This one's going to take awhile. I suggest some theme tunes while you read.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star(s) of the Game(s)
So the Reds split a doubleheader that seemingly lasted forever. While Baseball Christmas certainly could've been a bit more fun with a pair of victories, it was rather enjoyable to watch the Reds play, and play, and play.
And play. And play some more.
The bottom of the lineup powered the Reds to victory in the first game of the doubleheader, and Zack Cozart gets the nod for his play. Cozart went 4 for 4 with a HR, 3 runs scored, and 2 RBI, and he even pitched in with a nifty diving catch on defense. Cozart's taken kindly to the bottom of the order, and I hope Dusty takes notice.
Honorable Mentions are due for Game 1 to: Devin Mesoraco, who had another 3 hits, including a 3 run HR that broke the game open for the Reds; Todd Frazier, who went 2 for 5 with a run scored and 2 RBI; and Tony Cingrani, who navigated 6.2 IP of 2 ER ball despite not having great command or his best fastball. Joey Votto drove himself in but nobody else, so he doesn't get a mention. That guy's a hack.
Game two wasn't nearly as fun as the matinee, but there was still some solid hitting from portions of the lineup that have been ice cold for most of the year. Todd Frazier, in particular, has stepped up his game something fierce of late, and his 3 for 5 evening gets the nod for the second bout. Frazier hit his 18th and 19th doubles of the season, and in the process drove in his 49th run of the season. Yay RBI!
Honorable Mentions are due for Game 2 to: Corky Miller, who was 5 for 3 with a double, 2 RBI, and 4 times the mustache you could ever dream of; Jay Bruce, who was 3 for 5 and scored twice; and Curtis Partch, who tossed 2 scoreless, hitless innings in relief of Greg Reynolds.
Key Plays, Game 1
- Eric Surkamp cruised through the Top of the 1st vs. the Reds, and the Giants took an early lead in the Bottom half of the inning through a Pablo Sandoval sac fly that scored Andres Torres, who had led off with a walk and moved to 3B on a Marco Scutaro seeing-eye single up the middle. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- The Reds shrugged off their early deficit and pulled out a big, baseball sized middle finger worth of offense in the Top of the 2nd. Jay Bruce destroyed a ground-rule double to right-center (that would've been gone in any other park in baseball), Todd Frazier followed with a single, and after Zack Cozart singled to score Bruce, Devin Mesoraco launched a 3-run Hootie Johnson to the seats in LF. Joey Votto then led off the Top of the 3rd with a solo hunk thrust to LF, and Todd Frazier singled off the top of the wall 3 batters later to score Jay Bruce, who'd been hit by a pitch and stolen 2B. Frazier was thrown out at 2B trying to stretch his hit into a double, but consecutive singles by Cozart, Mesoraco, and Tony Hoo-Wee Spaghetti plated another run. Reds led, 7-1.
- A lead-off walk in the Bottom of the 4th haunted Cingrani, as he allowed Pablo Sandoval to reach to start the inning. A Hunter Pence single moved him to 2B, and he tagged and went to 3B on a fly ball from Jeff Francouer who oh my god Jeff Francouer is still getting paid to play Major League Baseball why does this happen you cannot be serious. Guillermo Quiroz then hit a sac fly, and Sandoval scored. The Reds equalized quickly, however, as Zack Cozart launched a solo HR in the Top of the 6th to get another one back. Reds led, 8-2.
- The Reds tacked on another run in the Top of the 7th when Brandon Phillips finally joined the hit parade. BP led off with a double to the wall, and he later scored after two productive grounders from Bruce and Frazier. The Giants threatened to threaten against Alfredo Simon in the Bottom of the 9th, but all the could muster was a single run after a series of hits from the bottom of the order. Reds win, 9-3!
All Of A Sudden The FanGraph Said the Reds Won Game 1!
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2013-07-23&team=Giants&dh=1" 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=2013-07-23&team=Giants&dh=1&season=2013">FanGraphs</a></span>
Key Plays, Game 2
- The Giants struck first in the second game, too, this time in a much larger way against Greg Reynolds. Tony Abreu hit a 1 out single, and after Buster Posey was hit by a pitch, Pablo Sandoval Panda'd a double to score them both. Hunter Pence then awkward'd a single, and that allowed Sandoval to steamroll to the plate. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- Brandon Crawford led off the Top of the 2nd with a double to the wall in RF, and after Barry Zito sac bunted him to 3B, he scored on a sac fly by Gregor Blanco. The Reds, however, struck back in the home half of the 2nd. Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier led off with singles, and two batters later Corky Miller hit a Stache Bash to RF for a 2-run double. Reds trailed, 4-2.
- The Giants small-balled their way to another run in the Top of the 5th through singles by Abreu, Sandoval, and Pence, which loaded the bases, and Abreu came in to score on a grounder from Brandon Belt. The Reds reciprocated in the Bottom of the 5th, however, thanks to a 2-out single from Bruce and another laser from Todd Frazier, this time a double over Gregor Blanco's head in CF. Unfortunately, that was all the offense the home team could muster, and that was that. Reds lose, 5-3.
FanGraph With a Time Stamp That Says I Shouldn't Be Awake Right Now
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2013-07-23&team=Reds&dh=2" 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=2013-07-23&team=Reds&dh=2&season=2013">FanGraphs</a></span>
- I'm glad Greg Reynolds finally cracked his way back into the majors, but honestly, did you really expect any more than what you saw this evening? I know he was trying, but that's what happens when there's no young pitching depth in the upper minors.
- Corky freakin' Miller, y'all.
- The Red Reporter Recap, Realtalk, Rhymes, and Rep-catchin' Bureau has put in a long day at the office. Daddy's tired, so here's a tune to coast you into sleep.