As we approach the beginning of a new year, we continue to look back at some moments from the 2012 season. Today, we have a substitute star, a pitcher that started to build more momentum (if you believe in that sort of thing and a reliever that simply stymied some pretty good opposing batters with one relevant fact about his performance.
Not going to lie, a couple of these games are a little on the painful side to remember, but the individual performances by these guys is worth the recall.
Position Player: Todd Frazier, July 1st @ San Francisco
When you look at the final result of this game, you might be wondering why a 4-3 loss can even be included in this. This was an odd game in that not only were the Reds without Joey Votto due to his ailing knee, but Frazier had to step in for Scott Rolen when Rolen experienced back spasms. There was also an exchange between Bronson Arroyo and Ryan Vogelsong during a Vogelsong AB. The final odd occurrence would come in the game’s final half-inning.
Onto to the ToddFather…
With Frazier getting the call due to Rolen’s achy back, he did quite well, thank you very much. As the top of the fifth approached, the Reds were trailing 1-0. Frazier would change that…
The lead wouldn’t last long as the Giants would push a run across the plate in the bottom of the inning to knot the score at 2 all on a Melky Cabrera single. (Should this game even count then?)
Until the ninth inning, neither team mounted much of a threat. The biggest threat came in the top of the seventh when the Reds had runners on first and second with only one out. Frazier would draw a walk in the inning and he and Ryan Ludwick were stranded after Miguel Cairo and Ryan Hanigan would be recorded as outs by Angel Pagan.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Giants would once again forge ahead after a Buster Posey single plated Ryan Theriot. Theriot was sitting on third due to a Logan Ondrusek wild pitch when Posey delivered.
The Reds had every opportunity to plate many runs in the top of the ninth as they loaded the bases. Frazier was in the middle of this as he would single with Jay Bruce on second and Ludwick on first. No runs scored on Frazier’s hit. Cairo followed with a single of his own, but only one run would score to tie up this game once more at 3-3.
The Reds would drop this game due to an odd play. Here’s how Mark Sheldon described the finish…
On a 3-1 pitch from Arredondo, Pagan lifted a long fly ball to the warning track in right field. Bruce appeared to be tracking the ball but misplayed his proximity to the wall. He jumped early as the ball sailed over his glove. The sellout crowd at AT&T Park erupted as the ball landed safely. Pagan reached on a double that scored Posey with the winning run.
“It was not as close to the wall as I thought it was. I missed it,” Bruce said. “It’s really, really embarrassing. It should be an error. It’s not. I pride myself on my defense.”
One other detail of this game that is not prevalent in scorebooks: a Todd Frazier defensive play.
The Giants had a chance to get to Arroyo early and the ToddFather throttled that chance with a web gem of his own.
Starting Pitcher: Mat Latos, June 25th v. Milwaukee
The pitching matchup was a good one: Latos and Yovani Gallardo. Latos would dominate the Brewers on this day. In fact, he would hurl his first complete game as a Red. And to display how Latos dominated the Brew Crew, he would face more than four batters in an inning only once, the first inning when Milwaukee sent five batters to the plate…and not score a run.
You needn’t check out the entire boxscore to see how well Latos pitched in this game. Here’s his linescore…
Yep, 13 whiffs total including three each of Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks. The only run the Brewers scored came on a Norichika Aoki home run in the top of the sixth. That homer was one of only four hits the Brewers would manage off Latos. Hard to believe there are three starting performances that are better. Honestly, there are three more and I believe you can guess at least one of those.
Relief Performer: Logan Ondrusek, April 26 v. San Francisco
Another game against the Giants and another loss. Gonna get those guys one day…but Ondrusek was simply superb in this outing. As he entered the game in the top of th eseventh, teh Reds were clinging to a 4-3 lead and teh Giants had runners on first and second, only one out. Due up…Melky Cabrera. Result: a weak popout to short. Next was Pablo Sandoval. Result: forceout of Angel Pagan at second on teh seventh pitch of the AB. Inning over. Crisis averted.
Ondrusek wasn’t done either. He would take the mound again in the eighth.
Posey: strikeout…looking on a 96 MPH fastball
Schierholtz: groundout to Votto
Belt: another strikeout looking on an 80 MPH backdoor slider
Five batters and not one ball left the infield. That’s getting the job done. Ondrusek held the fort, but the fort wouldn’t hold so well in the end.
If you recall, the Reds dropped this game after Sean Marshall allowed a three-run homer to Pagan. Not showing that highlight…or shall I say lowlight.
The #3′s are next.
Catch the other 2012 Top Performances: