The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
You know who's needed to string some good days in a row? Home Run Derby Champion Todd Frazier. The slump started before that Derby, of course, but the dry west coast air has been good for the Toddfather. After throwing up (as in, barfing) a .521 OPS since July 1 before coming to the Golden* state, Frazier has 8 hits and 2 home runs in 6 games in California this week. Todd has been streaky for sure, but he put up a first half that had his General Manager describing him as "untradeable." Whether that "untradeable" tag was ever accurate or true, Todd ending the season strong would be a major highlight in an otherwise fairly meaningless end of the 2015 Reds.
Tonight, for what it's worth, Todd was 2-3 with 2 RBI, 1 ToddBomb, 1 run scored and a walk. That's worth a trophy.
Honorable mentions to: Joey Votto for a 2-4, 1 double, 1 RBI and 1 run scored night (ho-hum, right?), Brandon Phillips for his 1 hit, 1 run scored night, Brayan Pena for his 1 hit, I guess. Billy had a hit, too. Pedro Villarreal, Ryan Mattheus and Jumbo Diaz did the Lord's work, allowing only 1 run and cleaning up the starter's troubles (if you're Villarreal) in 6 innings. Go bullpen!
- The Reds wasted no time getting on the board in the top of the 1st inning. After Brandon Phillips and Eugenio Suarez outs, Joey Votto hit a grounder right up the middle for a single to center field, and then Todd Frazier launched his 29th dinger of the season to score them both. Marlon Byrd grounded out to third base but the Reds jump on the board, 2-0.
- In the bottom of the 2nd, Yasiel Puig opened up the frame by strutting off a solo wanger for a Dodger run. David Holmberg walked Carl Crawford. Then he walked AJ Ellis. You see where this is going, don't you? Joc Pederson popped out for the first out of the inning. Pitcher Brett Anderson laid down the sac bunt that sent Ellis and Crawford to 2nd and 3rd, then Jimmy Rollins sent a single to left to score Crawford. Enrique "Kiké" Hernandez then punched his 6th homer of the year into left field, scoring three. Adrian Gonzalez mercifully ended the inning but, damnit Holmberg. Dodgers led 2-5.
- Joey was here to try and save the day in the top of the 3rd. After Billy grounded out, Phillips singled to second base. Suarez struck out, but Votto came up, took pitches, worked pitches, and finally sent a double to the left field corner that scored Phillips. Frazier worked a walk but Byrd grounded into an out at the pitcher. Drats. The Reds slowly tried to claw back, though, 3-5.
- Former Red Justin Turner led off the Dodger part of the 3rd with a solo page-Turner. Holmberg then walked Puig. Holmberg then walked Crawford. Bryan Price then walked to the mound. David Holmberg then walked to the dugout. Pedro Villarreal spelled Holmberg and immediately served up a single to AJ Ellis to load the bases with no outs. Pederson grounded out up the middle on what looked to be a double play ball that wasn't turned; Ellis was out at second but no throw was made to first, while Puig scored. Anderson laid down another sac bunt to move Pederson to 2B. Mercifully, Rollins struck out to end the inning. Dodgers up, 3-7.
- Kiké grounded out for the first one of the bottom of the 4th, but Gonzalez reached down and got an offering from Villarreal, sending it into the seats in left center field. Turner and Puig both lined out to end the inning, so Villarreal Villarreally limited the damage. Dodgers extend their lead 3-8.
- That did it for this game. Dodgers win, 3-8.
- David Holmberg. Gah. Never to be mistaken for even a middle of the rotation cog, he's got to be somewhere in the middle of the good vs. bad that he's shown. In his first two 2014 Reds start, Holmberg never made it out of the 2nd inning and in those two starts, the ERA was flirting with 20. However, when the Reds turned it over to him again in September, the Holm-Slice made four starts with a 1.9 ERA. David built on that through his first two starts of this season, against the two best teams in the NL Central and two of the top five teams in the league, to the tune of a 3.27 ERA. And then, this turdfest. Figure it out, David.
- The old-school Cincinnati Reds pullovers that've been wore this year (and others) are great, but I still think my favorite jersey is the home whites of the Dodgers, with the curly blue script and red numbers. Just great.
- Brandon Phillips added to his hitting streak tonight, extending it to 8. He's hit safely in 15 of 16 games, a time where he's sported a near 1.000 OPS. He factored little into the decision of this one, but dang he's been better this year on offense this year than he has in the last three, while also showing a renaissance in the running game and flashing the same leather as always on the defensive end. I'm as hard on DatDude as anyone, but the 2015 Reds would be a lot worse without him.
- Yasiel Puig is built like a brick shithouse, for real. He was on base like, all of the times tonight, and I don't think I understand the LA rumors that he was going to be traded. Why would you trade that?
- Tomorrow the Reds will send Anthony DeSclafani to the
wolvesmound to try and best Zack Greinke. Good luck, rook. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 EDT.
- Because of Straight Outta Compton and the fact that this is in LA this weekend, here are some tunes that people may find offensive. That's your trigger warning, I guess.