The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Zack Cozart refuses to stop.
He’s having a career year, of course, but those pesky lingering leg injuries and a dry middle infield trade market has kept him a Red through the non-waiver trade deadline. Considering his inexpensive (in perspective) contract versus current production, it seems unlikely he’d make it through the August waiver trade period. Thus, he’s a Red until the end of the year, at which point the Reds will have to make a decision.
They’re cool with that tonight. Cozart bashed his 15th HR in the top of the 1st inning tonight, and then reached base three more times with two hits and a walk. In all, he batted in two runs and scored three himself, watching his average rise to .320 on the season. Plenty of Reds batters had stellar nights, but the dinger and the likelihood of Zack’s tenure with the only team he’s ever knowns coming to an end sooner than later, he gets another 2017 trophy to stock with his ASG start and corresponding donkey.
Honorable mention to Eugenio Suarez, who hit three times and walked twice and was on base all the time and should’ve won this award if I weren’t being sentimental. He batted in two, as well. Joey Votto ran his hitting streak to 16 and was on base four times as well, scoring two runs. Tucker Barnhart had two hits, including a dinger while Billy Hamilton hit once and walked twice and stole thrice and scored twice. Jesse Winker hit twice more, upping his average by about 20 points, while Scooter Gennett had two more RBI. Homer Bailey didn’t have his best stuff, but worked around five walks to allow only two runs in 5 IP. And Wandy Peralta and Raisel Iglesias, for not puking on their dicks in relief, unlike their earlier counterparts.
- Jimmy Nelson was trying to make short work of the Reds in the top of the 1st, after Billy Hamilton went down on three straight strikes. He also got Joey Votto to strike out and Adam Duvall to ground out in relatively short order. Luckily for the Reds, Zack Cozart exists. Cozart ripped a laser dong out to the left field seats in the second AB of the game. Reds, 1-0.
- Domingo Santana walked to open the bottom half of the 2nd, before Manny Pina hit a towering tater to straight away center, his third HR of the year against the Reds (eighth of the season). Bailey coaxed two straight groundouts thereafter, and after issuing a walk and allowing a single, Eric Thames struck out to end the inning. Brewers take the lead, 2-1.
- The Reds fought back in a big way in the 3rd. Bailey grounded out weakly to begin the inning, but Jimmy Nelson issued a free pass to Billy Hamilton, which is never a good idea. Hamilton swiped second before Zack Cozart grounded sharply to third. Jon Villar had no idea what to do with the ball, apparently, and a throwing error allowed both Hamilton and Cozart to advance a base. The Brewers IBB Joey Votto, ‘cuz they scurr’d. Adam Duvall struck out for the second out, but Scooter Gennett punished his old team with a bloop single to right, scoring Hamilton and Cozart. Eugenio Suarez smacked his second hit of the night to score Votto. Jesse Winker then winked a double into left field to score two more. Tucker Barnhart hit a slow rolling infield knock right under Nelson’s glove and then legged it out as the second baseman got there late and had no play. Winker was paying close attention and came around to score on the play, beating a Nelson throw to the plate with a good slide. Bailey, who made the first out of the inning something like 300 hundred words ago, made the last out of the inning. Reds up big, 7-2.
- In the 4th, Hamilton walked for the second straight time to begin the inning, and then stole his second base of the night. Cozart continued to Cozart, hitting a single to left that scored Billy. Votto and Duvall then singled to load the bases with no outs. Scooter grounded into a double play but scored a run before Suarez smacked his third hit to score Votto. Nelson was then lifted for Jeremy Jeffress, who got a ground out from Jesse Winker to end the inning. Reds tack on three more, 10-2.
- Blake Wood came on for Bailey in the bottom of the 6th. It... didn’t go well. Eric Sogard and Orlando Arcia hit back to back singles before a wild pitch advanced both of them. Hernan Perez and Jon Villar hit back to back infield singles to score them both. Eric Thames finally got around to hitting a home run off Reds pitching. Took him long enough. It was a three run dinger, if you’re paying attention, all with no outs in the inning. That earned Wood the hook, mercifully for those of us that had watched the game for nearly three hours prior only to notice that it was still only in the 6th inning. Anywho, Michael Lorenzen relieved Wood. He wasn’t much better. He allowed a Ryan Braun single before walking Travis Shaw. Santana struck out for the first out (first out!) before Pina singled to load the bases. Then Lorenzen uncorked a wild one that got past Barnhart, scoring Braun. Sogard finally got a chance to ground out, but that ALSO scored a run (Pina). Arcia struck out for the third out, because he cares about both you and me. It’s a game; Reds up but barely, 10-9.
- Tucker Barnhart led off the Reds half of the 7th with a solo blast. The rest of the team didn’t do anything, but considering... it helps. Reds, 11-9.
- Villar hit a home run in the bottom of the 9th to continue our nightmare. But that was it. Reds win, 11-10.
- I only fire up Tweetdeck when I do recaps. I do it to keep tabs on what tweeters (Twitterers?) are saying about the Reds during the game. My goodness, do you people hate Homer Bailey. The first inning wasn’t over and I read no less than five tweets about how bad he sucked. I never in my life will understand why people watch sports (or anything, this side of our government) just to be miserable.
- Manny Pina, a lifetime .750 OPS hitter, came into tonight with a 2017 OPS of 1.341 against the Reds. And then he hit another dinger. And got another hit. And then hit again.
- The Reds will take on the Brew Crew again tomorrow in beautiful* Milwaukee, Wisconsin. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT. Scott Feldman will be activated from the DL to make the start coming off a knee injury. The Brewers’ charge will be led by Brent Suter.
*I’ve never been to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and have no insight on its beauty or lack thereof