Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….
W: T. Wood (6-5)
L: J. Hanrahan (0-2)
S: F. Cordero (25)
–Ryan Hanigan was 2-4 with a walk, another homer, and 3 RBI. In his last three games, Hanigan is 8-12 with a double, three walks, three homers, and nine RBI. That’s getting it done.
–Brandon Phillips had three hits, including a very hard-hit homer, and 4 RBI in the leadoff spot. He’s looked good at the top of the order the last couple of nights.
–Joey Votto had a long homer, two walks, two runs scored, and 2 RBI. Paul Janish had a couple of hits, including a double.
–Another strong outing by Francisco Cordero to pick up the save.NEGATIVES
–Another very poor outing for Nick Masset. In the eighth inning, before recording a single out, Masset surrendered the lead Cincinnati had held for the entire game. Ultimately, Masset left the game without retiring a single batter.
Masset gave up two runs on four hits, and the damage would have been much worse if Dave Sappelt and Drew Stubbs hadn’t each thrown out a runner at the plate in that inning. (Stubbs’ throw, in particular, was brilliant, throwing out speedster Andrew McCutcheon with two steps to spare.)
–Sam LeCure and Bill Bray stunk out of the pen, as well, giving up a collective three runs on three hits in an inning and a third.
–That was one of the most bizarre games I’ve watched all year. Glad the good guys came out on the smilin’ side of the scoreboard.
–I just can’t get enough of Ryan Hanigan. Give me a good defensive catcher with a .360 OBP any day of the week.
–Homer Bailey got some runs, but wasn’t sharp all night. He went five innings and gave up three runs on six hits. Homer struck out six and walked three. He also made a beautiful play in the field. One of the best catches you’ll see a pitcher make.
–I didn’t have a problem with Dusty Baker bringing in Aroldis Chapman in the sixth inning. It was a crucial moment in the game, and I like having my good pitchers on the mound at those times (would you have rather seen Bray in that spot?). Chapman tossed three pitches, retired a hitter for the third out, and headed to the dugout.
Dusty is taking some heat for (a) bringing in Chapman early and (b) only letting him throw three pitches before removing him. I dunno, I feel like that’s unfair. Chapman was due up sixth in the next inning, and the Reds rallied, so his spot came up and Dusty pinch-hit. I have no problem believing that Dusty intended to send Chapman back out to the mound in the seventh, but circumstances changed.
I’m all for bashing Dusty, but let’s stick to criticisms that are warranted. Dusty played this one the right way, in my opinion.
–For what it’s worth, based on (admittedly) very limited evidence, I’m not sure Dave Sappelt is a very good defensive outfielder.
–I could watch Joey Votto bat all night long. He’s an artist at the plate.