The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
In a contest devoid of clutchy grittitude for the better part of 5 hours, Todd Frazier launched the megadinger that sealed the victory for the Cincinnati Reds in the Top of the 47th inning. Frazier finished with a 3 for 6 evening that included said dinger, two runs scored, a bruise from being hit by a Strasburg pitch, a pair of Skip-worthy RBIs, and still the best walk-up song in all of sports. Frazier's offensive rebound following the Sophomore slump he endured for much of 2013 has been much welcomed for the Reds offense, and he's basically on pace for a season's worth of Jay Bruce dingers, Jay Bruce ribbies, Jay Bruce triple-slash, sub-Brucian strikeouts, 10+ steals, and Gold Glove caliber defense. I don't care what Juan Francisco is doing for the Toronto Blue Jays, anointing Frazier as the 3B of the present and future is one of the best moves Walt Jocketty has made in his tenure as the GM of the Reds.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Billy Hamilton, who went 2 for 6 with a steal, a walk, and a freak-nasty game-saving catch in CF; Brandon Phillips, who went 1 for 7 with a run scored and an even nastier freak-nasty game-saving catch at 2B; Chris Heisey, who went 3 for 6 with three doubles and a walk; and the entire pitching staff, since the bullpen backed up Mike Leake's solid start with 8.1 innings of 1-run ball.
- Stephen Strasburg and his fellow San Diego youth teammate Leake held each other's offenses in check through the early innings, but the Reds graced the scoreboard with their presence first in the Top of the 4th thanks to some cheeky (read: TOOTBLANy) baserunning. Frazier was hit by a pitch with 1-out, and he moved to 3B on a single from Brayan Pena. The world then tilted a bit, brain power was suddenly cast into an illogical equilibrium, and when the Reds were finished running crazy bases, Frazier had scored while Pena was thrown out at 2B. Reds led, 1-0.
- Zack Cozart was hit by a pitch to lead off the Top of the 5th, he moved to 2B on a sac bunt from Leake and to 3B on an infield single from Hamilton, and Cozy came in to score on a gritsmashed single up the middle from Skip Schumaker. Reds led, 2-0.
- Leake cruised into the Bottom of the 7th having yielded nary a run, but as his pitch count topped 100, the Nationals scraped across a run. Nat McLouth singled and moved to 2B on a wild pitch, and Leake was chased when Denard Span singled to RF. Reds led, 2-1.
- Aroldis Chapman was brought on for the save opportunity in the Bottom of the 9th after Sam LeCure and Jonathan Broxton tossed scoreless innings in front of him. Danny Espinosa promptly launched a leadoff double to the corner in LF, and some small-ball and a sac-fly scored him to send the game into a billion extra hours and innings. Game tied, 2-2.
- After Brandon Phillips made a diving catch to end the Bottom of the 12th with a runner that would have scored left stranded and Billy Hamilton pulled a similarly spectacular feat in the Bottom of the 15th, Todd Frazier stepped to the plate in the Top of the 15th with Brandon Phillips on 1B, Frank Sinatra in his ears, and Daddy Power coursing through his veins. He smacked an inside heater from Ross Detwiler over the wall in left-center, and the Reds had scored for the first time in an epoch. Logan Ondrusek managed to nail down the save after some smoked smackers and a run allowed, and that was that on an early Tuesday morning. Reds win, 4-3!
- The Reds are now 1 for 1 in 1-run games in which they've played in the Brayan-Pena-is-a-1B era. That's good people and good karma at work.
- That was Todd Frazier's 8th dinger of the year, but just his 1st dinger dinged outside of GABP.
- Two of the four main components of this team are championship caliber. The starting pitching and team defense have been as good as I can remember, and at least one of the other Voltron parts sit sidelined in the form of Jay Bruce and Joey Votto. What the hell is wrong with the bullpen, however, I cannot say.
- Devin Mesoraco caught the full 15 innings tonight, and given that and his recent DL stint due to hamstring issues, you can pretty much bet on Brayan Pena catching tomorrow's game. Whether that means Neftali Soto gets the start at 1B for a handful of bunt attempts, I don't know, but I'm still holding out hope that Joey Votto jumps back in for a 2-3, 2B, BB evening. We miss you, Joe Dan.
- Go to bed.
- Frazy Tunes.