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Reds 5, Braves 1 - Raisel Iglesias flirts with no-hitter in electric return to Cincinnati

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The young Reds rookie had everything working in a display confirming his upside.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Raisel Iglesias was officially listed as today's starter yesterday afternoon, and after Carlos Contreras was optioned by the Cincinnati Reds today, his return to the big leagues was concrete.  The Reds truly couldn't have asked for anything more than what they got out of their young righty on Wednesday, as he took a no-hitter into the 6th inning and finished with just 2 hits allowed in his 8 innings of work.  He struck out 5, walked 3, and got tagged for just a single earned run (that was the result of a triple on a ball Jay Bruce badly misplayed in the corner anyway), and the four pitch arsenal we've heard hyped was on full display throughout.

The general consensus when Iglesias got the nod for the start was that it would be either a spot start with a return to Louisville in the cards or a one start stint before moving to the big league bullpen, but there was nothing shown tonight to dictate that Iglesias doesn't deserve a spot in the regular rotation.  Options are never a bad thing to have, but I'm worried the Reds may stick with the status quo instead of the obvious.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Todd Frazier, who clubbed a monster 2-run dinger; Marlon Byrd, who hit a GABP special for a solo shot; Billy Hamilton, who tripled as part of a 2 hit night; Joey Votto, who broke out of his mini slump with a 2 hit evening (with an RBI); and Zack Cozart, who returned to the lineup with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.

Key Plays

  • The Reds wasted no time in getting to Eric Stults, as Cozart smacked a double off the wall in LF in the Bottom of the 1st and Votto followed with a single up the middle to score the Reds SS.  Reds led, 1-0.
  • Byrd launched a high fly to lead off the Bottom of the 2nd, and it landed just inches over the short porch in LF for his 7th dinger of the season, a solo shot that put the Reds up by a pair.  A Votto single in the Bottom of the 3rd then preceded Frazier's blast, on the carried over 430 ft and hit the batter's eye in CF.  Reds led, 4-0.
  • Hamilton smoked a 1-out triple to the wall in left-center in the Bottom of the 5th, and he scored one batter later when Cozart hit was was nearly an extra base hit of his own to CF (only to have Cameron Maybin make a nifty diving grab to limit it to just a sac fly).  Reds led, 5-0.
  • Iglesias had walked a pair of Braves, but had allowed nary a hit through the game's first 5 innings.  That changed with the leadoff hitter in the Top of the 6th, however, as Eric Young, Jr. hit a soft liner to CF that landed just in front of the outstretched glove of a diving Hamilton for the Braves first hit.
  • After that, Iglesias continued to cruise, with a pinch-hit "triple" from Pedro Ciriaco the only other blemish on his card, as a cue shot down the line in RF rattled and banged enough to stall Bruce enough to allow the runner to make it to 3B.  Ciriaco then scored on a grounder, but Iglesias escaped any further damage before handing the ball to Tony Cingrani, who pitched a perfect 9th inning.  Reds win, 5-1!
Tony Graphanino

<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2015-05-13&team=Reds&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2015-05-13&team=Reds&dh=0&season=2015">FanGraphs</a></span>


Other Notes

  • I've had Raisel Iglesias on a fantasy team since the start of the season, but I didn't move him from the NA spot to the starting lineup because I couldn't convince myself to drop Michael Lorenzen for him.  I'd adore it if the Reds keep doing awesome things to make these decisions harder and harder.
  • Joey Votto's average had dipped to a very un-Votto .299 before tonight's 2-hit performance.  Now, it's back to starting with a 3 all Britney-like.
  • Remember when Walt Jocketty was one of, if not the only GM who watched Raisel Iglesias throw who saw starting pitcher potential in him?  If this is indicative of what Iglesias is capable of, having him for less than $30 million between now and his age 32 season is an absolute steal.
  • The San Francisco Giants roll into Cincinnati to begin a 4 game weekend series tomorrow, with first pitch set for 7:10 PM ET.  Johnny Cueto is scheduled to take the mound opposite Tim Lincecum in a match up between two of the absolute best RHP the game has seen over the last half decade.  I'd suggest you tune in for some dingers and Cueto eyeball slicing.
  • Iglesias Tunes.