The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Joey Votto. Walk-off hits are auto-recs for the Nuxy. In the ninth with Shin-Soo Choo on second and first base open, the Angels chose to pitch to Votto. I mean, what? No respect, I tell ya. He laced a single to right to drive in the winning run. He also added a pair of walks.
Honorable Mentions to Brandon Phillips and Mat Latos. Phillips drove in three with a big-time crush in the fourth. Latos pitched well, going 6⅔ innings, scattering seven hits while striking out eight and walking only one. He gave up two big home runs though, so he gets just an Honorable Mention. He looked really sharp though, which is a good sign. He's had some issues in past Aprils, so it's good to see him throwing rocks so early.
Also, Honorable Mentions to all the Red Reporters in full throat at the game tonight. Scientific evidence suggests that Votto could not have done what he did without their support.
C.J. Wilson was throwing well to start the game, as he retired the first ten Reds in order. Things fell apart for him in the fourth though as Chris Heisey drew a four-pitch walk. Joey Votto also took a walk, bringing up the past and future clean-up man, Brandon Phillips. BP wallopped a bopper to deep left-center to give the Reds a three-run lead. Jay Bruce followed with a double high off the wall and went to third on an error. Todd Frazier lined a screamer up the middle to bring Bruce home and make it a 4-0 advantage.
Some doins a-transpired in the eighth as the Angels put runners at first and second on an infield hit and an error. Josh Hamilton then rolled a groundball to BP that appeared to hit Albert Pujols as he ran to second. Phillips, thinking Pujols would be called out, threw directly to first to get the runner there. He bellowed a bit at the umpire for missing the interference, but to no avail. Mark Trumbo then brought the tying run home with a ground out.
In the top of the ninth with two outs and a man on first, Aroldis Chapman faced Mike Trout. Trout popped out weakly on the first pitch and the universe narrowly averted a total retrograde flux reionization. Because seriously, with those two guys, it totally could have happened.
For the second game in a row, Dusty chose to sac bunt in front of Joey Votto. I had a whole thing written up here about how it was dumb, and then the Angels went even dumber and actually pitched to Votto. He cracked one past Pujols and Choo chugged home easily.
In the fourth inning, Latos struck out Pujols, Hamilton, and Trumbo in order. He made them look silly.
Pujols and Hamilton are both hitless so far this season, combining to go 0-15 with five strikeouts.
In the fifth, Heisey was hit in the face with the ball as he was stealing second. He looked pretty shaken up by it, but he's a tough dude so he stayed in.