The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Devin Mesoraco has been putting a serious hurtin' on baseballs since his return from an injured oblique muscle, and he continued right on a-hurtin' them in this afternoon's contest. Mes walked, hit a sac fly, and had a massive 3-run HR as one of his two hits on the day, and his 4 RBI paced the Reds to their first victory of the homestand. His big day came with his predecessor Ryan Hanigan calling the pitches, so while many of us worried that Hanigan's knowledge of the Reds pitchers would haunt the good guys this series, maybe - just maybe - Mesoraco's knowledge of how Hanigan calls games helped him gear up to crush a few.
Maybe not. Speculation is a stupid blogger trick, y'know.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jay Bruce, who walked 4 times and doubled while reaching base each and every time he graced the batter's box; Chris Heisey, who had the first grand slam of his career; Brandon Phillips, who had 3 singles on the day; Zack Cozart, who had a pair of hits and a pair of runs batted in; Tony Cingrani, who tossed an effective 6.1 innings despite not having his best fastball (and he singled!); and Joey Votto, who homered and was hit by a pitch in his 2nd consecutive start in the 2-spot of the order.
- The Reds got down to business beginning in the Bottom of the 2nd against Rays starter Cesar Ramos - a usual reliever making a spot start in place of the recently injured Matt Moore. After Todd Frazier popped out to lead off the inning, Bruce, Ryan Ludwick, and Mesoraco drew consecutive walks to load the bases. Cozart followed with a hard hit ball that found the gap between the CF and RF, and it bounced into the stands for a 2-run ground rule double. The Reds then TOOTBLAN'd their way out of a big inning after Cingrani hit a grounder to the SS that resulted in a 6-2-8-6-7-5-3-0-9 double play that saw two Reds thrown out at home plate. It was masterfully inept, yet the Reds led, 2-0.
- The Rays got on the board in the Top of the 2nd courtesy of a long-ball of their own. Sean Rodriguez drew a 2-out walk from Cingrani, and Ben Zobrist followed with a crushed line-drive dinger over the wall in LF. Game tied, 2-2.
- Ramos was brought out for the Bottom of the 3rd, too, and the Reds took advantage. Billy Hamilton singled to LF (his first career MLB hit as a RH hitter), and Votto followed with a 450+ ft blast to CF. Brandon Gomes relieved Ramos, but the Reds' newfound offense kept right on gritty effort grinding. Phillips singled, Frazier reached on a fielder's choice that saw Phillips out at 2B, Bruce walked, and after Ludwick struck out swinging, Mesoraco destroyed the third pitch he saw for a 443 ft, 3-run, upper deck HR to LF. Reds led, 7-2.
- Bruce led off the Bottom of the 5th with a double to the wall on the first pitch he saw from Erik Bedard, and he ended up at 3B after an error on the throw back to the infield following a deep Ludwick flyout to RF. Mes then hit a deep sac fly to CF that brought Bruce home. Reds led, 8-2.
- Cingrani was brought back for the first batter of the Top of the 7th, and he retired Matt Joyce on a foul-out caught by a sliding Votto. Nick Christiani was brought on to replace him, and after James Loney hit a pinch-hit double that went just under Votto's glove at 1B, Zobrist hit another HR - this time from the left side of the plate. Reds led, 8-4.
- The Reds tacked on some funyuns in the Bottom of the 8th courtesy of - once again - honking a dinger. Votto was hit by a Heath bell pitch, Phillips singled, and after Frazier reached on a fielder's choice following a pitching change, Bruce was walked intentionally to load the bases for Chris Heisey. Heisey smashed a opposite field liner that resulted in a GABP special. Curtis Partch gassed his way through a sort of shaky 9th, but that was good enough. Reds win, 12-4!
- For the everyth time ever, Tony Cingrani allowed no more than 5 hits in a game he started. Nobody's had a streak like that in over 100 years. I should've just copied/pasted this from the last recap.
- Every Reds starter had at least one hit today except Todd Frazier. Frazier reached on a pair of choices by fielders and scored once, though.
- Jay Bruce walked four times today, which is a new career high. He'd walked three times in his career on two other occasions, the last being in July of 2012.
- The Reds have had 5 runners thrown out at the plate so far this season, and they've lost 5 games by 1 run.
- The Reds have now scored 40 runs and allowed 38 runs on the season. Pythagoras is a jerk.
- The Reds outscored the Rays 13-7 in the series and lost 2 of the 3 games. Pythagoras is a jerk.
- I have jury duty tomorrow. I'm ecstatic.