The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star(s) of the Game
The last three games have been, by all accounts, three of the most different baseball atmospheres I've ever witnessed. Sunday's game vs. the Cardinals was a showdown on the largest stage in baseball, and was back and forth to foot the bill. Yesterday's game was every bit as deflating as the news about Votto's knee. Today's was, well, just weird...and long. I don't know what to make of it exactly, but at least the Reds pulled out the win.
Johnny Q-totes was less than his spectacular self coming off his Star of All-Stars break (y'know, the one reserved for the guys too good to bother playing in the meager exhibition game), and his blisters likely caused a bit of wildness that ran his pitch count up too early to get past the 6th inning.
He was good, but Ryan Ludwick gets the nod as the JNMHSotG. Luddy hit the defining blast of the game, a 3 run jobber that, with Cueto & the Bullpen Boys pitching, put the game out of reach. He walked, too, and put an early spitball on the "guy who steps up while Votto is hurt" poster in Scrabbles' hallway. Props, Studwick.
- Once again, all of the scoring was done early, as the Reds capitalized on Keith Law's favorite favorite Trevor Bauer's blatant wildness. In the bottom of the 1st, Drew Stubbs led off with a walk. Drew Stubbs led off with a walk. Drew. Stubbs. Led off. With a walk. Exhale. Zack Cozart reached safely on an error by Stephen Drew and what was left of his ankle, and after Stubbs stole third, he scored on a wild pitch by Bauer. Reds lead, 1-0.
- Bauer's night didn't get much better in the 3rd inning, and Keith Law clutched his tofurkey and let out a snarky tirade that wasn't heard, read, or taken seriously by anyone but ESPN. After two groundouts, Cozart walked, was safe at second on an errant Bauer pickoff, and was safe at third on a Bauer wild pitch. Brandon Phillips followed with a walk, and after Bauer tossed one high and tight on Ludwick, he took the next pitch out of the state with a 3-run honky tonk to left field. Reds lead, 4-0.
- Cueto battled, Arredondo was effective, Sammy Stachepiece was both great pitcher and great fielder, and while Sean Marshall was slightly mortal, Aroldis Chapman and his hopefully bionic arm were untouchable. Reds win, 4-0!
- Luddy's sporting a solid .805 OPS right now. I'll gladly eat crow...but is anyone else pretty shocked how similar his 2012 season looks to Chris Heisey's 2011? I am. That's kind of creepy, and I don't remember being as happy with Heisey last year as I currently am with Ludwick. Ohhh, expectations.
- This is the first time both Joey Votto and Jay Bruce didn't play in a Reds game since the Nixon administration. Or so. Interns, check on that.
- Best hook of all time...or, best hook of all time? Choices, choices.
- Johnny Cueto is going to win the Cy Young Award this year. Write that down. I know thevole would if he was around anymore. He's done it before. Read that whole thread, btw. It's worth it.