jay Bruce was 1 for 3 with a 2B and IBB.
That's pretty much it. Rock the Vote, RR!
- Both Mat Latos and Gio Gonzalez got off to solid starts this afternoon. In fact, no batter from either team managed to get past second base until the bottom of the 5th. After getting Wilson Ramos to ground out, Latos gave up back to back singles to Gonzalez and Ian Desmond followed by a walk to Danny Espinosa to load the bases. Ryan Zimmerman hit a chopper to Zack "MVP" Cozart, who dodged a runner to field it cleanly and throw home for the force out. Unfortunately, Adam LaRoche singled up the middle, plating Desmond and Espinosa. Nats lead, 2-0.
- As is their wont, the Reds waited until the 9th to forge their rally. Given how Gonzalez and Tyler Clippard were pitching (and given the strike zone/area/hemisphere they were allowed), waiting to face Brad Lidge was probably not a bad idea. After Cozart grounded out to start the inning, Joey Votto walked, and Scott Rolen doubled down the left field line. At the time, some RR's were jumping up and down and screaming at Mark Berry for holding Joey at third (it wasn't me, I promise), but fortunately, that point became moot. Jay Bruce was intentionally walked to set up force outs at every base, and Ryan Ludwick hit a liner that short-hopped Ryan Zimmerman at third, getting through to left field and scoring Votto and Rolen. Wee Willie Valdez lined out, and Devin Mesoraco fouled out to end the inning, but the Reds had done enough damage to lift our spirits...for awhile. Game tied, 2-2.
- After the Reds went down comically in the Top of the 10th (3 AB, 3 K, 10 total pitches...ouch), Dusty Baker called upon resident wild man Alfredo Simon, he of the 1.48 career WHIP, to pitch the bottom half of the inning. He promptly hit Ryan Zimmerman with the first pitch he threw. He coaxed LaRoche into a lazy foul-out, but allowed a Jayson Werth single to left afterwards. Following a Xavier Nady ground-out that advanced both runners, Simon's wildness caught up to him, as his breaking ball to Roger Bernadina only covered about 58 feet and caromed off Mesoraco far enough to allow Zimmerman to score from third. Reds lose, 3-2.
- Drew Stubbs and Zack Cozart combined to go 0 for 10 with 6 Ks at the top of the order. It was the first game this season in which Cozart has not reached base.
- Gio Gonzalez led the American League with 91 walks last season. He walked zero Reds today while striking out 7. In all, the Reds struck out 12 times and walked only twice (one IBB).
- Before his two run single in the top of the 9th, Ryan Ludwick had been 0 for 9 with 5 Ks in his career vs. Brad Lidge.
- Mat Latos threw 99 pitches over 5 innings, allowing 5 hits, 3 walks, and 2 ER while striking out just 1 batter. I'm willing to bet that he still has no idea what was a strike and what was a ball. The umpiring was miserable.
Dusty Baker has obviously had this on repeat on his iPod all month. Someone tell him to stop listening to it.