The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
With Brandon Phillips out of the lineup with his forearm issue, the duty of "right handed middle of the order hitter" has fallen squarely on Todd Frazier, and fortunately for the Reds, the emergence from his long slump has coincided perfectly. Frazier was 2 for 4 tonight with 2 doubles, and he's moved his season production to solid levels in OBP (.342, higher than even his breakout rookie campaign of last year), and RBI (now 33, good for 16th in the NL). Having Frazier be productive for the remainder of the season is paramount, but it's downright essential when BP is sidelined.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Homer Bailey, whose 7 inning, 3 ER performance was highlighted by him allowing early runs and becoming undeniably dominant over his final 5 innings; Shin-Soo Choo, who was 2 for 5 with a double; and Ryan Hanigan, who continued his return with a double and 2 RBI. Hat tips are due, I suppose, to Donald Lutz, Hanigan, and Jay Bruce, all of whom hit what sounded like HRs if you were listening to the Reds call the game.
- The Reds were squarely behind the 8 ball early tonight, as the Rockies plated 3 runs in the Top of the 2nd to take the early lead. Michael Cuddyer led off with a single, and Yorvit Torrealba hit a slicing double off the chalk on the RF line for a ground rule double, leaving runners at 2nd and 3rd. Johnny Herrera followed with a double to RF to score them both, and he later scored on a soft liner to CF by Dexter Fowler. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- The Redlegs salvaged a run in the Bottom half of the 3rd, though, as Todd Frazier scored after a leadoff double and a Donald Lutz grounder had moved him to 3B. Ryan Hanigan's grounder scored Frazier, and the Reds were on the board. Reds trailed, 3-1.
- Frazier and Hanigan combined for the damage again in the Bottom of the 4th to help the Reds even the score at 3. Joey Votto led off with a single, and Frazier's double scored him. Frazier then moved to 3B on a wild pitch, and Hanigan's double scored him to knot the score. Game tied, 3-3.
- The Reds seized the lead in the Bottom of the 7th, when Xavier Paul hit a pinch hit double, moved to 3B on a sharp single by Choo, and scored on balk by Edgmer Escalona. The Reds could've worsened the damage after a Zack Cozart walk, but Josh Outman fanned both Votto and Bruce to escape the inning. Reds led, 4-3.
- Troy Tulowitzki took full advantage of what seemed to be a reduced strike zone in the Top of the 8th. Sam LeCure was called upon to pitch for the Reds, and despite him hitting spots set by Ryan Hanigan that had helped Homer Bailey throw first pitch strikes to 20 of his first 23 batters, LeCure found himself behind in the count to each of the first three batters he faced. Needing to throw a strike after walking Carlos Gonzalez and going to 3 balls on Tulo, he hit too much of the plate, and Troy lined a HR (that was reviewed due to cargo-short old-guy glove-guy wanting a ball) to give the Rockies a lead they would not relinquish. Reds lose, 5-4.
Sour Grapes FanGraph Section
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- Today' not a Sunday, but this one certainly had the feel of recent Sunday games.
- Since returning from the DL, Ryan Hanigan is slashing billion/2billion/trillion. It's great. Why would anyone want to trade him?
Title tune reference.
- While we're at it, let's just go for another one of my favorite Stones tracks.