The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Chris Heisey, LF of the present, stepped up large with his first big-fly of the season. Ecto-Cooler took a hanging breaking ball from Angels starter Joe Blanton and launched it way over the Left Field wall, and the two run honker gave the Reds enough of a lead to get the victory. Heisey, long a masher of left handed pitching throughout his minor league career, had been somewhat of an anomaly through his first two seasons in the big leagues while featuring reverse platoon splits, but that flip-flopped back to what you'd expect from a right handed hitter in 2012. Before Ludwick's injury, there was even speculation that Heisey would get some starts in CF for Shin-Soo Choo against LHP, so to see Heisey hit a laser off a righty is that much more reassuring.
Honorable mentions are due to Choo (who went 2 for 4, scored 2 runs, and hit his first of 34 HR as a Red this season), Todd Frazier (who went 2 for 3, scored 2 runs, and flew his first 2013 HR to the moon), and Bronson Arroyo (who held a potent Angel offense in check by tossing 6 innings of 3 run ball, striking out 5 and walking just 1).
- Arroyo escaped the Top of the 1st with Erick Aybar stranded at third base after a double, and the Reds wasted no time in seizing the lead. Choo hit the first pitch of Joe Blanton's Angel career over the fence in left-center field before -ManBearPig had shaken his Game 2 fog. Reds led, 1-0.
- Todd Frazier started the 2nd inning the same way Choo started the 1st, leading off with a line-drive HR that just snuck around the LF foul pole. Reds led, 2-0.
- Bronson ran into some trouble in the Top of the 3rd. After catching Trout with a dry fly, he gave up a single to Aybar and a double to Albert Pujols. Josh Hamilton then singled to center to score Aybar, and though Choo's throw to the plate was on-line and in plenty of time for the out, Ryan Hanigan was unable to get the tag down before Pujols touched the plate. It was a tough play (and a collision) for sure, but that's one we normally expect Hanny to make. Game tied, 2-2.
- Frazier nearly hit his 2nd HR of the game leading off the 4th, but his high fly hit the top of the LF wall and bounced back into play for a double (and he ended up on third thanks to Trout fumbling the ball in LF). Two batters later, Ryan Hanigan hit a sac fly to RF, and Frazier scored. Reds led, 3-2.
- Trout swam to 1B after four balls from Arroyo in the Top of the 5th, Aybar followed with a single, and Pujols hit a sac fly to score Trout to tie the score. In the Bottom of the inning, however, Choo led off with a single (I'm just going to copy that line and save it to my clipboard...it's going to get used a ton this year) and Heisey followed with his boomstick. Reds led, 5-3.
- Alfredo Simon pitched the Top of the 7th, and had quite the CoCo-esque time of it. He allowed two doubles and hit a batter, yet escaped after 24 pitches having just allowed one run. Sam LeCure and Cornelius's shaggy cheeks locked down the 8th inning, and Aroldis Chapman did what he does in the 9th. Reds win, 5-4!
- Zack Cozart. There, I mentioned him. The Wizard of Coz was less the booming almighty ruler and more the old guy behind the curtain with the sound machine this series, going 0 for 11 and sporting a nice, clean .000/.000/.000 line for the season.
- Thankfully, Josh Hamilton didn't exactly outperform him in his return to GABP. The former Red went just 1 for 12 in the series with just a single to pair with his 6 strikeouts. I'm not sure he's ready to sign up to face Aroldis Chapman anymore, either.
- Joey Votto had but one hit the entire series, yet still sports a .400 OBP (which is good for 2nd on the team, .067 clear of Todd Frazier for 3rd).
- Baseball's back! Recappin's back! Euphoria!
- C'mon, angeeh! Practice, practice, practice!