The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The offense was clicking for most of the day today, and once again it was fueled by Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto. Choo was 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI double, and he was also hit by a pitch for a ridiculous 7th time in 12 games. Ouch. Votto, on the other hand, walked 3 more times and finally ended his streak after 221 homerless PAs.
Brandon Phillips was 2 for 4 with 3 RBI (and was robbed by a sliding catch by Andrew McCutchen, too), and both Todd Frazier and Chris Heisey were 2 for 4, too. Hat tip to Mat Latos, who delivered a solid 6.2 IP, allowing just 3 runs while striking out 6 and walking just one.
I'm inclined not to mention the bullpen's performance anywhere near the "Star of the Game" section.
- The Reds struck early in this one, as the first four batters of the game reached base. Choo singled, Zack Cozart walked, Votto walked, and Phillips singled to score two of them. In the 2nd, Heisey singled, Ryan Hanigan found the bases again with a walk, and Choo doubled, plating them both after a Pirates error. Reds led, 4-0.
- In the 5th, Votto walked, stole second base, and scored on another Phillips single. Reds led, 5-0.
- Things went terrible in a hurry after that. Former Doobie Brother Michael McKenry took one to the streets to put the Pirates on the board in the 7th, and Batflip McGee hit a double off the wall to score Starling Marte later that inning. Andrew McCutchen doubled to score Batflippy, and McCutchen himself came around to score on a Gaby Sanchez single. Yes, Gaby Sanchez still plays baseball and can hit the Reds' bullpen. Reds led, 5-4.
- The Reds scraped another run across in the 8th when Jack Hannahan pinch-hit with a single that scored Todd Frazier. Unfortunately, that meant $21 million man Jonathan Broxton was brought on for the 8th inning...his first work in 7 (yes, seven) days. McKenry plated Pedro Alvarez (who, yes, got on base) with his second HR of the game, and Marte later homered to score Jose Tabata, Jonathan Sanchez walked, somebody removed all the h's from all the Jonathans' names, Gaby Sanchez hit a sac fly, the guards changed at Arlington, the chicken crossed the road, Andrew McCutchen singled, Andrew McCutchen stole a base, I shaved for the second time since the game started, Tiger Woods played a round of golf, and Neil Walker singled to score McCutchen. Vottosmash happened in the 9th, but that was that for the Reds. Reds lose, 10-7.
- I know it's early, and I'm not in panic mode yet. I'm far from it, really. However, it's hard to really imagine a worse series than this.
- Bullpen management comment. Additional bullpen management comment with stats and facts to support previous comment. Subsequent opinion on those two bullpen comments.
- I need a drink and some peaceful tunes.
- That poor, poor basket baby.