The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Brandon Phillips isn't a prototypical cleanup hitter, nor has he ever been. The Reds know that, and they've been trying to find someone who could fill that role for years now, but somehow, someway, BP keeps being re-cast in the role of following Joey Votto in the lineup. In many ways, BP isn't really prototypical for any specific spot in a lineup, really. He's not a high OBP guy, he's not a huge SLG guy, and he's not even really a high average hitter; in fact, if either Jay Bruce or Joey Votto were right-handed, there's no real telling where in the lineup he would've been penciled in for the last half-decade.
Tonight, thankfully, those issues were afterthoughts, as Phillips did everything you could possibly ask of a cleanup hitter, clubbing two HRs, the second of which accounted for the last two runs of (at that point, at least) a pretty valiant Reds' comeback.
Hat-tips are due to Jack Hannahan, who went 2-3 with a walk in his first non-cameo performance of the season; Devin Mesoraco, who doubled in a run and had a walk; and, of course, Joey Votto, who was on base 3 of 5 times tonight, raising his season's OBP to .510.
- Mike Leake got off to, well, a rough start tonight. Starling Marte led off the 1st with a single and a steal, Neil Walker walked, and Russell Martin later singled to plate Marte. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Phillips led off the 2nd with an uberhonk over the CF wall to tie the game, but the Pirates were eager to add-on in the bottom half of the frame. Travis Snider reached on an infield single, advanced to second on a passed ball by Rocco, Clint "I Still Play Baseball For a Living" Barmes singled, A.J. Burnett sacrificed, Marte was hit by a Leake pitch, and Snider and Barmes scored on Walker's single. Andrew McCutchen then singled in Marte and Walker. Reds trailed, 5-1.
- The Reds commenced scratching and clawing in the Top of the 4th. Jay Bruce led off with a single, Hannahan followed, Zack Cozart moved them over with a grounder, and Bruce scored off a Mesoraco grounder. In the Top of the 6th, Hannahan singled, but was out on a Cozart fielder's choice. Mes followed with a double to the wall, however, plating Cozart. Reds trailed, 5-3.
- After the Reds had rid themselves of Burnett, they went to work in the Top of the 7th. Chris Heisey drew a walk, and Phillips followed two batters later with another crushjam to CF to tie the score. Unfortunately, it was shortlived. J.J. Hoover was summoned again, and gave up a line-shot HR to McCutchen in the Bottom of the 7th, and despite their best efforts, that was that. Reds lose, 6-5.
- Manny Parra? No, not so many thankyouverymuch.
- This will not be 2011. This will not be 2011. THIS WILL NOT BE 2011 IT WILL NOT BE.
- Joey Votto non-HR watch has reached 212 PA.
- As young Mr. Bresser noted in the Gamethread, Brandon Phillips has already equaled his 2012 total of road HRs this season at 3. Giggity.
- Hannahan for 3B, Frazier for LF? I'm not saying, I'm just asking. Revolutionary, I know.