The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Kris Bryant socked three dingers - all of which carried longer than your Tiger Woods 2004 drives - doubled twice, and generally terrorized Cincinnati Reds pitching for roughly the everyth time ever. It was the first time since 1913 that a player belted three homers and doubled twice in the same game, which is pretty much the only statistic that can make a 5 for 5, 4 R, 6 RBI game seem small in comparison.
Kris Bryant was the star of this game. I cannot deny that.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who walked, scored thrice, stole a base, and dingered twice, raising his season OPS to a season-high .822; Adam Duvall, who doubled twice, scored, and drove in a pair; Billy Hamilton, who walked twice, singled, scored twice, stole two bases, and dear lord stuffed the stat sheet in the kind of way that has always had scouts drooling; and Jumbo Diaz, who did not allow a dinger or a run two any of the two batters he faced.
- The Cubs struck first in this one, pushing a pair of baby bears across the plate in the Top of the 1st. Jason Heyward singled with 1-out, scored a batter later on Kris Bryant's double, and Bryant later scored on a sac fly after taking 3B on a throw home and a pair of walks. Reds trailed, 2-0.
- Jake Arrieta then took the mound, and after his no-hitter in April in GABP (paired with the 16-0 drubbing levied by the Cubs that night) it was a bit of a "cross your fingers" kind of moment. Fortunately for the Reds, the same Arrieta wasn't around in this one, and Cincinnati immediately equalized in the Bottom of the 1st thanks to some walks and a 2-out, 2-RBI double off the bat of Duvall. Game tied, 2-2.
- Bryant launched a solo dinger in the Top of the 3rd to put Chicago back in front, but a Bruce RBI single up the middle in the latter half of that inning again tied the game, this time 3-3.
- Unfortunately, the 4th inning. Also unfortunate: Bryant is a Cub, not a Red. Bryant socked a 3-run dinger to effectively chase Dan Straily from the mound (though it came a batter after an RBI single off the bat of Heyward). Reds trailed, 7-3.
- The dinger parade continued in the Top of the 5th when Arrieta - yes, Arrieta - lifted a 99 mph fastball from Michael Lorenzen into the seats in right-center. Ouch. Reds trailed, 8-3.
- From that point on, the Reds mounted a decent comeback. Billy Hamilton walked to leadoff the Bottom of the 5th, and Votto followed with his 12th dinger of the season over the wall in right-center. Then, in the Bottom of the 6th, a walk by Jose Peraza against Trevor Cahill turned into another run when he stole 2B and then scored on a double to RF by Tucker Barnhart. Reds trailed, 8-6.
- Duvall doubled and scored in the Bottom of the 7th, but Bryant and Rizzo then hit 900 feet of dingers off Ross Ohlendorf in the Top of the 8th, and the Reds trailed, 10-7.
- The Cubs tacked on another run in the Top of the 9th, but only Votto's 2nd dinger of the game added to the Reds' ledger from that point forward. Reds lost, 11-8.
- Prior to this one, the Reds brought Jumbo Diaz back onto the 25-man roster from AAA Louisville. They'd been playing with a free roster spot since the Los Angeles Angels claimed JC Ramirez off waivers over the weekend.
- Perhaps the magic dust that Dan Straily had worn through the first two months of the season has finally begun to wash off, as his ERA (4.38) now sits much more in-line with the FIP he had entering tonight's contest (4.34). His BABIP had hovered near the unsustainable .200-.210 range for much of the year, but after tonight that's going to be much, much closer to a more predictable number. Them's the statistics, folks.
- Votto's first dinger moved him ahead of the great Eric Davis on the Reds' all-time list of career dingers, and he now sits 9th with 205 to his name. Congrats to them both, really, since they're easily my two most favorite Reds of all time.
- John Lamb will take the mound for the Reds tomorrow, and he'll look to continue his solid form opposite Jon Lester in a battle of lefties. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.