The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
MIchael Lorenzen was bitten by solo dinger syndrome in his MLB debut five days ago, and while he again allowed one tonight, the young Cincinnati Reds hurler produced a much more fine-tuned performance Tuesday night, and in the process he picked up the first win of his big league career against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lorenzen logged 6+ innings, and he allowed just 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4 Buccos in 93 pitches. He routinely hit 96 mph with his fastball, mixed in both his slider and change-up effectively, and let the bats behind him do enough damage to get the Reds back to .500 overall with another win over their NL Central rivals.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Billy Hamilton, who went 2 for 5 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI; Marlon Byrd, who went 2 for 5 with a dinger, 4 ribbies, and a proverbial middle finger to everyone questioning why he hit 2nd on the night (yours truly included); Todd Frazier, who dingered to take over the NL season lead with 9; Kris Negron, who went 1 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base; Tony Cingrani and Jumbo Diaz, who combined for 2 scoreless and hitless innings in relief; and Joey Votto, who had a ho-hum 2 for 4 night with a walk.
- Frazier took a Jeff Locke meatball and booped it over the wall in RF to lead off the Top of the 2nd, and both Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce followed with singles. Kris Negron then took a walk after a quality 8 pitch battle, which loaded the bases for Brayan Pena. Pena then smacked a soft grounder up the middle that bounced over Locke's head, but Neil Walker & Jordy Mercer combined for a diving, flipping, expletive-inducing double play to cut the rally off before it really got started, despite the fact that Phillips came in to score. The Reds scored, but they surely hoped for more with the bases loaded and none out. Reds led, 2-0.
- Just minutes after that bases loaded, none out situation that had the Reds on the precipice of busting the game wide open, Starling Marte turned a 96 mph Michael Lorenzen fastball into a slicing hard-hit liner that cleared the high wall in RF for his 7th dinger of the season. Reds led, 2-1.
- The Reds obviously brushed off the disappointment of only scoring twice in the Top of the 1st, and promptly put the screws to Locke's pitches in the Top of the 3rd. Billy Hamilton laced a single to RF to begin the inning, and Marlon Byrd followed by blasting his 4th homer of the season to left-center. Reds led, 4-1.
- Both offenses hit cruise control from that point on, but the Reds clicked back into gear in the Top of the 9th against Antonio Bastardo. Negron singled to begin things, and he moved to 2B on a Pena sacrifice. Devin Mesoraco walked in a pinch hit appearance, and after Negron successfully stole 3B, Hamilton's infield single scored the Reds SS. Marlon Byrd then hit a double to the wall to score both Mes and Billy, and the rout was conceivably on.
- Aroldis Chapman had not pitched in a week, so he was brought into a non-save situation in the Bottom of the 9th. He struggled - relative to normal Aroldis, not compared to normal Reds bullpenning - but after loading the bases, he finally shut the door. Reds win, 7-1!
- Votto got picked off 1B and tagged out in a rundown on a grounder between 3B & home tonight. Please stop with the VOTTOOBLANs, Joe Dan.
- Devin Mesoraco got another pinch-hit appearance tonight, and he walked. This, of course, is on the heels of the revelation that he'll likely need surgery to repair his ailing hip, an procedure that would render him out for at least 4 months. He's hitting .083 on the season with no extra base hits, but the Reds appear hell-bent on suggesting it's only his defense that's being affected by his hip impingement.
- I'd say that home plate umpire Ted Barrett had an awful evening, but that probably gives too much credit to the word "awful." I'm sure Barrett is a wonderful human being, but as Newd Guy noted on twitter, his strike zone for the night was atrocious.
- Mike Leake will take the hill for the Reds in tomorrow's clash with the Pirates, and he'll be opposed by Gerrit Cole. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT, and Devin Mesoraco won't be catching.
- Tunes (for Pops).