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Reds avoid sweep: CIN 3, PIT 2

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The Reds offense exploded for three runs en route to a win in their final appearance at PNC Park this season.

There were no pictures of Heisey from today's game, so please enjoy this older version.  He still looks the same.
There were no pictures of Heisey from today's game, so please enjoy this older version. He still looks the same.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

For the Cincinnati Reds lately, runs, much like a good man, have been hard to find. So JNMHSotG honors are reserved for Chris Heisey, who gave the Reds two whole runs with one swing of the bat with his fifth inning two run home run. That in and of himself might have been enough for the JNMHSotG title today, but Heisey repeated himself later in the game, coming up with a big solo shot in the ninth inning to give the Reds the lead and the win.

Johnny Cueto earned himself an honorable mention for his performance as well. While not as dominant as he has shown himself to be at times earlier in the season, he was nonetheless very effective, giving up two runs, both on solo home runs, with six strikeouts and just one walk over 113 pitches.

Key Plays

  • In the bottom of the first, Pirates leadoff batter Josh Harrison homered on the first pitch Johnny Cueto threw. Pirates lead 1-0.

  • In the bottom of the second, Jordy Mercer homered as well. Fortunately, Starling Marte had just been picked off first base, keeping it a solo home run. Pirates lead 2-0.

  • Ryan Ludwick led off the top of the fifth inning with a walk, and then Chris Heisey tied the game with a no-doubt homer to left field. Tie game, 2-2.

  • The Pirates threatened in the eighth inning when Harrison and Andrew McCutchen singled. But Cueto worked his way out of trouble with an assist from a fantastic catch by Kristopher Negron to end the inning with no damage.

  • In the top of the ninth inning, Heisey struck again, this time with a solo home run to left field. Reds 3, Pirates 2.

  • In the bottom of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman slammed the door with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning.

Fangraph:

<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2014-08-31&team=Pirates&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2014-08-31&team=Pirates&dh=0&season=2014">FanGraphs</a></span>

Other Notes:

  • <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Johnny Cueto now has 200 Ks this season, becoming 3rd <a href="https://twitter.com/Reds">@Reds</a> pitcher w/ 200 Ks before Sept., joining Jim Maloney &amp; Mario Soto. (via Elias)</p>&mdash; ESPN Stats &amp; Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/statuses/506137165567655937">August 31, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

  • With his stolen base in the seventh inning, Billy Hamilton tied the Reds franchise record for stolen bases by a rookie with 54. Hamilton currently shares the record with Bob Bescher, who stole 54 bases in 1909.

  • It’s difficult to get overly exercised about lineup construction at this point in the season. But is Brandon Phillips really the Reds’ best option to be batting third?

  • This was Chris Heisey's fifth career two home run game.
  • Today is Ramon Santiago's 35th birthday.  Happy birthday, Ramon.
  • For reasons known only to the MLB schedule makers, the Reds have an off day tomorrow. On Tuesday, they begin a three game set against the AL East leading Orioles at Camden Yards.

  • TUNE!