Good Guys Win Ace-Off. Reds 7, Cardinals 2.

Ace of Base-ball. - David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

When the Cardinals throw Adam Wainwright at the Reds' lineup, they're going to have a bad day.

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Mat Latos had himself quite an afternoon, and for that, he gets the fame and acclaim of being today's JNMHSotG.  Latos had two perfect bunts - good enough to win the award on its own - but his pitchy pitchitudeness netted him his first complete game of 2013, and I suppose that helps his cause just a bit, too.

Latos wrapped up a nice & tidy day at the ball park with an even 100 pitches thrown, 2 runs allowed, and just 4 Cardinal hits to pick up his fourth career complete game.  Latos struck out just two St. Louis batters, which is rather uncommon for the Reds' ace, but that contributed to his low pitch count and ability to go the distance.  Latos now sits at 14-5 with a 2.98 ERA on the season, and he'll likely have five more chances to get to his 15th win of the season, which would be both a career high and enough to make Brian Kenny print a thousand more t-shirts.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Zack Cozart, who continued his hot-hitting of late with a 2 for 3 day that included 2 runs scored and a walk; Ryan Ludwick, who was 2 for 5 with an RBI and a HEAD FIRST SLIDE TO MAKE A CATCH OH MY LORD WHAT WAS HE DOING; Jay Bruce, who was 2 for 3 with 2 doubles, 2 walks, and a walk-induced RBI from the cleanup spot that surely made Marty's blood-a-boil; Joey Votto, for Vottosmashing; Todd Frazier, for a 2 for 4 #HighSocks evening; and Shin-Soo Choo, for going 2 for 5 and scoring twice from the leadoff spot.

Every Red who came to bat got on base today except Latos, who bunted as bunty as one can bunt.

Key Plays

  • For the second consecutive start against Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals, the Reds' offense burst out of the dugout swinging early and often.  Choo led off the Bottom of the 1st with a single, moved to 2B on a bunt from Brandon Phillips (of his own volition), moved to 3B on a productive grounder from Votto, and scored on a Ryan Ludwick single following a walk to Jay Bruce.  Reds led, 1-0.
  • Team #HighSocks went to work for the Reds in the Bottom of the 2nd.  Frazier hit a ground rule double to right center, and he scored when Zack Cozart followed with a single up the middle.  Latos' sacrifice moved Cozy to 2B, but that didn't really matter since Choo bacca'd for the second consecutive afternoon.  Reds led, 4-0.
  • The Cardinals scraped across two runs in the Top of the 3rd to make a game of it, however.  A double from Wainwright was followed by a double from Matt Carpenter for the first, and Carpenter scored two batters later courtesy of a Matt Holliday sac fly.  Reds led, 4-2.
  • The Reds got one back in the Bottom of the 3rd, though, thanks in large part to a leadoff double from Bruce.  The NL leader in extra base hits moved to 3B two batters later on a single from Devin Mesoraco, and he then scored on a single from Frazier.  Reds led, 5-2.
  • In the Bottom of the 4th, Joey Votto choked up and hit a laser the other way that just cleared the wall for his 21st HR of the year.  Unfortunately, there were no runners on base at the time, so it was no more important than one of the 73 grounders up the middle from Brandon Phillips that happened with Choo on 3B.  Then, in the Bottom of the 8th, the Reds were greeted by their good friend, former draft pick, and former Milwaukee Brewers' closer John Axford, and he proceeded to do what he does when pitching in GABP:  watch his ERA rise.  Cozart led off with a single and moved to 2B on a Latos sacrifice.  Choo lined out to left, Phillips walked, and Randy Choate was summoned to pitch to the back to back lefties in the middle of the Reds' lineup.  No matter.  Votto walked, and Bruce coaxed a bases loaded walk to plate Cozart.  Reds led, 7-2.
  • Latos proceeded to breeze through the rest of the Cardinals offense, allowing just one hit after the 4th inning, and wrapped things up in style himself.  Reds win, 7-2!

FanGraph That, If Eaten, Would Probably Taste as Good as What's On Your Grill Right Now.  Maybe Better.

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Mat Latos will not win the National League Cy Young Award this season because Clayton Kershaw is completely an alien robot plesiosaur dynamo Koufax, but there's every reason to believe that he may well finish 2nd.  He entered today's game 4th in fWAR among NL pitchers, behind only Matt Harvey (out for the season), Kershaw, and Wainwright.  Yasmani who?  Yonder what?
  • Unfortunately, the Brewers.  The Reds' NL Central compatriots, who are 6-4 in their last 10 vs. the Reds, are currently losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates on the heels of being 1-10 w/RISP on the afternoon.  Can we loan them BP for a day?
  • The Reds and Cardinals will continue their series tomorrow at 7:10 EST with Homer Bailey facing Michael Wacha Wacha Wacha.  Until then, get outside and grill a burger and throw something at someone who will throw that something back at you.  Do it barefoot, even.  Partially sober if you wish.
  • You're outside, I'm going outside as soon as I finish this, and that means good ol' 'Murrica tunes, right?  Right.

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