The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
This was a total team effort tonight; save for Eugenio Suarez, everyone in the starting eight got a hit. But, you know what, let’s give a trophy to Billy Hamilton.
It’s kind of a cliche thing to say, but this offense is different when Billy Hamilton is hitting, and we’ve seen that over the last few series. It’s cliche, because of course a team’s offense is going to be better when the lead off hitter is getting aboard. But it seems exponential with Hamilton. Just being on first base does things to an opposing pitcher. It’s like lineup protection in the opposite direction.
It might all be bullshit; how in the hell am I supposed to know what an opposing pitcher is feeling and thinking when Billy is on first? Or if it has any tangible benefit over any other base runner?
Regardless, Billy seems to be heating up. Since the turn of the calendar (arbitrary end points!), Billy’s upped his batting average by 30 points in in 9 days, for instance. Tonight he had another two hits, driving in two and scoring a run. He didn’t steal a base, which seems like it’s not possible, but it happened.
Honorable mention to Joey Votto, because of course. Tim Adleman, who despite giving up two more home runs pitched pretty well tonight through 5 innings, striking out 6. Zack Cozart had a hit, a walk, and scored a run while the Best of the Bullpen (Michael Lorenzen, Raisel Iglesias), despite making things a bit interesting late, closed things down without allowing a run.
- Tim Adleman gave up a towering bomb to Gary Sanchez with one out in the 1st, because Tim Adleman has a tendency to give up towering bombs to opposing pitchers. That was it, though. Yankees up, 1-0.
- Tim Adleman gave up a towering bomb to former Red Didi Gregorius with one out in the 2nd. See above. Yankees, 2-0.
- Scott Schebler and Jose Peraza laced singles through the hole to left to begin the Reds 2nd, before Sabathia walked Devin Mesoraco on four straight balls with nobody out in the inning. Adleman went down swinging, but Billy Hamilton sent a hard grounder toward Yankees 3B (and former Red farmhand) Ronald Torreyes that doinked off his glove, changing the trajectory enough that Didi, backing up third, couldn’t glove it either. Schebler and Peraza scored. Zack Cozart then found that familiar gap to load them back up. Joey Votto wasn’t gonna let the opportunity pass him by as he scooted a grounder under the glove of a diving Starlin Castro, plating Mes and Hamilton. Adam Duvall, not wanting to be left out, found another hole in the infield between third and short, scoring Cozart. CC would finally get Suarez and Schebler for the final two outs, but hoo boy, that was fun. Reds lead, 5-2.
- Castro smacked a double to left field to open the 4th before Adleman walked Jacoby Ellsbury. Aaron Judge erased himself and Ellsbury on a double play, but Didi stepped up and drove in another run against his former team with a broken bat bloop to right. Yankees get one back, 5-3.
- Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias might’ve made you a little uncomfortable at points, but they did the thing. Reds win, 5-3.
- I think many would call me crazy, and maybe chalk it up to Thom-Syndrome but... Michael Kay is fine.
- With Amir Garrett in Louisville for
service timeinnings reasons, and Rookie Davis not showing many signs of being a ready major league pitcher... it might be worth keeping an eye on new Reds farmhand Asher Wojciechowski, who owns a 0.92 ERA through four starts.
- With two more home runs allowed tonight, Adleman’s HR/9 is up to 2.39. That will likely put him in the top 10 (bottom 10?) of all pitchers, minimum 20 IP. He’s otherwise been good, but he’s going to have to figure out how to mitigate the home runs.
- The Reds are off tomorrow before traveling to San Francisco for another weekend series with the Giants. Bronson Arroyo will face off against Ty Blach on Thursday.