The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The Cincinnati Reds looked like they had some well-rested legs for tonight's game, and they put their bipedal abilities on display early and often against the San Francisco Giants in the first game of the series. Not surprisingly, the leader of the pack was Billy Hamilton, who smacked a double, an infield single, scored two runs, swiped two bags legally, took two additional ones thanks to his accomplices Tim Lincecum & Hector Sanchez, and made a few long-run swell plays in CF to wrap up another JNMHSotG trophy. Good on ya, Billy, and I'm dern glad your elbow isn't a serious problem.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jay Bruce who smacked a double and a single himself, drove in a pair of runs, stole a bag, scored twice, raised his average over the Mendoza line, and threw a laser of a near-out to the plate; Devin Mesoraco, who mashed a Moon Rock-o to deep LF as part of his assault on all-things SLG related; Todd Frazier, who walked twice, scored twice, smacked a single, and still likes Frank Sinatra; J.J. Hoover, who vacuumed his way through a spotless pair of relief innings; and Homer Bailey, who battled through early issues to log a quality start, make me write the word log as a verb, and squeak his season ERA under 5.00 (to 4.99).
- Hunter Pence goofpunked an eye-level fastball from Bailey over the LF wall in the Top of the 1st. Goofed. Punked. Goofpunked. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Fortunately for the fans of the good guys, the Reds had their own goofy boots on tonight, and they commenced shaking 'em in the Bottom of the 1st. Hamilton smacked an opposite field double to lead things off, and when Big Time Timmy Jim thought he had Billy picked off at 2B, we all cackled as his throw skipped into CF, which allowed Billy to take 3B, home, and our subcockle regions. Frazier then walked, and he scored two batters later when Bruce roped an uve doble to the corner in RF. Bruce thought it wise to take an easy jog 'round the bases to score his run, so he simply persuaded Mesoraco to launch a Mashoraco way into the LF stands so they could both cruise across home plate. Great teammate, that Mesoraco. Looking out for his RF's meniscus and all. Reds led, 4-0.
- The pesky Giants scraped across single runs in both the Tops of the 2nd and the 3rd. A super duper slight hit by pitch put Hector Sanchez on base with an out in the 2B, a Brandon Crawford double moved him to 3B, and a sac fly scored the Giants' catcher. In the 3B, a heavenly walk to Angel Pagan turned hellish following a Pence double and a Panda sac-fly, but the holy puns were held in check after that thanks to some David Dewitty defensive puns. Reds led, 4-3.
- The Reds then commenced streak preservation mode, and it was a reminder of the kind of offense this team was capable of boasting with a healthy and productive BP and Bruce in the lineup. The Bottom of the 5th was when the good doinks did their doinking, and it once again started with Hamilton on the bases. Speedy Hamiltones reached when his slow grounder wasn't timely fielded at SS by Crawford, and when he broke for a steal of 2B, the throw was once again rushed into CF. Billy took 3B, Frazier walked again, and Beep Beeped a double to the corner in LF that scored them both. Phillips then channeled his inner 2008 with a steal of 3B, and he scored on a single from Bruce. Bruce then stole 2B, watched the throw go into CF, washed himself, repeated himself, drank to a Slyde reference, moved to 3B, and high-fived a Dusty Baker homage while scoring on a Brayan Pena grounder. Reds led, 8-3.
- Bailey mowed, J.J. Hoover flipped, and Logan Ondrusek drove the bailer, and by the end of the Top of the 9th the Reds had made some mighty fine hay out of them rascally San Francisco Giants. Reds win, 8-3!
- Prior to tonight's set of games, the Reds had played just 24 home games on the season, and if my math is correct, that was the 4th fewest of any team in the Majors (behind 3 teams that had each played 23). Each of the three teams ahead of the Reds in the NL Central standings had played at least five more home games than the Reds this year, spearheaded by the 1st place Milwaukee Brewers and their 31 home games thus far. The Reds just started a 10 game homestand and are about to throw serious rocks.
- Anyone else ever noticed that friend-of-the-blog Dan Szymborski has spent the last 20ish years moonlighting as Warren Haynes?
- Jay Bruce is going to slug .600 and whack 10 dingers in June. Joey Votto will be back and on base for no fewer than 5 of those dingers.
- The Reds have won 4 games in a row and are now just two games under .500. That makes the first Other Note of the night now read kind of funny, unfortunately. You are all big boys, big girls, or that.guy, however, so you're every bit intelligent enough to figure out what I'm talking about. Or trying to talk about, at least.
- Funny tunes?
- Weather-representative tunes!