The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
You could go a lot of different ways with this, but I'm going to go in one predictable one and give the honor tonight to Keyvius Sampson. He got his first major league win tonight, and while that's mostly symbolic and very much meaningless as far as statistics go, it's a big deal for the human-being that throws on the Reds jersey. Not only that, but he's another Reds rookie pitcher that's run out there and exceeded what could've been expected for him to do. He did everything you want to see out of a rotation cog tonight; worked out of trouble (either self inflicted or because of errors), cruised, and got tough outs. The final line: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 K and 3 BB.
With the bevvy of young pitching that the Reds have found themselves with, it'll be interesting to see where Sampson sticks in the future. But we don't have to worry about that. We as Reds fans have the luxury of watching it as it happens, in the moment, and enjoying it. Pitch by pitch. Congrats, Keyvius. Have yourself a trophy. Strike out Paul Goldschmidt with it, if you'd like.
Honorable mention to: Eugenio Suarez, who broke the Reds out of their Arizona desert like offensive slump, thumping a 2 run home run in a 2-4, 2 RBI night. Brandon Phillips, who was 2-3 with a dat dinger and a walk, Marlon Byrd, who sprouted wings and caw-caw'd one out to the seats to go along with a double in a 2-4 night. Tucker Barnhart, who enjoyed a 2-4 night. And the Reds bullpen of Jumbo Diaz, JJ Hoover, and Aroldis Chapman who nailed down a win.
- A. J. Pollock started the hit train for the D-Backs in the bottom of the 1st inning with a double to right field after an Ender Inciarte strike out. Paul Goldschmidt lined out before David Peralta singled to right field, scoring Pollock from 2nd. Wellington Castillo flied out to limit the damage to 1 run, but I feel like we've done this before? Reds trailed, 1-0.
- A thing as rare as a blue moon happened in the top of the 4th. After a pair of outs thanks to Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce, Marlon Byrd adjusted his "For Sale" sign, stepped to the plate and blasted a double into center field. Eugenio Suarez stepped up to the plate next and wasted no time blasting a HAY-YOU into the seats in left field and holy Lord would you look at that, the Reds scored. Ding-dong the witch is dead! Tucker Barnhart flied out to end the inning but the Reds took a lead. Read it again: the Reds took a lead. 2-1.
- Sampson and Billy Hamilton started the Reds half of the 5th with outs, as is their respective wonts, but then Brandon Phillips came to the plate ready for a fight. After looking silly on a few swings on balls that really fooled the veteran 2nd basemen, Phillips ran into one that just cleared the fence in left field. Luckily, you get the same amount of points regardless of how far it goes over, and after a questionable Joey Votto strike out, the Reds went to the bottom of the 5th leading 3-1.
- The Reds, relatively speaking, decided to uncork in this game. In the top of the 9th inning, Byrd caw-cawed his way to a dinger on a 2-2 count with no outs, extending the Reds lead to 3. Yes. The recent Reds offense definition of "uncorking" is 4 runs. Suarez, Barnhart and pinch-hitting Ivan De Jesus Jr. ran up consecutive outs to end the inning. Reds led, 4-1.
- 30 innings had passed in between the Reds last run and the Eugenio Suarez home run in the top of the 4th. That's a long time to go without scoring, really. The Reds should try and score more, honestly. It was the longest scoreless streak since the 1989 Reds. (h/t C. Trent on Twitter and Wick in the Game Thread).
- Tonights game was preceded by an on-the-field celebration for Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, where his jersey number was retired for the Diamondbacks. Randy Johnson, by the way, was really, really good. Even for us sabermetric-inclined folks that like "numbers," according to tHom Brennaman. Whatever. Go peruse Randy Johnson's BB-Ref page. It's a good time.
- Joey Votto didn't get on base tonight, in a Reds win, no less. Kinda un-clutch and non-elite, imo.
- Before Nate Ruess did pop garbage that I couldn't stand, he did pop awesomeness that I really liked. And Wikipedia said that this band was from Arizona so, whatever. Tunes.