The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Eugenio Suarez is by no means a finished product, but the Cincinnati Reds shortstop has filled in admirably since Zack Cozart's season ending knee injury. While his glove is still a work in progress, his bat has shown the exact promise that was hyped when he was acquired from the Detroit Tigers this past off-season, and on Monday against the Washington Nationals, said bat was on full display. Suarez went 3 for 5 with a dinger, a run scored, and a pair of runs driven in, and after that successful night at the plate he's hitting .329/.372/.493 since his call-up.
Suarez is still just 23 years old (for another two weeks), and the early returns since being given the SS reins have been generally positive. Have a trophy, A.U. Perhaps it's time we give you a Golden nickname for good.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Anthony DeSclafani, who pitched effectively through 5.2 IP, allowing just a pair of earned runs (and contributing a walk and an RBI double with the bat); JJ Hoover, who tossed a clean 8th inning in relief; Joey Votto, who had a two single evening; Marlon Byrd, who doubled and scored; Jay Bruce, who doubled and walked; and Aroldis Chapman, who pitched a scoreless inning for his 17th save.
- The Reds threatened to have a big inning in the Top of the 2nd. Brayan Pena reached on a throwing error from Doug Fister that landed him at 2B on a nubbed grounder, and he moved to 3B when Suarez reached on an infield single up the middle. With just 1-out, DeSclafani originally was tasked with a bunt, but some sort of a missed sign resulted in Disco taking a pitch while Suarez broke for 2B, and Suarez was tagged out when Wilson Ramos threw down to 1B. However, just when Reds fans everywhere thought the team had run itself out of a rally, Disco blasted a double to the wall in LF to help himself by driving in Pena. Reds led, 1-0.
- More weirdness resulted in a run in the Bottom of the 3rd. Disco quickly retired the first two batters of the inning on strikes, but he then yielded back to back singles to Matt den Dekker and Yunel Escobar, respectively, the latter of which went just under a barehanded attempt by Todd Frazier at 3B. Bryce Harper walked to load things up, and a wild pitch that bounced off Pena and halfway back to Disco allowed an alert den Dekker to motor home to level things. Game tied, 1-1.
- Cincinnati finally jumped back in front in the Top of the 6th, albeit with a bit of an #umpshow involved. Marlon Byrd launched an opposite field blast that bounced off the top of the tall wall in RF, and it was initially ruled a double before the umpires decided to rule that it was a home run. Byrd trotted home, Nats manager Matt Williams challenged, and after a lengthy review, it was ruled a double once again. Harrumph. Fortunately, Suarez chipped in with a single that drove in Byrd to put the Reds ahead. Reds led, 2-1.
- Unfortunately, the Nats got that run back in the half-inning that immediately followed, as Danny Espinosa jumped all over a Disco meatball for a solo blast well over the RF wall in the Bottom of the 6th. Game tied, 2-2.
- Suarez did his blasting in the Top of the 8th, as he took a Casey Janssen meatball and lifted a towering solo dinger that just barely cleared the wall in the LF corner to put the Reds back in front, 3-2.
- Hoover and Chapman took control from that point on, and the Reds managed to quell any Nats comeback attempt. Reds win, 3-2!
- Byrd's double stretched his hitting streak to 11 games and bumped his season OBP back over the .300 mark. With news breaking before the game that Yorman Rodriguez had been called up, the timing for a Byrd trade really couldn't make any more sense for the Reds. Stay tuned.
- Both CF Denard Span and 3B Yunel Escobar were prematurely lifted from this one, but there was no word from the Nats prior to the finish of the game as to why.
- Tomorrow's clash between the Reds and Nationals will feature both Max Scherzer and Johnny Cueto as starting pitchers, which is about as juicy a matchup as MLB could ask for. First pitch is set for a few minutes after 7 PM EST, so be sure to tune in.
- HENNY HENNY TUNES HENNY TUNES HENNY YAY