The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Zack Cozart certainly looks like he belongs not only in the big leagues, but as the starting SS for the Reds. The rook went 1 for 3 with a walk today. I can't wait for Joey Votto to start hitting, as I think he'll have plenty of chances to knock Cozart in this year.
Honorable mention to Jay Bruce, who was the only other Red to reach base more than once (1 for 3, reached on an error), Bill Bray (1.1 IP, 0 ER), and the RR Game 2 crew...who obviously scared enough people on Saturday to make nobody else want to go to night games.
- Homer Bailey entered the game tonight attempting to show that he deserved a spot in the Reds' rotation. After quickly putting away Rafael Furcal and Carlos Beltran, Homer left a pitch over the plate to Matt Holliday, who promptly crushed one into the left field seats. Lance Berkman walked, and Homer Homer left a pitch over the plate to the still red-hot David Freese, who went yard to the opposite field. On the very next pitch, Homer Homer Homer grooved a chest high fastball to Yadier Molina, who crushed (have I used crushed yet? I'm running out of verbs to describe home runs) one to the base of the batter's eye in center. Cards lead, 4-0.
- The Reds threatened to threaten in the bottom of the 1st. Brandon Phillips was so anxious to get back out in the field, he swung at the first pitch from Jake Westbrook...and grounded out. Team MVP Zack Cozart must have been tired, so he opted to take a few pitches, and lo and behold, he walked after just four. Joey Votto though Cozart was so cool that he opted to take notes, and he walked too. Scott Rolen's dementia must have set in, however, as he popped up after working a 2-0 count. Jay Bruce followed with a popout, and that was that.
- To his credit, Homer Homer Homer Bailey settled down after the disastrous first inning, giving up just a a John Jay double and a Carlos Beltran walk over the four innings. For his sake, I hope it was just the rust of having been off since Spring Training that provoked his first inning troubles. HAHAHAHA, YEAH RIGHT. Sigh.
What's that? The Reds were getting no-hit? Well, that's not very nice of Mr. Westbrook. Sensing that the crowd was falling asleep, Jake was kind enough to let Phillips single to center in the 5th. Emboldened by the feeling one gets when they give to charity, Westbrook threw away his attempt to nail Cozart on the next play, and Phillips motored all the way around to score. In hindsight, I think we all would rather he stayed at third, since he pulled up lame after scoring. Cards lead, 4-1.
- After Bill Bray came in and pitched an admirable inning and a third, Dusty summoned Jose Arredondo from the bullpen to pitch the 8th. He was not good. After getting Holliday to ground out, he walked Berkman, and Freese reached on a single that Rolen couldn't quite handle. Yadier Molina followed with a double to the wall in left-center, scoring both men. Alfredo Simon was called in to clean up the damage, and he proceeded to walk Daniel Descalso on four pitches (puke) before getting Matt Carpenter to fly out to center. That sac fly ended the damage, however, as Simon struck out Furcal to end the inning. Cardinals win, 7-1.
- According to the Reds, Brandon Phillips left the game due to cramping in his left hamstring. I'll be awfully surprised if it's not actually a pulled hamstring.
- With another hit today, SS Zack Cozart has now hit safely in each of the first four games. He's 7 for 14 during that stretch.
- The announced attendance was 16,909. The population of Defiance is 16,494. These statistics have nothing in common.
- The Reds will take on the Cardinals again tomorrow at 7:10pm EST, with Mike Leake scheduled to face former Red Kyle Lohse.