The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Joey Votto returned to the lineup today after his 48 game absence, and went 2 for 3 with two singles and a walk, and that's great to have back. More importantly, however, his return allowed Dusty to move his lineup around to accommodate Votto, putting Brandon Phillips back at leadoff to give the Reds (in the future, at least) a more potent top of the order. That gets some bonus points.
Today's JNMHSotG, however, is undoubtedly Jay Bruce. Hall of Famer Hal mentioned it in an article posted earlier this week, but Jay Bruce is putting himself in position to be one of the top 5 contenders for the NL MVP this year. After today's 2 doubles and HR, Jay sits 2nd in the league in HR, 2nd in RBI, 6th in 2B, 4th in SLG, and 9th in OPS. Remember how white-hot Ryan Ludwick was a few weeks back? Well, entering today, Ludwick had the 4th highest OPS in the league since the All-Star break...and after today's game, Bruce now has a higher season OPS (.894) than Luddy (.892).
The supergrover Memorial Honorary Red Reporter(s) of the Gamethread
Seeing as it was a mid-week day game, nobody went overboard on gaseous humor or beer-induced diatribes, but there was solid contribution from Excalib8, CommiePuddin, ChesterDrawers, and Unmitigated Audacity. SunnyD was around and sunny, too, as was Charlie Scrabbles.
By the way, if Red Reporter had an "Employee of the Month" award, I'm pretty certain that nobody in the history of ever would've won it besides Charlie Scrabbles. Give that guy a high-five when you see him.
- Mike Leake must have woken up on the wrong side of his bed in Bronson Arroyo's basement. Leake cruised through the Top of the 1st on just 9 pitches, but quickly devolved into a mess in the 2nd. Ryan Howard led off with a single, John Mayberry, Jr. followed with another, and Domonic Brown knocked yet another to score Howard. Red-killer Erik Kratz then launched a homer, his 9th of the season and 2nd of the year against Cincinnati. Reds trailed, 4-0.
- In the 3rd, Leake walked Juan Pierre to lead off the inning, and Chase Utley's bat actually did get hit by Leake's pitch, and it bounced all the way out to RF. Reds trailed, 6-0.
- Roy Halladay was in command today, and when that happens the Reds simply aren't going to get much offense going. The extent of it came in the 4th, when Chris Heisey singled, moved to 2nd on Votto's walk, and scored on Bruce's first double of the game. Reds trailed, 6-1.
- Jay Bruce appears to own Papelbon these days, but unfortunately that won't have a chance to manifest itself again until next season. Bruce hit an opposite field shot off of the Philly closer in the 9th, but that was it for the Reds today. Reds lose, 6-2.
- As was noted in the Game Thread, Jay Bruce has driven in 9 of the last 11 runs the Reds have scored. Now that he'll have Votto getting on base in front of him, who knows how high that will go.
- Bruce has also homered 10 times since August 12, and his solo shot today tied his career high of 32 in a season, set last year.
- It seems the bears are moving in on us. Speculation around here as that so many of the wildfires destroyed so much of their (and mountain lions) natural habitats that they're migrating farther to find food before hibernation. I swear, if a bear takes me out before I get to see the Reds in the World Series...
- I can't help it. I'm excited.
- Song of the day, folks.