The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Zack Cozart just keeps on raking for the Cincinnati Reds, and on Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks it was on full display. Cozart homered as part of his 4-hit day, scoring a run while also driving in a pair. (In fact, he’d have doinked the walk-off hit himself had it not bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double.)
His absurd breakout hasn’t made any sense at all if you simply stare at the back of his baseball card, but the longer he sustains this kind of success, the 2017 All Star begins to look that much more the part. Congrats, Zack, and keep up the damn fine work.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tim Adleman, who provided 6 innings of 3 ER ball, striking out 7 while not walking a soul on the evening in a perfectly solid start; Billy Hamilton, who had 3 hits, stole a bag, and scored two runs (including the winner); Raisel Iglesias, who fired 1.2 innings of electric relief, fanning 3 against a lone walk; Wandy Peralta, who tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless ball himself; Michael Lorenzen, who similarly logged a pair of scoreless innings from the ‘pen; and Joey Votto, who singled twice (and walked twice); and Adam Duvall, who poked the game-winning hit into RF in the 11th inning.
- The Reds struck first in this one, plating a run off Zack Greinke before he could log an out in the Bottom of the 1st. Hamilton singled and swiped 2B, and he scored a batter later when Cozart dumped a single into shallow LF. Reds led, 1-0.
- Doubles from Jeff Mathis and David Peralta off Adleman got the Diamondbacks on the board in the Top of the 3rd, with the later scoring the former. Game tied, 1-1.
- Cozy un-tied things in the Bottom of the 3rd, however, when he took Greinke deep for his 11th dinger of the season, a solo shot right down the LF line. Reds led, 2-1.
- The Reds tacked on another run in the Bottom of the 4th, and it started with Gennett beating out an infield single to the SS. He later moved to 2B on a Scott Schebler walk, and Tucker Barnhart then doinked a single into RF to bring in Scooty. Reds led, 3-1.
- The Top of the 5th saw Arizona tie things up, however. David Peralta inched the Diamondbacks closer with a solo blast into the RF seats, and AJ Pollock later scored after singling and chugging home on Jake Lamb’s double into LF. Game tied, 3-3.
- After that, the scoring dried up, with excellent bullpeenering taking the game into extra innings. Finally, though, the Reds put together a rally in the Bottom of the 11th, spearheaded by Hamilton, who singled to begin the flurry. He moved to 3B - and would have scored - when Cozart hit a ground-rule double behind him, and after the Diamondbacks walked Votto intentionally to load the bases, Duvall lined a single into RF that scored Hamilton from 3B, and the Reds walked off with a 4-3 win.
- The Cincinnati farm got some unfortunate news prior to the start of this one. Tyler Stephenson, their 1st round pick from 2015 who missed most all of 2016 due to injury, will miss the remainder of the 2017 season after busting a ligament in his thumb. He’d had a solid bounce-back year after fighting a wrist injury - one that often saps power even after “recovering” - but will now face yet another lengthy rehab.
- Speaking of busted hands, JD Martinez was hit in the hand by a pitch in the Top of the 4th and exited the game afterwards. He was actually called out on strikes in the process since he was hit while swinging at the pitch, though fortunately x-rays came back negative when taken later.
- Taijuan Walker and Luis Castillo will be on the mound for the series finale between these two clubs on Thursday. It’s an early one, with first pitch set for 12:35 PM ET, so ditch your other afternoon plans accordingly.