Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….
W: M. Leake (11-5)
L: B. McCarthy (2-8)
S: A. Chapman (32)
–Shin-Soo Choo went 4-5, with a homer, a double, 3 RBI, and 3 runs scored. That’s a pretty good game.
–Aroldis Chapman wasn’t perfect, but the fact that he collected a two-inning save is a huge positive, as far as I’m concerned. Dusty Baker’s hand was forced by an injury to Jonathan Broxton, but let’s give him credit: he brought Chapman into the game, and let him finish.
I want to see that more often. Chapman is good. The more innings he is allowed to pitch, the happier I’ll be. (And my happiness should be the Reds’ chief concern, right?)
–Joey Votto reached base four times: 2-3, with a double, two walks, and an RBI. Never change, Joey Votto.
–Devin Mesoraco was 2-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Zack Cozart was 2-4 with two runs scored.
–The Reds scored ten runs. That’s a big-time positive, given the struggles of the offense this season.
–Mike Leake was great over the first four innings, but the wheels ultimately fell off. In all, Leake surrendered four runs on six hits in six innings. He did, however, hit an RBI double and he scored a run, too.
–Manny Parra and JJ Hoover struggled again. They’ve been great for most of the season, but this hasn’t been a good week, thus far.
–Jonathan Broxton appeared to have injured his elbow again. He had to be removed after giving up a hit and a walk, ultimately permitting two runs without recording an out. We will wait to hear the status of his elbow, but I don’t expect good news.
–I’m not gonna lie, I was seriously concerned that I was going to be forced to post a picture of Milton tonight. When Arizona cut the lead to 8-7, after Cincinnati had jumped out to an 8-0 lead…well, the Reds have broken my heart enough times over the years that I confess that I feared the worst.
–The Pirates lost, so the Reds are now 2.5 games behind in the NL Central. Still in third place, unfortunately. The Cardinals won tonight, and they are only one game back.
–Cincinnati’s lead over Arizona for the final wild card spot is six games. A win tomorrow in the series finale would really help the Reds’ chances of securing that wild card berth.
–That was the first career two-inning save for Aroldis Chapman. I hope it isn’t his last.
–You gotta see the ridiculous swing by Todd Frazier in the bottom of the eighth. He singled to drive in a run, but I still don’t know how he did it.
–Chapman got a chance to hit in the eighth inning. You won’t believe this if you didn’t see it, but he had a pretty darn good AB. Chapman ultimately struck out on a 3-2 count, but he had a pretty swing and seemed to have a good command of the strike zone. I was impressed, anyway.
–So Dusty Baker brought in Chapman in the eighth inning, but didn’t double-switch, which meant that Chapman had to hit. There has been some discussion that Baker tried to double-switch, but didn’t tell the umpires immediately upon walking to the mound, so he wasn’t permitted to make the move. I don’t know, but there’s no question that Dusty should have double-switched there.
Of course, maybe he knew that Chapman was a better hitter than Cesar Izturis, and he preferred to see Chapman hit there. It’s possible, right?
–Tonight’s game was flat-out exhausting.