The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Y'know, Mat Latos just may turn out to be the biggest midseason addition to any team that has dreams of a postseason run. Tonight, he showed how effective he can be despite not having his usual overpowering fastball, and he shut down a Chicago offense that has actually been surprisingly cromulent this season. Latos threw 7 innings of 1 run ball, struck out 5, walked nobody, and allowed just 5 hits in 106 pitches, and he did all of that despite having a fastball that only cracked 91 mph once all night (by my own unscientific counting). That was good enough for a win, the series, victory, and a JNMHSotG trophy for his wall.
Welcome back to the win column, Mat!
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who went 1 for 2 with an RBI double, run scored, and a pair of walks; Skip Schumaker, who had a pair of doubles and a gritty RBI squeeze bunt; and Jay Bruce, who similarly had a pair of doubles to drive in two runs.
- The top of the Reds order got down to business in the Top of the 1st tonight, and Frazier played a starring role. He singled, stole 2B, and after Votto walked and Mesoraco flied out, Frazier came in to score on a double to the RF wall by Bruce. Unfortunately, Votto was thrown out by about four Steve Smiths to end the inning. Reds led, 1-0.
- The Cubs got that run back off Latos in the Bottom of the 4th after the Reds' starter had cruised through the first three innings unscathed. Ryan Sweeney led off with a double, and he scored after a grounder from Anthony Rizzo moved him to 3B and Starlin Castro singled him home. Game tied, 1-1.
- The wheels fell off for Edwin Jackson in the Top of the 6th, and it all began with a Frazier walk that, well, haunted. He scored when Votto doubled behind him, and Votto scored after Mesoraco singled him to 3B and Bruce doubled. That double left Mes at 3B with Bruce at 2B, and after Chris Heisey went down on strikes and Jackson was replaced by James Russell, Skip Schumaker dropped a perfectly placed suicide squeeze that scored Mes and harked back to the days of Dusty managing and Red Reporter being cool. Oh, those days. Reds led, 4-1.
- Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman shut down the Cubs (for the most part, I guess, since Chapman allowed a should-be dinger to Starlin Castro that was reviewed and erroneously - I believe - ruled a double), and the Reds cruised on home. Reds win, 4-1!
- The Reds are going streaking! Tonight's win wrapped up a winning series in Chicago, and that's now the 4th consecutive series the Reds have claimed. Still no sweeps, though, but at least tonight's win got them back over .500.
- Speaking of streaking, Billy Hamilton's hit streak and Devin Mesoraco's dinger streak both came to an end this evening. Billy's 12 game stretch had been the longest current streak in the majors, and the end of Mesoraco's 5 game dinger run means he's only tied for the longest such streak in Reds history.
- The Reds will fly West after tonight's game, and tomorrow they'll begin a 4 game weekend series against the NL West leading San Francisco Brisbees. Mike Leake will take the mound for the first game of the series tomorrow night at 10:15 PM EST with Ryan Vogelsong as his doppelganger.
- Hi, Chris!
- Fun Lovin' Tunes.