Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….
Chicago (NL) 4
W: A. Chapman (5-4)
L: S. Camp (3-6)
–Walkoff win! In the bottom of the ninth, with the score tied at 4, Xavier Paul led off with a triple on the first pitch. On the second pitch of the inning, Ryan Hanigan singled to center, driving in the winning run and sending a sellout crowd home happy.
–Mat Latos pitched a very strong game, despite getting little help from his defense. Latos gave up just two earned runs over eight innings (two more runs scored, but they were unearned). The Cubs collected just six hits against the big right-hander. Latos also singled in a run in the fourth inning.
–Hanigan was 2-3 with two RBI. Jay Bruce was 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Zack Cozart was 2-4 from the leadoff spot.
–The Reds played very sloppy defensively, committing three errors.
–It was a difficult play, but Bruce was charged with an error in the top of the eighth that ultimately permitted the Cubs to tie the game up.
–One of the earlier runs scored when Wilson Valdez booted a ground ball at third base. Also, in the eighth, a Cozart error would have led to another run probably, but Todd Frazier was alert, and gunned Luis Valbuena down.
–I told you the Cubs would good for what ailed ya’. Reds win three of four against the Cubs. That’s a good thing.
–Xavier Paul continues to deliver for this club. Yeah, it’s small sample size nuttiness, but I love it; Paul’s hitting .342/.432/.526.
Incredible win. I feel bad for Latos. Pitcher wins are silly, but the guys seem to care about them.
— Chris Garber (@cgarber8) August 19, 2012
–I remain exceptionally pleased with Ryan Hanigan and his .368 OBP and his excellent defense. Devin Mesoraco’s day is coming, but Hanigan has been so good since the day he joined the big league club. I wish Reds fans recognized that more than they currently do.
–Latos has a four-game hitting streak.
–I really like the way Dusty Baker used Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning. I know it seems like a no-brainer, but even at home (when there won’t be a save situation), seems like most managers are hesitant to use their closer in a tie game until it gets to extra innings.
–I also like Dusty’s quote about the sloppy fielding:
“Is there stink on the field?” wondered Baker, who said he spoke with his team about tightening up the defense while the Reds were in Chicago a week ago. “It was an ugly win, but a win’s a win. We’ve got to tighten up the defense. That’s one thing we pride ourselves in. We’ve just got to keep working. It’s a matter of concentration. We’ve got to go back to total concentration.”
–Today was the 13th sellout of the season, a new record for Great American Ballpark. The club should get at least two more sellouts next weekend, with the Cardinals coming to town, and with the Barry Larkin festivities.
–Okay, the good guys go 5-2 on this homestand. Now they head to Philadelphia for a four-game mid-week series against the Phils. I have a feeling this is going to be a difficult series. I’ll take a split.