Is it just me, or does this look just like all of those vintage Nolan Ryan pictures? If I'm dreaming, don't pinch me.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Sure, it was the Cubs, but Homer Bailey was pretty dad-gum dominant tonight, going 7.1 innings while allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks and a single earned run. Bailey struck out 4, and didn't allow an extra base hit until Bryan LaHair's RBI double in the 8th. Bailey as all but locked up a spot in the postseason rotation, and with yet another dominant performance in a road game, the only question that remains is whether the Reds brass will believe in his career stats enough to give him a start on the road. Personally, I think they'd be silly stupid not to.
Honorable mention is due to Ryan Hanigan, whose double in the 6th cleared the bases to score all 3 Reds runs. Jay Bruce also had a solid night, going 1 for 3 with a BB and SB, and Joey Votto got back to his extra base crushing ways with a double.
- The Reds did all of their damage in the Top of the 6th after having been (cough, cough) shutdownbyJustinGermano (cough, cough). Ahem. Sorry, there was something caught in my throat. Anyhoo, Votto led off with a well battled walk, and Ryan Ludwick and Jay Bruce both did the same. After Manny Corpas was brought in (and retired Scott Rolen on a flyout), Clutch Man Rynie cleared the bases with a double to deep center. Reds led, 3-0.
- This will sound as if I'm a broken record, but the story here was one similar to Latos' last start. Despite Homer being close to 100 pitches, through 7 innings, and approaching a potential deep playoff run, he was sent back out for the 8th inning with a dugout full of arms sat and watched. Darwin Barney then singled and scored on LaHair's double before Bailey was pulled after pitch 106. I just don't really understand it. Thankfully, it didn't matter, as Sean Marshall and Johnny Broxton shut down the Cubs. Reds win, 3-1!
- St. Louis is currently up 4-1 on the Disastros heading into the 9th, so it appears the Reds magic number will only drop by 1 today. You all are quite clever folk...you can do the math!
- Homer now sits at 12-9 with a 3.82 ERA in 188.1 IP. He's got 146 K and a near 3/1 K/BB rate to go along with a 1.31 WHIP. While that's not exactly "top pitching prospect in baseball" territory, that's damn, damn solid. Compare him to Luke Hochevar, crack a beer, pour it on your face, and do the Ickey Shuffle, folks. Homer's good.
- Song of the night numero uno. Why? Because it's awesome, that's why.
- Song of the night numero dos. (NSFW, btw.) Why? Because it came on Pandora earlier today and reminded me instantly of Spring Break 2002 in Cabo. Well...what I could remember of it, at least.