The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Gah, what do you say about a game like this? A game that featured cameos by a great number of players that won’t have a single influence on the future of this club? A game that featured Josh Smith, Abel de los Santos, Ross Ohlendorf, and Matt Magill pitching?
Well, you give this trophy to Joey Votto, because he’s the best player on this team, and one of the greatest players on the planet and there’s no reason not to spill a little more digital ink talking about that.
He struggled for most of this game (which Red didn’t?), until a bottom of the 9th home run with a runner on first gave him his 29th home run of the season, his 93rd and 94th run batted in of the season, and his 100th run scored. When you think about how many games the Reds have won (few) and how many runs the Reds have scored (not a lot)... this is pretty incredible. So, toss another one on the pile, Joey. And don’t ever change.
Honorable mention to Ivan De Jesus, Jr., who hit twice and walked and nearly won this until Joey’s dinger; Jose Peraza, who hit and scored a run; Hernan Iribarren, who hit, scored a run, and batted a run in. Josh Smith, who actually had a fairly effective night, allowing only 2 Cubs runs in 5 innings of work, and Tony Cingrani, who had the unenviable and nearly impossible task of facing the meat of the Cubs order with the bases loaded and no outs, allowing only one of Smith’s runs to cross the plate.
- Reds starter Josh Smith was humming right along until the top of the 5th inning. Smith had retired the first 12 Cubs batters in a row (no small feat against this club), before Ben Zobrist smacked a dinger into the right field seats. He quickly retired the next three to limit the scoreboard dinting, Cubs up, 1-0.
- In the 6th, however, Smith served up a pair of singles before walking Jason Heyward, and at 66 pitches, Bryan Price had seen enough. Tony Cingrani came into face Kris Bryant. Hear me out! Bryant dribbled a grounder to shortstop, but the Reds were only able to get the out at second base. Miguel Montero scored from third. Cingrani struck out Anthony Rizzo swinging, and then nearly picked of Bryant before the Reds defense got Tommy La Stella (trying to score from third), caught in the old pickle. Cubs tack on only one, 2-0.
- Steve Selsky opened the bottom of the 6th with hard liner that was somewhat miraculously caught by Addison Russell. Jose Peraza lofted a ball just inside the left field line for an easy double, and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Hernan Iribarren grounded out but scored the speedy Jose. Joey Votto grounded out to first, but the Reds cut the lead in half, 2-1.
- Zobrist started the top of the 7th frame with a double down the left field line before being moved to third on a Hayward fly out. Russell smoked a double of his own down the left field line to score Zobrist. Chris Coghlan grounded out and Montero struck out to end the threat, but the Cubs regained their two run lead, 3-1.
- In the bottom, Abel de los Santos relieved Cingrani and got Javier Baez to line out. Dexter Fowler worked a walk before a Bryant single. A wild pitch allowed them both to advance, and Rizzo brought them both home with a single over first base. Zobrist hit ANOTHER dinger to right field to score himself and Rizzo, and well, folks the route was on. Ross Ohlendorf relieved the Saint and locked down the rest of the inning. Cubs up big, 7-1.
- Joey Votto was pretty damn angry when he stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the 9th. He bopped a dinger, just because, that also scored Iribarren. That’s all the rally the Reds could muster, however. Reds lose, 7-3.
- The Reds announced earlier today that they would be retaining the services of manager Bryan Price and his coaching staff. Much of the reaction has ranged from “Meh, okay,” to “Groan... I guess.”
- Well, that is unless you use Facebook for media consumption, in which case, oh my God why in the hell are you doing that to yourself?
- Zobrist’s round-tripper in the 5th was the 38th dinger the Cubs have dinged against the Reds this year. That tied the single season record by a Reds opponent. The Reds have given up a lot of home runs this year (the most ever, in fact), but the Cubs are one of the prime reasons why.
- Outside of the not-so-good pitchers the Reds have run out there time and time again, that is.
- Zobrist’s second home run of the game broke the record at 39.
- The Reds will begin the penultimate game of the season against the Cubs at 4:10pm EDT tomorrow, a phrase that, no matter how bad this season has been, pains me to type. Tim Adelman will do battle with Jon Lester, which is a phrase that pains me to type for different reasons.