The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Todd Frazier is probably the de facto face of the Reds. He doesn't have the hardware in the trophy case to rival Joey Votto and thus, probably not the national notoriety that comes with being the former MVP. But his bat is rivaling the genius of Votto, and his smile and personality rank right up there with the pearly whites of Brandon Phillips. His offensive production has lapped Jay Bruce over the last 2 seasons and couple that with the fact that Johnny Cueto is one of the most underrated pitchers in the league (and his time with the Reds seems to be drawing to a close), and Todd is the logical choice.
It's no coincidence then that Todd was chosen to be the spokesman of the 2015 All Star Game in Cincinnati and if there is anything just in this world, he'll be making the start at his familiar hot corner. The first half that he's building up not only warrants the All Star game start, but in any season where this Reds team wasn't doomed by lack of depth, injuries, and a dumpster fire of a bullpen, it would warrant a pile of MVP votes as well.
Tonight Frazier endeared us all to him once more with his 2-4, 2 home run, 2 RBI and 2 run scored night, along with a nice barehanded grab and throw on defense. Fly me to the moon, Mr. Frazier. Have a trophy.
Honorable mention to Michael Lorenzen, who tossed 6 innings of 6 hit, 2 earned baseball. Ryan Mattheus, JJ Hoover and Aroldis Chapman for collaborating for a rare perfect outing from the bullpen. Jay Bruce for a 2-3, 1 home run, 1 RBI and 1 walk night. Billy Hamilton for his 1-4, 1 RBI night (and also being fast and forcing a throwing error that allowed a run).
- The Tigers struck upon the scoreboard first, when in the bottom of the 1st inning, Anthony Gose led off with a broken bat bloop double that nary a Red could do a thing about. Ian Kinsler then hit a long fly ball that was chased down near the wall by Billy Hamilton, allowing Gose to advance to 3rd base. Miguel Cabrera singled him in with a single that beat the Reds shift. That was all the Tigers would manage in that inning, Lorenzen limiting the damage to only 1. Advantage: Tigers 1-0.
- The Reds got on the board in exciting-Reds-like-fashion in the top of the 5th. Todd Frazier doinked a Todd-donk to the seats in left field. Jay Bruce watched it, shrugged, and thought, "I can do that," before juicing a Bruce into the seats in right field. Nothing happened after that, but nothing like back-to-back dingers to get the sugars up. Advantage: Reds 2-1.
- The Tigers answered in the home half of the inning. James McCann singled to left field, Jose Iglesias laid a sacrifice bunt down to 3rd base where Frazier made a great barehanded grab and throw to 1st base getting the out there, but McCann moved to 2nd. Gose put another ball into left field, this time right into the glove of a diving (falling down?) Ivan De Jesus, Jr., but De Jesus couldn't hang on to the ball and no outs were recorded, runners moving to 2nd and 3rd. Kinsler popped out to shallow right field that couldn't advance the runners. The Reds decided to intentionally walk former MVP Cabrera to bring up Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes laced one right back up the middle that careened off of Lorenzen, sending the ball toward 1st base. Joey Votto came sprinting over and while there was no play to be made at 1st and McCann already scored, Gose was trying to use his speed to tack on an additional run. Votto fired the ball to catcher Brayan Peña who tagged Gose out before he could get to the plate. After a lengthy replay review, the out was upheld and the Reds escaped with minimal damage. Game tied 2 all.
- To open the top of the 7th, TODD FRAZIER DID IT AGAIN. This time to left center, Toddfather uncorked a wanger to put the Reds back on top. Bruce walked and then advanced on on a sacrifice bunt from Peña and then again on a soft grounder from Chris Dominguez. Get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in, is what Billy Hamilton thought, as he looped a soft bloop into left center field surrounded by 3 Tigers. Bruce scored. Hamilton would be caught stealing shortly thereafter (BLASPHEMY), but the Reds did what needed to be done. Advantage: Reds 4-2.
- In the top of the 8th, the Reds threatened busting the game wide open, loading the bases with 1 out. However, in typical Reds fashion, nothing came of the threat. Todd Frazier struck out on three pitches and Jay Bruce grounded out lamely to the second baseman. 2015 has decided that we can't have nice things. Reds still winning, 4-2.
- In the top of 9th, the Detroit defense sabotaged their efforts. After Peña grounded out, Chris Dominguez doubled on a dribbler down the line that took a funny hop and was unable to be handled. Hamilton grounded to the shortstop Iglesias, who tried to toss to 3rd base to get Dominguez but actually put the ball right between Chris's numbers, sending the ball away past the third baseman. Dominguez scored, Hamilton to 2nd. Hamilton was then thrown out on a pickoff move while trying to get back to 2nd base. The call was challenged and stood. Negron bunted for the 3rd out of the inning, but the Reds got a needed insurance run to lead 5-2.
- AROLDIS CHAPMAN SIGHTING! Flame emoji. Flex emoji. Reds win, 5-2.
- Today the Reds placed Jon Moscot on the DL, moved Zack Cozart to the 60 day DL, optioned Brennan Boesch to Louisville, and called up Carlos Contreras and Donovan Hand. I didn't expect, but I wanted more from Brennan Boesch, who earned his status as bench bat after a solid spring training. This season the outfielder was sporting a very, very ugly .125/.169/.143 slash line in 59 PA. You might remember Contreras from his previous stint with the Redlegs, though if you blinked you might have missed it. In 3.1 innings pitched for the big league club, Contreras gave up 1 earned run in 3 appearances, though he sports a 1.914 WHIP in Louisville this season. Hand is the interesting one here, though, as he wasn't really on anyone's radar for the call up. He's split time as a starter and reliever this year in Louisville. He owns a 4.50 ERA, though a 1.18 WHIP, and he may or may not be the starter for Moscot next time around. I'm not sold on it. At all.
- It didn't really come into play tonight, but let's just all take a moment and reflect about how stupid the catcher interference rule is as currently written. And how we all thought that it might've come into play on that play at the plate in the bottom of the 5th. But we really didn't know, because we couldn't, because it's not ever been ruled consistently. Ever. Have you reflected? Okay, back to your regularly scheduled other notes.
- The second home run tonight for Todd Frazier was the 500th hit of his career. 93rd home run of his career. It was his 5th career multi-home run game. 20th home run of the season. I would say he's a mortal lock to be the captain of the Home Run Derby, which will be great fun. But have we figured out if there's anything to the old, "The Home Run Derby saps second half power" postulation? Because I'd really like to see Todd Frazier threaten 50 home runs this season.
- If the ballpark radar gun is to be believed, Aroldis Chapman hit 103mph on his final 2 pitches tonight. That's fast. Really fast. Chapman is a joy to watch. I wish it was more than once a week.
- This game went pretty quickly and the beginning was certainly slow. But this was a good win for the good guys. I enjoyed it.
- New Lucero Tunes