The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Mike Leake took matters entirely into his own hands this evening, shutting down the Pittsburgh Pirates' offense while simultaneously proving that his 2014 baseball card wasn't deceiving, and for that he earns tonight's JNMHSotG. Leake allowed just 3 runs during his 6.2 IP, struck out 8, walked just 1, and honked a donker as part of his 2 for 3 evening at the plate. For the season, he's now outslugging that bum Joey Votto .667 to .571. Good on ya, Mike.
Honorable Mentions are due to: said bum Joey Votto, who went 4 for 4 at the plate with a walk, run scored, and RBI; Todd Frazier, who went 1 for 3 with a walk, 2 runs scored, a HR, and 2 'tBI; and Devin Mesoraco, who went 3 for 4 with a pair of 'tBI to continue his torrid start to the season.
- The Pirates hit the board first thanks to a Pedro Alvarez walk (what?) and stolen base (what what?) to lead off the Top of the 2nd. Alvarez moved to 3B on a ground out by Neil Walker, and he came in to score when Goby Sonchez songled on a hord loner off the woll in left field. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- The Reds first crossed the plate for the first time in the Bottom of the 3rd when Leake led off with a double, moved to 3B on a no-out, 3rd inning bunt...a no-out, 3rd inning bunt...a no-out 3rd inning bunt by Chris Heisey, and came home on a Votto single up the middle on a pitch that broke his bat off right at the handle. Game tied, 1-1.
- The Pirates got that run back immediately with a pair of singles and a derp in the Top of the 4th. McCutchen and Alvarez led off with one-baggers, and when Russell Martin hit one back to the pitcher, Leake threw a would-be double play ball into CF, which allowed McCutchen to score. Leake wiggled out of the jam with just one allowed, but the Reds trailed, 2-1.
- The Reds entered the Bottom of the 6th still trailing by a run, but they finally got to Gerrit Cole as he went through the lineup for a third time. Jay Bruce walked to lead off the inning, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and then scored when Frazier flew one to the Bloodmoon in RF. Mesoraco singled an out later, and Leake followed with a laser dinger over the wall in LF for his first HR since 2012. Reds led, 5-2.
- A single by Walker and a doble by Goby Sonchez started the Top of the 7th, and a Jordy Mercer sac fly to deep center plated Walker. Reds led, 5-3.
- The Reds small-balled their way to a pair of important runs in the Bottom of the 7th. Votto started things with an infield single, he moved to second on a Phillips groundout, Frazier was intentionally walked, and Roger Bernadina's broken-bat chopper to the right of 2B left Walker with no choice but to go to first, where Bernadina beat out the throw to load the bases. Mesoraco then hit a soft liner into LF to score both Votto and Frazier on a single that crushed his slugging percentage but gave him two additional 'tBIs. Reds led, 7-3.
- Those runs proved to be pivotal thanks to a 2-run HR by Walker in the Top of the 8th. McCutchen drew a leadoff walk off Manny Parra, and Walker launched his eleventytwelfth HR of the series off the upper-deck facade of the LF bleachers. Reds led, 7-5.
- Jonny Broxtapotamus was called on to get the save for the Reds, and after a few nervous minutes, he did just that. Reds win, 7-5!
- Joey Votto's season line now sits at .327/.443/.571, and he's on pace for about 32 dingers and 97 'tBI. We should probably worry about him some more.
- For the record, Justin Havens of ESPN Stats & Info picked Gerrit Cole to win the NL Cy Young Award this season.
- It's nice to see the Reds score some runs via notadingers every now and then.
- It's a day game tomorrow, as the Reds and Pirates will stage their rubber match at 12:35 PM EST.
- A song for you.