The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Raisel Iglesias poked a triple to the wall on Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs, and in the process knocked in the go-ahead run for the Cincinnati Reds in the rubber match of the series. Iglesias has struggled a bit at the plate since being called up to the big leagues, but he finally managed to notch his first career extra-base hit and drove in the first run of his short career.
With a swing that smooth and wheels like that, I'm sure he'll stick around the big league dugout for quite sometime.
For good measure, he threw 7 innings of 2 ER ball, allowing just 3 hits in the process despite a day in Wrigley where the wind was blowing out. He struck out 10 against just 3 walks, and I'm starting to think they may want to use him more for his arm than his bat. Maybe.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who bonked a go-ahead 3-run homer in the Top of the 9th; Eugenio Suarez, who singled, doubled, scored, drove in a run, and stole his 4th bag of the season; Jason Bourgeois, who smacked a solo homer; and Brandon Phillips, who had a multi-hit day.
- The Reds plated a single run in both the Top of the 1st and the Top of the 2nd. Bourgeois launched a sky-high solo dinger off Jason Hammel to lead the game off, and Suarez's single behind a Brayan Pena double scored a run in the 2nd. Reds led, 2-0.
- The wind was blowing out of Wrigley in this one, and that usually means dingers. Wednesday was no different, as Tommy La Stella hit a solo blast off Iglesias in the Bottom of the 3rd and Anthony Rizzo matched his teammate with a solo shot of his own in the Bottom of the 4th. Game tied, 2-2.
- Suarez led off the Top of the 5th with a double to the corner in RF, and he scored two batters later when Iglesias tripled to the wall in right-center. Reds led, 3-2.
- Some productive veteraniness got the Reds another run in the Top of the 6th. Votto singled, Phillips singled behind him, and both runners moved up on a somewhat surprising bunt down the 3B line off the bat of Todd Frazier. Votto then came in to score on a soft ground-out off the bat of Pena. Reds led, 4-2.
- J.J. Hoover took over for the Bottom of the 8th. His outing did not go swimmingly. He walked Dexter Fowler with 1-out, and believe it or not, it haunted. Hoover got Chris Coghlan to strike out swinging, but Kris Bryant then launched a fly-ball into the jet stream and it carried over the wall in LF for a game-tying dinger. Dang. Game tied, 4-4.
- No matter, as the Reds have Joey Votto, and Joey Votto is the most ridiculous baseballer in the current iteration of baseballdom. Hector Rondon got a pair of quick outs in the Top of the 9th, but Bourgeois beat out the throw to 1B for an infield single, and Jay Bruce reached when the ball he smoked the other way went right between the legs of Bryant at 3B. That brought Votto to the plate, and he mauled a meatball well over the wall in CF to put the Reds back in front, 7-4.
- Aroldis Chapman was brought in for the save, and after allowing a single to Austin Jackson and a walk to Chris Denorfia, he settled in to retire the side. Reds won, 7-4!
- Iglesias is the first Reds pitcher to strike out 10 or more batters in three consecutive games since at least 1914, according to former fearless leader Joel Luckhaupt. He's struck out an impressive 33 batters in his last three outings, and has rung up seven consecutive quality starts. Not bad, rook.
- Votto's single extended his streak of reaching base in consecutive games to 22, I believe. Unfortunately, his meager 2 for 5 afternoon actually lowered his season OBP to .457. Gah, I sure hope Joey can get back on track soon.
- Joey's OPS (1.025) is now a full .200 points higher than Todd Frazier's (.825). Baseball seasons are looooong.