The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
As a fan of Cincinnati sports, the beginning of this game felt all too familiar. Seeing Cueto remove himself after 8 pitches brought back awful memories of Kimo von Oelhoffen rolling up Carson Palmer's knee and Kenyon Martin snapping his leg in the conference tournament. It was a gut-punch moment that had me staring dumbfounded at a TV screen, momentarily questioning why I put myself through this. Wondering why I invest myself in the sports franchises of this city. But this team didn't quit. They did what they have done all year long - shrugged off their shit luck and went about their job of winning baseball games. And despite some tense moments at the end of the game, it felt fan-freaking-tastic to get the win last night.
This team feels like a special team, and last night was just another episode in a season full of magical moments. Jay Bruce looked locked in, Brandon Phillips played like his hair was on fire, and Sam LeCure and Mat Latos showed the kind of testicular fortitude that even Saturn Nuts couldn't match.
There are still a lot of questions marks left in the wake of the game last night, especially regarding the rotation. Bronson is still slated to pitch tonight, but who knows what will happen in Games Three through Five (if necessary). I hope that Dr. Polk M. Stick brought enough muscle relaxers with him to let Johnny C get another start in this series. Or better yet, let's hope the Reds win the next two and he's ready for game one of the NLCS.
(The FanGraph doesn't really do this game justice.)