The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Adam Duvall has been a bit of a revelation for the Cincinnati Reds, morphing from 27 year old throw-in from the Mike Leake trade last July to everyday LF and, so far, outright masher. Duvall went 3 for 4 with a pair of runs scored, a double, a "stolen base," and even reached on catcher's interference on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies, and has so far been the most consistent anchor in a Cincinnati lineup that's had plenty of ups and downs.
Today's impressive outing brought his season OPS up to .901. His defense has been well rated, his .962 OPS as a LF (entering Sunday) ranked as the 2nd best among all MLB players who had logged at least 75 PA in LF, and combined that means the team has been able to boast an upper-echelon LF for their longest stretch of games since the Battle of Hastings. That's plenty worth of Sunday's JNMHSotG, and probably even a large order of chili cheese fries.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who launched a 3-run dinger as part of a 3 hit afternoon; Jay Bruce, who was 3 for 3 with a double, 2 walks, and 3 runs scored (and could've claimed today's trophy if the coin had landed on the other side); Dan Straily, who kept the Phillies scoreless through 5 IP (though he needed a hefty 109 pitches to do so) and lowered his season ERA to a tidy 3.05; Blake Wood, who tossed a perfect inning in relief (and touched 99 mph on the FS-Ohio radar gun); and Zack Cozart, who chipped in with a 2-run pinch-hit single.
- Cincinnati struck first in this one, plating a pair of runs in the Top of the 2nd off lefty starter Adam Morgan. Back to back doubles by Bruce and Duvall led things off, the latter scoring the former. Ivan De Jesus, Jr. then singled to leave runners on the corners, and Tucker Barnhart followed with a single to LF that brought home Duvall. Reds led, 2-0.
- The tail-end of the lineup got the next Reds' flurry started, too. Bruce coaxed a leadoff walk to begin the Top of the 4th, and he moved all the way to 3B on Duvall's single to left-center. After De Jesus, Jr. flied out, Duvall was nearly picked off of 1B, but a nifty slide into 2B beat the tag, and the Phillies then opted to walk Barnhart intentionally to set up a potential double play with the pitcher's spot due up. Morgan, though, promptly walked Straily on four pitchers to force in a run - funny since it clearly appeared Straily was under instructions to not swing at anything. An RBI ground-out to Ryan Howard off the bat of Tyler Holt then scored Duvall before Suarez honked a healthy 3-run dinger over the wall in CF. Reds led, 7-0.
- Straily's exit after 5 IP opened the door for the Reds bullpen to take over, and since I know you know how that tale begins, I'll let you fill in the gaps in the story. ______ took the mound, and promptly allowed a 1-out ___ that meant he was stuck pitching from the stretch for most of the lengthy __ pitch inning. A force-out meant there were then 2-out with a runner on 1B, but ____ then allowed another ___ - which haunted - and after a coaching visit to the mound, Maikel Franco teed off on a meatball for a ____ to CF (that bounced off Holt's glove) allowing ___ runners to come around to score. Reds led, 7-__.
- After Wood kept the Phils off the board in the Bottom of the 7th, Ross Ohlendorf reverted things back to the Cincinnati Bullpen Way (TM) in the Bottom of the 8th. He allowed a single and a walk, and after the infield couldn't quite turn what would've been an inning-ending double play, Franco singled to CF to drive in a run. Reds led, 7-3.
- The Reds added some insurance runs in the Top of the 9th off reliever Elvis Araujo. Brandon Phillips singled down the RF line to lead off the inning, Bruce followed with an infield single, and De Jesus, Jr. walked two batters later to load the bases. A ground-out later, Cozart stepped to the plate with 2-out and the bases loaded, and he looped a soft single into LF that scored a pair. Reds led, 9-3.
- Some four hours into this game (and some 1,000 words into this recap), Drew Hayes was pitching to David Lough with the bases loaded in the Bottom of the 9th, the kind of exhilarating matchup rebuilds dream about when they sleep. Hayes allowed a 400 foot would-be grand slam to Lough that just went foul by inches before walking him to force in a run, end his night, and bring Tony Cingrani in to clean up the mess. Tony Spaghetti did just that, though, and the Reds mercifully won, 9-4.
- Joey Votto's rough start continued through this series, and his season line now sits at a very un-Votto like .215/.353/.355 through 150 PA. Remember, though, that just last year Votto had a 124 PA stretch from April 23rd through May 27th where he hit an awful .218/.306/.300, and that came in a season where he set career highs in bWAR (7.6), fWAR (7.4), and had a 2nd half of the season that made Ted Williams' frozen head blush. He undoubtedly looks confused and frustrated, but he's been through similar stints before only to have the light come on in otherworldly fashion. It'll happen.
- Jon Moscot made a rehab start with AAA Louisville on Sunday, and his afternoon was awfully Moscotty. His final line: 5 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, and 4 K on 69 nice pitches.
- MLB suspended Ohlendorf 3 games for overt beanie weenies against the Pittsburgh Pirates last week, though he pitched in the 8th inning on Sunday while that suspension is being appealed.
- The Reds will head to Cleveland on Sunday evening, and on Monday they'll tangle with the Indians in the first of the four game road-road-home-home series against their Ohio rivals. John Lamb will, in fact, make Monday's start despite having missed his previously scheduled start with a sprained thumb, and he'll be opposed by Cleveland starter Cody Anderson. First pitch is set for an early 6:10 PM ET start.
- Heading to Northern Ohio Tunes.