Hanigan picks up Reds in ugly win
The Three Stars from a Reds 5-4 win over the Cubs:
No. 3 star: David DeJesus, CHC — 3-for-4, RBI double, two runs scored.
No. 2 star: Mat Latos — 8 ip, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 114 pitches/70 strikes. Latos, who is unbeaten in six starts since July 18 and 5-1 with a 2.10 ERA in his last 11 starts, had to settle for a no-decision but deserved better. There were three errors committed behind him, including two that led to runs — one of them the tying run in the top of the eighth. Latos also extended his hitting streak to four games with a RBI single in the fourth that gave the Reds a 4-1 lead. He was not pleased with his performance.
“Not at all. I was spotty here and there,” Latos said. “I didn’t have control of the fastball. I didn’t have very good command of the slider or the curveball. I got by with what I had today. I think a lot of it had to do with Hanigan behind the dish with what he was calling at the right times. I didn’t have my best stuff but he was good behind the dish today. He knew what was going on.”
Ryan Hanigan felt Latos was solid all day.
“We’re working well together,” Hanigan said. “He’s really on board. He’s not shaking. A couple of times when he does shake, I agree with him. We’ve got a good thing going right now and that’s huge to be on the same page and not fighting each other. I thought he pitched fine. He made a mistake to DeJesus on a 2-1 heater. He hit a double. Other than that, we could have gotten out of a bunch of innings with some groundballs.”
No. 1 star: Ryan Hanigan — 2-for-3, 2 RBIs. After Xavier Paul pinch-hit with a leadoff triple on the first pitch from Shawn Camp, it was Hanigan who ended the game on the very next pitch with a RBI single over the head of the drawn-in center fielder. Hanigan also had a sac fly during the three-run bottom of the fourth and threw out the potential go-ahead run trying to steal third base in the ninth.
“I get pitched around sometimes but that is part of the game,” Hanigan said of his day offensively. “I try to have good at- bats when I have the opportunity. I had two today and fortunately it worked out. It felt good to drive in a few runs.”
News and notes:
*This would qualify as an ugly win, with the three errors that let Chicago back in the game. I will have much more on this when the final version of my game story is posted, but the defensive mistakes made lately are seriously irking manager Dusty Baker.
“One of the best general managers I was under, Al Rosen, was more upset on an ugly win than he was on just a regular loss,” Baker said. “You want to make sure you don’t continue to play like that. But you don’t want to stress it so much that you put undo pressure on the situation and make it worse too. It’s a fine line.”
*There were some positive moments on defense. After a Zack Cozart error on a throw to first base in the eighth, Todd Frazier immediately fired the ball to third base and threw out Luis Valbuena after he rounded too far from the bag. In the ninth, Hanigan made a perfect throw to throw out Brett Jackson trying to steal third against Aroldis Chapman.
*Xavier Paul is batting .389 (7-for-18) as a pinch-hitter. I wrote about Paul today as well.
*Jay Bruce has an eight-game hitting streak after a 2-for-4 day. Bruce is batting .406 (13-for-32) in that stretch. Bruce also committed an error in right field trying to catch Valbuena’s drive to the warning track.
*The Reds, which had a 5-2 home stand, are 9-1-1 in 11 series since the All-Star break.
*The Reds had their GABP single-season record 13th sellout on Sunday with a crowd of 41,615 fans. The four-game series in three days vs. the Cubs drew 146,937.
“We’ve got tons of Gold Glovers on the team. We’ve got guys who work their tails off at batting practice every day. It’s one of those things that happens. It’s two games. We pride ourselves on defense. A bad bounce here or bad throw there, it’s going to happen. It’s how you bounce back. Were we disappointed? Of course. But it’s really about getting W’s in the column. We took three out of four and our defense will be fine.” — Todd Frazier