The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
While many of the Cincinnati Reds were busy taking this one on the chin, Zack Cozart continued his absurdly good start to the 2017 season.
Before exiting early due to a blowout-induced lineup change, Cincinnati's shortstop had another perfect night, going 2 for 2 with a walk and a double, and given the early returns from the guys who have been written in at the top of the lineup in pen to start the year, it's hard to fathom how he's still hitting 7th in the order at this point and time.
It's not just a 'Reds need to trade their veteran' year for Cozart, either; it's his final year before he reaches free agency. As a middle infielder who's already over 30, it's imperative for his future earning power that he show he's fully recovered from the knee and achilles injuries that cut short his last two years, and so far it's hard to imagine him doing anything more than he has to date.
Congrats, Zack, and here's to keeping things rolling.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who went 2 for 4; Jose Peraza, who also had a 2 for 4 night; Adam Duvall, who cracked a dinger to get the Reds' lone run on the board; and both Barrett Astin and Blake Wood, who combined for 2.1 scoreless, hitless innings after the game was thoroughly borked.
- Manny Pina, Hernan Perez. Hernan Perez, Manny Pina. In the six games in which the Reds and Brewers have tangled this year, those two have completely destroyed Cincinnati pitching. Well, allow me to introduce you to the Bottom of the 2nd, where Pina drew a 2-out walk, which haunted when Perez smacked a laser of a double down the RF line to plate the game’s opening run. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Perez smacked an extra base hit in the Bottom of the 4th. You probably think I’m kidding. I am not kidding. Pina scored on that extra base hit. You probably think I’m kidding. I am not kidding. That damage came with 2-outs, after which Scott Feldman walked the opposing pitcher and yielded a 2-run single up the middle by Jonathan Villar which left the Reds behind, 4-0.
- Robert Stephenson entered the game for Feldman in the Bottom of the 6th and promptly served up a dinger to - you guessed it - Hernan Perez on his 2nd pitch of the game. The 3rd pitch of the game went almost as far, as Keon Broxton smashed a meatball to CF that bounced off the yellow line (and was confirmed as a double after review), and pitch number five was smashed as a laser right to RF Scott Schebler that was dropped for an error. Broxton then easily stole 2B, and both runs scored when Nick Franklin then dumped a single into RF (that Schebler bobbled, too). That brought Eric Thames to the plate, and Eric Thames homers, so Eric Thames homered. Reds trailed, 9-0.
- Duvall, to his credit, didn't check out after that, and mashed a Tommy Milone meatball for a solo dinger in the Top of the 8th to cut the lead to 9-1. That was it, however, and the Reds were thoroughly forked.
- Robert Stephenson now sports an 8.71 ERA with an awful K/BB ratio through his first 10.1 innings of the season, with a WHIP of 2.42. He carries great prospect status, a 1st round draftee pedigree, and a right arm that still has plenty of talent, but there's pretty much no spot on the big league roster for him at the moment - not even the one that's as depleted pitching-wise as Cincinnati's currently is.
- Billy Hamilton went 0 for 4 with 4 Ks. The ol' Golden Sombrero.
- Somewhat related, the Reds entered play on Tuesday with a collective .279 OBP from their OF, two of whom hit everyday as the #1 and #4 hitters in the lineup. Hmm...
- Rookie Davis will return to the Reds to start Wednesday's matinee against Milwaukee for the series finale, and he'll be opposed by Wandy Peralta. First pitch is set for 1:40 PM ET, and it'll be quite interesting to see which member of the current active roster gets optioned to open up a roster spot.