Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Scooter Gennett came into this afternoon’s matinee with the San Diego Padres in a bit of a short slump. After carrying a .305 batting average through August 1st, he’d seen that average drop below the .300 mark for the first time since June 29th thanks to a recent 7-game stretch in which he hit just .148/.179/.185 and hadn’t homered since July 24th.
If this was his day to bust out of that slump, however, he did so in a big way. He came to the plate with the bases loaded in the seventh inning with the Reds down one and crushed a grand slam off Padres All-Star reliever Brad Hand, who it should be noted is A) left-handed, and B) hadn’t allowed a run since June 10th. Gennett finished the game 2-for-4, and providing the game-deciding hit will more than earn him today’s trophy.
Honorable mentions are due to electric rookie Luis Castillo, who was quality as all hell in six innings of three run baseball, Joey Votto, who extended his hit streak to 15 games with a homer that raised his total to 31 and three walks that raised his total to eleventy bajillion, Zack Cozart, who slugged his 14th homer of the season, Eugenio Suarez, who slugged his 20th homer of the season, and Tucker Barnhart, who clubbed a 2-run double in this one.
- The Reds touched home first in this game back in the second inning, when Tucker Barnhart added to his total of run-scoring extra base hits this season with a 2-run double down the right field line that got the Reds out in front 2-0 early.
- Castillo was mostly on his game early on, playing with the corners a little too much but overall managing to stay pretty difficult to hit. Wil Myers changed that tune in the top of the fourth, taking a fastball the other way for his second dinger in as many days against Cincinnati. Reds led 2-1.
- Castillo’s roughest inning was in the fifth, though, when the Padres really started to hit him hard for the first time. San Diego got a leadoff single, then three straight two out hits that brought home two runs. Friars led for the first time, 3-2.
- The Reds didn’t get many chances at the plate in the middle innings, but once they finally did in the seventh, they didn’t waste it. After Billy Hamilton pinch hit and flew out, Jesse Winker did the whole Jesse Winker thing and walked. Cozart was then hit by a pitch, bringing up Joey Votto with two on and one-out. The Padres turned to their shutdown reliever in Brad Hand to face Votto, but he wound up simply walking Tokki 2 to bring up Duvall with the bases loaded. Duvall struck out, but the next guy didn’t. Gennett hammered an inside hanging slider over the right field fence, and Suarez followed that up with a homer of his own. Reds suddenly, forcefully led 7-3.
- Good guys continued to add on with more firepower in the eighth. Cozart dingered with two outs to bring up Votto, who at the time was 0-for-1 with three walks and a 14-game hitting streak hanging in the balance. He got a 3-1 fastball in his fifth plate appearance of the game and got every piece of it, mashing his 31st homer of the season and giving the Reds their final score of 10-3.
- Because this doesn’t stop being fun, Joey Votto’s slash line during his hit streak: .478/.625/.870. I need to go back and look, but I’m not sure you’ll find another 15-game span like that in even Votto’s career.
- Suarez’s homer, meanwhile, was his fourth in 10 games during the month of August.
- While you’re here, you might as well check out what the Reds’ minor leaguers did last night.
- The Reds will head to Milwaukee on Friday to face the reeling Brewers, who have lost four straight coming into Thursday and have slipped to third in the division. Homer Bailey will toe the rubber for Cincinnati opposite Jimmy Nelson.