The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Star of the Game
One could argue that Brandon Phillips deserves today's JNMSG award due to his game-winning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 13th. However, Phillips merely had a good day overall, going one for five with a walk and the aforementioned sac fly. Plus, today's Brandon Phillips bobblehead promotion at Great American Ballpark makes for a pretty good consolation prize.
Even after eliminating Phillips from contention, the Reds had four strong candidates in Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Votto, Bronson Arroyo, and Sam LeCure. Choo went three for four with three walks, a stolen base, and the winning run. Votto went four for six with a laser of a home run. Arroyo turned in a vintage Bronson performance, allowing only two runs over eight innings while striking out six. Last but not least, LeCure pitched two scoreless frames in relief and got out of jam in the 10th after allowing Miguel Olivo to single to lead off the inning.
I'm going to give the award to Choo, though all four of these guys deserved it today. As Slyde tweeted, Choo was the first Red to reach base six times since Sean Casey did so in a 24-12 win over Colorado on May 19th, 1999. The Reds' centerfielder also chipped in on defense with a nice sliding catch in the top of the seventh.
- Joey Votto led off the bottom of the third with a hard line drive into the seats in right field. Reds led, 1-0.
- In the bottom of the fourth, Devin Mesoraco singled to start the inning. Bronson Arroyo bunted Mesoraco over to second. Shin-Soo Choo surprised no one by drawing a walk, but Zack Cozart followed with a fielder's choice that left Choo out at second. Votto then delivered with a single to right field to score Mesoraco. Reds led, 2-0.
- Arroyo got off to a rough start in the fifth inning by allowing a leadoff double to Miguel Olivo. Donovan Solano singled to put runners on the corners. Joe Mahoney drove in Olivo with a single. The Reds then caught a break when Pierre's soft line out to Todd Frazier turned into a double play due to a baserunning error from Mahoney. However, Cincinnati was not able to escape without further damage as Placido Polanco doubled to score Solano. Game tied, 2-2.
- In the bottom of the 13th, Choo slapped a ball down the left field line that bounced into a fan's hands for a ground rule double. After Cozart suffered an injury to his right hand on a bunt attempt, substitute Cesar Izturis flied out to center to advance Choo to third. The Marlins predictably issued a free pass to Votto. Brandon Phillips drove Choo home with a sacrifice fly to Miami's Justin Ruggiano. Reds win, 3-2.
- Today's pregame ceremony at Fenway Park was great. The Red Sox and their fans honored the heroic first responders to Monday's bombing and the brave men and women who took part in this week's manhunt. Afterwards, David Ortiz took the microphone and delivered some heartfelt words.