The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
With the maintenance required to keep Devin Mesoraco healthy, much of the Cincinnati Reds catching load has fallen to Tucker Barnhart. So far, Tucker's welcomed the opportunity, and on Wednesday he added some walk-off heroics to his resume.
He doubled in a run early, and poked a single to drive in the winning run in the Bottom of the 9th, and for that he duly deserves a JNMHSotG trophy.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Raisel Iglesias, who tossed a dang fine 6.2 innings that included just 2 ER, a BB, and 8 Ks; Jay Bruce, who singled and honked a healthy 2-run dinger (his 4th big fly of the season); Adam Duvall, who dingered, too, and reached on a deep-fly double (that was a double when the Colorado LF lost it in the sun); Brandon Phillips, who had a pair of singles and scored twice; and Ross Ohlendorf, who mercifully threw a perfect inning in relief.
- Brandon Phillips poked a single past Trevor Story to lead off the Bottom of the 2nd, which made Bruce's dinger of the 2-run variety when Jay smashed one into the right-center seats. Adam Duvall is a nice fellow, and he felt the fine folks in the LF seats had been neglected by dinger balls despite showing up for the matinee, so he politely followed by launching a solo dinger of his own for them to chase around. Reds led, 3-0.
- The Rockies got back in to it in the Top of the 4th once the batting order got to see him a second time. DJ LeMahieu picked up the team's first hit of the afternoon with a leadoff single up the middle, and he scored two batters later when Carlos Gonzalez sliced a double down the LF line against a heavy shift. Nolan Arenado then coaxed a four pitch walk, and Gerardo Parra followed with an RBI knock to bring in CarGo. Reds led, 3-2.
- Iglesias cruised into the Bottom of the 7th nearing the 100 pitch mark, and quickly retired the first two batters of that inning. Dustin Garneau then blooped a hard luck broken-bat double that landed on the line in LF, and apparently came around to score when Ryan Raburn hit a pinch-hit single up the middle. The Reds appealed that Garneau missed touching 3B while rounding the bases, however, and the 3B ump agreed, ruling him out. The Rockies challenged the upheld appeal (complicated, ain't it?), and the umps confirmed the out, meaning Garneau was out and the run did not count. So, Reds still led, 3-2.
- Cincinnati parlayed that good fortune into another good break in the Bottom of the 7th when Duvall's towering fly ball to LF was lost in the sun by Ben Paulsen and fell in for a double. A routine catch would've been the third out of the inning, but instead the Reds had a runner in scoring position. Tucker Barnhart and Ivan De Jesus, Jr. then smacked back to back RBI doubles to CF, and the Reds had themselves an unexpected 5-2 lead.
- The Reds' bullpen took over for the Top of the 8th. You've watched the Reds' bullpen this year, right? Blake Wood allowed the first two runners to reach before being pulled in favor of Tony Cingrani, who promptly walked Gonzalez to load the bases. Colorado got one run on a force-out grounder off the bat of Gerardo Parra, but a subsequent walk and bloop double by Paulsen brought in a pair to tie the game. Things nearly got worse when a wild pitch got passed Barnhart, but it ricocheted right back to the Reds catcher, and he then caught Mark Reynolds off 3B for the final out of the inning. Blech. Game tied, 5-5.
- The Bottom of the 9th brough heroics, though, as Phillips singled to lead off and moved to 3B when Jay Bruce followed with one of his own. Two batters later, Barnhart smacked a single over the shift and into RF to bring in the winning run, and both the game and the series belonged to the Reds! Reds won, 6-5.
- Carlos Gonzalez blooped one into CF in the Top of the 6th that Billy Hamilton initially broke back on, and it eventually fell in for a derpy double. It was the 1,000th hit of Gonzalez's career.
- What is a bullpen, anyway?
- The double by De Jesus, Jr. in the Bottom of the 7th was his first hit of the season, and as Jamie Ramsey noted, it snapped an 0 for 32 streak dating back to last season.
- Prior to the start of this one, Drew Hayes had his contract purchased by the Reds and was brought up from AAA Louisville. To make room for him on the roster, Cincinnati DFA'd Keyvius Sampson.
- Bullpen, bullpen, wherefore art thou, bullpen?
- Joey Votto is 0 for his last 16 and 1 for his last 20. He struck out 3 times again in this one, and you know Bryan Price has "giving a day off" running through his head.
- The Reds will welcome the Chicago Cubs to town tomorrow for a four game weekend set, with first pitch on Thursday set for 7:10 PM ET. Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta will take the mound for the Baby Bears, while Brandon Finnegan will look to continue his solid start to the season for the Reds.