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They're Not Quite RR Level Yet, but the Reds Are Better than the Cardinals at Wiffle Ball. Reds defeat Cards, 5-3.

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The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star(s) of the Game

The Reds were patient and effective following the long All-Star break. In a game unlike any other in MLB history, the Reds were effective both while pitching at Great American Ball Park AND while hitting in Toms River, NJ, despite the bus ride (and it's quite the bus ride between half innings...just ask the Cards pitchers!)

The Starriest of Stars tonight was Todd Frazier, who wiped the nap drool off of his chin after the 12 hour drive back to his former stomping grounds and smushed a Wainwright snookie out to RF. Frazier also scored another run, and was walked intentionally once Matheny realized that Todd's oppo power was unable to be contained by the confines of his Little League field. Brandon Phillips also pitched in and helped, going 3 for 4 with a double in a very non All-Star worthy performance. Ryan Hanigan also gets a nod for his clutchy 2-RBI single to take the lead.

Zack "MVP/GG" Cozart and Drew Stubbs were 0 for 7 with 3 K's at the top of the lineup. Somewhere, Charlie Scrabbles' wallet makes a Mr. Burns smile and cackles with delight.

Key Plays

  • Mat Latos was clearly a bit rusty off the break, but if this was the kind of "bad" start from him we're going to get down the stretch, that's a damn nice "problem" to have. He got touched up in both the 2nd and the 3rd, but was able to control the damage to one run in each instance. A leadoff walk in the 2nd followed by a fielder's choice, a double, and a single plated Yadier Molina in the 2nd. In the 3rd, Rafael Furcal singled to lead off, havocked his way to 2nd via a stolen base, advanced to 3rd on an infield single, and scored on a fielder's choice. Cards lead, 2-0.
  • Both teams were content to play the whole game in GABP through 4 innings, but mid-way through the 5th Bud Selig opted to roll the dice and provide not one but TWO stadiums with the ability to host baseball. That must've sucked for Matt Holliday (and the team owners...gas prices are the suck!), as he hit a fly ball off one of the most homer-prone pitchers in baseball in the most homer-friendly park in baseball deep to right field, only to have Jay Bruce catch it at the wall. Dang, Matt! The Reds totally capitalized on the change of venue, and lucky for them, Todd Frazier, the Pride of Toms River, was due up in the bottom of the 5th. He took advantage of the 212 foot fence in right field, powering an opposite field homer to put the Reds on the board. The 88 mph winds that were given a 10% chance of stopping by by the Weather Channel happened to kick up right as he swung the bat, too, giving him more of an advantage than the Cardinals. Obviously. Cards lead, 2-1.
  • Back at GABP, the Reds pitchers settled down, allowing the Reds to claw their way back into the game. In the 7th, Rick Stowe brought out un-rubbed baseballs to Adam Wainwright, and the Reds capitalized on the unfair advantage. Phillips led off with a single, and Jay Bruce followed. Luddy sacrificed the runners over, and Frazier was intentionally walked...much to the dismay of the 280 hometown fans who had packed the Toms River bleachers. The Little League dimensions caused the Cards to defend like Little Leaguers, as Ryan Hanigan hit a slow roller to the right side of the infield that Allen Craig lulzed past a covering Wainwright at 1B. 2 runs scored, and the Reds were in control. Scott Rolen followed with a PH walk (!), and Cozart plated Frazier with a sac fly to put the Reds up 4-2.
  • The Reds realized the advantages they'd been given, and opted to return the favor in the 8th by sending out Jose Arredondo. Arredondo was exhausted before the first pitch he threw, you see, because the bullpen pitchers for the Reds are in charge of moving the fences back 25 feet before the bottom half of every inning in GABP. Clearly gassed, Dodongo could only see a few hitters, allowing two singles before giving way to Sean Marshall who, also gassed, allowed Somedude Robinson to single in Allen Craig. Reds lead, 4-3.
  • BP got things going again in the 9th in Toms River. He singled, and then scored when Ryan Ludwick tripled. Happy birthday, Studwick! The GABP fans watching on the jumbotron went wild, knowing that when the teams returned, Aroldis Chapman would be in to close things out. They weren't disappointed. Chapman allowed a bloop single to Beltran, but otherwise mowed down the Cards. Reds win, 5-3!


Other Notes

  • Today's win makes 4 in a row for our Reds, and puts them 10 games over .500, 2.5 games clear of the Cardinals. The Pirates and Brewers are knotted 6-6 in the 5th as this is written.
  • ESPN's headline says we won because of an error. I didn't know Tony La Russa wrote recaps for the Worldwide Leader now. Huh. Seems a bit disingenuous.
  • Song of the day numero uno. It's got some NSFW language, but it's Friday night, so so what!
  • Reds take on the Cardinals again tomorrow, with All-Star Lance Lynn, a better pitcher than Johhny Cueto, taking on Mike Leake at 4:05 EST. Turn on, tune in, and drop out!
  • Reds won! That means another song of the day. Enjoy!
  • I'd like to than Apple for the content of this recap. The At-Bat App didn't let me listen to WLW's feed for most of the game, so I got to listen to the Cardinals feed, and...well...let's just say they gave me some fuel for my fire this evening. Thanks for being the best losers in baseball, dudes.