The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
"Brandon Phillips - Leadoff Hitter" has been a thing for a bit now, and for the Cincinnati Reds, it couldn't have worked out better to this point. Phillips continued his hot streak with a 3 for 5 evening that featured a run scored, 2 ribbies, and a double, and he's reached the first week of June with a .311 average and a .346 OBP on his 2015 resume, numbers hardly anyone really expected when his extension and presumptive decline were put in ink.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Anthony DeSclafani, who singled, scored a run, and pitched in front of a bevy of his New Jersey family, logging a 7+ IP start that was much more imposing than the 4 ER he ended up being charged with would suggest; Skip Schumaker, who got the start in LF and responded by walking twice and scoring both times he reached base; Billy Hamilton, who went 1 for 3 with a run scored and a pair of runs driven in; and Aroldis Chapman, who bounced back from his awful Wednesday outing with a perfect inning in which he struck out the side for his 10th save of the year.
- Phillips kicked former teammate Aaron Harang in the baseball jimmy as the game's first batter, singling to RF on yet another hard-hit ball. Beep scored two batters later when Todd Frazier busted out of his mini-slump with a double to the wall in left-center. Reds led, 1-0.
- DeSclafani got a rude intro to his 1st inning, too, as Ben Revere led off with a triple and promptly scored when Jeff Francoeur followed with a ground out. Chase Utley then doubled, and he later scored when Maikel Franco continued his stellar series with a double of his own. Reds trailed, 2-1.
- Both Harang and Disco settled in after their rough starts, and the song remained the same until the Top of the 5th. Skip Schumaker led off with a walk - which haunted - and he moved to 2B when Disco helped himself with a single of his own. Both runners moved up a base on a Billy Hamilton sac bunt, and Skip came around to score when Phillips doubled. From a recapper's perspective, shit then hit the proverbial fan, as Todd Frazier's PA got all mangled by Carlos Ruiz trying to catch like it was way back in 2010. Frazier put the ball in play, and when the Phils tried to nab Disco at home, it appeared that they'd gotten the tag down before the Reds starter managed to touch the plate. Four score and seven years later, los umpos determined that Ruiz was blocking the path to home plate moreso that the bat that was also sitting in the middle of the basepath, and they ruled Disco safe at home. An inconsequential Jay Bruce GIDP followed, but the Reds were back in the lead, 3-2.
- The Top of the 6th was also kind to the good guys, as back to back 1-out walks off Harang from Cozart and Skipper set the table, and after both moved up a bag on a Disco sacrifice, Hamilton singled to score them both. A wild pitch and a BP single later, Billy crossed the plate, and the Reds held the lead, 6-2.
- Since nothing the Reds attempt to accomplish ever comes easy, the Reds ran into a pile of mischief in the Bottom of the 8th. The Reds opted to keep Disco in the game despite his otherwise awesome start, and the walk and single he yielded before being pulled both scored off reliever Tony Cingrani. Ruiz motored home when Revere cue-balled a double down the LF line, and an Utley sac-fly plated Cesar Hernandez to make every Reds fan who watched the previous year and a half beg for mercy. Tony Spaghetti managed to K Ryan Howard for the inning's final out, though, but the Reds lead was reduced to just 6-4.
- Chapman took the hill in the Bottom of the 9th, promptly poo-poo'd last night's disaster, and mowed through the three Phillies he faced like he was driving a brand new quarter-million dollar batwing. Reds win, 6-4!
- We recorded another edition of the Red Reporter Podcast tonight, so keep an eye and an ear peeled for that in the coming days. Toddcast? A-Podcast? Tony Podrez? Scott Podcastnik? Pod Benzinger!
- The inevitable Brayan Pena decline is in full effect, unfortunately. His OPS has dropped from .840 to .707 since May 12th.
- Speaking of which, Zack Cozart's OBP has dipped to a still-too-high-to-be-predictable .316 on the season, and for a guy who has a ready-made replacement at AAA, that's a number that just screams "TRADE."
- The Reds return home to begin a 6 game homestand tomorrow night, with the San Diego Padres in town for the first 3 of said games hosted. Raisel Iglesias will take the mound for the Reds opposite Tyson Ross, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.