The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Patrick Kivlehan has been somewhat of a forgotten man on the Cincinnati Reds roster so far this year. With the emergence of Scott Schebler, the continued production from Adam Duvall, and the versatility of Scooter Gennett now overlapping to the corner OF, the Rutgers product hasn’t had a ton of opportunities for at-bats at all this year, much less ones on a big stage.
That certainly wasn’t the case on Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals, however. Kivlehan was called upon with the Reds down a field goal and a pair of runners on late, and he responded with a huge 3-run homer that leveled the score and brought life back to the dugout after Lance Lynn had been nails against them for his portion of the game.
It’s hard enough being a bench bat on a roster that actively rotates their lineup on a regular basis, much less on a squad like the Reds that has everyday guys set at every position. So, congrats to Kivlehan for not only being ready despite ample rust, but for bonking the filthy Cards in the mouth when the Reds needed it most.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who singled and donked a go-ahead 2-run homer, the 15th of his season; Scott Schebler, who singled twice, walked, honked a dinger, and scored twice; Zack Cozart, who extended his on-base streak to 29 games with a double; and both Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias, who continued their excellence at the back-end of the bullpen with a pair of scoreless innings to tie down the win.
- Bronson Arroyo had yielded a .743 OPS to opposing batters the first time he’s faced them in games this year compared to a .984 OPS the second time he’s faced them. I mention that because Matt Carpenter opened the scoring on Wednesday by leading off the Top of the 3rd - the second time he’d faced Arroyo - with a solo homer to CF. Tommy Pham then coaxed a walk and scored on a Stephen Piscotty double, and Piscotty then scored from 2B on a soft single by Jedd Gyorko. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- Cincinnati got on the board in the Bottom of the 5th on Schebler’s solo homer, a liner that just cleared the wall in RF for his 17th blast of the season. Reds trailed, 3-1.
- Arroyo’s OPS allowed to batters the third time they face him in games this year was a massive 1.246 entering play, which pretty well goes in-line with the singles allowed to Aledmys Diaz and Eric Fryer in the Top of the 6th. Arroyo exited with 2-outs, however, in favor of Wandy Peralta, but pinch-hitter Dexter Fowler launched a double to the wall in CF that scored Diaz before a Billy Hamilton/Scooter Gennett relay nailed Fryer at the plate. Reds trailed, 4-1.
- The Cardinals signed lefty Brett Cecil to a 4-year, $30.5 million contract prior to the start of the year, and when he entered the Bottom of the 7th against the Reds, lefties Schebler and Gennett both singled off of him, which eventually set up the 3-run pinch-hit dinger by Kivlehan that leveled the score. Cozart then doubled down the LF line to chase Cecil in favor of Trevor Rosenthal, which was music to Votto’s ears as he mashed the go-ahead 2-run homer to put Cincinnati ahead, 6-4.
- After that, the combo of Lorenzen and Iglesias again cinched things for Cincinnati, as they locked down a 6-4 victory!
Reverse Bart Simpson Tony Graphanino
- Prior to the start of this one, news broke that Homer Bailey will begin a rehab assignment on Friday, when he’ll take the mound as the starter for AA Pensacola. Hooray, good starting pitching news!
- It’ll be a series finale matinee tomorrow, as the Reds and Cards will tussle with first pitch set for 12:35 PM ET. Former Reds starter Mike Leake will toe the rubber for St. Louis, opposed by Opening Day Starter (™) Scott Feldman.