Fitting this guy into the picture's parameters ain't easy!
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
I could (and probably should) give this to Ryan Ludwick, who had a hell of a game (3 for 5, 4 runs, HR, BB, 2 RBI), but I'm going another route. Aroldis Chapman, to whom I have not bestowed the JNMHSotG before, gets the nod as he picked up a 4 out save, striking out 3 of the batters he faced in the process. The pitching has looked quite shaky of late, even during the latter stages of the win streak (both by the starters and the bullpen), but the one constant has been that Chappy has been utterly dominant. Today wove a similar story, as Homer struggled and the bullpen failed to put out fires despite the strong winds keeping all balls in the park.
Props to Ludwick, of course, but also to Todd Frazier, who went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI, BB, and a run scored. The two big bats in the middle of the order carried us through a grind-it-out divisional game late in the season...and they weren't Votto and Bruce.
And, of course, I can't fail to mention the Cubs defense (or lack thereof). The baby bears contributed with 5 errors, a passed ball, 5 walks, and numerous other misplayed balls. To call that game ugly would be an insult to ugly things; it was downright comically grotesque.
- This will take awhile, but here we go...Homer allowed singles to DeJesus and Barney in the 1st, followed by a walk to Rizzo and a Soriano ground out, yielding the lead to the Cubs, 1-0. The Reds struck back immediately, though, as Ludwick singled and then scored on Frazier's double to the LF corner. The Cubs walked Mesoraco to get to Bailey, and he singled up the middle to score Frazier. Reds lead, 2-1.
- The Reds added on in the 3rd, as Phillips reached on an error and then scored on Ludwicks eye-blinding laser. Later in the inning, Xavier Paul singled, stole second, and advanced to third when Wilson Valdez reached via error. Paul subsequently scored when Mesoraco's slow grounder was airballed by Starlin Castro. Reds lead, 5-1.
- Back to back infield singles haunted Homer in the bottom of the 3rd, and he then allowed a 2-run double to Soriano into the LF corner. That narrowed the gap, and the game settled into a steady paint-drying crawl until the 6th, when the official scorer had a nervous breakdown and a hernia. After two quick outs, Stubbs reached on an infield single, and Justin Germano was chased in favor of Adude Cabrera. Stubbs promptly stole second when the throw sailed wide of the bag, and waltzed across the plate after the guy backing up the bag and the guy backing up the guy backing up the bag both uberderped. Phillips then doubled, Ludwick walked, Phillips stole third, and both scored when Frazier singled to right. Reds lead, 8-3.
- /calls timeout
- /eats orange slices in the shade
- /chugs water and stretches
- In the 6th, Castro and Vitters singled, but Castro was deked into being thrown out at third. Beef Wellington singled, and only Vitters scored to make it 8-4. In the 7th, DeJesus walked and went to third on a Barney single, and both scored on Castro's double to deep left. Reds led 8-6 entering the 8th, when Ludwick doubled and then scored on Frazier's single up the middle to make it 9-6.
- /asks for substitution but is told by Dusty that the bench is too short
- /wipes sweat from brow, keeps calm, carries on
- In the bottom of the 8th, Johnny Broxville was brought in and, well, didn't look very good. Jackson led off with a walk and scored on another Beef Wellington double. Wellington then scored on a DeJesus double, before Chapman and Hanigan were brought in on a double switch to get the job done. With a 9-8 lead entering the 9th, Hanigan singled and came around to score on a Cozart double. Chapman mercifully mowed down the Cubs, and that was that. Reds win 10-8!
- That was an ugly, ugly, long, grimace-inducing way to end a 5 game skid, but it'll work. No matter who we play, if we can win a game without Votto and Bruce (and Heisey, sigh), I'll take it.
- Homer Bailey, who allowed 4 ER in 5.2 IP, picked up the win, his 10th of the season, setting a new career high. Congrats, David DeWitt.
- The official game-time is listed a 3 hours, 56 minutes, but without Aroldis Chapman I'm convinced it would've pressed 5 hours. Dang!
- Watch this. It's fun. Then, if you want to, listen to this. Eh, do both.
- Good to see the winning ways return. Let's hope we're permanent one from now on.