The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Devin Mesoraco just played the role of an amalgamation of Matt Christopher heroes, and it was quite a sight to behold. Mes was plunked twice, pitched around once, hit by a Darwin Barney follow-through swing, victim of a poor check-swing decision early, backstop to a foul-ball to the same hand he was hit on earlier, and fortunately still standing in the batter's box when the bases became loaded in a tight game in the Bottom of the 9th. Well, in the kind of clutchy grittastic performance that would endear any classic catcher into the memories of coaches and youngsters everywhere, Mesoraco responded with a grand slam in that Top of the 9th scenario, and that put the game out of even the stretchy length of Logan Ondrusek's right arm.
Props to you, Devin, for homering in your 4th consecutive game and taking home yet another JNMHSotG award.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Billy Hamilton, who went 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored, the original go-ahead RBI in the 9th, and a "double" that was the product of being absurdly fast while the Cubs blindly Cub'd; Alfredo Simon, who threw 7 innings of 1 run, 5 K, 1 BB, 5 hit ball; and Todd Frazier, who went 3 for 5 with a triple, run scored, RBI, TOOTBLAN, and stolen base.
- Before most viewers could let the foam die down a bit on their first beers, the Cincinnati Reds had banged across the first run of the game. Hamilton led off with a grounder that went just out of the reach of 2B Darwin Barney, and Hamilton motored around to 2B before the RF could corral the ball with any chance of a throw. Frazier then followed with a triple to the wall in RF, scoring Hamilton. The Reds let every chance to score Frazier go by, though, as Jeff Samardzija pitched his way around the middle of the order. Reds led, 1-0.
- In the Bottom of the 6th, Anthony Rizzo continued on his season-long Joey Votto impersonation tour by clubbing an opposite-field dinger over the wall in left. Game tied, 1-1.
- In the Top of the 9th, the Reds decided that whatever they did, it had to be funky, so Chris Heisey started the beat with a pinch-hit single, Hamilton smashed an RBI single up the middle on the one, and after Frazier dropped the bass & Votto walked to the mic, Mesoraco took the Reds to the bridge with a quadradinger just over the protective fencing in left-center. That did it. Reds won, 6-1!
- For the first time in the 2014 season, the Cincinnati Reds are over the .500 mark. At 38-37, the Reds sit just 2.5 games out of a playoff spot in the National League. Like I said, get your popcorn ready.
- Mesoraco now leads all MLB catchers in OPS (1.035), is 2nd in HR (13), and has just 3 fewer RBI than the catcher with the most in the majors (Miguel Montero, who has 41). Aside from Derek Norris, Mesoraco has nearly 75 fewer AB in 2014 than any of his peers on that list.
- Title tunes.