The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
With one out in the Bottom of the 9th, Ryan Hanigan hit a double to the wall off Dodgers' reliever Ronald Belisario to bring Zack Cozart, who had singled, around to score the game winner; that, along with Hanigan's general awesomeness, was good enough to allow the Reds' veteran catcher to garner tonight's JNMHSotG. Hanigan's walk-off double gave the Reds a three game sweep of the Dodgers and put the finishing touches on a week that saw the Reds take 6 of 7 against the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers, two future National League playoff particpants. Mmmm...it feels good, doesn't it?
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jay Bruce, who mauled a pair of Clayton Kershaw pitches into the RF seats to provide the bulk of the Reds' offense this evening; Homer Bailey, for going toe to toe with the probable NL Cy Young winner for 7 strong innings; Shin-Soo Choo, for persisting in his chase for the NL OBP crown with a 1 for 1, 2 BB evening; and Aroldis Chapman, whose pitching made the ESPN announcers feel kinda funny...like when they used to climb the rope in gym class.
- Part of the criticism of Jay Bruce throughout his young career has centered on his lack of adjustment to pitches based on who he's facing or what the count dictates; sometimes, he just seems to swing, and swing hard, regardless of scenario. Sometimes, that burns him and sends him back to the dugout frustrated; sometimes, it means he hits a pitch from Clayton Kershaw harder and farther than anyone in months, though, which is precisely what happened in the Bottom of the 2nd when he launched a solo blast out to RF. Reds led, 1-0.
- The Dodgers mounted a quick 2-out rally in the Top of the 4th, however, as Adrian Gonzalez singled and scored a batter later on a double by Hanley Ramirez. Game tied, 1-1.
- Bruce struck right back in the Bottom of the 4th with his second perfect-hair-bomb of the evening, another solo shot to put the Reds ahead, 2-1.
- Homer cruised into the Top of the 7th without being further inflicted upon, but he hung a breaking ball into the zone against Hanley, who launched it well over the wall in LF to equalize. After Zach Duke, JJ Hoover, and Aroldis Chapman kept the Dodger bats at bay, the Reds took aim at the sweep in the Bottom of the 9th. Cozart hit a one out single, and Hanigan followed immediately with a double to the wall that brought the Reds' SS around for the game winner. Reds win, 3-2!
FanGraph Section That WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
- Well, hey there fun September stretch-run division chase baseball!
- Did someone predict a Reds sweep of this series? I'm pretty sure someone predicted a Reds sweep of this series.
- The Reds are now technically tied for 2nd place with the Pirates by one metric; they've played 2 more games than their Pittsburghian rivals, though, so the Bucs still hold a better win %.
- That's an amazing weekend of baseball, chaps.