The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Mat Latos may not have been pitching on "short rest," in the traditional sense, but at the very least had to shake off some cigar smoke for tonight's start. The freshly-made father rode his newfound daddy strength to an impressive start. His final line - 7 IP, 4 ER, BB, 10 K - belied what was really a vintage Latos outing. Fathers have the easy job, but big ups nonetheless.
Honorable mentions are due to Skip Schumaker (2-4, 2 RBI), Devin Mesoraco (2-2, BB) and Billy Hamilton (2-5, SB) - who stole his 50th base and became the youngest Red ever to do so.
- Billy Hamilton singled and was caught stealing in the first.
- The Cubs went back-to-back in the second inning, the second of which was in Jorge Soler's first major league plate appearance. Soler Shot is what I hope they call those. Because there won't ever be any other Cubs on base. Cubs led 2-0.
- Surprisingly, the Reds came right back to the even the score in the bottom of the second. Cozart and Schumaker picked up the RBIs. That made it weird.
- The Reds opened up the game in the bottom of the fourth, putting four on the board thanks in large measure to the strategy of deflecting balls off of Cub fielders.
- Latos left without recording an out in the 8th, allowing two singles - a liner and a dinker. Jonathan Broxton let in both inherited runners before getting a pizza-producing strikeout and getting Wellington Castillo to ground into a double-play.
- Chris "Greatest Pinch Hitter in Reds' History" Heisey tacked on a Great American Insurance home run in the bottom of the inning.
- As if to prove some point about the arbitrary nature of luck and illusion of karma, Aroldis Chapman brought us all to the brink of football fandom in the 9th. After two Cubs reached base, Javier Baez came up with two outs and hit an 0-2 pitch to one of the deepest points in the park before it was flagged down by Billy Hamilton. Chapman seemed to think it was gone. It was a two-run win, instead.
- In a down year for his K-rate, Latos notched a season high (10). His next-highest this year was 7 in a game in Colorado that I need to remember to forget
- Speaking of which, had Baez's flyout caught a gentle breeze, visions of Colorado would've been hard to suppress. Baez was completely chewed up by a 0-1 slider and, in general, looks overmatched against breaking stuff so far in the majors. Chapman's high fastball to Baez on an 0-2 was careless. Maybe a teachable moment for the Mesoraco-Chapman battery.
- Billy Hamilton has been caught stealing a lot - 19 times, which leads the league. Of course, so were Vince Coleman and Rickey Henderson. Billy's success rate (72.4%, after tonight) is a decent baseline to build on.
- Fred Regorter called, but we didn't pick up.
- Hey, young world:
- "I love every little thing about you."