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KMIB Didn't Tell Me the Punchline: Reds 6, Marlins 2

Bailey's bad in the 1990 sense of the word. Marlins are bad in the general sense of the word. So things are looking good.

If you didn't notice, SB Nation is having some technical difficulties. I'd say we apologize for it, but we don't. We're just communicating their apologies.

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Tonight, Homer was a terrific name for a pitcher, and he continued to show the type of development we’ve hoped for over the better part of the last decade. Bailey tossed a complete game, 2 run, 6 hit, 10 K, 0 walk gem, and was a classic power pitcher throughout the entirety of his 125 pitch performance. His last pitch of the night was a 97 mph fastball that Greg Dobbs lined softly to Zack Cozart, and you could visibly see the confidence Homer had when he and catcher Ryan Hanigan met after the last out.

With Johnny Cueto having been injured, it’s been delightful to watch both Mat Latos and Homer Bailey emerge as top-flight pitchers.

Honorable Mentions are due to Zack Cozart, who was 2 for 5 with a double and two runs scored; Joey Votto, who was 3 for 4 with a walk (and is now hitting .322, good for 5th in the NL); Xavier Paul, who had a 3 RBI double; and Ryan Hanigan, who was on base 3 of his 4 trips to the plate and continues to re-be Ryan Hanigan since coming off the DL.

Key Plays

  • The Reds chose to get their dirty work out of the way early tonight, but in an Alanis-esque way they ironically got it out of the way quickly by being patient. (17 years later, that still doesn’t make any sense.) Anyway, after Shin-Soo Choo grounded out to start the game, Zack “MVP/GG” Cozart doubled, Joey Votto singled, and Brandon Phillips singled to score Cozart. Reds led, 1-0.

  • The Marlins equalized in the Bottom of the 1st, however, as Juan Pierre hit a leadoff double and later scored on a Derek Dietrich (I’m not making this up) single. Game tied, 1-1.

  • The outburst came in the Top of the 2nd, and Marlins’ starter Ricky Nolasco was largely to blame. Ryan Hanigan hit a one out single and advanced to 2B after a Homer Bailey sac bunt. Nolasco then hit Choo with a pitch, allowed a sharp single to Zack Cozart, and then walked both Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips with the bases loaded to score two. Jay Bruce had the night off and Xavier Paul was in Bruce’s customary 5 spot in the lineup, and he delivered seamlessly with a bases clearing opposite field double. Reds led, 6-1.

  • Homer Bailey did exactly what we all hoped he would do as an ace-caliber pitcher given a big lead facing a terrible lineup in a pitcher’s park: he closed the door. Aside from the Adeiny Hechevarria triple and run in the 7th, the Marlins were outmatched, and Homer finished up his complete game as a victor. Reds win, 6-2!

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • On in the background while I write this is the Rockies/Cubs game, and it’s turning into a lesson in how to play godawful clutch defense. We often take it for granted when watching the Reds play, but thankfully, Walt, Dusty, and the rest of the team’s management do not. They make it a priority, and we get to see one of the better defensive teams take the field day in and day out. It’s no coincidence the correlation between that and a team’s win percentage.*

  • Tonight’s complete game was Homer’s 4th career complete game, and as Jim Kelch let us know on the telecast, it’s his first career complete game against any team other than the Pirates. I’d say I don’t know why that’s funny, but I’d be lying. I know exactly why that’s funny. You do, too.

  • Tonight was also only Homer’s 2nd win of the season, but as has been grilled into your brain cavities, you know wins are a terrible stat. Case in point: of Homer’s 8 starts, he’s received 7 runs of support in one (a win), 6 runs in one (tonight, a win), and a combined 5 runs in his other 6 starts (3 losses, 3 non-decisions). It was almost as if Dusty left him in to finish the game as a way to let him let off some steam.

  • It’s been 15 years to the date since Frank Sinatra died, and that means a tune tribute to one of the great voices in history.

  • More tunes? More tunes. Good ones, too.