The following definition is from Dictionary.com. I look at that definition as the word that strikes me is “unlikely”.
im·prob·a·ble [im-prob-uh-buhl], adj. – not probable; unlikely to be true or to happen
Heading into the bottom of the 6th inning, the chances of the Reds winning this game were, well, unlikely, if at all. I mean, no Votto means no chance, right? What else were Reds fans to think? Twitter was all abuzz about the season being over and the Reds being toast.
They surely didn’t think today would happen. While it might have been improbable, it was not impossible…
If there was one player Reds fans would point to and say “he needs to step up in Votto’s absence”, that digit would have most likely been aimed at Jay Bruce. I would be one of those. Instead, the heroics came from a source that some may have overlooked.
I had heard that Brandon Phillips said if there were no Votto on the Reds roster, he would not mind being the #3 hitter. He now has his wish. In the four games in which the Reds have been Votto-less, BP has filled that #3 slot in three games. The other saw Todd Frazier there. (More on that in a bit…) In the first two games, Phillips was only 1-for7, whic is a bit surprising considering how well BP has been since coming back from his hamstring issue that occurred earlier in the season. For May and June, Phillips has produced a slash of .297/.338/.458 with 8 HR and 39 RBI. Prior to today’s game, he was .287/.330/.431 with 10 HR and 50 RBI.
Today, BP brought his finest lumber. Oh, we waited until later in the game to make his presence known, but he did so with typical BP flair.
In the bottom of the 6th, the Good Guys only managed two base runners againt D’backs starter Joe Saunders. Saunders walked Wilson Valdez (filling in for Zack Cozart…which was needed) in the 4th and allowed a Devin Mesoraco single in the 5th. The 6th would start much differently for Ssaunders.
Drew Stubbs, who has discovered that batting lead-off might not be so bad after all, singled. Valdez followed with a single of his own. Wow. Three hits now!
Phillips came to the plate and on the third pitch, blasted a 90 MPH Saunders fastball into the left field seats. D’backs 6, Reds 3…and the comeback was underway. And BP would play a role in the Reds 7th, too…as would the Arizona defense.
Pinch-hitter Xavier Paul scored on a Paul Goldschmidt fielding error. Paul reached base on a four-pitch walk. At least he didn’t swing at the first pitch like he had last evening. Maybe he doesn’t fit in as much as Thom would lead us to believe. (Ah, that word…BELIEVE!). The error came after Stubbs had walked on a ball put in play, run(s) by Valdez.
With runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, BP took a Brian Shaw offering and doubled, plating both Stubbs and Valdez. D’backs 6, Reds 6. To complete the comeback, the Red might have to lean on Bruce.
I’m not sure what anyone is putting in Bruce’s Wheaties or Powerade or Gatorade, but whatever it is, they need to stop. Since the All-Star Game, Bruce is 3-for-24 (.125 including going 0 for 16 in his last four starts) with only 1 RBI. After BP’s double, Bruce would ground out…and the collective sighs commenced.
No need to fear, the ToddFather is here! Okay, that was extremely corny, but this season we have seen Todd Frazier not be afraid of the situation. He wasn’t today either. The rookie, who still has more HR (10), RBI (30, now 31) and a higher OPS (.896) than the Hype Machine in the nation’s capital (8, 26, .807), stroked a single to left field, scoring Phillips. I will repeat, Frazier’s OPS is second among NL rookies. Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo owns an OPS of .931. He’s played in 17 games.
Reds 7, D’backs 6…comeback almost complete.
What I said about Bruce could be the same we say about Sean Marshall. For some weird reason, he’s looked a little shaky as of late. After he replaced Logan Ondrusek (who had retired the first two batters), Marshall was brought in to face the lefty bat of Miguel Montero. Didn’t work too well as Marshall surrendered a single. D’backs manager Kirk Gibson allowed Lyle Overbay to face Marshall. Overbay, who’s heading into today’s game was batting .200 against lefties, promptly singled, or shall I say, dribbled, into right.
First and second and Dusty left Marshall in. He had already used Ondrusek. Arredondo was most likely unavailable. Dusty’s recourse? Leave him in to face Willie Bloomquist. (Yes, commence the jokes now…)
Marshall coaxed Bloomquist into a grounder to Miguel Cairo who flipped to Marshall covering first to end the inning. Disaster averted. And you knew what was next…Champania.
In typical Aroldis Chapman form, he whiffed two Diamondback batters, the last was Goldschmidt to end the game…and the improbable comeback.
Improbable, not impossible…