The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Look, I know J.J. Hoover allowed a honker to get wanged in a late-and-close situation, and I know it ultimately cost the Reds any legitimate chance to win this game. That's what happened, and it sucked.
But the fact is, I've been hesitant to dote on Hoover for the last month while he was on his four-thousand consecutive scoreless inning streak because of superstition unwritten rules and blah blah blah. Well, now that's over, and I'm sure he'll turn the page, but the Hoov gets the nod tonight based upon a month's worth of spectacularism that saw him be the primary component who picked up the pieces of the bullpen and gorilla glued them back together.
So props, Hoov, and forget about this here night and that there Paul Goldschmidt pronto, K? You've been as dominant over the last 3 months as any reliever in baseball, and you'll pick that back up pretty dang quickly.
Don't shave the beard, though. That stays.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Alfredo Simon, who came in on short notice for an injured Tony Cingrani and tossed 2.1 hitless, scoreless innings; Chris Heisey, who went all BOOMSTICK on an otherwise untouchable Patrick Corbin; and Brandon Phillips, for timing his semi-lackadaisical error perfectly with the booth's commentary on how both teams were completely locked in and focused on a big, playoff-defining series.
- Hoo-Wee Spaghetti poured tomato sauce on the first 10 batters he faced, and he didn't even give them the pleasure of a few splashes of parmesan cheese to go with it. Unfortunately, he left a pitch that looked a little too much like a juicy tortellini up in the zone to Martin Prado, and the Arizona 3B launched a solo bat-flip over the wall in LF. Two batters later, Cingrani was pulled due to a lower back issue, and somewhere Cy Schourek shed a few hairy tears. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Things moved along in vintage pitchers' duel fashion as Simon and Corbin polished off plate appearances as if they were Jake and Elwood out on the town, but the Reds ran into a bit of trouble in the Top of the 8th. Sam LeCure, who had already tossed a scoreless 7th, got Cliff Pennington out to start the frame, but walked the pitcher and allowed back to back singles to load the bases in front of Goldschmidt before being pulled in favor of Hoover. Hoover then groover'd one, and the NL RBI leader Posey'd one to break things open. Reds trailed, 5-0.
- Zack Cozart led off the Bottom of the 8th with a single, and pinch-hitter Heisey launched a 2-run Ecto-Cooler to give the Reds one last gasp, but that was, unfortunately, that. Reds lose, 5-2.
Fangraph Section that Looks Very Similar to the Average Single Guy's Night at the Bar on Fridays by WPA
- Tony Cingrani got hurt, and that sucks. It's going to take some creativity to finagle any future pitching option other than Greg Reynolds, who also pitched today and is on the right rotation, but let's just hope that Cingrani won't need to miss more than a start or two. Puh-leeze.
- Look, I love J.J. Hoover, I love the trade that brought him to Cincinnati, and I love the streak he's been on...but with the bases loaded in the 8th inning against one of the 3 or 4 frontrunners for the NL MVP in a game with potential playoff implications, it's Aroldis Chapman time. It just is...or it just should be.
- Patrick Corbin is good. Really, really good. His performance tonight formed quite the impressive bookend to his 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER performance against the Reds in June.
- Eh, whatever. This Reds' team is still kick-ass, and they're still gonna win the next 2, take this series, and Colquitt this Diamondbacks team out of playoff contention altogether. Sit down and simmer to some Champagne and Wine, whydoncha?