The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Todd Frazier got the game winning hit, so Todd Frazier gets the JNMHSotG. While we all love Todd (and know his single was clutchy and awesome and winny), we all know the Old Lefthander would also make sure he tracked down Billy Hamilton to shower him with dap. Hamilton has still yet to pick up a bat and face a pitcher in a Major League game, yet he's already impacted more Reds' wins than nearly any other member of the roster. Hamilton's steal and out-running of Puig was the defining moment of the game, and it pulled the Reds within 1.5 games of first place in the NL Central.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Cesar Izturis, who had this award in the bag before a game-winner was needed thanks to his 3 for 5 day at the plate in Brandon Phillips' stead; Joey Votto, who has put his recent 0 for 13 "slump" well out of mind, and whose 2 for 2, 3 BB day has stretched his consecutive times-on-base-streak to 9; and Mat Latos, who tossed 7 steady innings, allowing just 3 ER to the potent Dodgers offense.
Baseball is fun, y'all. Games like this are the reason.
- Mat Latos struggled a bit with his command early today, and the Dodgers were able to capitalize on it. Latos hit Yasiel Puig with one out in the Top of the 1st, Adrian Gonzalez followed with a single, and Hanley Ramirez then singled to score Puig. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Zack Greinke had similar problems getting out of the gate, and the Reds took advantage of his early issues, too. Izturis singled with one out, and Votto followed with a single up the middle. Jay Bruce then went the other way for a single that brought Izturis around to score, and Ryan Ludwick lined a single to LF that brought Votto around to score. Reds led, 2-1.
- Unfortunately, Puig Puig'd in the Top of the 2nd. AJ Ellis singled to start the inning, moved to 2B on a sac bunt from Greinke, and moved to 3B on a ground out from Carl Crawford. Puig then battled Latos, fouling off two pitches before the Reds' right-hander left a 2-strike breaking ball over enough of the plate and the Dodgers' rookie lined a laser of a HR over the wall in LF. Reds trailed, 3-2.
- Both Latos and Greinke settled in after the initial offensive displays, and this game evolved into the pitcher's duel we all anticipated at the outset. Greinke kept the Reds from scoring again through his 6 innings, and Latos did the same through his 7. In the Bottom of the 7th, though, the Reds equalized thanks to a single from Shin-Soo Choo and a double immediately afterwards from Izturis off reliever Paco Rodriguez. Game tied, 3-3.
- Chris Heisey led off the Reds' half of the 9th with a walk off of J.P. Howell, and Reds fans everywhere joined A.J. Ellis' diaper in anticipating Billy Hamilton coming in to run for him...but that didn't happen. A series of predictable sac bunts and intentional walks ensued, and a once promising start to the inning was ended with a Jay Bruce strikeout. Fortunately for the Reds, nearly the exact same scenario played out in the Bottom of the 10th. Brian Wilson's beard thought it would be fun, fun, fun to walk Ryan Ludwick to lead off the inning, and Billy emerged from the dugout to run for the Reds' regular LF. Billy looked at Wilson, told him "I get around," and promptly stole 2B when Ellis failed in his attempt to muster a throw that would've been late anyway. Todd Frazier, who had already attempted a bunt because, well, of course he did, then lined a low fastball to Yasiel Puig and his robot arm, but Billy sped through third and slid in with the game's winning run. Reds win, 4-3!
FanGraph Section That's a Fraction of How Variable My Heart Rate Was in the 10th
- ALLZ THE BUNTZ!
- David Dewitt Bailey will toe the rubber opposite probably National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw tomorrow night on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball game at 8:00 PM ET. I suggest you watch.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals are set to further muddy the NL Central race tonight around 7 PM ET. I suggest you watch, or at least boo them both without watching.
- WOO! On top of the world!