Kemp Crushes Clinchmas Dreams; Dodgers Win, 3-1

A major league at bat was arranged by the Make a Wish arm of the Veterans of Grunge. It was the Reds' only offense. --'KRP

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Bronson Arroyo went eight strong innings for the Reds. He gave up one run on six hits while striking out four and walking none. Arroyo collected one hit in three trips to the plate and drove in the Reds' only run. Honorable mentions are due to Joe Blanton (6 IP, 1 R, 6 K, 1 BB), Ronald Belisario (2 IP, 0 R, 5 K, 0 BB), and Matt Kemp (3-5, 2 RBI, game winning hit).

Comment of the Night

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Key Plays

  • Arroyo found himself in a jam in the second inning. Hanley Ramirez singled, stole second base, and advanced to third on a Luis Cruz base hit. Juan Rivera grounded out, but it was enough to drive in Ramirez and push Cruz over to second. Arroyo then retired A.J. Ellis on a grounder and fanned Joe Blanton to end the threat. Dodgers led, 1-0.
  • No player on either team reached base again until the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Xavier Paul lifted a fly ball to deep left center that somehow found turf and then the seats. Los Angeles intentionally walked Ryan Hanigan to face Arroyo. Saturn Nuts singled in Paul to pick up his third RBI of the season. Game tied, 1-1.
  • Scott Rolen knocked Blanton out of the game in the sixth with a two-out single. Rolen then swiped second base off of Randy Choate. The Dodgers intentionally walked Jay Bruce before bringing in rookie Shawn Tolleson in relief. Tolleson promptly walked Drew Stubbs to load the bases. However, the Reds could not scrape across a run as Paul struck out looking to end the inning. Game still tied, 1-1.
  • Jay Bruce led off the bottom of the ninth for the Reds giving us all a flashback to Clinchmas 2010. However, Ronald Belisario struck out the Beaumont Bomber as well as Stubbs and Paul for a 1-2-3 inning. Game still tied, 1-1.
  • Elian Herrera led off the top of the tenth with a questionable hit by pitch off of Sam LeCure. A.J. Ellis laid down a sacrifice attempt that Joey Votto fielded. The Reds first baseman tried to throw out Herrera, but the speedy Dodger beat the throw. Little Nicky Punto sacrificed Ellis and Herrera to second and third respectively. LeCure issued an intentional unintentional walk to Mark Ellis to load the bases. Sean Marshall came into the game and struck out Andre Ethier. Marshall was ahead of Matt Kemp 0-2, but Kemp was able to bloop one into right field to score Herrera and A.J. Ellis. Adrian Gonzalez struck out to end the inning, but the damage was done. Dodgers led, 3-1.
  • Chris Heisey walked in the bottom of the tenth, but that was all for the Reds. Dodgers won, 3-1.

9

via Fangraphs.com

Other Notes

  • Sigh.
  • In case you missed it, the Reds' magic number is one (1).
  • The Reds and Dodgers play the second game out of three tomorrow afternoon at 4:05. The game is the MLB on FOX Game of the Week in certain regions. Rookie Stephen Fife is slated to take the hill for Los Angeles while the Reds will send out Mat Latos.
  • Song of the night.
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