The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Adam Duvall had the single biggest blast for the Cincinnati Reds in their Tuesday tangle with the New York Mets, a 2-run homer that was his 30th of the season. 30. Thirty. The guy who was a throw-in in the Mike Leake trade next to top prospect Keury Mella launched his 30th dinger of the season, which is nice and tidy and story-creating considering he entered Tuesday's game with an also-tidy 3.0 bWAR to his name for the season.
Did the Reds see this type of production coming? Probably not. Did Duvall? Perhaps, though I wager he'd even crack a smile when learning his name now pops up alongside great Cincinnati OFs of yesteryear like Frank Robinson, Adam Dunn, George Foster, Eric Davis, and Batman himself - Kevin Mitchell. So, have another trophy, Adam, and rest assured even a precipitous slide from this point forward won't make us forget how prodigious this 2016 campaign has been.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Zack Cozart, who walked twice, stole a bag, and scored; Joey Votto, who singled and smacked a sac-fly as part of a 1 for 3 night; Hernan Iribarren, who launched a pinch-hit triple; and Raisel Iglesias, who breezed through a perfect inning of relief that featured a K for good measure.
- Dingers were the name of the game in this one, and the Mets jumped out to an initial 1-0 lead on Curtis Granderson's blast into the CF seats in the Top of the 2nd, and Jose Reyes backed that up with a solo dinger down the LF line in the Top of the 3rd to leave the Reds behind, 2-0.
- Those dingers meant the Reds had been out-dingered a remarkable 20-0 in their last 9 games in Great American Ball Park, something so wholly unimaginable that Duvall grabbed a hammer and busted that to pieces, clubbing a 2-run opposite field equalizer in the Bottom of the 3rd. It scored Zack Cozart, who had earlier walked and stolen 2B, and the game was tied, 2-2.
- Brandon Finnegan's early night ended with a pinch-hit apperance by Iribarren in the Bottom of the 5th, and the current feel-good story on the Reds responded with a triple, his second such in as many days. Votto later lifted a fly-ball into RF to former Red Jay Bruce that was deep enough to score Hernan, albeit with a less-than-2009 throw from Bruce. Reds led, 3-2.
- Michael Lorenzen tossed a clean Top of the 6th, but when he came out to pitch the Top of the 7th, the dinger bug bit the Reds yet again. Asdrubal Cabrera reached on a infield single after Cozart almost made a nifty play to get him out, and Yoenis Cespedes backed that by launching a 2-run blast over the wall in CF. That left the Reds behind, 4-3.
- Yet another dinger by the Mets left the Reds in a 5-3 hole, as Alejandro De Aza smoked a Blake Wood meatball into the seats beyond the wall in right-center to leadoff the Top of the 9th, and that capped the scoring in the second consecutive - and 13th consecutive overall against the Mets, damnit - loss, 5-3.
- Duvall's dinger was the 30th of his season, a damn impressive mark. I think there were plenty of people out there who thought he had enough power to hit that many dingers, but many worried that other potentially troubling aspects of his game - namely defense and contact - would prohibit him from getting enough playing time to ever have a chance to reach that number. Obviously, he's shown enough on defense to lock down an everyday job in LF, and the power has had a chance to flourish. Nice find, Walt Jocketty.
- Only 28 of those dingers have come in LF, but as C. Trent Rosecrans noted on Twitter, the combined LF production of the Reds has donked 30 homers this season, the most the Reds have had since Adam Dunn left in 2008.
- Brandon Phillips smoked a single off the wall in LF with 1-out in the BOttom of the 8th and the Reds down a run. That was a good thing, a much needed thing given the scenario.
- Unfortunately, he tried to turn it into a double and was nailed at 2B by the strong arm of Cespedes, ending both the inning and the threat. WELP.
- There's a marquee pitching matchup between two of the best second-year starters in MLB tomorrow, as Anthony DeSclafani will toe the rubber for the Reds in the series finale opposite the fireballing, hammer-wielding Noah Syndergaard. Because the baseball gods hate us all, however, it'll be on as a matinee, with first pitch set for 12:35 PM ET.