The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
There was solid production up and down the lineup today. Well, the first half of it, at least. Shin-Soo Choo was on base 3 of his 7 times up, Joey Votto picked up a hit and a walk and drove in two, Brandon Phillips had an RBI single, Jay Bruce had a double and three singles, and Devin Mesoraco was 2 for 5 with a walk, RBI, and run scored. Heck, Curtis Partch even pitched in (ha) with 4 scoreless late in the game to keep the game alive.
- The Cubs took the early lead in the Bottom of the 1st, when Alfonso Soriano singled to CF after Starlin Castro had singled and stolen 2B. The Reds, however, struck back immediately in the Top of the 2nd, when Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier led off the inning with back to back singles. Xavier Paul lined sharply to 1B, though, and the Cubs doubled up Frazier. Fortunately, Devin Mesoraco followed with a single to score Bruce, and consecutive singles by Mat Latos and Shin-Soo Choo plated Mesoraco. Reds led, 2-1.
- The Cubs tied things up again in the Bottom of the 4th when Nate Schieholtz led off with a triple and later scored on a single by Beef Wellington Castillo. Once again, however, the Reds struck right back in the next half inning, when Choo led off with a walk, Zack Cozart singled, Joey Votto singled to score Choo, and Brandon Phillips singled to score Cozart. Reds led, 4-2.
- A David DeJesus solo shot in the Bottom of the 5th pulled the Cubs within 1 run, but the Reds got that one back in the Top of the 6th when Choo walked, again, Cozart singled, again, and Votto plated Choo on a "fielder's choice" that was actually DeJesus airballing a catch in CF and getting Cozart at 2nd while Choo came in. Reds led, 5-3.
- Another Schierholtz triple led to a Cubs run when Luis Valbuena plated him with a grounder, and the Reds turned to their bullpen to close things out. Sigh. Sam LeCure got kicked around pretty well in the Bottom of the 8th, though, but somehow managed to escape having allowed just one run thanks to the Cubs doing some serious Cubbing. To extras they went. Game tied, 5-5.
- And there it stayed for way too damn long. As mentioned, Partch blew threw the Cubs for four innings, allowing just one hit and no walks with four Ks. The Reds had a shot in the 12th or so (gameday's play by play log gave up after 11; I don't blame it), but Derrick Robinson struck out on the 10th or so pitch with men on second and third to end the threat.
- Alas, Jonathan Broxton came on in the 14th to pen a Broxtonian conclusion to the marathon. Starlin Castro singled and stole second, then went to third on an Alfonso Soriano grounder. Me and Julio Borbon decided this had gone on long enough, and Borbon mercifully singled in Castro.
Pretty Poor Excuse for a FanGraph That Makes Me Angry Section
- The streak be gone. The Reds had won 12 in a row at Wrigley but couldn't get Baker his dozen.
- Yes, Aroldis Chapman did not appear. I believe he warmed up. So why Broxton over Chapman? Said Dusty: "We didn't want to use Broxton because he was sore. He was our last, last, last resort." Huh.
Ed: Per C Trent, Broxton said he was sore. Was scheduled to have the day off. Told Baker he could pitch one inning.
- The Reds head back to Cincinnati to begin a three game set against the struggling Milwaukee Brewers. Bronson Arroyo will take the hill opposite Kyle Lohse, with first pitch set for 7:10 ET.
- Today marked the 5th time this season that the bullpen has blown a save where Mat Latos was in line for a victory. Latos didn't have his best stuff today, but that's still got to be a bit annoying for the big righty.
- Hot Jams? Hot Jams.
- It appeared to the broadcast team that Jonathan Broxton was unavailable to pitch today for an undisclosed reason. Obviously, he did pitch. So maybe we shouldn't be so hard on the big fella.
- Daddy's heading to Park City to see my step-sis get married this weekend. Y'all have fun without me!