The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
I may be a bit generous in bestowing such an esteemed honor on this man, but given the balanced effort by the Reds on the field tonight, I'm convinced it's the correct decision.
Jeff Luhnow gets the nod tonight. The GM of the Astros obviously inherited a terrible ball club with an even more terrible farm system, but it was the timing of his moves that appealed specifically to me when I was deciding upon whom to dote the JNMHSotG. He managed to trade Carlos Lee, Brett "the Hitman" Myers, and JA Happ (the only legitimate major leaguers on his roster) more than a week before the trade deadline, allowing for the Reds to face, essentially, a team that lines up quite nicely with the Louisville Bats. Sure, our boys were tasked with facing Wandy Rodriguez, the Astros' resident "ace," but the Reds came in with a roster devoid of Left Handed hitting, and even that lined up well for them. Couple that with Jed Lowrie being on the DL, and the game (and the series, barring collapse) should be ours. Thanks, Jeff. Good luck playing the Rangers, A's, and Angels 50 times next year.
Honorable mentions are due, of course, to Brandon Phillips, Ryan Ludwick, and Todd Frazier, all of whom went 3 for 6 with a myriad of excruciatingly slow base hits and runs. Drew Stubbs was marginally above terrible, and Ryan Hanigan was on base in 3 of his 5 PAs, both of which were good to listen to for hours and hours and hours. Mat Latos wasn't spectacular, but was solid before tweaking his leg (giggles) and leaving after 5 innings. Solid effort all around, really.
The Doug Flynn Honorary Worst Black Hole of the Game
Father Time. Screw that guy. Holy hell, this game took 4 hours on the clock and 8 years off of our lives. It's as if, while in Houston, Friar Time opted to eat as much as the average Houston denizen and, accordingly, slowed to a lazy crawl.
Is it Friday yet? Get here soon, Friday. That means the Reds are in Denver to play the Rockies!
- The Reds got a run in the 1st when Todd Frazier singles, scoring Drew Stubbs, who had also singled. A Ryan Ludwick double in the 3rd again scored Stubbs, who had singled again, and a later Chris Heisey single scored Ludwick to make it a 3-0 game in favor of the Reds.
- Latos looked like he landed awkwardly on his leg in the 5th, and finished the inning gingerly and did not return (though it must be noted he was at nearly 100 pitches when he left). Two Astros you've never heard of and will never hear of again scored, though, and it was a 3-2 game.
- Rolen, Frazier, Heisey, and a pinch-hitting Jay Bruce all contributed in the 7th with BABIP fueling non-HRs, and the Reds plated 2 more to make it 5-2. Phillips, Ludwick, Frazier, and Hanigan all tossed in hits in the 8th, too, tacking on 3 more runs, making it 8-2 Reds. Houston anonymously added a third run in the 8th, but that was that. Reds win, 8-3!
- As of the finish of this game, Ryan Ludwick's season line stands at .244/.313/.504, good for an OPS of .817, first among Reds' OFs.
- As of the finish of this game, Jay Bruce's season line stands at .246/.318/.494, good for an OPS of .812, second among Reds' OF.
- The Reds are now 6-2 since Joey Votto had knee surgery. I'll be honest, when I heard the news I was pretty convinced the Reds were going to sink in a hole. Instead, they've been resilient as hell, primarily led by Ryan Ludwick.
- Song of the night, courtesy of my former next door neighbors.