The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Brandon Phillips continued his hot stretch in Sunday's game, belting a 2-run dinger as part of a 3 for 4, 2 run afternoon against the Milwaukee Brewers in the series finale. Phillips has his average all the way up to a stellar .296, and his season OPS of .731 sits just fractionally below his career mark of .741. His defense is still top-notch, and as a result he's on pace for a 4 WAR season, something that I'm sure the Cincinnati Reds front office appreciates given that he's 34 and in the midst of a big-time contract.
To be honest, I didn't think BP had this kind of production left in his tank. Congrats on keepin' on while the team flounders in the standings, Beep, and here's to replicating this type of stretch as often as possible.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who went 1 for 2 with 3 walks and a pair of runs scored; Jay Bruce, who went 3 for 5 with a bonked dinger and 3 ribbies; Eugenio Suarez, who went 2 for 4; and Aroldis Chapman, who worked a perfect 9th for his 28th save of the season.
- A Votto walk, Phillips single, and Bruce single (that was held up after review) got the Reds a run in the Bottom of the 1st, and they tacked on another pair in the Bottom of the 3rd when Votto walked in front of BP's 2-run homer. Dang, it's almost like walks lead to runs. Reds led, 3-0.
- BP singled with 1-out in the 5th, and Bruce backed him with a 2-run blast of his own. Dang, it's almost like being on base leads to runs. Reds led, 5-0.
- A Jonathan Lucroy double started Lorenzen's downfall in the Top of the 6th, and 3 singles and a fielder's choice later, the Reds led just 5-2.
- Ryan Braun* launched a solo blast off the suddenly meh J.J. Hoover in the Top of the 8th, but the Reds chalked up another manufactured run before Chapman shut things down in the 9th. Reds won, 6-3!
- Jay Bruce flunked the month of August (.150/.185/.292) worse than I flunked most of my freshman year, and prior to this one he'd somehow managed to be worse through the first handful of games in September (.143/.200/.214). Hopefully Sunday's contest spurred a Bruceian revival that will carry him through the end of the season.
- Michael Lorenzen allowed just a pair of runs in his 5.1 IP, but his lack of strikeouts continued (just 2) and he danced around 8 hits and a walk in his time on the mound. That's perilous, but he got a win, so half the baseball world thinks it was a successful afternoon.
- The Reds will welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates to town for a 3 game set beginning Monday afternoon, with first pitch set for 1:10 PM ET. Anthony DeSclafani will take the mound opposite Jeff Locke. The Pirates are playing the St. Louis Cardinals in Sunday Night Baseball at the moment, so the Reds may have the jet-lag advantage in the affair.