The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star(s) of the Game
Aroldis Chapman, in part because he doesn't win these very often. He entered in a one run game and was as dominant as we've seen him. The Cubandolero K'd the side, throwing no fastball less than 99 MPH and yielding 7 swinging strikes in 15 pitches (with just one foul ball).
Very honorable mentions due to Homer Bailey (6.2 IP, 8 K, 0 BB, 2 ER, RBI double) and Chris Heisey (2-4, HR, 2 RBI). OK, give it to Homer.
In the game's second at bat, Drew Stubbs hooted a blowfish to right field.
The lead was short-lived. Chris "Disease Name" Denorfia, who fielded all three balls in play in the first inning, boosted a candy bar to center field. That's PetCo's centerfield. It landed in a sandbox, creating an immediate Lord of the Flies situation. The Padres wouldn't need a position player until the second inning.
Bailey settled down and both he and Richard cruised through three straight 1-2-3 innings. Nothing much happened until the 5th.
Todd Frazier, as he's been doing with regularity lately, broke the calm with a double. Mesoraco brought him in on an RBI ground-out. Clayton Richard sought the relief of the pitcher's spot, but Homer Bailey up and hit a Votto of his own to score Chris Heisey.
The Padres got one back in the 6th (and 7th and 8th).
The Reds big inning came in a three-run 7th. Two baseball points were scored when Chris Heisey-berg provided the velocity AND position of a baseball: fast and over the wall. Stubbs also flashed his speed, stealing his 17th base of the season and causing Jazz Man to make a clutch throwing error. He was stranded at third.
It stayed 6-5 into the ninth and that's where it will stay forever. Chapman looked positively inevitable, striking out the side, hitting 102 on the gun and dropping in on a few sliders. Reds win!
The Pirates won earlier tonight, so the Reds remain one game back.
Chris Denorfia, Homer's teammate in Chattanooga and Lousville, had a good night and is having a good year (.304/.363/.440). At 32, with a year and a half left of control, he's a definite trade candidate.
Chapman's K/9 skied to 16.3, still the highest in the majors and now the only above 16.0.
Next up: Series and first half finale, Cueto andJason Marquis. 4:05 EDT at PetCo.
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