The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It's hard not to give the nod to Mat Latos today. After giving up a first inning two-run home run to a rookie he'd never faced before, the big right-hander settled down and threw a gem. Latos finished 8 IP with 8 K, 4 H, and 3 BB, routinely touching 96 mph while looking firmly in command the entire time.
Latos had a lot of help, too. In fact, every Reds position player that played had a hit except for Todd Frazier-Madville. I do think, however, that special due should be given to the players standing directly in the middle of the trade deadline rumors...namely Drew Stubbs, Chris Heisey, Zack Cozart, and Miguel Cairo. The Reds have been targeting, according to which talking/blogging heads you'd like to believe, a "leadoff type," a LH bench bat, and a CF, and each of those four guys stands to lose serious playing time - if not a spot in the Reds organization altogether - should someone be acquired. If this was their last hurrah, they went out swinging. Heisey was 2 for 4 with a triple, double, and 2 runs scored; Stubbs was 1 for 3 with a HR, BB, 2 runs scored, SB, and 3 RBI; Cozart was 2 for 5 with a double and 2 runs scored; and Cairo was 1 for 3 with 2 RBI. They're increasing their trade value, winning, and making Walt's job that much harder as the deadline looms.
- Things got started early and stayed going often. It's Coors Field and the Rockies' pitchers, folks. The Reds plated 1 in the Top of the First, as Stubbs walked, stole second, and scored on a Brandon Phillips single. Reds lead, 1-0.
- Latos walked Dexter Fowler to start the game, and gave up a two-run honkey-tonk to Josh Rutledge. So what? Reds trail, 2-1.
- In the Top of the 2nd, Heisey led off with a triple, and was immediately knocked in by a Miguel Cairo sac fly. In the Top of the 3rd, Zack Cozart led off with a triple, and was immediately knocked in by a Drew Stubbs sac fly. Chicks dig the long ball, sure, but it's dang nice to see effective run manufacturing, especially with the Reds' $200 million man on the bench. Reds lead, 3-2.
- More Reds in the Top of the 5th. Cozart led off with a single, and Drew Stubbs Leinen'd a Kugel out to Left Field. Two batters later, Jay Bruce funk-pumped a solo shot into the second deck in Right-Center, his 20th of the year. Reds lead, 6-2.
- The Reds played add-on in the Top of the 8th, as Chris Heisey led off with a double and scored on Cairo's single (!!) to right field. Sam LeCure took over for Latos in the 9th, and put the finishing touches on this one. Reds win, 7-2!
- Back to back to back sweeps! It's a sweep of sweeps! SWEEEEEPPP! Makes me wanna get up and dance!
- The Pirates lost, as did the Cardinals. That puts Pittsburgh 3 back and St. Louis 7.5 back in the NL Central. It's a long, long way from over folks, but that doesn't mean you can't smile.
- That's 10 wins in a row, the longest such streak by the Reds since 1999. The Reds are also now 11-2 since Votto went on the DL.
- I'm pretty sure that the last time both the Reds and the Nationals franchises were in 1st place in the same season after 100 games, it was 1994. Please don't die again, baseball! Stupid Mayans.