The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Eugenio Suarez whacked a solo dinger, managed to complete a game sans-error, and flashed the kind of skills that must've made him an attractive trade piece when Cincinnati Reds GM Walt Jocketty made him a key piece in the Alfredo Simon trade this past winter. A-U-Henny-O finished with a 2 for 4 evening, which raised his season line to a stellar .328/.369/.475 so far.
It wasn't a terribly awesome night individually for the Reds, but at least Suarez provided pop enough to take home a trophy.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tucker Barnhart, who went 1 for 3 with a walk; Ivan De Jesus, who went 2 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI; and Anthony DeSclafani, who pitched infinitely better than his 6.2 IP, 6 ER line would suggest.
- Torii Hunter was the second batter of the game. Torii Hunter blasted a solo dinger as the second batter of the game. Dang. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Say "Plouffe" again. Tell me you're not still giggling.
- Eduardo Nunez led off the Top of the 2nd with a double, and after he moved to 3B on a grounder, he scored on a "fielder's choice" that was basically Joey Votto making an awful throw. Harumph. Reds trailed, 2-0.
- The Bottom of the 3rd saw Suarez blast his dinger, a solo shot that bounced off the bottom of the batter's eye in CF. Reds trailed, 2-1.
- Singles from Brian Dozier and Hunter started the Top of the 5th, and a sac fly from Joe Mauer plated Dozier to add to the Minnesota lead. Reds trailed, 3-1.
- Despite Anthony DeSclafani having thrown over 100 pitches, rain falling, and more rain in the forecast, Bryan Price opted to send his rookie starter out for the Top of the 7th, and that went about as swimmingly as every single other thing the Reds have done in the recent history of ever. Dozier doubled to lead things off, Mauer walked two batters later, and after a force-play scored Dozier, Disco was pulled in favor of Burke Badenhop. Burke promptly allowed hits to each and every Twin within sight of the batter's box, and before you knew it, what should've been a 6 IP, 3 ER start for Disco turned into his 2nd worst start since being acquired. Reds trailed, 7-1.
- Marlon Byrd hit a solo homer in the Bottom of the 7th. Rejoice! And just when you thought the Reds would log a single rally-killer and nod off, they chased Phil Hughes and went to work on that 6-run defecit. Barnhart walked, Billy Hamilton reached on an error that left runners at the corners, and after Blaine Boyer took over on the mound, singles from Ivan De Jesus and Joey Votto each pushed another run across the plate. Boyer then yanked a wild pitch with Frazier at the plate, and that plated De Jesus. Reds trailed, 7-5.
- JJ Hoover was brought on for the Top of the 8th, and after he retired the first two batters of the inning, Hunter hit a liner over Bruce's head in RF that appeared to be plenty catchable, and that proved to be problematic when Mauer followed with a single that scored the 83 year old Hunter from 2B. Reds trailed, 8-5.
- Harumph. Both bullpens settled in, and scoring shrank like glaciers from that point forward. Reds lost, 8-5.
- I've got little to no idea why Price opted to bring DeSclafani out for the 7th inning despite having an array of mediocre relievers at his disposal and an off-day on Thursday. For a team that's intent on "contending," that's not what you do to rookie starters who are rotation cogs in late June.
- De Jesus is 28 years old, a former Top 100 prospect, and was hitting .255/.305/.418 in a very small 2015 sample at some point during this excruciatingly long weather-induced evening. Whether or not he turns out to be a late-blooming everyday regular, props to the Reds for picking out a guy who can be a versatile, cheap bench guy with a plus glove, plus upside, and paying nothing to get him.
- Wednesday is Johnny Cueto Day. Celebrate accordingly.