The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Mat Latos was filthy. Pure, unadulterated filth. Nasty, vile, disgusting filth. He was 1/clean. His pitches were so filthy, they probably smelled bad. He was...
...you get it.
Latos tied his career high by striking out 13 Diamondbacks today as he went 7 2/3 innings and allowed just a single earned run. The Reds' Ace allowed just 6 hits and 2 walks, and he even helped his own cause with a sacrifice that led to the Reds' 4th run. He lowered his season ERA down to 3.05, and looked every bit as good as he has on his best days.
Jay Bruce deserves yet another game's worth of mention, as Hot Jay continued his amazing June with a 2 for 4 day that featured 2 doubles. 11 of his last 12 hits have been for extra bases, and he's now 3rd in the majors in doubles, 4th in the majors in total bases, and 3rd in extra base hits. Couple that with his now career-high .865 OPS, and I think we can safely say that the fears we had about Jay's production in April were...shall we say...massively overblown.
Hat tips are due to Shin-Soo Choo (1 for 3, HR, 2 BB); Zack Cozart (2 for 3, sac fly); and Brandon Phillips (1 for 4, schneid-offing 2 run HR).
- Shin-Soo Choo did his best to remove the painful memories of last night's game as quickly as possible, as he launched an 0-2 pitch out to right-center for a leadoff HR, his first HR since May 27th. Zack Cozart then followed with a double, and after a Joey Votto strikeout, Brandon Phillips said to himself "anything Choo can do, I can do better!" and hit his first HR in 59 PA to (hopefully) break out of his month-long slump (he entered today hitting just .186/.250/.229 in the month of June). Reds led, 3-0.
- The Reds tacked on an additional run in the Top of the 2nd. Xavier Paul led off with a double, and Devin Mesoraco then followed by being safe at 1st on an error by Diamondbacks' 3B Cliff Pennington. Mat Latos then sacrificed to move the runners over, and Choo was walked to load the bases. Cozart then hit a deep fly ball that had Marty thinking Grand Slam, but it was caught against the wall for just a sac-fly that scored Paul. Reds led, 4-0.
- As mentioned earlier, Mat Latos blew through the Diamondbacks lineup in dominant fashion through the first 7 innings he pitched before finally running out of gas a bit in the Bottom of the 8th. Bill Hall All-Star Gerardo Parra hit a 1 out double, moved to 3B on a Willie Bloomquist grounder, and after Paul Goldschmidt walked, Miguel Montero hit an RBI single to end Mat's day. Thankfully, Manny Parra came on to get the last out of the inning, a grounder by Jason Kubel to Joey Votto that Votto juggled before grasping. Reds led, 4-1.
- Aroldis Chapman is becoming nearly the liability the rest of the Reds' bullpen has already become. After he decimated the Reds last night by retiring none of the four batters he faced and blowing a save, he nearly let another one get away. The first two Diamondbacks grounded out to Zack Cozart, but Cliff Pennington followed with a single to CF, and after he took 2B on defensive indifference, Wil Nieves singled to score him. Nieves moved to 2B on a wild pitch, and then Chapman hit Gerardo Parra on a 2 strike pitch to put runners on 1B and 2B. Thankfully, he got Willie Bloomquist to line out softly to CF to end the threat, but nothing about the 9th inning inspired any sort of confidence in the Reds closer. Reds win, however, 4-2!
FanGraph that Doesn't Accurately Display Reds' Fans Fear Levels in the 9th Inning Section
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2013-06-23&team=Diamondbacks&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2013-06-23&team=Diamondbacks&dh=0&season=2013">FanGraphs</a></span>
- Chapman's struggles can't be pinned on Devin Mesoraco today, either, since Ryan Hanigan was brought in to catch him in the 9th.
- Zack Cozart is now hitting .279/.308/.405 in 222 AB hitting 2nd in the lineup this year. Keep in mind, also, that he's spent the better part of the last month hitting 7th instead of 2nd against LHP (which he hits better than RHP).
- The Reds will have their first of two off days this week tomorrow before taking on the Oakland A's in a mid-week, 2 game series. Assuming they don't drown in sewage in the locker room on their stay, they'll then have an off day Thursday before heading to Arlington to face the Texas Rangers.
- In what may well be his last PA in the big leagues for awhile, Donald Lutz flew out to RF as a pinch hitter this afternoon. He'll likely get shipped back to AA/AAA when Chris Heisey presumably comes of the DL in time for Tuesday's game, but since the Reds are heading for 5 straight games with a DH in the lineup in AL parks, management may get creative to have the extra power bat in the dugout. Stupid DH. Stupid AL.
- Dusty Rhodes, y'all.