The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Zack Cozart caught a lot of flack after his woeful 2014 performance, and many Cincinnati Reds fans had completely soured on his ability to remain an MLB regular despite his always stellar defense. So far in 2015, Cozy has busted enough heads to at least flush those opinions down the Molina, and tonight's game against the Milwaukee Brewers was just another example of him hopefully rediscovering his power stroke. Cozart smacked two dingers as part of his 3 for 5, 3 R, 3 RBI evening, and he now leads all MLB shortstops in both dingers and OPS. Tack on the first steal of his season, and Cozy had himself one of those all-time nights to remember.
Have a trophy, MVP/GG, and keep knocking the snot out of the ball.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jay Bruce, who dingered; Todd Frazier, who dingered; Joey Votto, who dingered, too; Brayan Pena, who didn't dinger but scored on a dinger; Brandon Phillips, who probably did, too; George Foster, who would've dingered had he played; Caleb Lloyd, who probably caught all thirty-seven dingers hit by the Reds tonight; Marlon Byrd, who didn't really do anything but I feel bad leaving him off this list on such a dingeriffic evening; Kevin Gregg, who for once was as far removed from any dinger as any of the 50 professionals in the stadium; and Aroldis Chapman, who didn't allow any dingers at all because he's fucking Aroldis Chapman.
- Despite several hard hit balls off Mike Fiers' pitches, the Reds hadn't cracked the scoreboard through the game's first 3 innings. That changed in a big way in the Top of the 3rd, however, thanks to a 2-out rally kickstarted by Votto. Votto smashed a single to RF, moved to 2B when Todd Frazier walked behind him, and they both moved up to load the bases when 3B Jason Rogers' throw to 1B on Brandon Phillips' grounder pulled Adam Lind off the bag. That proved to be damning for Milwaukee, as Bruce followed by deee-stroying a Fiers meatball well over the wall in right-center for a grand slam. Reds led, 4-0.
- Jason Marquis then took the mound in the Bottom of the 3rd and promptly allowed a single to Logan Schafer and a laser of a 2-run dinger to Martin Maldonado. Dang. The bleeding didn't stop there, though, as Marquis then surrendered back to back doubles to Jean Segura and Elian Herrera, the latter driving in another run. Ryan Braun* then smacked* a single to CF that scored Herrera, though he was fortunately thrown out at 2B by Billy Hamilton. Game tied, 4-4.
- No matter, though, as the Reds jumped right back on the Hit the Snot Outta the Ball Wagon in the Top of the 4th. Pena singled to lead off the inning, and Cozart followed with a single of his own. The Reds tried to bunt the runners over - YAWN - but Jason Marquis' attempt yielded just a force-out of Pena at 3B. Cozart took matters into his own hands and stole 3B to leave runners on the corners, and Fiers then effectively intentionally unintentionally walked Votto to load things up for Frazier. Todd then tipped his cap and promptly flew one of his own to the moon for the team's 2nd grand slam of the night. Reds led, 8-4.
- Tyler Thornburg took over for Fiers in the Top of the 5th, but the Reds treated him just as rudely as they did the Milwaukee starter. Bruce led off with a walk, stole 2B, took 3B on a balk, and then scored on a NERTY single from Pena. Cozart followed with another crushed dinger, this one of just the 2-run variety. Reds led, 11-4.
- Marquis was still on the mound for the Reds in the Bottom of the 5th, so the Brewers hit some balls hard and scored on a sac fly. Reds led, 11-5.
- /stops recapping
- /eats recappy orange slices
- Votto took offense to the Brewers doing their job and scoring a run, and promptly knocked the hell out of a Thornburg meatball for his 6th dinger of the season, a solo shot that led off the Top of the 6th. Frazier then reached on an error, moved to 2B on a single from cleanup hitter extraordinaire Phillips, scooted to 3B on a productive Bruce grounder, and scored on a sac fly from Marlon Byrd. Reds led, 13-5.
- J.J. Hoover took over for Marquis in the Bottom of the 6th, and he, too, ran into trouble. He walked Schafer and Maldonado after getting the leadoff hitter out, and Schafer came around to score when Aramis Ramirez chipped in with a pinch-hit single to RF. Hoover kept right on channeling his 2014 campaign, and left Burke Badenhop with his mess to clean up, and that went swimmingly as Badenhop served up a grand slam to Herrera because what the actual hell is anything anymore? Reds led, 13-10.
- The Top of the 7th saw more offensive tomfoolery, as Cozart blasted his 2nd dinger of the night (and 3rd in 2 days) for a solo blast off Neal Cotts. Devin Mesoraco then ended his absence by pinch hitting with a 4-run lead and nobody on base (because, well, why the fuck not?), and he walked to start another flurry. Hamilton then singled, both moved up on a deep Votto fly ball to the wall in LF, and after Jeremy Jeffress came on to pitch and walked Frazier to load the bases, Phillips stroked a single up the middle to drive in a pair. Reds led, 16-10.
- Both teams then napped their way through the last two innings, and that was that. Reds win, 16-10!
- Tonight's game featured 3 grand slams. It's just the fourth time in MLB history that's happened.
- It's the first time the Reds have hit 2 grand slams in a single game since 1999.
- It's the first time that dingers have flown out at a rate so rapid that I missed them while trying to type since every Colorado Rockies home game I've ever seen.
- Mesoraco's PH appearance tonight pretty much signals that the Reds feel comfortable that he'll be healthy enough to be back in the lineup as early as tomorrow. I guess. Of course, for all you Milwaukee Brewers confidants reading this, the Reds also plan to activate Joe Morgan and Vada Pinson prior to tomorrow's game, too.
- Cozart and Bruce both were successful on their steal attempts tonight, meaning the Reds are still perfect on steals on the season.
- NSFWu Tuesday Tunes.