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Trompe Desmond. Reds win on Vottomatic walk-off, 5-4.

2011 NL Central Champions - Biggest Heart Division
2011 NL Central Champions - Biggest Heart Division

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Joey Votto. Responsible for 40% of the runs and 100% of the game-ending glory. Votto got the Reds on the board in the bottom of the first with a solo shot and put the game to bed with another one-run homer in the 14th, while reaching base four times in 7 trips to the plate. But this was a surprisingly tough call. Honorable mentions go to Johnny Cueto - who struck out a career high 11 (to one walk) and gave up 2 ER in 7 IP, Yonder Alonso - who out WPA'd Joey with a game-tying pinch hit HR in the bottom of the ninth and the resurgent Jose Arredondo - who went 3 scoreless extra innings and posted the highest WPA of any pitcher.

Key Plays

  • Much of this game read like textbook 2011 Reds baseball, which - among other things - calls for 1st inning runs to be surrendered.  After Cueto struck out the first two batters he faced in the game, the Nats pulled ahead 1-0 on an Ian Desmond RBI single.
  • The score was quickly evened on Joey's 25th HR of the season in the bottom half of the first. Jay Bruce almost went deep for back-to-back Bop Brothers action.
  • Bruce found that extra torque in the 4th with a solo shot to put the Reds up 2-1. It's going to be totally dope-bottomed when these two cylinders are firing at the same time next season (and hopefully still hitting 3-4).
  • Cueto got out of trouble on a slick DP in the 5th, but not before Rick Ankiel tied the score at 2 with an RBI-single that brought in Ian Desmond.
  • With one out, the bases loaded and the heart of the order coming up, the Reds lurched ahead after getting one little old run on a bases-loaded walk to the pinch-hitting Fred Lewis. Reds lead, 3-2.
  • The Reds squandered another bases-loaded opportunity in the 7th after Joey was IBB'd to get to Bruce. That means another negative donation to the Gushers' Gushin' the Bases for Gout Foundation, bringing this years total to -$59,000. 
  • Cueto had hit Jayson Werth and Alex Cora with baseballs and scattering some singles, but kept the Nats to 2 runs through 7 innings and 119 pitches. He finished his day in convincing fashion with a 1-2-3 inning that featured a tactical ejection of Davey Johnson and which ended on a strikeout of Michael Morse, Cueto's 11th of the game.
  • The set-up men chose to ignore their mandate and knock it down. Chapman came on and looked wild with both his pick-off throws and some of his pitches. He gave up a run in the 8th and Masset did the same in the ninth.
  • Yonder Alonso, who had been held back in the bottom of the eighth in favor of Edgar Renteria, lead off the bottom of the ninth with the Reds trailing 4-3. He took a beautiful crack at a pitch from Drew Stoen and sent it over the right field fence. 4-4.
  • There were some runners in scoring position, Dusty was ejected and Michael Morse did something again, but Ondrusek, Arredondo (x3) and Bray kept the Nationals from scoring. Joey Votto lead off the bottom of the 14th, scorched a HR and said "I am become MVP." Reds win, 5-4!

Other Notes

  • The Reds have a winning record for the first time since July 3. I'm pretty sure that's the last time the Brewers lost.
  • Joey Votto is knocking on the door of a 1.000 OPS again. Today's effort bumps him up to .995, with a 2010-y slashline of .325/.440/.555. His two HRs also give him 25 or more for three straight seasons.
  • As mentioned, Cueto's 11 Ks were a career high.
  • It's a flawed measure, but Jay Bruce came up twice in bases loaded situations and left a total of 8 different, unique guys on base. His 2011 line with the bases loaded was .176/.286/.235 in 21 PAs coming into the game. 

Final - 8.28.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 R H E
Washington Nationals 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 17 2
Cincinnati Reds 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 14 0
WP: Bill Bray (4 - 2)
LP: Collin Balester (1 - 3)

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