The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game:
Jay Bruce went 2-5 with 3 RBIs and started off the scoring with a double in the first inning. It's not like anyone will change their minds about one of the premier right-fielders in the game, but I mean goddam you get first-inning doubles to set a statement for the game and you get the JNMHSotG.
Of course Choo and Paul going 2-4 each at the top of the order (Choo also walked once) helps the guys in the meat of things get the paycheck stats. Brandon Phillips went 2-5, Derrick Robinson got his first MLB hit and a timely first MLB run, and Johnny Cueto battled for six innings without his best stuff or the best umpire, ultimately going 7H 3ER 3BB 6K. He didn't give in when he tired and Strasburg did, and the difference was the ballgame. And three perfect innings from the back of the bullpen. Whether or not they were necessary, the Reds'll take 3IP 1H 0R 0BB 3K all the time.
In his second MLB at-bat, Derrick Robinson stepped in against Strasburg. He showed bunt on the first pitch, bringing Zimmerman into the infield grass. On the second pitch, Royal Derrick struck a fastball past the nearby Zim and into left field. Choo's line-drive single brought Robinson to third, and when Xavier Paul hit a grounder to the second baseman, Espinosa thought he could get the quick Robinson out at home. He couldn't, and the Reds had a run that they wouldn't relinquish, all thanks to the speed and smarts of Derrick Robinson.
- In the first inning, XP got on with an infield single that deflected off of Strasburg's glove into no-man's land. Votto walked (duh) and then BP got on board with another infield single. Jay Hova slapped a curveball the other way to score two with a double. Frazier then scored BP with another grounder. That's three runs with one ball out of the infield. Lucky, sure, but that's baseball. Reds 3, Nationals 0.
- In the top of the second, Ian Desmond doubled on a fastball and then Espinosa got aboard on a four-pitch walk. Kurt Suzuki delivered a hanging slider into the seats to tie the game at 3.
- The aces traded sketchily-drawn goose eggs until the sixth. The aforementioned Key Play eventually brought around Robinson. After Votto moved runners to 2nd and 3rd with a productive out, Brandon Phillips singled the ball past Zimmerman to score Choo. Strasburg then came out - he threw 114 pitches - and Ryan Mattheus promptly gave up a single to Bruce for a Great American Insurance Run to put the Reds ahead 6-3.
- The Nationals done got bullpen'd
- Joel got the heck out of his book slogged. Go buy that book before you die and ironically have to take it down to only 99 things.
- While you're at it, go read the SlydePress Season Preview to see how right/wrong we may have been so far!
- Rumors also exist of a -MBP sighting during a foul ball.
- Cozart and Hanigan are the only players that could reasonably be considered "scuffling" at this early part of the season. They both took ohfers today.
- Although Bruce is held captive (with a long-term deal) the crowd's been inactive. In Cincinnati, the tenements we call Rome, that makes perfect sense. Let's hope this season, like a bat out of Hell, time has come forJay.