Heisaw your stat line, Chris, and it was thoroughly unLudwickian.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Coming into the game tonight, the Braves had sported the 2nd best offense in the league, were 7-2 in their last 9 games, and were fresh off a series sweep of the Cardinals in which they'd put up 23 runs in 3 games at Busch. Homey Badger didn't give a Heeringa, however, and held them in check for 6.2 IP. Bailey allowed 6 hits and 2 walks during his 114 pitch evening while striking out 3 and allowing just 1 ER. Hopefully, two things will happen: first, that Homer supporters can begin to cite more games like this for him being a legit starter (and less games against the Pirates, Astros, etc.), and second, that we we all become much larger Homer supporters. Somewhere, Newd Guy stands and applauds.
Honorable mention is due to Chris Heisey, who busted out of his season long slump with a 3 for 3 night that included a well-executed (if ill-advised) sacrifice bunt and 2 doubles, one of which drove in the 3rd run of the game in the 8th. Mercifully, Dusty is giving more time to Heisey, and I hope the guy will continue to seize the carp.
- Neither team burst down the doors to start the game, and both Homer and Randall Delgado looked pretty comfortable early. It took until the 4th inning before either team put a run on the board, and it was the Reds who struck first. Following consecutive singles by Jay Bruce and Chris Heisey, Todd Frazier hit a sharp grounder to Braves rookie SS Tyler Pastornicky, who proceeded to throw to second for the third out of the inning...fortunately for the Reds, 2B Dan Uggla didn't get the memo, and was therefore not there to make the catch. Bruce, running hard, scored on the play, and the Reds took the lead, 1-0.
- Michael Bourn's identity is his speed, and he showed his supremacy in that trait by tripling off of Bailey in the bottom of the 5th. Ultimatumly, he scored on a sac-fly by Martin Prado, tying the game at 1-1.
- Jonny Venters toed the mound for the Braves in the top of the 8th, and the Reds couldn't have given less of a damn. Drew Stubbs reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a Venters' wild pitch. Joey Votto mortally flied out, but Brandon Phillips was there to pick him up, doubling to score Stubbs. Heisey followed with another double, scoring Phillips and setting the final margin. Lurch, Chappy, and Marshall combined to close out the last 2.1 IP. Reds win, 3-1!
- As much as I loved yesterday's FanGraphs chart, both my heart and liver love this one more.
- Homer threw first pitch strikes to only 14 of the 27 batters he faced.
- Braves 1B caught a glimpse of Aroldis Chapman warming up in the Reds' bullpen, and promptly left the game with blurred vision in his right eye.
- Joey Votto walked two more times tonight, bringing his season total to a league-leading 33.