The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The best contact Joey Votto made on Monday wasn't the one that'll go into the record books, but that's just how the baseball gods like to operate. Votto mauled a fastball from Chad Bettis that traveled 403 feet to straightaway CF in Coors Field, and he did so with the bases loaded. Unfortunately, there was a cool Colorado wind blowing straight in from CF, and that particular laser bounced off the warning track for a mere ground rule double.
Two at-bats later, though, he stepped into the batter's box sporting high socks and turned around a Jason Motte cut-fastball on the inside of the plate for a 390 foot homer, one that just cleared the RF wall after the stiff breeze had died down. Said dinger was the 200th of Votto's illustrious Cincinnati Reds career, and was the obvious exclamation point on what was an all-around great day at the plate for the Cincinnati 1B.
Congrats on the milestone dinger, Joey, and here's hoping you've re-found your wallet.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Billy Hamilton, who went 3 for 4 with a double, stolen base, a pair of runs scored, and a brilliant diving catch in CF; Adam Duvall, who dingered; Eugenio Suarez, who dingered; Zack Cozart, who dingered, too; Coors Field, for hosting all those wonderful dingers; Adam Duvall again, because Adam Duvall dingered...again; and Ross Ohlendorf, who chipped in with a perfect inning in relief.
- Zack Cozart wasted little time putting an end to his weeklong O-fer, leading off with a laser of a solo dinger to open the scoring. Reds led, 1-0.
- Charlie Blackmon did his best Cozart impersonation, however, leading off the Bottom of the 1st with a solo shot off Dan Straily into the 2nd deck in RF to even the score.
- Colorado broke things wide open in the Bottom of the 3rd, plating four runs after Straily had quickly retired the first two batters of the inning. A walk to Carlos Gonzalez began things, and back to back singles from Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra brough CarGo around to score. Trevor Story then walked to load the bases, and gritty former St. Louis Cardinal Daniel Descalso then gritty former St. Louis Cardinaled a bases clearing double to the wall in RF. Reds trailed, 4-1.
- Not to be outdone, the Reds batted around in the Top of the 4th to chase Chad Bettis to an early shower. Jay Bruce doubled to leadoff the inning, and Duvall then scored him with yet another blasted dinger. Suarez then singled before Hamilton looped a single into LF, but Suarez was then thrown out attempting to steal 3B (though Hamilton landed on 2B without trouble). Straily coaxed a walk from his opposition on the mound, and just to add insult to injury Cozart then loaded the bases with an infield single. Votto then crushed a Bettis meatball to deep CF, though the Reds caught a bit of bad luck when it bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double that only allowed two runs to score. Bettis was then relieved, but an infield single from Brandon Phillips scored Cozart from 3B. Reds led, 6-5.
- Votto's milestone homer led off the Top of the 7th, a very un-Votto pulled pitch on the inside of the plate that just cleared the wall in RF. A dinger nonetheless, and the Reds led, 7-5.
- Miguel Castro was summoned from the Colorado bullpen to pitch the Top of the 8th, and the first pitch he threw was promptly clobbered for a no-doubt dinger over the wall in CF by Suarez. The Reds tacked on another two runs later that inning, small-balling back to back RBI singles by Cozart and Ivan De Jesus, Jr. after Hamilton's double. Reds led, 10-5.
- Duvall dingered again in the Top of the 9th, an oppo-dart that just cleared the wall in RF. At this point, I'd hoped to tell you that ended the scoring, but alas, the bullpen didn't oblige. Tony Cingrani took over, walked DJ LeMahieu on a pitch that hit ten feet up the backstop, and then served up a 2-run blast to Gonzalez that put a dent in one of those beautiful pine trees behind the CF wall. A few more hits and another run later, JC Ramirez had to take over, and he mercifully wrapped things up. Reds won, 11-8!
- I think I mentioned on the RR Podcast last week (PLUG ALERT) that Votto hadn't sported high socks yet this season yet. Then, of course, he switched to them mid-game today. There's only one explanation for this phenomenon: Joey Votto listens to the RR Podcast.
- I said "I think" because I know I said it somewhere, but it could've just as easily been when I was talking to my neighbor's dog. Still, listen.
- Phillips exited prior to his spot in the order coming to the plate in the Top of the 7th, and he was replaced by Ivan De Jesus, Jr. As C. Trent Rosecrans of The Enquirer noted, BP's been dealing with a nagging ankle injury, which was likely the culprit.
- Suarez's single in the Top of the 4th broke an 0 for 28 skid. Ah, breath in that beautiful, thin air.
- Jon Moscot is scheduled to make Tuesday's start for the Reds. Jon Moscot, though, is not yet back on the 25-man roster, so there will be a roster move prior to tomorrow's 8:40 PM ET first pitch. Highly touted righty Jon Gray will toe the rubber for the Colorado Rockies, and you're damn right I'm going to be in the stands to watch it.
- Speaking of injured Reds starters, Anthony DeSclafani made yet another rehab start on Monday, and spun a rock-solid 4 IP for the Louisville Bats. He allowed only one hit (a solo dinger), and struck seven Toledo Mud Hens against zero walks. He threw 62 pitches, suggesting he's probably got one more to go in his rehab before being an option to return to the Reds. (His 60-day DL threshold will be met on June 2nd, I believe.)