The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Billy Hamilton had a 4 for 4 evening that featured a solo dinger, a stolen base, 4 runs scored, havoc on the bases that resulted in a 2-base error, and the kind of all-around kickassitude that has made him as tantalizing of a young player as there is in baseball today. Billy helped fuel the Cincinnati Reds to a W over their former teammate, Mat Latos, in the first game of a 4 game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he did so with the sweet, sweet dulcet tones of Vin Scully calling every minute of it.
Billy has struggled to no end since the 2014 All Star break, but with every outing that pops up like tonight, you get to see the kind of talent that has earned him a lengthy proving period with the bat. Have a trophy, Billy, and here's to finding a way to figure things out offensively during the rest of this lost season.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who went 3 for 4 with a 3-run blast that broke open the game, a fantastic double play turned, a double, and 4 ribbies; Keyvius Sampson, who battled inefficiency in his 5 IP, but allowed just a pair of earned runs in his outing; Brandon Phillips, who went 2 for 5 with a run scored and 3 ribbies; Tucker Barnhart, who walked, doubled, and scored twice; and Todd Frazier, who went 2 for 5 with a double, stolen base, and a run scored.
- The Reds got to Mat Latos for the first time in the Top of the 3rd, and it came courtesy of the bottom of the order. Barnhart led off with a opposite field double down the LF line, and after Sampson sacrificed him to 3B, Tucker scored on a single from Hamilton. Billy then dove back to 1B when Latos tried to throw over, but when the ball skipped by Adrian Gonzalez, the Reds' CF motored all the way to 3B. Hamilton then scored when BP singled up the middle. Reds led, 2-0.
- A leadoff double again led to a Reds run in the Top of the 4th, this time with Frazier leading off with a two-bagger to the wall in left-center. Frazier stole 3B thanks to a foul-up reception of the throw by Alberto Callaspo, and Frazier then scored on a sac fly off the bat of Marlon Byrd that was just deep enough to keep Yasiel Puig from getting the ball home in time. Reds led, 3-0.
- The Dodgers finally got one back in the Bottom of the 4th, however, as Joc Pederson poked an opposite field solo dinger that just cleared the wall in LF. Reds led, 3-1.
- Cincinnati plated another pair of runs in the Top of the 5th off Latos, and once again it was Hamilton serving as the genesis. Billy singled with 1-out, stole 2B (which held up after review), and scored when Phillips followed with a double. Phillips then scored when Suarez cracked a double just inside the LF line. Reds led, 5-1.
- Former Reds draftee Justin Turner returned from the 15-day DL for this one, and he promptly smoked a long single off the wall in RF to lead off the Bottom of the 5th. He later scored on a deep sac fly off the bat of Gonzalez, which shaved the Reds lead to 5-2.
- The Top of the 6th saw Suarez crank his homer, and it came after Barnhart walked, Jason Bourgeois chipped in with a pinch-hit single, Billy singled to load the bases, and Pedro Baez derped a chance at a potential double play when Phillips hit a swinging bunt right back to the Dodgers' reliever. Tucker scored and BP was out at 1B, but that still left runners on 2B & 3B for Eugenio, and he smoked a dinger well over the wall in LF to put the Reds out front, 9-2.
- Ryan Mattheus yielded a run to the Dodgers in the Bottom of the 6th, but the Reds got that run back in the Top of the 8th on Hamilton's solo blast. Scoreless outings from Burke Badenhop, Manny Parra, and Pedro Villarreal later, and the Reds took home a win, 10-3.
- Prior to the start of Thursday's game, the Reds announced that the recently acquired John Lamb would be called up to make his big league debut as Friday night's starter. Michael Lorenzen will be the odd man out, as he'll be optioned to AAA Louisville to make room.
- Suarez made a great pick in the Bottom of the 3rd, stepped on 2B, and turned a fantastic 6-3 double play to keep runs off the board. If he keeps that kind of defense up, Zack Cozart's going to have his work cut out to keep a regular spot in the lineup once he's back and healthy.
- I could listen to Vin Scully talk about anything. And I would, too.
- Joey Votto got on base 40% of the time in this one, but that's become once again so ho-hum that in barely got a mention. Thank garsh for Joey Votto.
- Remember when the Reds had Suarez bunt on a 2-0 count with 2 runners on and Votto on deck, like, a day ago? Yeah, about that...