The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The 3 ER be damned. Bronson Arroyo was the star tonight, hands down. Fantastiroyo hit Ryan Braun with a pitch in the top of the 1st, and proceeded to retire the next 20 Brewers in order. The 8th inning bit him, for sure, but that's the kind of 2010 Arroyo that will help this ball club win a division. Big Props to the Nasty Hook.
Very Honorable mention due to Drew Stubbs, who picked up Bronson with the game-winning HR immediately after the lead had been surrendered, and to Jay Bruce, who Bootsied a 3-run baseline to break open the game in the 6th. Aroldis Chapman also seemingly got off of his mini-schnide, striking out the side while picking up his 9th save of the season (and lowering his season ERA back under 2, where it rightly belongs.) Ryan Hanigan gets a nod, as well, for being the only Red not to strike out tonight (Estrada was dealing, as was the MIL bullpen tonight.)
- From a batting perspective, this game took a while to become interesting. Both pitchers took no-no's into the 4th, when Brandon Phillips doinked a single. The scoring didn't start until the 6th, however, when the heart of the Reds order did some work. Joey Votto doubled off the wall in Left, Phillips singled, and Bruce smoked a first pitch breaking ball over the wall in Right-Center. Reds lead, 3-0.
- As Arroyo was nearing 100 pitches (and as the Brewers lineup came up for the 3rd time around), the wheels came off a bit. The umpire must have been German, as George Kottaras was bailed out with a iffy ball 4 call to start the damage in the 8th. Taylor Greene, hitting .203 at the time, looped a soft liner into the Right Field corner, and the no-no was no-mo. Corey Hart promptly stepped up to pinch hit, and plated both runners with a double, and after Rickie Weeks did nothing, Norichiddychiddybangbang Aoki singled in Hart to tie the game. Game tied, 3-3.
- Drew Stubbs entered tonight's game hitting roughly .290/.360/.490 in 165 PAs batting 2nd, and boosted that big time. He took John Axford's cheeseball out to Center, hitting the batting eye in the process. Light Tower Power, indeed. Chapman came in to close it out, and the Reds locked up an eventful victory, 4-3!
- Someone needs to pick up Marty Brennaman like a field mouse and bop him on the head. From the beginning of the 5th inning on, I don't think he went one sentence without doing everything he possibly could to break code and talk about the potential No-hitter. We now know when the last Reds' pitcher threw one, when the perfect game was, how close Bronson's come to having one before, who caught each game, when the Brewers were last no-hit, and what Nuxy thought of each one. Dude, just hush! Props to Cowboy for not saying a gosh-darn thing about it. C'mon, man!
- Tonight's jam: dig it.
- Head out to the ballpark tomorrow if you can, folks. It's the last Reds game at GABP until July 13th, as they hit the road for 11 games on the Weez Coast (vs. SF, LAD, and SD), and then break for the All-Star game before returning home.