The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Hey! Some offense! While 4 runs and 11 hits doesn't exactly sound descriptive of a juggernaut, seeing even that kind of league-average production was a welcome change from how the Reds' bats have performed of late. Leading that charge was today's JNMHSotG winner, Brandon Phillips, who launched a solo HR during his 3 for 5 day at the plate. We've covered Phillips' slump over and over again as he's struggled to get going following being hit on the wrist nearly two months ago, but hopefully today righted his ship as the big series against the Cardinals looms.
A big, big Honorable Mention is due to Homer Bailey, who flirted with a CG shutout before having his defense let him down a bit in the 9th. Bailey was back to his dominant self after having gone 0-4 with a 4.68 ERA since his no-hitter against the Giants, and today he finished 8.1 innings while allowing just 6 hits, no walks, and no earned runs while striking out 7 Padres.
- Brandon Phillips took advantage of soft-tossing lefty Eric Stults during his first AB of the game, as he smashed straight out of his slump with his first HR since July 2nd, a solo twerkpiece that cleared the wall in left-center in a hurry in the Top of the 2nd. Reds led, 1-0.
- Homer Bailey cruised through the early portion of the game, but after Stults allowed the solo HR to Phillips, he settled down and was effective thanks, in part, to some poor baserunning yet again by the Reds. Stults' defense failed him in the Top of the 7th, however, and the Reds' bats finally took advantage. Zack Cozart led off with a single and moved to 2B two batters later on a sac bunt by Homer Bailey. Derrick Robinson then followed with a grounder that 3B Chase Headley made a nifty play on, but fortunately for the Reds Headley's throw was errant, leaving Robinson on 1B. Chris Heisey followed with a single to left that plated Cozart, and Joey Votto earned his first paycheck in forever with an RBI double that scored both Robinson and Heisey. Reds led, 4-0.
- Homer Bailey had mowed through the Padres order through the first 8 innings, and Dusty Baker opted to bring him back out to pitch the 9th despite Bailey's pitch count already having cleared the 100 mark. Bailey got Everth Cabrera to hit a grounder to the right side, but Joey Votto booted it for his 12th error of the season. After Chris Denorfia flied out, Chase Headley followed with a double to the wall that scored Cabrera and chased Bailey. Aroldis Chapman was brought in, and he coaxed a high flyout from Yonder Alonso before striking out Jesus Guzman to finish things off. Reds win, 4-1!
FanGraph Section That Finally Is Pleasantly Boring Rather than Eye-Gougingly Boring
- The Reds will head back East this evening and will mercifully wrap up a long, up and down road trip that ultimately ended with them winning 5 and losing 6. The Reds have had just 3 home games in their last 20, and that coupled with All Star Game travel for several of the guys means they really haven't had much time at home at all. Thursday's off-day sets up well before a big, big home series against St. Louis starting Friday.
- Zack Cozart went 4 for 10 with 2 walks in the series in San Diego, so there's that.
- Chris Heisey pitched in with a SSS .864 OPS in his one week of June baseball, and his 2 for 5 day today bumped his July OPS over .900 in 66 PA, and it's not driven by freak BABIP, either. I think it's safe to say that when Ryan Ludwick returns, which could happen as early as this weekend, you'll see Heisey split time with him in LF initially and get starts in CF when the Reds face a LHP. I think there's even a chance the Reds will keep Derrick Robinson and DFA Xavier Paul.
- Tunecappin'? Tunecappin'!
- Hopefully this gets the Reds back to groovin'.