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Devin Mesoraco hits first home run in basically a decade, helps Reds beat Pirates 7-2

Eugenio. Billy. Devin. Dinger, dinger, dinger.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

953 days. One contract extension. Three labrum surgeries. That’s how long we’ve been waiting for a Devin Mesoraco home run.

It finally came tonight.

Since being activated from the DL on April 28th, the Reds starting catcher has had a decent run of it, all things considered. The batting average was only .222 coming into this one, but he had hit the ball hard in many at bats, and also worked his way deep into counts. He certainly didn’t look lost at the plate. And, even if he did, could anyone really blame him?

Tonight, though, he turned those hard hit balls and hard worked counts into something tangible: his first home run in what seems like a decade. 2014 is practically a lifetime ago, both in baseball years and definitely in real life years.

Sure, other players played better tonight, probably. But Mesoraco’s home run is a big deal, not just tonight, but for the player and for the season on the whole. If Mesoraco is truly back and can stay healthy, this lineup just got a lot better.

Honorable mention to: Jose Peraza, who had 3 hits including a double and a run scored. He probably should’ve gotten this award, but sorry DEVIN MESORACO HIT A HOME RUN. Also, Billy Hamilton hit a three run homer, increasing his stock in Pirate ownership. Joey Votto had a hit and two walks, along with some defensive gems, while Eugenio got this game off with a three run dinger of his own in the first inning. Rookie Davis didn’t allow anything while going further into the game than he ever has, and Drew Storen and Raisel Iglesias were nails out of the pen. Again.

Key Plays

  • In the bottom of the 1st, Zack Cozart smacked a line drive single before Joey Votto walked (drink). That set the table for the Reds second three-run home run in as many days, this time bopped by Eugenio Suarez. Reds up, 3-0.
  • In the bottom of the 4th, Jose Peraza collected his second single of the night before Devin Mesoraco was (maybe?) hit by a pitch. Regardless, he was awarded first base, which allowed Rookie Davis to move the runners over with a sac bunt. No matter, because right on cue, Billy Hamilton drilled a first pitch, line drive dinger just inside the foul pole in right field. Reds double up, 6-0.
  • Cody Reed walked Alen Hanson with one out in the top of the 7th, and then grooved a 94mph heater right down the middle of the plate to Andrew McCutchen. You shouldn’t do that. Reds lead cut to five runs, 7-2.
  • But that was it. Reds win, 7-2.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Billy’s home run in the bottom of the 4th was his first home run of the season, and his first home run since June 28th, 2016, some 300 PAs ago. Though, Billy kinda owns the Pirates:
  • This was the first game Rookie Davis got past the 4th inning in a start. So, that’s a step in the right direction. His final line: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K.
  • It was one of the Bark at the Park nights for this one, so there were a lot of very Good Dogs in attendance. I do not envy the cleaning crew at GABP tonight.
  • In former Reds news, former starting catcher and Red Reporter favorite Ryan Hanigan had his contract selected by the Colorado Rockies today.
  • The Reds and Pirates will wrap this series up tomorrow afternoon at 12:35pm. Ivan Nova and Tim Adleman are set to square off, but there appears to be quite a bit of rain the forecast. Also, there’s no FS Ohio broadcast. Also also, Ivan Nova was just the Pitcher of the Month for the NL in April. Maybe they should just hold off on this one?
  • Tunes.