The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Anthony DeSclafani was the prize of the offseason trade that sent Mat Latos from the Cincinnati Reds to the Miami Marlins whether Reds fans liked it or not, and so far, he's done nothing to disprove Walt Jocketty's faith in him. Disco spun a gem against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night, throwing 7 innings of scoreless ball that featured just a pair of hits allowed, a pair of walks issued, and 5 Cubs out by strikeout, and he never once seemed anything but in complete control in the process. For a young guy with a lot being asked of him, DeSclafani has shown no inkling of the pressure getting to him, and he has flashed the kind of pitching arsenal that makes knowing he'll be under team control for five years beyond 2015 seem quite dreamy.
Props on the great display tonight, Anthony, and have yourself a JNMHSotG trophy.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who went 2 for 3 with a double, walk, and an RBI; Brandon Phillips, who hit two balls hard (one for a single) and played his typical stellar defense at 2B; Billy Hamilton, who went 1 for 4 with a run scored and his 8th steal of the season; and Aroldis Chapman, who again excelled in his role as the lone non-dumpster-fire in the bullpen.
- The entirety of the Reds offense came against Jake Arrieta in the Top of the 4th, and Hamilton spearheaded it. Billy singled to lead off the inning, stole 2B, and scored when Votto singled up the middle. After Todd Frazier grounded into a force out that nabbed Votto at 2B, Phillips singled to move Frazier up to 2B before Bruce hit an oppo single that plated Frazier. In the process of that play, however, Bruce got caught in a rundown trying to take 2B after Starlin Castro tackled Phillips while trying to tag him at 3B. Marlon Byrd followed with a single after a lengthy delay as trainers checked on Phillips, and the Reds led, 3-0.
- DeSclafani was in total control as he mowed through the Cubs order for the rest of the evening, and it wasn't until Kevin Gregg took over in the Bottom of the 8th when the Cubs finally got on the board. Gregg walked Matt Szczur to lead off the inning, and he later scored when the next batter - pinch hitter Wellington Castillo - dingered to CF on a Gregg meatball. Fortunately, Bryan Price pulled Gregg before things could get any worse in that inning, and Tony Cingrani managed to get out of the inning without further damage. Reds led, 3-2.
- The number next to the inning finally showed 9 with the Reds still in the lead, and that meant that Chapman was finally allowed to enter the game in the Bottom of the 9th, and he did his usual Chapmaning by striking out 2 guys in his lone inning of work and clinching things for the good guys. Reds win, 3-2!
- Brandon Phillips ultimately exited the game with dizziness, a direct result of the 4th inning tackle from Starlin Castro. Here's to hoping he'll be OK, and soon.
- Speaking of banged up Reds, Devin Mesoraco again sat out tonight's game with hip soreness, but all reports indicate that he'll be ready to rejoin the lineup no later than this weekend against St. Louis.
- Joey Votto is now on pace for 243 hits this season. #approach
- Current Red Jason Marquis will take the mound opposite former Red Travis Wood in the series finale tomorrow, with first pitch set for 8:05 EDT. Rumor has it that the bullpen will be spending the night at Wrigley Field doing pushups and wall sits until first pitch.
- Honorary Tunes. RIP, Percy Sledge.