The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Scott Schebler had been busting heads in Louisville for the bulk of his time since being sent back down by the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the season, and in the wake of the trade that sent Jay Bruce to the New York Mets, it was obvious that the void opened in the Reds' OF was his for the taking. He jumped all over that opportunity in his first chance back in the big leagues on Tuesday, as he muscled a pair of singles in great at bats prior to blasting a walk-off 3-run dinger in the Bottom of the 9th to clinch a victory over the filthy St. Louis Cardinals.
One thing that trading veteran players certainly does is open day in, day out playing time for prospects, and the trade of Bruce is going to certainly provide that for Schebler for the rest of the 2016 season. If tonight was any indication, he's dang ready for it.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who doubled, drove in a run, and walked as part of a 4 for 4 night that was just hot dang beautiful to watch; Dan Straily, who again was nails, allowing just 2 ER in 6 IP (and left due to a would-be offensive spurt despite having thrown just 78 pitches); Tucker Barnhart, who walked twice and smoked his 6th homer of the season; and Adam Duvall, who belted a massive 2-run homer of his own.
- The Reds got on the board first in this one, thanks in large part to Billy Hamilton coaxing a 10-pitch walk to lead off the Bottom of the 1st. Billy then stole 2B and moved to 3B on a productive grounder by Ivan De Jesus, Jr., and Votto then bonked a ground-rule double that brought Hamilton home (that was pretty definitively misplayed by Stephen Piscotty in CF, most likely because Stephen Piscotty is not a CF. Reds led, 1-0.
- Then Adam "gawdang really" Wainwright bonked a solo dinger that just cleared the wall in left-center in teh Top of the 3rd, which tied the game at 1-1.
- Barnhart bonked a solo homer to straightaway CF int he Bottom of the 5th, and that put the Reds back in front, 2-1.
- A pair of doubles bit Straily in the Top of the 6th, the second of which scored the tying run for the Cardinals. Brandon Moss doubled to the wall in RF to lead off the inning, and he later scored when Jhonny Peralta dhoubled jhust ihnside the LF line with 2-out. Game tied, 2-2.
- The Reds loaded the bases in the Bottom of the 6th - including Tyler Holt pinch-hitting for Straily and taking a walk - but Hamilton struck out looking for the third out, and it was an immediate downer. More immediate to the scoreboard, however, was Jedd Gyorko donking a dinger right over Hamilton's head in CF off Ross Ohlendorf to put St. Louis back in front, 3-2.
- Kevin Siegrist came on to get Hamilton to end the Reds' moot rally in the 6th, but he stayed on for the Bottom of the 7th with the heart of the Reds order coming to bat. He'd largely owned Votto in his career - Joey was just 1 for 13 against him entering this encounter - but the Cincinnati 1B poked a single into CF against him, and that proved large when Duvall followed with a gargantuan dinger into the 2nd deck in LF to put the Reds back in front, 4-3.
- Unfortunately, the no-dinger luck that Blake Wood had earlier in the season despite the struggles of his peers failed him on Tuesday, as both Moss and Tommy Pham took him deep for solo shots in the Top of the 8th to put the Cardinals back in front in this see-saw, 5-4.
- Since this game had see'd, it was bound to saw again, and it did thanks to the Reds in the Bottom of the 8th against former Red Jonathan Broxton. Broxy walked Eugenio Suarez and Barnhart to begin the inning, and both then moved up when Tony Renda dropped down a sac bunt in his first career MLB trip to the plate. Renda won't soon forget it, either, since he ended up on 1B when Broxy dinked the throw to 1B, leaving the bases loaded and ending his pitching night in Sinseetown. Unfortunately, Hamilton then K'd with the bags loaded again, and Seung Hwan Oh then got De Jesus, Jr. to doink into a 6-4-3 double play to escape all damage.
- That was a bummer, but only for an inning, as both Votto and Duvall singled off Oh to begin the Bottom of the 9th, before Schebler launched a moonball of a walkoff that just stayed inside the RF foul pole. Reds won, 7-5!
- Zack Cozart was originally going to be in the lineup today (after nearly being traded to the Mariners yesterday), but he was scratched after taking a grounder off a finger prior to the game.
- In the Top of the 7th, Votto tried to catch a foul ball at the wall in foul ground beyond the 1B line, and bumped into a fan who was trying to catch the ball, too. Votto grabbed the Reds logo on the shirt the man was wearing and said something akin to "dude, you're a Reds fan, c'mon," and promptly went back to baseball business. Considering Matt Adams was playing 1B while Votto was on base a jillion times tonight, don't think for a minute that Votto forgot about this.
- For what it's worth, Votto later signed a ball apologizing for acting "out of character," hand delivered said ball to said fan, and took a picture with him. Dude's pretty much the greatest dang thing that has ever been a dang thing.
- Cody Reed will get another start for the Reds on Wednesday, where he'll be opposed on the mound by Michael Wacha. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET, and we'll be Red Reportering the hell out of it.