The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Billy Hamilton has been on the exact kind of hot streak the Cincinnati Reds envisioned when they promoted him back for his first cup of coffee back in 2013, and he's taken to the team's leadoff spot amazingly well. On Tuesday, he wrought pain on the St. Louis Cardinals in numerous ways, as he walked twice, went 2 for 3 with the bat, scored three times, stole three bases, and genuinely embarrassed all those who chose to stand in his path in the process.
If Billy's maturation continues as it has during this season, the Reds' patience may well be rewarded with one of the absolute most dynamic talents the game has seen finally polishing his overall game. If that's the case, look the heck out.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Zack Cozart, who went 3 for 5 with a double and a ribbie; Brandon Finnegan, who struggled with walks but still held the Cards to 3 ER in 6 IP; Joey Votto, who went 2 for 4 with a walk and a run driven in; Tucker Barnhart, who doubled as part of a 2 for 4 night; and Adam Duvall, who walked and smacked a 2-run single.
- Toilets are heavy pieces of porcelain, and when they swing hard and make decent contact, the ball will go far. Such was the case in the Bottom of the 2nd, when resident St. Louis toilet Yadier Molina whacked a solo dinger off Finnegan into the LF seats to put the Reds in a hole, 1-0.
- The thumpers in the Reds order rectified that deficit, however, as they plated a pair of runs in the Top of the 3rd to jump back in front. Hamilton coaxed a 1-out walk and promptly stole 2B, and he moved to 3B when Cozart followed with a single of his own. The bases then loaded when Votto walked, and a 2-run single from Duvall put the Reds in front. A 1-6-3 GIBP ended the threat a batter later, but the Reds were in front, 2-1.
- A leadoff plunking of Scott Schebler led to another Reds run in the Top of the 4th, as he later stole 2B, moved to 3B on a deep fly out, and scored on a productive grounder from Tucker Barnhart. That was matched by the Cards in the Bottom half of the inning, however, as a leadoff walk to Brandon Moss, a pair of singles, and a GIDP then pushed a run across. Reds led, 3-2.
- A solo dinger by Matt Holliday into the seats in left-center leveled things in the Bottom of the 5th, leaving the score tied at 3-3.
- Hamilton's legs put the Reds back in front in the Top of the 7th, as he took a leadoff walk, subsequently stole 2B, advancedto 3B on a line-drive out that nobody else would've tagged on, and scored when Votto poked a single into CF. Reds led, 4-3.
- Holliday struck again in the Bottom of the 7th, doubling with 2-out off Michael Lorenzen and later scoring on a Moss single. Game tied, 4-4.
- The see-saw continued in the Top of the 8th, as Barnhart smacked a 2-out double and later scored when Tyler Holt chipped in with a double to CF of his own, and Holt then scored when he was sprinting on-contact and a dribbler by Hamilton was misplayed by Matt Carpenter for an infield single. Cozart then looped a bloop into CF to drive in Billy, and the Reds led, 7-4.
- After that, Raisel Iglesias shut down the St. Louis offense in the 9th inning the way we'd hoped to have seen last night, and that was that. Reds won, 7-4!
- Michael Lorenzen is Michael Phelps. Michael Phelps is Michael Lorenzen. I'm not sure how they're pulling this off in alternate hemispheres right now. Use your Googles.
- Tune in an hour earlier on Wednesday than you did tonight, as first pitch is set for 7:15 PM ET. Anthony DeSclafani will look to continue on his ho-hum ace-like start to the season as the Reds starter, and he'll be opposed by veteran lefty Jaime Garcia.