It's often been said that one could pitch to the Pirates with one's eyes closed.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
You know it's a good day for the Reds when I have to get extremely nit-picky to pick the JNMHSotG, and that's exactly what I had to do to pick Drew Stubbs over Mat Latos. While both were awesometallbaseballplayersinRedshats today, Latos did only manage to make it through 6 innings. Drew Stubbs, on the other hand, may well have had the second best game of his Reds career (aside from his 3 HR game at Wrigley in 2010). Stubby was 3 for 4 with a 2-run HR, 3 runs scored, 2 RBI, BB, his fifth SB of the year, and a Brennaboner inducing zero strikeouts. That's kicking some Pirate tail.
Very honorable mention is due to Mat Latos. The big right-hander had a great day, striking out a career-high 11 batters over his 6 IP, yielding just 2 hits, 3 walks, and a HBP. Todd Frazier put another stamp on his big-league passport by homering, doubling, and making several great defensive plays at 3B, Jay Bruce extended his hit-streak to 9 games, Zack "MVP/GG" Cozart got on base in 3 of his 5 PAs, Aroldis Chapman was perfect in 1.1 IP, and Joey Votto was a ho-hum 1 for 4 with an RBI and a walk. He's so overrated.
- The Reds jumped all over former Tomo Ohka All-Star Charlie Morton, scoring in each of the first three innings. In the first, Drew Stubbs walked and ended up on third after an errant Charlie Morton throw, and Joey Votto plated him with a bloop single. In the second, Mad Todd Frazier-ville hit a bomb to Left Field for his first homer of the season, and in the third, Cozart walked before Stubbs homered to right-center. Reds lead, 4-0.
- The Reds smawl-bawled their way to another run in the Top of the fifth. Drew Stubbs led off the inning with an infield single, stole second, and advanced to third on a deep Votto flyout to center. Brandon Phillips contributed with a sac fly to center, scoring Stubbs. Reds lead, 5-0.
- Latos struggled in the first inning, hitting the first batter of the game and walking two others to load the bases. That said, the struggles were with pitch location instead of having his pitches be hit hard, and when he finally found his locations, he was dominant. After a great play by Frazier at third, Latos struck out Nate McLouth and never looked back, never again allowing a Pirate to get past second. JJ Hoover, Aroldis Chapman, and Alfredo Simon combined to pitch scoreless 7th, 8th, and 9th innings. Reds win, 5-0!
- Continuing to his career norm, Latos put up another great performance in May. Entering today, he was 7-3 with a 2.41 career ERA in May. After today's start, he's 2-2 with a 4.93 ERA on the season, and while that's not yet where we'd envisioned his stats being when the trade was made, it's a far cry from how bad many people have perceived his season. He's moving in the right direction, and his pitching improvement is definitely something to keep an eye on moving forward.
- The Reds managed to dodge Andrew McCutchen for the second time in the three game set, and they're lucky they did, as his 6 HR vs. the Reds are tied for his most versus any team he's played.
- Miguel Cairo has gone 0 for 10 in his rehab stint with Dayton, but is expected to rejoin the Reds soon. If Todd Frazier is sent down and Willie Harris keeps his job, I'mma puke.
- The Reds will head to Milwaukee tonight to open a three game series with the Brewers tomorrow night. Bronson Arroyo will hopefully face Yovani Badllardo at 5:10 MST.