The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Mike Leake, as he should, gets the nod again tonight after his 7 inning, 1 run performance. Leake moved to 7-3 on the season, which means nothing, of course, but becomes slightly relevant at this point of the season if you care at all about All-Star game performance. Leake's 2.64 ERA now ranks him not just at the top of the Reds staff, but also puts him on the cusp of being in the Top 10 in the NL. Couple that with his 7 wins being in the Top 10 of the NL also, and you suddenly realize the opportunity for Leake to gain an NL All-Star spot as a realistic one. Fortunately for the bottom line, Leake doesn't have a clause in his contract with bonuses for All-Star performances, but all props to him for putting himself in the mix for a spot in the rotation. Good on ya, Michael.
Cozart, for what it's worth, is now out-slugging Devin Mesoraco on the season.
- After three innings of impeccable pitching by both Mike Leake and Francisco Liriano, the Reds broke the seal in the Bottom of the 4th. Zack Cozart, famed 2nd hole hitter who has been incapable of hitting 7th in the lineup, thumpjam'd a hanging Lirianoderp off the face of the 2nd deck. Reds led, 1-0.
- The Pirates leveled in the Top of the 6th when they threatened to threaten, but threatening with small ball was spare change in this battle tonight. Alex Presley singled but was out at 2nd on an Andrew McCutchen grounder, and McCutchen later scored on a Russell Martin double that Jay Bruce couldn't come up with cleanly off a slide. Game tied, 1-1.
- From there, the big boy bats in the Reds' lineup took over. Todd Frazier flew yet another one to the moon and let it play among the stars in the Bottom of the 6th, and in the Bottom of the 8th, big boppers Joey Votto and Jay Bruce both went all opposmash off of Pirates' reliever Bryan Morris to extend the lead to 4-1. After Sam LeCure and Tony Cingrani combined to shut doown the 'rates in the 8th, Aroldis Chapman AroldisChapman'd the 9th, and that was that. Reds win, 4-1!
Solo-Job Driven FanGraph Section
- The HRs hit by Cozart and Frazier were the first allowed by Pirates pitcher Francisco Lirano all season.
- Chris Conroy had as bad of a game calling balls and strikes as I've seen all year. Perhaps the destroyed bullpen situation made my eyes slightly more aware, but he missed no fewer than 3 very evident 3rd strike calls tonight. Dang.
- Today marks my totally kick-ass Dad's 66th birthday, and therefore I'm listening to some tunes he totally enjoys and, thankfully, taught me to enjoy at an early age.
- Mas Papa KMiB tunes!
- And again!
- One more Papa KMiB tune for the road. Happy birthday, Dad!