The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Joey Votto entered Saturday's contest with the Brewers the owner of MLB's best OPS since last season's All Star break, and even with his rough (by his standards) first half, he'd been the fourth best player in the majors by wRC+. That's largely based on his absurd second half of 2015, to be certain, but in the second game of this year's second half he pout forward a pretty damn reminiscent performance, too.
Votto went 4 for 5 against Milwaukee on a night where the rest of the Reds offense went completely kaput, singling three times and doubling once in the process. Yeah, he struck out with the bases loaded to end the game, but the game had been completely out of hand for hours at that point, and I'm sure he wanted a beer then as badly as you, me, and the rest of the folks still watching. So, have another trophy, Joey, and here's to hoping this year's late-summer push is as historic as last year's.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jose Peraza, who finally got a start, singled, was hit by a pitch, and stole a bag; Keyvious Sampson, who cleaned up the John Lamb mess pretty effectively, tossing 4 innings of 0 ER ball (after allowing some inherited runners to score); and the rest of the evening's bullpen contingent, as Josh Smith, Blake Wood, and Jumbo Diaz each held the Milwaukee Brewers scoreless in their innings of work.
- The Brewers started play in the Top of the 1st. Unfortunately, John Lamb really didn't. Milwaukee opened with single-dinger-single, the dinger coming courtesy of noted mashy slugger Hernan Perez. Two batters later, Chris Carter doubled to RF to score Ryan Braun (the last singler), and Carter later scored on a single by Will Middlebrooks. Fortunately, Middlebrooks was out trying to stretch it into a double, but the Reds were in a big hole early, 4-0.
- The Top of the 3rd saw a bit of horse honky bite the Reds where it hurts. Braun singled to lead off the inning, but Lamb then presumably got Jonathan Lucroy to strike out on a breaking ball in the dirt on a 1-2 count. Lucroy claimed he'd foul-tipped it though, the umpire agreed, and though slo-mo replays and Bryan Price protested, the call stood for whatever reason. Lucroy then hammered the next pitch he saw for a 2-run dinger, and the Reds were in the toilet. For what it's worth, Price got ejected a few batters later after pulling Lamb in favor of Keyvius Sampson with nobody out and the bases loaded.
- It's probably worth starting a new chunk of type here, since the Top of the 3rd motored on. Sampson got a strikeout to start his tenure, but Jimmy Nelson then punked Cincinnati with a butcher boy that was executed to perfection for a 2-run single over Votto's head and into RF. Jonathan Villar then singled up the middle to plate another, but after re-loading the bases, Sampson finally got the 3rd out, leaving the Reds down a lovely 9-0.
- The Reds finally got on the board in the Bottom of the 8th, and Votto was again behind it. He doubled to the corner in RF, and scored two batters later when Duvall beat out a double play attempt allowing Joey to scoot home from 3B. Hooray...except for the fact that the evening's scoring ended there, and the Reds lost 9-1. Dern.
- Remember Tim Adleman? He tossed an impressive 4 innings of scoreless ball on rehab with the Louisville Bats tonight, and may well be someone who could bump the struggling Lamb from the rotation once fully healthy again.
- Speaking of Lamb, his final line: 2 IP, 9 H, 9 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, on 64 pitches. His season ERA now sits at 6.43, and his career arc is now faceplanting.
- I had two cheesburgers for lunch. One would've probably sufficed.
- Dan Straily will take the mound for the Reds tomorrow, and he'll be pitchingly opposed by Zach Davies. First pitch is set for 1:10 PM ET, so turn on, tune in, and drop your butt on the couch for a few hours with us.