The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Ladies and gentlemen, Johnny Cueto.
The Reds' ace put an exclamation point on his stellar 2014 season by earning his twentieth win. He pitched eight innings, giving up one run and striking out seven. On the season, he has racked up 242 strikeouts, tying him for the National League lead. He has pitched 243.2 innings with an ERA of 2.25. Clayton Kershaw will win the Cy Young award, and he will certainly deserve it. But Cueto has put up the best season by a Reds pitcher in decades. It's fitting that he earned the Reds' first twenty win season since 1988, and the fact that he did it against the Pirates - eliminating their chance to win the division after the Pirates defeated Cueto and ended the Reds season last year - was just the cherry on top.
Oh, and he had a huge RBI single do drive in the go ahead run in arguably the most exciting Reds plate appearance of the 2014 season. That too.
Congratulations, Johnny Cueto, and take a bow.
- The Reds got on the board in the first inning, when Kristopher Negron and Brandon Phillips singled, and Negron scored on a Todd Frazier groundout. Reds lead 1-0.
- The Pirates answered back with a solo home run by Neil Walker in the fourth inning. All tied up 1-1.
- In the eighth inning, Jason Borgeois led off with a triple. Zach Cozart lined out. Bryan Price then made the very curious decision to allow Johnny Cueto to bat for himself. After a tense and hard fought at bat, Cueto singled back up the middle to score Borgeois and give his team the lead. Cueto was immediately removed from the game for pinch runner Yorman Rodriguez. Reds lead 2-1.
- It didn't matter, though, because the very next batter was Negron, who homered to left to give the Reds some breathing room. Reds lead 4-1.
- Aroldis Chapman closed the game out, giving up a leadoff single to Starling Marte, then striking out the next three batters. Reds win 4-1.
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2014-09-28&team=Reds&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=2014-09-28&team=Reds&dh=0&season=2014">FanGraphs</a></span>
- The Reds finish the season with a 76-86 record.
- With this loss by the Pirates, the Cardinals clinched the National League Central.
- 2014 is over. This is always a sad moment for me, but this year, there's a little bit of a relief mixed in. Time to enjoy some stress-free postseason baseball, and time to turn the page and start looking ahead to 2015. I think it's going to be a good one.
- End Times Tunes!