The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Eugenio Suarez looked eutterly terrible for most of the month of May, hitting just .173 with a .556 OPS in that time. The Cincinnati Reds 3B has seemingly flushed that from his memory since the calendar turned, however, feasting on the thin air of Coors Field and Colorado Rockies pitching as often as possible during the team's 4 game stint in Denver. Thursday proved to be the high point of the trip for Suarez, as he belted a pair of dingers and a double as the bulk of his 3 for 5, 3 run, 4 RBI evening.
Suarez is still a young enough player to treat the lumps along the way as growing pains, and there's certainly hope that his slump at the plate and coinciding struggles with the glove at 3B are just those, and Thursday's performance is the obvious evidence. So, have a trophy, Mr. Gold, and here's to hoping you can feast on a lefty starter tomorrow night to keep the hot streak rolling.
Honorable Mentions are due across the board, specifically to: Zack Cozart, who dingered, doubled, and took a walk; Adam Duvall, who dingered, singled, scored twice, and drove in a pair; Joey Votto, who doubled, walked, and scored twice; Jay Bruce, who tripled, doubled, and drove in a pair; Tucker Barnhart, who singled and walked twice; and both JC Ramirez and Josh Smith, who combined to pitch a pair of scoreless innings to wrap this one up.
- With BP back in the lineup, Votto bumped back up to the #2 spot in the lineup, and that proved large in the Top of the 1st. Votto doubled down the RF line with just 1-out, not 2, and after BP flew out deep to CF, Votto waltzed home when Bruce belted a triple to the wall in CF. Reds led, 1-0.
- Cozy added to the lead in the Top of the 3rd, smacking his 7th dinger of the season into the seats behind the LF fence. Duvall then replicated the feat in the Top of the 4th, his being a towering blast well into the seats in CF, and Suarez followed by poking an oppo double to the wall in RF. A sacrifice by Hamilton moved Henny-O to 3B, and after Tucker Barnhart walked, Cozy smacked a double off the wall in the LF corner to score Suarez. Barnhart was waved around 3B by Billy Hatcher, though, and was thrown out by 10-15 feet to end the inning. Reds led, 4-0.
- Alfredo Simon finally showed up in the Bottom of the 4th, allowing back to back dingers to Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado, both on meatballs and both being absolutely demolished. Reds led, 4-2.
- The Reds put together a vintage middle of the order performance in the Top of the 5th, and with the rebuild in full-swing, it made you wonder how many more times we'd be able to watch it happen. Votto walked to leadoff, Brandon Phillips singled to LF behind him, and Votto came in to score when Bruce smoked a double to the corner in RF. New guy Duvall showed he's in for the long haul with an RBI single to LF, and that left runners on the corners while chasing Eddie Butler from the mound. Chad Qualls was summoned to the mound, and the first pitch he threw was greeted by Suarez with a 3-run opposite field dinger that just cleared the tall wall in RF. Giggity! The Reds weren't yet done, though, since Billy Hamilton is a speedy blur. He reached on an infield single when he beat Qualls to 1B on a grounder down the RF line, and after a steal and a productive grounder, Billy scored with the infield in on Simon's soft grounder that Trevor Story couldn't corral in time at SS. After all of that, the Reds boasted a hefty 10-2 lead.
- I blinked, I burped, I cracked my fingers, and Suarez had already blasted yet another dinger in the Top of the 6th, a solo shot to left center. Reds led, 11-2.
- Colorado punched back in the Bottom of the 7th - at least a bit - as Trevor Story belted a 2-run dinger after Simon hit Mark Reynolds with a pitch. That, though, was the end of the scoring, and the Reds breezed to an 11-4 victory.
- Shockingly, the back to back dingers honked by Gonzalez and Arenado in the Bottom of the 4th were the first of their kind against Reds pitching in 2016. Lord knows the dingers have been a-plenty, they've just spaced out the pain effectively prior to Thursday.
- The Reds will return home to GABP after this one for a weekend series against Dusty Baker and the Washington Nationals. Game 1 will be a matchup of talented lefties, as Brandon Finnegan will take the mound for the home team opposite Washington's Gio Gonzalez. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET, and believe me, there will be plenty of ways you can pull off watching both that and the USMNT's opener in Copa America.