The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Sometimes it's so obvious who the winner is, y'know? Sometimes, you just know who was solely responsible for a series of events, and that makes picking tonight's JNMHSotG easy as pie...pumpkin pie.
The best mid-season acquisition by the Reds since Scott Rolen (the younger), Mr. jch24 gets the nod this evening. The Reds, in case you stat-heads care to (once again) disagree with me, are officially undefeated and undeniably awesome since he was acquired, and I don't see that changing any time soon. Big props to RR's former Jester, esquire.
Honorable mentions are due to Mike Leake (7IP, 1 ER, 7K), Jay Bruce (2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI, remember when I picked him last game as a pre-emptive "he's about to be awesome" pick? Yeah, that.), and Johan Santana (no-hitter vs. the Cardinals...many thanks, Senor.)
- The Reds struck early, scoring 2 in the 1st inning. After a quick two outs (TM), Joey Votto singled, and Brandon Phillips followed with a double off the wall, scoring Votto. Jay Bruce followed with a single to right, scoring Phillips. Reds lead, 2-0.
- The Reds havocked their way to another run in the 3rd. Zack Cozart walked (!), advanced on a deep Drew Stubbs fly-out, and scored when Super Joey singled to center. Reds lead, 3-0.
- In the bottom of the 6th, the Astros tried to claw back...but neither you nor I really care. 3-1, Reds.
- In the 9th, Jay Bruce wanked a honker to make it 4-1, and Aroldis Chapman came on to strike out the side to close it out. Reds win, 4-1!
- Cozart and Stubbs, batting 1st and 2nd again tonight, were 0 for 7, BB, with 2 K combined in front of Votto. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
- Mike Leake of early was godawful; Mike Leake, of late, has been awesome. I dare you to out semi-colon that comma, expletives!
- Aroldis Chapman now has 47 strikeouts in 27 innings, with zero earned runs allowed. I now need to tuck under and readjust.