The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Offense of the Game
The Reds offense wins this one. Not the Cubs.
Where do I begin? Well, Joey Votto, Todd Frazier, Xavier Paul, and Zack Cozart hit HRs, Jay Bruce went 3 for 5 with a double, Ryan Hanigan walked, Cesar Izturis had a pinch hit double, Cozart drove in 4 runs, Jack Hannahan had a pinch hit, Shin-Soo Choo picked up a single and didn't get plunked, Hoo-Wee Spaghetti picked up 2 hits and was on base 3 times, and a Partridge in a Pear tree.
Oh, yeah...that guy! Tony Cingrani should probably get the nod, I suppose, as he returned to big league action with a perfect OBP and 7 innings of 2 run ball pitched. There's always the worry that as Cingrani rolls through seeing teams multiple times his lack of secondary pitches will be unlocked, but this was the third time he's faced Chicago and still managed to be borderline dominant. That bodes quite well for the young lefty, I suppose; either that, or the Cubs are just a miserable baseball team right now.
- Go hit the restroom and get your popcorn ready before jumping into this section; it's going to take a while.
- Todd Frazier opened the ledger in the Top of the 2nd, as he finally flew one to the moon for the first time in over 120 PAs. Reds led, 1-0.
- In the Top of the 3rd, things got sort of screwy as Cingrani reached on an infield hit, and all-awesomesauce leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo was tasked with sacrificing him to 3B so that Zack Cozart could attempt to drive him in. Yep, you read that correctly. Cozart couldn't get the job done, unfortunately, but fortunately, Joey Votto could. Votto Vottosmashed a Garzaderp the other way over the LF wall, and looked plenty grown up doing so. Reds led, 3-0.
- The Cubs small balled a run across in the Bottom of the 4th, but blah blah blah blah who cares about them in a 12-2 masterpiece? Reds led, 3-1.
- The Reds took Garza to school in the Top of the 6th and attempted to show him what grown ups look like (no word on whether he listened, though). Votto and Phillips reached on a single and a walk to lead things off, and Jay Bruce followed with an opposite field double to score the both. That was awesome. Todd Frazier was then hit by a pitch, and Xavier Paul followed with a 3-run re-boot that nearly CTRL-ALT-DELETE'd my living room. Ryan Hanigan then walked, Garza exited to go grow up a bit, and Zack Cozart then singled 2 batters later to score Hanny. All told, the Reds led, 9-1.
- Cody Ransom hit a solo blah blah blah blah in the Bottom of the 6th. Whatever. In the Top of the 8th, Zack Cozart hit a 3 run Jozy Altidore that scored Hannahan, who had singled, and Choo, who had doubled. Curtis "C.K." Partch was summoned to shut the door, and shut the door he did in the 9th. Reds win, 12-2!
FanGraph Section So Boring It Makes You Forget How Boring It Is to Watch Matt Garza Pitch
- Tonight marks the 11th consecutive win for the Reds in Wrigley Field. I'm not going to look that up, but I'm guessing that's one of the longest win streaks by any team in Wrigley history...Cubs included, of course.
- More Otis? MOAR OTIS!
- I'm not about to draw a full, 100% comparison, but I'd be totally shocked if someone interviewed Curtis Partch and found out that Norm Charlton wasn't his idol growing up. Partch is a righty, of course, but the hair, the soul-pa(r)tch, the gas, and the way he sets up on the mound is damn near a mirror image of The Sheriff.
- What the hell. It's a Motown invasion tonight. Detroit always appreciates when Chicago gets pooped on.
- After tonight's performance, Zack Cozart is hitting roughly .280/.310/.405 from the 2-spot in the Reds lineup. I'll reiterate: that's not ideal, no, but it's far from being as alarming as it seemed just a few weeks ago. Roll with it people, it's gonna happen (said in my best/worst Ladies Man voice.)
- Sam Cooke, y'all!