The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Devin Mesoraco hit a dinger in his fifth consecutive game, and while this one was unfortunately not a 9th inning grand slam, it's still a feat that few in baseball history have accomplished. Mes finished 2 for 4 with a pair of runs scored and another two runs driven in, and he's done everything in his power to stake a full-time claim to the cleanup spot in games in which he plays. I'd love for him to add an All Star designation to his resume, but at the rate he's being battered and bruised there's a part of me that hopes he can just spend the weekend in an ice bath somewhere recouping. I mean, he has been absoludicrous so far this year.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Billy Hamilton, who went 1 for 4, scored a run, and broke up the perfect game attempt in the Top of the 7th; Jumbo Diaz, who looked electric in pitching a clean 7th inning (hitting 98 mph routinely); and Jay Bruce, who hit a laser of an RBI double to the wall in RF.
- Both Jake Arrieta and Homer Bailey were on their games from the outset, as both managed to make it through the first 11 batters of the game perfectly unscathed. That changed for Bailey in the Bottom of the 4th, however, as his bid for perfection was crushed by a towering dinger from Anthony Rizzo that just cleared the protective fencing at the top of the wall in right center. Cubs led, 1-0.
- A single from Nate Schierholtz led off the Bottom of the 5th, and he scored when Wellington Castillo followed with a double down the 1B line. Then, in the Bottom of the 6th, the wheels fell off for what had been a rather solid outing from Bailey, and the Cubs tacked on another two runs. Walks to Arrieta and Junior "Bat Flip for a Walk" Lake and a single from Rizzo loaded the bases, and Bailey threw his last pitch up and in and off the hand of Starlin Castro to drive in a run. J.J. Hoover was brought in, and he got a sac-fly out from Schierholtz and another fly-out to end the threat. Reds trailed, 4-0.
- Arrieta spent much of that long inning on the bases, and he promptly yielded his attempt at perfection to a Billy Hamilton single up the middle to lead off the Top of the 7th. A Joey Votto grounder moved him to 2B, and he scored on a single from Mesoraco. Mes then scored on Bruce's double, and the Reds were back in business. Reds trailed, 4-2.
- Sam LeCure relieved Jumbo after a saucy 7th, and the Cubs took it to the mustachioed reliever in the Bottom of the 8th with the help of some shoddy defending on the Reds' part. A Lake single & Rizzo double put runners at 2B and 3B, and after Castro was walked intentionally to set up a potential inning-ending double play, Schierholtz smacked one right under Votto's glove and a pair of runs came in to score. A sac fly later, and the Reds were out of it. Mes's blast came in the Top of the 9th, but the solo shot got them no closer to a victory. Reds lose, 7-3.
- The only Reds besides Mesoraco to hit dingers in 5 consecutive games are Ted Kluszewski, Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey, Jr, and Adam Dunn. Not bad company, Dev.
- Billy Hamilton has a 12 game hitting streak to boot, and has 21 hits over those 12 games.
- Mat Latos will toe the rubber opposite Edwin Jackson in the finale of this 3 game series tonight, though this game will be on an hour earlier than the previous two. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 EST.