The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The only folks who know how Tim Adleman fits into the future of the Cincinnati Reds are the ones who saw him actually contributing to them in the first place, I suppose. The 28 year old spent time in independent ball a few years back while still attempting to make MLB his dream, and he's certainly made his stamp on the Reds since finally making his big league debut with them earlier this season.
On Friday, he didn't just hold them to 2 ER in his 6 IP, he also chipped in with a 2 for 2 night at the plate, doubling, driving in a run, and scoring a run himself. It's hard to cap a night like that in any scenario, much less one that includes dealing a serious blow to the rival Pittsburgh Pirates in their quest to sneak into the playoffs. So, have a trophy, Tim, and here's to this season just being a precursor to much more.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who busted out of his mini-mini-slump with a 3 for 4 night that included a ribbie; Brandon Phillips, who launched the go-ahead dinger; Eugenio Suarez, who popped a pair of hits (one a double) and scored the game's winning run; and Michael Lorenzen, who tossed a clean inning of relief from the bullpen.
- The Reds struck first in this one, and it was Adleman at the plate who spearheaded things. He led off the Top of the 3rd with a double to right-center, and after Peraza coaxed a walk behind him (after being down 0-2 in the count), a sac-bunt by Zack Cozart moved both runners up in front of Votto. Rather than walk him to get to Duvall, the Pirates elected to pitch to Votto, who promptly dumped a 1-out single into CF to drive in Adleman and put the Reds ahead, 1-0.
- A counterbunt got the Pirates level in the Bottom of the 3rd, as Steven Brault moved Jordy Mercer over to 2B after Mercer had led off with a single, and a double down the LF line off the bat of Josh Harrison drove in the run. Game tied, 1-1.
- Cincinnati struck back immediately, however, as Suarez blooped a conveniently placed double down the RF line with 2-out in the Top of the 4th, and he came in to score on another hit by Adleman - a single to RF after the Pirates had opted to intentionally walk Ramon Cabrera in front of him. Reds led, 2-1.
- Mercer scored again in the Bottom of the 5th after again leading off with a single - this one of the infield variety - after Matt Joyce later walked, another bunt moved both runners up, and a productive grounder off the bat of rookie Josh Bell brought him in. Game tied, 2-2.
- Phillips put the Reds back in front with his 10th dinger of the season, though, as the veteran 2B launched a solo blast into the LF seats off Jared Hughes to leadoff the Top of the 6th. Reds led, 3-2.
- Pittsburgh managed to get a run off Raisel Iglesias in the Bottom of the 8th to equalize, however, as singles by Harrison and John Jaso set up a sac-fly opportunity for Andrew McCutchen, which he did not waste. The Reds, however, reciprocated in the Top of the 9th, with Suarez scoring after a leadoff single thanks to a sacrifice from Cabrera, a single by Tyler Holt to move him to 3B, and a sac fly from Jose Peraza to drive him in. Reds led, 4-3.
- Iglesias was tasked with closing the deal in the Bottom of the 9th despite struggling in the Bottom of the 8th, and after hitting the first pair of batters he faced in the final frame, he buckled down to get the Reds a much needed win to stem the losing tide. Reds were victorious, 4-3!
- During his in-booth interview in the 2nd inning, Mark Sheldon of Reds.com hinted that it wasn't likely that Homer Bailey would pitch again this year. While that's a bummer, it's probably the prudent decision despite the fact that the biceps issue he's dealing with isn't directly related to the elbow surgeries he's had over the past two years. Shut him down, give him a winter that's dedicated to prepping for Spring Training and a season - not dedicated to rehabbing from surgery, for once - and get him right for Opening Day 2017.
- Tune in tomorrow to see Robert Stephenson get another start for the Reds, as he'll be toeing the rubber for them in the third game of this series. He'll be opposed by Drew Hutchison of the Pirates, with first pitch set for 7:05 PM ET.