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Alex Gonzalez gets his good game out of the way. Reds lose 4-2.

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Player of the Game

Alex Gonzalez.  Sea Bass has taken a lot of shit, but today he showed some quality.  He entered the game as a defensive replacement but went 2-2 with a home run and a double, driving in both Cincinnati runs.

Key Plays

  • Most of the damage came in the second inning.  With one out, Aaron Harang hit Milton Bradley, then gave up a single to Alfonso SorianoMike Fontenot then homered to center field.
  • Harang then proceeded to shut down the Cubs, finishing the game with 10 strikeouts.  However, he was doing so well that Dusty let him start the eighth inning even though he was well over 100 pitches.  Rather predictably, he walked Kosuke Fukudome, then gave up a run-scoring double to Derrek LeeDavid Weathers came in in relief, but loaded the bases before getting the final two outs.  He exchanged some words with home plate umpire Paul Emmel on his way back to the dugout and was ejected.
  • Alex Gonzalez, who came in with Weathers as a double switch, homered, to the disbelief of most.  The Reds showed more signs of life when Adam Rosales singled and Joey Votto was hit by a pitch.  Brandon Phillips came up, representing the tying run, but grounded into a double play to end the threat and the inning.
  • The Reds tried to rally in the ninth.  Laynce Nix began the inning with a walk, and Ryan Hanigan singled to get him to second.  With two outs, Alex Gonzalez was at the plate again.  In an 11 pitch battle with Carlos Marmol, Gonzalez laced a double to left field, scoring Nix.  Despite having Drew Sutton, who had two hits yesterday, or perhaps Scott Rolen on the bench, Dusty elected to let Willy Taveras try to extend the game.  Taveras promptly grounded out.
  • 8-3-09_medium
    via FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • The Reds have lost seven in a row, their longest losing streak this year, and the longest since a seven game losing streak from Sept. 22-29, 2007.
  • The Cubs are 13-5 since the All-Star break, the best such record in the majors.
  • Harang hasn't won in his last thirteen starts and has the most losses in the majors.  Is he frustrated?  "It just didn't go my way," Harang said. "What can you do? I go out and give us a chance to win. We can't seem to muster anything early on."  Seems like.
  • This was Gonzalez's first two-hit game since June 11 against the Nationals.
  • Willy Taveras batted with two outs in the ninth.  This year, he has a .392 OPS with two outs, and a .530 OPS in ninth innings (he only hits worse in the second and fourth innings).
  • Joey Votto came up three times with two outs and the bases empty.

  • Final - 8.3.2009 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    Chicago Cubs 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 7 0
    Cincinnati Reds 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 8 0
    WP: Randy Wells (8 - 4)
    SV: Carlos Marmol (4)
    LP: Aaron Harang (5 - 13)

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