The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The Homer Bailey we were all happy to see signed to an extension prior to the season was on full display this afternoon, shutting down the best offense in baseball in vintage fashion. Bailey tossed 7.1 innings of 1 run, 6 strikeout baseball, his only real mistake being a solo dinger allowed to the white-hot Charlie Blackmon, and he was the primary force that drove the Reds to the rubber-match victory. Despite the early season WHIP-spike and still ugly HR/FB issues, Homer has his ERA at 4.72 and dropping, and he's beginning to more frequently flash the talent that has broken out the previous two seasons. That's your JNMHSotG.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Billy Hamilton, who went 2 for 3 with a walk, steal, triple, and derp-inducement; Ramon Santiago, who had a pair of hits (one a double) and scored twice; Skip Schumaker, who gritted his way into a scrappy RBI ground out and a dirt-rubbed RBI single; Todd Frazier, who mashed his team-leading 7th dinger of the season; and Aroldis Chapman, who struck out all four batters he faced in his first appearance of the season.
- The Hamiltornado Tasmanian Devil'd his way to 3B to lead off the Bottom of the 1st despite bunting the ball no more than 20 feet. His drag bunt down the 1B line was fielded by Justin Morneau, who rushed a throw to where he thought 2B DJ LeMahieu would be, but fortunately for the Reds, LeMahieu was a step slow getting to the bag, and the throw went to the wall, allowing Billy to motor all the way to 3B. Skippy Shoe then drove Hamilton home with a ground ball out up the middle. Reds led, 1-0.
- Santiago set the table for the second Reds run in the Bottom of the 3rd with a leadoff single. He ended up on 2B courtesy of a Homer Bailey sac bunt, moved to 3B on a balk from pitcher Juan Nicasio, and he scored on a soft line-drive single up the middle from the ever-gritty Skippy Shoe. Reds led, 2-0.
- Bailey had been perfect through the first 3 innings, but Charlie Blackmon - of course, Charlie Blackmon - mashed a solo dinger off Homer to lead off the Top of the 4th. Reds led, 2-1.
- Frazier got that one back for Bailey, however, with a 420+ foot solo blast of his own in the Bottom of the 4th, and the Reds picked up another run in the Bottom of the 5th thanks to some slick baserunning and a Nolan Arenado throwing error. Santiago doubled to the RF corner to lead off the inning, he moved to 3B on another Bailey sac bunt, Hamilton walked and stole 2B, and after Skippy Shoe ungrittily struck out, Brandon Phillips hit a rather routine grounder to 3B and managed to slide in under a tag attempt due to an errant throw, which allowed Santiago to score. Reds led, 4-1.
- After Manny Parra helped Homer get through the Top of the 8th, Chapman was brought on to pitch the Top of the 9th, his first appearance of the season following the gruesome facial fractures he suffered in Spring training. After a bogus walk to Troy Tulowitzki to start the inning, Chappy struck out Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado, and Justin Morneau on a mixture of 102 mph fastballs and derp-inducing sliders to lock down save number 1. Reds win, 4-1!
- Billy Hamilton is now hitting .260/.299/.370 on the season.
- Brandon Phillips is now hitting .271/.297/.379 on the season.
- This bullpen's cajones just got a billion times more cajoney.
- In today's edition of Pythagoras Is a Jerk, the Reds just took 2 of the 3 games in this series despite being outscored 15-10. Every stat tells a story, but not every story is well written.
- It's snowing in Denver. It's May 11th in Denver. It's snowing on May 11th in Denver.