Three stars, Tough loss
There aren’t many good ways to lose a game, but the way the Reds dropped a 3-2 decision in 10 innings was particularly unfortunate. It came on Alfredo Simon’s wild pitch that scored Ryan Zimmerman. It was Zimmerman who Simon hit with a pitch to start the game-ending rally.
“That was a tough way to lose a game. We were in a tough spot there,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We didn’t have Ondrusek today because he’s gone four out of five. We didn’t have Chapman, he went two innings yesterday. We were down to Billy Bray or Marshall.”
The Three Stars from a frigid Thursday…
No. 3 star: Ryan Ludwick — 1-for-4, 2 RBIs. In the top of the ninth, the Nationals elected to put the go-ahead run on first base by walking Jay Bruce intentionally with the bases loaded to face Ludwick. In his previous encounters with Brad Lidge, Ludwick was 1-for-10. This time, Ludwick came up big with a two-run single through Zimmerman and into left field that forced extras.
No. 2 star: Adam LaRoche, WAS — 2-for-5, 2 RBIs. It was LaRoche’s two-run single off of Mat Latos that gave Washington a 2-0 lead in the fifth.
No. 1 star: Gio Gonzalez, WAS — 7 ip, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 97 pitches/64 strikes. Gonzalez looked brilliant shutting down the Reds all afternoon. Reds manager Dusty Baker pointed out that Gonzalez brought a different strategy than his previous time against them when he was with the A’s in 2010.
“When we saw him in Oakland, he threw a lot of breaking balls and a lot of curveballs,” Baker said. “Today he threw a whole bunch of fastballs. Perhaps he changed his philosophy coming from the American League to the National League.”
News and notes:
*Mat Latos’ line: 5 ip, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 99 pitches/62 strikes. Latos had his pitch count run up early…some of it was a credit to Washington’s hitters, some of it might have been a tight strike zone and some of it was Latos’ own doing. In the second inning, Danny Espinosa worked an 11-pitch plate appearance for a walk. In the fifth, Ian Desmond was down in a 0-2 count, but Latos could not finish him before a single was hit to center field. Espinosa was down in a 1-2 count when Latos issued three straight balls for a walk that loaded the bases. It all led to the LaRoche hit.
*Latos has a 5.59 ERA through his two starts.
*Zack Cozart had his first lackluster day, going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
*Drew Stubbs was also 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
*In my Reds notebook, Baker explained more about being shorthanded without Chapman. Click here.
“Thank God we won that game because if we would have lost that game, I couldn’t sleep tonight,” Zimmerman said. “They are not routine plays like they call them, but I expect myself to make those plays. You can kind of forget about it and laugh about it now. Moving forward, I obviously have to make those plays.” — Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman
“Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve. It’s whatever. I went on the attack early and got defensive later on. That was probably why. There were some borderline pitches I made that I thought could have gone either way. They could have been strike three.” — Mat Latos
“In that situation, I just tried to make a pitch. He blocked the ball but it went to that side. Next time I go out there, I’ll try to do it better.” — Alfredo Simon
“We were one hit away from possibly winning that game and snatching it from them.” — Dusty Baker