The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It was star-by-committee today as the top of the lineup combined to be thoroughly effective today. Shin-Soo Choo hit his 5th HR of the season, walked, and scored twice, and Joey Votto was on base in 3 of his 5 PAs (including a double); and say what you will about Zack Cozart, but today he was far from the problem, as he went 1 for 3 with 2 walks, a run scored, and an RBI single. Cozart was abysmal, awful, terrible, and nearly embarrassing to start the season in the 7th spot in the lineup, and while we all know he shouldn't be hitting 2nd, he's been much better there than anyone was at leadoff last season. After today, Cozart's hitting roughly .250/.300/.375 from the 2nd spot in the lineup, and he's on pace for 21 HR and 73 RBI. Yes, things could be better, but it's not the end of the world.
Hat tip to Tony Cingrani, who struck out 5, walked 1, and allowed just 3 hits over his 6 IP; sure, two of those hits were HRs to Soriano, and yes, he hit two guys, but that's not a terrible performance for a guy without his best stuff. With the news that Johnny Cueto may be delayed further in his comeback, it's good to see Cingrani still being effective.
- Shin-Soo Choo opened the game with his 7th career leadoff HR, his 5th HR of this 2013 season. Unfortunately, the Cubs struck back in the Bottom of the 1st after Tony Cingrani hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch and Alfonso Soriano followed with a 2-run shot. Reds trailed, 2-1.
- The Reds leveled in the Top of the 3rd, though, after Choo walked, advanced to 2nd on a throwing error by Jeff Samardzija, and scored on a single by Zack "MVP/GG" Cozart. Game tied, 2-2.
- Cingrani was touched up again in the Bottom of the 3rd. Former Red Dave Sappelt led off the inning with a walk, and after he was out on a double play, Rizzo doubled to deep CF, and Soriano followed with his 2nd 2-run HR of the game. Reds trailed, 4-2.
- Thankfully for the Reds, Cingrani settled down and finished out his 6 IP without allowing any additional damage. Also, thankfully, the Cubs decided it would be a good idea to let Carlos Marmol pitch for them in the 8th. Fistpump. Marmol proceeded to walk Cozart and Votto, and then hit Brandon Phillips to load the bases. Hector Rondon was brought in to put out that fire and failed quite Cubs-ly, throwing 11 balls in his first 14 pitches. Jay Bruce singled to drive in Cozart, and Frazier followed with a sac-fly to plate Votto. Jack Hannahan pinch-hit for Corky Miller and walked to score Phillips after Xavier Paul was intentionally walked to re-load the bases. Devin Mesoraco then hit a sac fly to score Bruce. Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman did what they're paid to do (hit RBIs from the 3rd spot in the lineup, duh), and that was that. Reds win, 6-4!
- I love playing the Cubs. Isn't it fun?
- "Corky Miller, Reds' starting catcher..." is still awesome to say. Go ahead, say it out loud. Now say it again.
- It's Kentucky Derby Day, and despite the hilarisad weather in Louisville right now, I'm excited for today's race. I put my money down on a nice little Trifecta box with Normandy Invasion, Mylute, and Palace Malice on my ticket. Grab yourself a good bourbon whiskey bottle and julep yourself.