Reds' Defense Freezes, but XP Reboots. Reds Walk-Off Over Cubs, 5-4.

Running from AAA into our hearts...god, that was cheesy.

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Xavier Paul and his 9th inning, pinch-hit triple get the nod today. Look, I've been pretty vocal about my thoughts on Paul, specifically how his presence as the lone LH bat off the bench may have kept the Reds from signing a more established bench bat; however, Paul has continued to produce, and today was no different. XP took the first pitch he saw from Shawn Camp and laced it into the RF corner, reaching third standing up. Solid stuff from the only bat picked up midseason.

Very, very large hat tips are in order to both Ryan Hanigan and Mat Latos. Hanigan hit a deep single over the head of the Cubs' CF to score Paul (the game winning run), and also made a perfect throw to gun down a stealing Brett Jackson at third in the top of the ninth as a part of his 2 for 3, 2 RBI day. Despite 3 errors from his normally dependable defense (which led to 2 unearned runs), Latos was pretty dominant, going 8 innings while allowing only 2 ER, striking out 6, and throwing 114 pitches over 8 IP the day after the bullpen was thoroughly gassed. Zack Cozart also had 2 hits (as well as some pretty nifty defense despite an error), Ryan Ludwick was on base twice via walks, and Jay Bruce had 2 hits and an RBI. That'll do.

The supergrover Memorial Honorary Red Reporter of the Gamethread

Today's honoree is RR's own Poet Laureate, Cy Schourek. Our well-traveled compadre stopped by today's thread to hang out, make fantastic Arroyo innuendos, and dig up some stats before hitting the road to travel from his summer Seattle homestead to his St. Louis law school confines. Travel safe, buddy. Wait 'til you stop for gas to check up on RR.

Also, a big shout out to ashersky, who checked in from Iraq and called the walk-off (actually, he called that George Grande would call the walk-off!). Thanks for all you do, and be safe!

Key Plays

  • The Reds got off to a small-ball start in the 1st, as Cozart led off with a single, Phillips grounded into a fielder's choice that nailed Cozart at 2nd, Ludwick walked, and BP stole third before Bruce lined a single into RF to score him. Reds led, 1-0.
  • Latos cruised until the third, when he allowed a leadoff walk to Steve Clevenger, Chris Volstad sac bunted Clevenger to second, and David DeJesus hit a ground rule double to score the Cubs' catcher. Game tied, 1-1.
  • The Reds broke out in the bottom of the 4th. Bruce led off with an infield single, and Frazier and Valdez both singled to score Bruce. Hanigan followed with a sac fly to score Frazier, and Mat Latos got in on the act with a single that scored Valdez. Reds led, 4-1.
  • The Reds' defense faltered a bit in the top of the 6th, and that coupled with some soft hits led to the Cubs getting back in the game. DeJesus led off with a single to RF, Darwin Barney reached on a Valdez error, and Luis Valbuena reached on an infield single before Alfonso Soriano hit a sac fly to score DeJesus and Starlin Castro singled in Barney. Reds led, 4-3.
  • Some more shoddy defense let the Cubs even the score in the 8th. DeJesus again reached on an infield single before Valbuena hit a sharp line drive that hit off of Jay Bruce's glove in RF, allowing DeJesus to get to third. Soriano then hit a grounder that scored DeJesus. Game tied, 4-4.
  • The Reds wasted no time in the bottom of the 9th. Paul hit Camp's first pitch to the RF corner for his triple, and one pitch later Hanigan singled him in. Reds walk off, 5-4!

Other Notes

  • The win today gave the Reds a series win in the 4 game set and improved their record without Joey Votto to 24-10. He's really been out for 34 games...dang.
  • The Pirates and Cards are currently tied 2-2 in the 9th in St. Louis. One will win, one will lose, and someone will do the math to determine how far back they both are in the NL Central race.
  • The Reds will head East to face the Phillies for a 4 game set beginning tomorrow (Monday). Mike Leake will take the hill opposite Roy Halladay with first pitch set for 7:05 ET. Go, if you can; if you can't, watch on TV and see if you can spot ken!
  • In honor of Cy's drive across the country, I give you this. When I finished undergrad in December of 2003, I moved immediately out to Jackson Hole, WY for the remainder of the winter, and on the drive West I'm pretty sure I listened to this whole CD on repeat for an entire Kansas. Hope it's sunny, dude...if so, you'll catch a nice left-arm tan.
  • SBNation is in the middle of a gigantic brain-fart. I've tried to post this 4 times already, and it won't let me. Here's to hoping someone else actually reads this today.
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