Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Everyone saw Adam Duvall break out in 2016, and many people seemed to think that the 33 homer, 103 RBI, 106 OPS+ version of Duvall we saw last year would more or less be the best version of Duvall we could hope to see. He’s done his best in 2017 to make people at least hesitate to hold that expectation, raising his batting average 28 points from last year without sacrificing anything in the power department.
That was on display again on Friday, as the Reds’ left field galoot launched a 2-run homer in the first inning to kickstart a 1-for-3 night that also included a hit-by-pitch. It was the 22nd dinger of the year for Duvall, who is actually homering at a slightly higher rate per plate appearance than last year while also bumping his OPS+ to 113. At the very least, he’s begun to cement the fact that 2016 was no anomaly and that this is very much the kind of hitter Duvall is, and could be for a few years. So he’ll get a trophy, as no one else was particularly itching to provide more offense than he did.
Honorable mentions go to Scooter Gennett, who went 2-for-4 the way Scooter Gennett does now, Joey Votto, who went 1-for-3 with a walk the way Joey Votto always has, Scott Schelber, who hit a solo shot, and Tony Cingrani, who tossed a scoreless inning from the bullpen.
- Billy Hamilton facilitated a good scoring opportunity for the Reds to start the game when he walked and stole a base against Marlins starter Vance Worley. He advanced to third on a grounder to second by Scooter Gennett, and scored on an RBI single by Joey Votto. That would have made for a perfectly successful first inning by recent Reds offensive standards, but Adam Duvall decided he might as well make it a big inning and clubbed a 2-run dinger to right field to make it a 3-0 game in favor of Cincinnati.
- Reds starter Sal Romano didn’t make things easy on himself from the get-go in this one, walking the bases loaded in a scoreless first and allowing a double and two walks in the first four hitters of the fourth inning. Miami scored its first run of the game thanks to a throwing error by Romano, and plated another with a sacrifice fly. After Romano issued his sixth walk of the game to Giancarlo Stanton, Michael Lorenzen was called into a bases-loaded jam, and got the third out in two pitches. Good guys led 3-2.
- The Marlins’ sixth got started with a walk issued to Miguel Rojas, who moved to third on a double by none other than 43-year-old Ichiro Suzuki over the head of Scott Schebler in right field. Stanton scored Rojas on an RBI groundout to Eugenio Suarez, and the game was tied at three.
- The game would not stay tied for long. Wandy Peralta entered the game out of the bullpen for Cincinnati in the seventh and retired the first batter he faced before allowing a solo homer to J.T. Realmuto that gave Miami its first lead of the game. Back-to-back doubles ran Peralta from the game, but only for Drew Storen to allow a 2-run homer to Mike Aviles, his first ding-dong-danger of year. With that, the Reds trailed 7-3 in a game that they once led 3-0.
- Scott Schebler mashed a tater real good to start the ninth inning, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Reds lose again, 7-4.
- Romano struck out five batters alongside the six walks he allowed tonight, which added up to 78 pitches thrown for the young right-hander in 3.2 innings. He’d probably like that to be a little better.
- Votto’s two time on base tonight gave him ten total over his last 13 plate appearances, which is pretty comforting sign he’s breaking out of his post-All-Star break slump.
- Tim Adelman will toe the rubber for Cincinnati on Saturday against Adam Conley, with game time set for 7:10 p.m. EST. The Reds will enter the game looking to avoid their eighth loss in their last nine contests.