The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
A large portion of Cincinnati Reds' fandom wanted Zack Cozart traded this offseason, obviously while enamored with visions of the future of the infield featuring the likes of Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera. The Reds, however, found a quiet shortstop market during shopping season and ultimately kept their stalwart SS onboard, with hopes that the knee and achilles ailments that had cut short his previous seasons weren't harbingers of more bad news down the road.
Well, I'm not sure Cozart could've flexed harder in the face of those calling for his Cincinnati demise, and on Friday he spanked another big hit to continue his blazing hot start to the season.
Cozart homered, drove in a pair, drew a walk, and is slashing a cool .467/.514/.767 in the early going, which is completely absurd, but damn fun to watch. Hat tip, Cozy, and here's to keeping that up for as long as possible.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Patrick Kivlehan, who had a pair of hits and was doinked by a pitch; Joey Votto, who smashed a lengthy solo homer; Scott Feldman, who scrambled early and often yet still allowed just 2 ER in his 5 IP; and Cody Reed, who fired another 2 scoreless innings from relief (on the day he, and we, found out he'd been passed over for Sunday's start in Rookie Davis' stead.)
- Cozart’s dinger got the Reds on the board in the Bottom of the 2nd, with his moonball of a homer into the LF seats coming after Suarez belted a single into CF. Reds led, 2-0.
- Votto’s cranker off the batter’s eye in CF put Cincinnati ahead 3-0 an inning later, leaving Cincinnati ahead, 3-0.
- A leadoff single by Travis Shaw in the Top of the 4th got the Brewers’ first rally started, as doubles by Domingo Santana and Manny Pina led to a pair of runs that cut the lead to 3-2.
- Feldman exited after escaping a bases loaded jam in the Top of the 5th, and that turned things over to Blake Wood for the Top of the 6th - and that didn’t go so well. Back to back 1-out singles by Pina and Orlando Arcia put threats on the bases, and a balk moved both runners over. A productive grounder then scored Pina, Jonathan Villar’s double off the glove of Kivlehan in RF scored another, and Eric Thames then launched a hearty dinger off a 96 mph Wandy Peralta fastball to mash the Reds into an unfortunate 6-3 deficit.
- After that, well, shit got ugly in a hurry. Michael Lorenzen entered the game for his first appearance since Monday, and allowed 4 ER on 4 hits of varying degree to sink Cincinnati into a 10-3 hole.
- Arismendy Alcantara's single in the Bottom of the 9th was his first as a member of the Reds, and he later scored when Scooter Gennett singled and was hit by a throw that was attempting to come in behind him at 1B. That, unfortunately, wrapped the scoring, and the Reds lost 10-4.
- Milwaukee stole 5 bases off the Reds tonight, which is decidedly not good. Catcher Stuart Turner - who started tonight - will probably catch flack for that, but much of it came off Scott Feldman, who did himself no favors in holding runners.
- That world-beatin' Cincinnati bullpen? Well, they'd allowed 6 total runs on the season entering tonight...and then allowed 8 runs on Friday night. Regression is a pain in the ass.
- Prior to the start of this one, the Reds announced that they’d called up Jesse Winker from AAA Louisville, which is ten kinds of awesome. He got a PH spot in the 9th inning, but struck out to end the game.
- News also broke that Sal Romano will get the nod to pitch on Sunday in what had been Rookie Davis’ spot in the rotation, which is also ten kinds of awesome...until your put one and one together and realize Winker will probably get sent down for that move to happen, as The Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan noted.
- Brandon Finnegan will start Saturday’s matinee against Milwaukee, and he’ll be opposed by young starter Zach Davies. First pitch on that one is set for 1:10 PM ET.
- Hey! Today was Finnegan's 24th birthday, which means Saturday will be Cody Reed's 24th birthday!