The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Kevin Quackenbush gets tonight's JNMHSotG, because that kind of name deserves every single ounce of recognition it can get. The perfect Bottom of the 9th you pitched for your San Diego Padres was all well and good, Kevin Quackenbush, but know that you're taking home the most prized trophy in all the land not for your pitching, but because you're named Kevin Quackenbush, Kevin Quackenbush.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Billy Hamilton, who walked once and stole a pair of bags; Chris Heisey, who a hit (a hit!) and a pair of walks; and Todd Frazier, who walked and singled, stretching his career-best hitting streak to 14 games.
- The Top of the 1st inning had an aura about it that suggested the second game of today's doubleheader may well go as swimmingly as the first. Hamilton took a leadoff walk and promptly stole both 2B and 3B, and after Heisey walked behind him, Hamilton scored on a slow grounder hit to the SS by Brandon Phillips. Unfortunately, that was the peak of the Reds' offensive evening. Reds led, 1-0.
- Through the first 1.2 innings, Jeff Francis appeared to have channeled the stuff that led him to a Top 10 finish in the 2007 Cy Young Award voting. He struck out three of the first five Padres he faced, but was then promptly touched up for a single by Cameron Maybin and a following laser-dinger from Rene Rivera. Reds trailed, 2-1.
- The Padres added another run off Francis in the Top of the 3rd, as former Red Chris Denorfia doubled off the wall in RF before scoring on a single from Chase Headley. Reds trailed, 3-1.
- Logan Ondrusek took over for Francis for the Top of the 6th and promptly did what Logan Ondrusek does: allow baserunners. Surprisingly, it wasn't allowing hits that was the problem this time (he's allowed 16.4 H/9 in 2014), it was allowing walks that got him (he's only allowed 1.9 BB/9 so far). Whatever. WHIP is WHIP is WHIP, and Logan's ghostriding his to the moon. Dude walked the bases loaded before being pulled for Sean Marshall, and after a slapped single from former Red Yonder Alonso scored one, the jam was avoided. Reds trailed, 4-1.
- Marshall got tapped for a solo dinger from Everth Cabrera in the Top of the 7th, and Alonso smoked the first dinger of his season off Sam LeCure in the Top of the 8th to wrap the scoring. Reds lose, 6-1.
- The Reds just got out-dingered by the Padres 4-1 in this series. San Diego entered tonight's game having hit the 4th fewest dingers in baseball this season.
- I don't know what to do with the Reds lineup. It seems like they've got enough decent pieces to formulate something more productive than what they've done, even with the injuries factored in. There's nothing really categorically wrong with what they've rolled out recently (especially when you factor in "trying to get guys going" and whatnot), but it seems like they've hit better than their scoring has dictated. I dunno.
- That said, I still think Joey Votto needs to be hitting 2nd in the order. Yes, we'd all love to see him get hot and crush 40 dingers and a pocket full of doubles in the next month with eleventy men on base, but if he's going to continue to see pitcher's pitch around him, I'd rather Bryan Price tell him to take as many walks as possible and sport a .500 OBP than put him in a position where he feels the need to swing the bat more often. Joey is absurdly good as some things, and I'd personally rather maximize his gooditude on those things than compromise that in attempts to make him something he's not. Magic Johnson was built like a power forward but had a game like a point guard; he was better when handling the ball than when he was backing folks down on the block. Let Joey be Joey and build around that, and please ask 'tHom to shut up about it in the process.
- The Milwaukee Brewers squeaked by the Pittsburgh Pirates thanks to a Bottom of the 9th comeback earlier this afternoon, so this evening's loss drops the Reds a full 7 games back in the NL Central standings. Does it seem a bit early to worry about that kind of thing? It does, kind of, until you realize that most every team in baseball has already played 40 games this year. That's 1/4th of the season already in the books.
- The "Big 162" gets talked about a lot, probably more at other places than at Red Reporter. Tonight's game had punt written all over it, from the starting pitcher through the player called up and right on to tonight's lineup, and it was done to keep two other pitchers pitching on their regular rotation during the upcoming road trip. I get that. This game was all about a future stretch of games, but that didn't make watching it any more fun, which is good, I suppose, because there were about 9 people in the stands to see it.
- The previous Other Note was brought to you by Cy Schourek's love of commas.
- I think Cameron Maybin will be activated again before tomorrow night's game. I'm pretty sure this year's NL Rookie of the Year Award race will come down to him and Edinson Volquez.
- This URL has CEO-level SEO, IMO.
- Jeff Francis reminds me 100% of Don Flamenco.
- There have probably been too many Other Notes.