The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Did anyone not bunt?
Joey Votto didn't bunt, I don't think, but he went 0 for 7 (!!!) with a boneheaded error (again), so not him.
Chris Heisey tried to bunt with two outs, but didn't, so I guess that's not a bunt, but Choo thought it was a bunt, or didn't, or simply didn't think at all and got thrown out between 3B and home as the winning run, so not them.
Brandon Phillips, well, he bunted with a runner on and nobody out in the Bottom of the 15th, but he also reached a mythical arbitrary number in a stat nobody should care about. Huh. That's a dilemma. Does he get dap for being a run driver-inner, or crap for being a run driver-inner who opted to bunt when there was a run to drive-in?
Enough. Billy Hamilton gets the nod, as he stole a crucial base and scored from second on a dribbling single up the middle from Zack Cozart, who gets some honorable mention for his 2 for 7 evening despite also trying to bunt. Phillips gets some dap, too, for his solo rally-killer, as does Ryan Ludwick for a then-clutch PH single and Todd Frazier for going 2 for 5. Bronson Arroyo deserves some love, too, for tossing 7 innings of 2 ER baseball. So do J.J. Hoover, Zach Duke, and Aroldis Chapman for tossing zeroes from the pen.
That just seems like an absurd amount of honor for a game that was so easily fumbled away. I'll let you pass judgement as to why.
The Reds had a lot of chances to win, but opted to bunt them away. They also threw righties at Matt Adams twice in extra innings, and when you do that, you're going to have a bad day. No lefties left? Dang. Adams had hit LHP at just a .216 rate with a .622 OPS coming into tonight, and he'd bee 2 for his last 27 overall, OPS'd just .526 since the All Star break, and oh my god why did the Reds keep bunting. And bunting. And bunting, and bunting, and bunting.
Anyway, Matt Adams crushed a low fastball off Alfredo Simon in the Top of the whatever ungodly inning it was to give St. Louis a 4-3 lead. The Reds scraped that run back, though, after Ludwick led off with a single, Billy Hamilton ran for him and stole 2B, and Cozart singled up the middle to bring Hamiltucky around to score. We were all happy, even though Cozart had tried to bunt with Billy on base. Why? WHY? Things then got juicy in the Bottom of the whatever that last inning was plus one when Choo singled to lead off the inning, moved to second via bunty bunting, and waltzed to 3B on a Votto notabunt. Then, brains melted and bags of goo were processed as brain cells, as Chris Heisey tried a bunt...a 2 out bunt...a 2 out bunt in the Bottom of the billionth inning with the winning run on 3B...and missed, and Choo went all gobbledywhathehell and was picked off/caught off/thrown out/run down by Molina and Carpenter.
Then Matt Adams hit another homer in the Top of the whatever ungodly inning it was plus one plus one, and the Reds went meekly...sans bunts, finally...in the Bottom of said inning. Reds lose, 5-4.
FanGraph Section That NEEDS MOAR BUNTS
- That felt like snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The Reds can ill-afford losses like that with so few games remaining.
- I just don't even whatever.
- I mean, come on.
- The Reds bunted so much, I completely forgot the pinch-hitting of a bunter for a catcher just to replace said pinch bunter with a different player later...and then having him bunt innings later. BUNTS.
Pirates lost, so OK, but not OK, since the Reds are running out of time for a 5 game swing.
- There's only one song for this.