The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The trade deadline is right over there.
Squint. You can see it.
With a firesale hanging over the team's head and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber on the mound against them, you probably had every reason to expect the Cincinnati Reds to get their butts handed to them on Saturday night against the Cleveland Indians. And, if you bet as such, buy me a beer a time or three, would ya?
Joey Votto, however, had himself a pretty dang effective evening against one of the toughest RHP's in the game. The Cincinnati 1B went 3 for 3 with a walk off Kluber, and he logged the Reds' only extra-base hit of the evening (a double) off the inimitable Kluber. Coupled with his dingering on Friday evening, ALL OF A SUDDEN he has his season OBP (.398) and SLG (.498) within a sniff of those elite thresholds he's consistently bested throughout his career. Votto is healthy, and when he is, he Vottos better than most any other player in the game. So, while we sit back and wait for the bulk of the recent core of the Reds to get shipped to the four corners of the baseball world, at least we know Joey will be around to take home JNMHSotG hardware for years to come.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Brandon Phillips, who had a 3 hit night of his own from the leadoff spot; Jay Bruce, who mauled a 3-run dinger as part of a 4 RBI evening; Nate Adcock, who I have no idea why is in this list; and Billy Hamilton, whose OPS is spiraling towards the .500 mark after an 0 for 4 evening.
- It took all of five pitches for the Reds to fall behind in this one. Jason Kipnis poked a single to center, Francisco Lindor followed with a single up the middle, and Michael Brantley followed with a laser 3-run dinger, all before the game's first out. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- Cincinnati showed some life in the Bottom of the 1st, though, as both Phillips and Votto reached, the first on a single and the latter on a double that left runners at 2B and 3B. Todd Frazier couldn't score either with a ground-out to the pitcher, but Jay Bruce lofted a sac fly to CF that scored Phillips. Unfortunately, Votto was thrown out trying to take 3B on the play, thus ending the inning. Reds trailed, 3-1.
- The Indians busted out their boomsticks again in the Top of the 3rd, and they did so in a big way. Lindor doubled down the RF to lead off the inning, and he scored two batters later when Carlos Santana doubled to the wall in CF. Two batters later, Brandon Moss blasted a 2-run dinger over the RF wall. Reds trailed, 6-1.
- Anthony DeSclafani gave way to Nate Adcock on the mound for the Reds. Unfortunately, the meatballs continued. In the Top of the 7th, Adcock walked both Kipnis and Santana - which haunted - before leaving a juicy pitch over the middle of the plate that Yan Gomes blasted into the upper deck in LF. Reds trailed, 9-1.
- Both Phillips & Votto reached base against Kluber in the Bottom of the 8th, and that contributed to Kluber exiting the game. Cody Allen replaced him, but he ran into a Bruce that is seeing the ball as well as he has at any point in the last two years, and the Reds' RF bashed a 2-out, 3-run dinger over the wall in right-center to get the Reds a half fist-pump on the evening. Reds trailed, 9-4.
- Much to the dismay of those fans still in GABP in the 9th inning, that was all the Reds could muster. Reds lost, 9-4.
- 'Recap' spelled backwards is 'Pacer,' so I'm blaming this one on Larry Bird.
- Watching this Reds team right now is akin to watching one of those godawful, horribly made emergency rafts Bear Grylls used to make that you just knew would sink before getting anywhere. The only question in both scenarios, really, is how far from shore they get before a boat rescues them.
- Do the Dodgers have a boat? I hope they have a boat.
- As of the end of this one, Jay Bruce can claim a .342 OBP, which would be a career high.
- As of the end of this one, Todd Frazier can claim a .329 OBP. As Redleg Nation writer Steve Mancuso noted on Twitter earlier, it's been nearly 90 PAs since Frazier last took an unintentional walk. Odd as it still may seem to some, Bruce is almost 14 months younger than Frazier, too.
- Cy Tunes.
- Pops Tunes.