The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Scott Rolen went 3 for 4 today, walking once, scoring once, and driving in a run. Rolen has been on a tear for a month now, and his season line now sits at a near respectable .234/.313/.375. If he is truly healthy and this is what the Reds can expect, this offense (and the lineup flexibility) becomes much, much more lethal. Props, Pops.
Just don't ask him to hit leadoff. Xavier Paul, inserted into the starting lineup and the leadoff spot, went a sparkling 0 for 5 with 4 Ks. That spot is truly cursed, as evidenced by Zack Cozart's 2 for 5 day from the 6th spot in the depleted and shuffled Reds lineup. Todd Frazier went wanger honking again, belting his 13th of the season while driving in 3 runs on the day. A solid, solid performance by the Reds despite them fielding a lineup without, to date, their 3 most potent bats. Bring on the Pirates!
Things got out of hand early for Ross "The Dorf" Ohlendorf, as the Reds went loco in the bottom of the 2nd. Rolen led off with a single, and Frazier followed with a 408 foot blast to left. Cozart singled, Cairo singled (!!), Ryan Hanigan doubled, Stubbs walked, Bruce singled, and Stubbs scored on an Ohlendorf balk...and when the dust settled, the Reds had put up 6 runs.
Johnny Cueto didn't have his best stuff today, but he battled for 7.1 innings, allowing 4 runs in the process. 3 of those came in the top of the 3rd, as Cousin Eddy Rodriguez hit his first career homer and Chase Headley singled in 2 more. Cameron Maybin hit another homer in the 4th, this time a solo shot. Reds lead, 6-4.
The Reds played add-on in the 4th. Stubbs made it to second to lead off thanks to a Headley throwing error, Bruce walked, and Rolen singled in Stubbs. Two batters later, Cozart singled to move Bruce across the plate. Reds lead, 8-4.
Consecutive singles by Bruce and Rolen in the 8th allowed Bruce to score on a Frazier grounder to third, scoring the last run of the game. Reds win, 9-4!
With Brandon Phillips out with a calf issue and Joey Votto on the DL, Dusty opted to sit current world-beater Ryan Ludwickand fourth OF Chris Heisey in favor of Xavieru Paul, he of the midseason release from another team's AAA affiliate. If it truly all comes down to wins and losses, I guess Dusty gets credit for this decision. I guess.
After today's outburst, the Reds have now scored 459 runs in 105 games, and are finally on pace to break 700 runs for the season. I've said many times that this team wouldn't cross that threshold this year, and they weren't looking like they would...until they lose the best bat in baseball. This is a funny, funny game sometimes.
The Pirates come to town tomorrow for a crucial series. Today's win puts 3.5 games between Us and Them. Here's to hoping the Redplacements can continue their torrid ways.
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