The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Brandon Phillips struggled for the better part of 2 months, and his struggles augmented a Reds' slide that saw them slip well back in the NL Central standings, but over the last 10 games, he's thankfully turned the offense back on. Tonight was a big portion of that, as BP went 3 for 6 tonight, also chipping in with an early RBI and, rather shockingly, two SBs. I'm not sure I want him running the bases any more than necessary at this point in his career, but thankfully he wasn't tossed out tonight. Props to BeeP, and hopefully he continues his offensive up-tick as the Reds hit the stretch run.
Honorable Mentions are due to: J.J. Hoover, who bearded his way through 2.1 innings of scoreless relief tonight and looked like he'd kilt him a bear in his free time; Manny Parra, who looked wonderfully spotless in his 1 inning; and Ryan Ludwick, who had a much more fruitful 0 for 0, BB day than the last time he played a game with zero AB and reached via walk.
- The Reds burst out of the gate against Jeff Samardzija, with Shin-Soo Choo leading things off with a patented walk. After a flyout by Todd Frazier, Joey Votto lined a double down the line in RF to leave runners on 2nd and 3rd. Phillips then followed with an RBI single to CF that just got by Starlin Castro, and Jay Bruce followed with a groundout to 2nd to get Votto across. Reds led, 2-0.
- Homer Bailey, unfortunately, had trouble holding leads tonight, and that first came to pass in the Bottom of the 2nd. Former Red Dioner Navarro sucked a single, and Nate followed with a 2-run Schierholtz that was bigger than mine. Game tied, 2-2.
- The Reds did their damnedest to put the Cubs away again in the Top of the 3rd, however, as they struck back quickly for 2 more runs. Joey Votto drew a 1-out walk, Phillips followed with a single, and both advanced on steals to put runners on 2nd and 3rd. Jay Bruce then walked, and his ball four was a wild pitch that allowed Votto to score from 3rd. Xavier Paul then followed with a grounder to score Phillips. Reds led, 4-2.
- Navarro led off the Bottom of the 4th with a solo HR down the line in RF to make it a 4-3 game, and after a grinding Homer Bailey was somewhat surprisingly brought out for the Bottom of the 7th, Donnie Murphy promptly crushed an opposite field HR off of him to tie things up, 4-4. Ugh.
- Things continued to slowly slog along into extra innings, until some vintage Cubsing and, finally, some timely hitting emerged in the Top of the 11th. Ryan Ludwick pinch hit to lead off and drew a walk, and he moved to 2nd on a wild pitch while Devin Mesoraco was trying to bunt. Apparently no longer needing to bunt, Mesoraco re-set in the batter's box and eventually drew a walk, and when Cesar Izturis followed with...you guessed it...another bunt, Donnie Murphy must've thought playing defense was a helluva drug, and he got too frazzed to make the play, thereby loading the bases. Choo followed with a 2-run single, and Aroldis Chapman shut things down in the Bottom half of the 11th. Reds win, 6-4!
FanGraphs Section that Should Really Have Theo Epstein Skiing Off the Cliff in the 10th
- ...streaking? That's 6 wins out of 7 since the duct-tape Brazilian wax given by the Cardinals last Sunday.
- Speaking of those Cardinals, they're currently locked in a 3-3 struggle with fellow NL Central combatant Pittsburgh. It's into the 12th inning, and I don't really care who wins as long as it goes 44 innings.
- It's only, like, the 5th-most Cubs thing to happen this evening, but Alfonso Soriano went 3 for 6 with 2 HR, 6 RBI, and 3 runs scored tonight...for not the Cubs.
- Tunes? Jams!
- Y'all cats know Reds always PLAYTAWIN.