The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Michael Jeffery Jordan Leake wasn't as dominant as he has been at times this season, but he was easily effective enough to take home today's JNMHSotG. Leake threw 8.1 innings of 2 ER ball, and despite walking 4 Brewers, he was pitch efficient enough to enter the 9th inning with fewer than 100 pitches thrown. Leake dropped his ERA to 2.69 in the process, and now leads the Reds' staff in both ERA and IP this season. Not bad for a guy that BK thought should be in AAA to start the season (sorry, Boss!).
Honorable Mentions are due to: Shin-Soo Choo, who was on base 4 of 5 times with 3 hits, a double, and 2 runs scored; Brandon Phillips, who was 2 for 5 with 3 RBI and continues to produce runs as if he was a tangible P-Doc article; Jay Bruce, who was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and a walk; and Joey Votto, who had a ho-hum 1 for 3 day with a double and 2 walks.
- The Reds worked quickly to erase the memory of last night's shutout, as Choo led off with a ground-rule double in the Top of the 1st. Two batters later, Phillips singled to right, and Choo came around to score. The Brewers did their best to replicate things, though, as Logan Schafer led off their half of the inning with a double, and after a Jean Segura single, Carlos Gomez hit a sac fly to score Schafer. Game tied, 1-1.
- The Reds small-balled their way to runs in the Top of the 2nd and Top of the 3rd, too. In the 2nd, Jay Bruce led off with a single, moved to 2B when Todd Frazier was HBP, Xavier Paul walked, and Devin Mesoraco hit a sac fly to plate Bruce before Leake grounded into an inning ending double play. In the 3rd, Choo walked but was out at 2nd on a Fielder's choice that left Zack Cozart at 1B, and after Joey Votto doubled to the corner in LF, Phillips hit a ground that scored Cozart. Reds led, 3-1.
- Johnny Hellweg walked the first two batters he faced in the Top of the 5th, and Phillips hit a grounder that forced Votto at 2B and left Cozart at 3B and Phillips at 1B. Donovan Hand was summoned from the bullpen, but a Jay Bruce grounder got Cozart to score. Reds led, 4-1.
- Sean Halton led off the Bottom of the 5th with his 1st career Major League HR, but that was all the Brewers offense could muster. RBI singles by Phillips and Bruce in the Top of the 7th made things 6-2, and Mike Leake retired 13 consecutive Brewers' batters before a bloop single in the Bottom of the 9th sent him to the bench. Aroldis Chapman came on throwing fuego caliente and sat down the Brewers in order. Reds win, 6-2!
FanGraph Section That Will Make You Forget More Recent FanGraph Sections
- In very 2011 fashion, the Reds outscored the Brewers 9-8 in the series and lost 2 out of 3 games.
- Mark Sheldon caught up with Chris Heisey before the game to ask him about his bruised arm (after he was hit by a Wily Peralta fastball and removed from the game last night). Apparently, it was quite swollen this morning, but a pressure sleeve and some rubs and tickles from the Reds' training staff made it feel much better by this afternoon. Heisey does not expect to miss any additional time.
- The Reds got their leadoff batter on base in each of the game's first 7 innings.
- Zack Cozart was 0 for 4 with 2 runs scored. That's so Zack Cozart.
- Brandon Phillips (67) and Jay Bruce (62) have combined for 129 RBI this season, the most by any combination in the National League this year. Just keep walking, Joey, and all will be fine.
- Brandon Phillips has a .728 OPS, good for just 46th in the NL, yet has the 3rd most RBI in the NL. The most RBI by any player with a lower OPS than Brandon is Daniel Murphy of the Mets with 37 (.689 OPS). Lineup construction FTW!
- To the ATL we roll.