Alfredo Simon Does it All to Lead Cincinnati Reds

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The offensive output would continue on Wednesday night as the Cincinnati Reds lashed out 10 hits en route to their 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

In a game that featured pitcher ejections, a 2-6-4 double play, two doubles off the bat of Alfredo Simon, and Ryan Dennick pitching in a crucial situation, ultimately the Redlegs found a way to come out on top.

The Bats:

 

There aren’t very many opportunities (hell, there’s never) to discuss Alfredo Simon as the offensive star of the contest, so where else could we realistically begin? His line drive double past Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter in the bottom of the second only set the stage. His second time up in the bottom of the fourth, he would try the other side of the diamond, lashing another double, yet this one would plate Jay Bruce with the eventual game-winning run.

In conclusion, Simon picked up not only the win on his right arm, but also drove in the go-ahead run with his bat.

Now, back to the men who get paid to swing the stick. Both Brayan Pena and Brandon Phillips produced multi-hit games, with the two inextricably linked. Phillips’ RBI single in the bottom of the fifth that plated Chris Heisey, also almost plated Pena. But, for the 27th time this season, the Reds had a player thrown out at home plate attempting to score.

In a spot start in place of Billy Hamilton in the leadoff spot, Chris Heisey would go 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. His first run scored would come in the first inning on a RBI single off the bat of Todd Frazier.

Ryan Ludwick had the most confounding night of any Reds player, as in his first at-bat; he would lace a line drive home run off John Lackey (prior to his ejection). In his final three at-bats against the Cardinals bullpen, he would strikeout all three times.

The Arms:

 

It seems fitting that since nothing Alfredo Simon did in the first half followed any logical patterns, his starts in the second half have not either. If there were one word to describe Simon in his tenure with the Reds as a whole, it would be unpredictable.

Surrendering two first inning runs on a RBI double by Matt Adams and RBI single by Oscar Taveras (yes, I did type Willy Taveras first, then angrily backspaced—if only my memory worked the same way), Simon appeared to be on the fast track back to the showers.

After his last start out against the New York Mets was a disaster that was not ended soon enough, even with the game being just five batters in, there was an antsy feeling about the remainder of the contest.

From there on out, the Redbirds would collect four hits the rest of the night, all of which would be singles. Alfredo had all of one batter reach second base again the rest of his performance. Bailed out in the third inning by another spectacular play at first by Brayan Pena on a line drive, Simon used the momentum shift from that play to coast through seven innings and turn the game over to the bullpen.

Ironically enough, just as the Reds were bringing on Sam LeCure to pitch the eighth inning slot that Jonathan Broxton used to occupy, news came across the wire that the Reds had announced who they were acquiring from Milwaukee (welcome, Barrett Astin and Kevin Shackelford).

With Aroldis Chapman sitting down in the bullpen fresh as a daisy, Ryan Dennick got the ball in the eighth inning with two men on and two out against Cardinals slugger Matt Adams. The move contradicts everything manager Bryan Price has stated over the past week that he would play his best players against the best competition, but it ultimately worked, as Adams popped out to left field to end the threat.

Chapman would throw nine fastballs in the ninth inning—all of which would exceed 100 MPH. His fastest, 103.2, would be the final pitch in the at-bat against Peter Bourjos—who much like his teammates did not stand much of a chance. It was a 1-2-3 routine inning of work the Cuban Missile who slammed the door on a Reds victory.

* * *

Getting on a bit of a roll prior to Johnny Cueto taking the hill means that the Reds have their best chance in a while to put together a legitimate winning streak.

As Johnny Beisbol gets the baseball on September 11, the Redlegs have a chance to take the series from their rival St. Louis Cardinals. Yet, all of this will be placed on the backburner.

Tomorrow is a somber day in our nation’s history. The date, 9/11, will forever be a reminder of the lives lost at the World Trade Center in 2001, along with those who died in related tragedies that fateful day.

Baseball has proven over its history, that much like America, it will persevere. On Thursday it will be Lance Lynn vs. Johnny Cueto on the ball field, but all Americans are on the same club as we stand as a nation.