The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
OK, Luddy. It's high time I gave you a public apology. You see, it wasn't that I didn't like you as a person, and it really wasn't that I thought you were a complete waste of money and effort; rather, it was that I thought you were miscast and would ultimately be misused. I was pining for a prototypical OBP leadoff hitter (like David DeJesus), or an "actual" impact middle-of-the-order bat like Carlos Beltran. When you were signed, I was mad...not necessarily mad at you, but mad at the Reds themselves for thinking that you were the answer to that big bat question. I thought you were destined to be the next Jonny Gomes: good at what you were good at but asked to do too much, ultimately disappointing.
You'd struggled for two years. You'd struggled for multiple teams, both on the road and at home. You were a Cardinal, fer Pete's sake. It seemed like we'd settled for you after watching other teams reach for better players. To call it frustrating for Reds fans would be an understatement, even for those fans who thought there was a chance you'd rebound.
I was wrong. I'm happy to be wrong. You've kicked ass, Ryan Ludwick, and I'm happy as hell that you are. You're the reason we didn't have to gut our farm system today in order to stay in the NL Central race. Thanks, man.
Ludwick's night featured an RBI single in the 1st, a 3 run HR, and a walk. Brandon Phillips helped out with the go-ahead HR in the 7th, Todd Frazier hit a no-doubt 2 run blast, and Sam LeCure, Sean Marshall, and Aroldis Chapman pitched 5.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen to close it out.
Chris Heisey led off the 1st with a double, advanced to third base on a Wilson Valdez ground out, and ultimately scored on Ludwick's single over the SS's glove. Reds lead, 1-0.
- The Reds kept the party going in the 3rd. Wilson Valdez singled, stole second, but was out at third on some bad baserunning on a BP fielder's choice. Jay Bruce singled, moving BP to third before Ludwick crushed a Jason Marquis groove-ball out to right-center field. Scott Rolen followed with a single, and Todd Frazier stromboli'd a cannoli way out to left. Reds lead, 6-0.
- Homer is not a good name for a pitcher. Still. Bailey, staked with a large lead, became a hit maker in the 4th. Alonso and Baker singled before Cameron Maybin hit a Petco double over the GABP wall. Then, Marquis reached on an infield single, Amarista and Will Venable hit back to back triples, and Chase Headley singled. Homer was chased in favor of Sam LeCure, but the damage was done. Game tied, 6-6.
- BP took matters into his own hands after the game had settled in. His solo shot in the bottom of the 7th proved to be the difference. Reds win, 7-6.
- Ryan Ludwick is making a little over $2 million this season. His OPS? .868.
- Carlos Beltran is making a little over $12 million this season. His OPS? .898.
- The Reds close out July with their 18th win in their last 21 games. The month would've been much, much more satisfying for Homer Bailey had Cy not jinxed him before the first pitch by stating how good he'd been.
- This song is Not Safe For Work...but it's pretty much been Ryan Ludwick's theme song this season. And, well, I think it's awesome. So is this one. Hell, just buy the album.