Three stars, Votto breaks out

The Reds couldn’t take the series, but they still felt very good about taking the final game vs. the Cardinals with a 4-3 walk-off victory on Chris Heisey’s walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth.

“Right off the bat, I could see it going towards the gap,” Heisey said. “It was a good feeling to get that barrel on one and obviously, to help win the game. That’s great.”

Cincinnati notched 14 hits after having seven in the first two games of the series. They were 3-for-11 RISP, but got hit No. 3 at just the right time. It meant a 3-3 home stand with two walk-off wins.

Since I have plane to Washington to catch…on to the Three Stars of the game:

No. 3 star: Jon Jay, STL — His two-run home run in the top of the third inning against Johnny Cueto gave the Cardinals a 3-0 lead and made things look rather bleak for a time.

No. 2 star: Aroldis Chapman — 2 ip, 1 H, 5 K — Chapman wasn’t throwing extreme heat but was still blowing hitters away. He struck out the side in the eighth and after a one-out single allowed in the ninth, struck out two batters in a row with 97 mph fastballs. That’s his second two-inning win during the home stand.

And the No. 1 star is: Joey Votto  — 4-for-5, two doubles, one RBI, two runs scored. Votto raised his average from .188 to .333 as he caught on fire for the first time in the regular season.

News and notes:

*According to Elias Sports Bureau, SS Zack Cozart is the first Reds rookie to hit safely in each of the first six games of a season since Frankie Baumholtz in 1947. Coxart was 2-for-5 vs. St. Louis.

*Johnny Cueto’s line: 5 ip, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR. St. Louis scored three runs in the third inning Cueto, all with two outs. Before the second out, Cueto dueled Erik Komatsu in a 14-pitch sequence that featured seven-straight foul balls with two strikes. Komatsu popped out to the shortstop, but Jaime Garcia followed Komatsu with a single up the middle and scored on Rafael Furcal’s triple to right field. Jay lifted a 2-2 pitch just out of Drew Stubbs’ reach at the center field wall for a two-run homer and 3-0 Cardinals lead.

“I think Komatsu took a lot out of him,” manager Dusty Baker said.

*Nice push bunt for the tying run by Wilson Valdez in the fifth against Garcia. Valdez’s bunt went past the mound towards second base, which enabled Votto to score and make it a 3-3 game.

Quotes:

“I don’t ever come to the ballpark imagining that I’m going to get four hits. I expect to play well. I spend most of my time and energy trying to stay as focused and intense as I can out on the field, not giving away anything. I also spend a lot of time and energy in the cages working on my craft. I try not to get ahead of myself.” — Joey Votto

“That was the job – hold the other team to give my team a chance to come back and win the game. That’s what I had to do today.” — Aroldis Chapman

“We swung the bats better today. You keep putting them out there and sooner or later something is going to happen.” — Dusty Baker

4 Comments

Hell, let’s put Marshall in the rotation and make make AP the closer! I’m too lazy to look – has Marshall pitched since Opening Day? Gotta get him some work in DC.

I cannot help but feel the A. Chapman story gaining momentum. With all due respect to coaches, players and administrators, is it possible Chapman’s value is being undersold in the bullpen’s ‘bridge’ role ?

Yes

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