The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Tucker Barnhart has been an incredibly steady presence for the Cincinnati Reds during this 2017 season. As Devin Mesoraco has battled injuries during the season, Tucker’s again taken on the large load of being the team’s everyday catcher, and he’s provided some of the absolute best defense behind the plate in the process despite and revolving door of pitchers on the mound.
He’s hit plenty decent, too, albeit largely from the left side of the plate. That made his 3-run blast as a right-handed hitter in tonight’s tussle that much more impressive, as he entered play having hit just .185/.239/.249 in 208 career big league PAs as a righty. All told, he had a 2 for 3, 3 ribbie evening - including a walk - which is plenty enough to warrant tonight’s JNMHSotG. Congrats, Tucker.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jesse Winker and Jose Peraza, who each had 2 hits, a walk, and scored a run (with Peraza netting 2 walks); Joey Votto, who walked and singled; and Austin Brice, who fired two scoreless innings in relief.
- The San Diego Padres are privy to the single oldest tenet in all of baseball lore: walks will haunt. So, it was no surprise that after Carlos Asuaje took a 1-out walk in the Top of the 1st, he eventually came around to score on a Yangervis Solarte groundout after Jose Pirela - who has just crushed Cincinnati pitching - doubled to move him to 3B. Pirela then scored on a wild pitch by Sal Romano, and the Reds were down immediately, 2-0.
- Cory Spangenberg then led off the Top of the 2nd with a walk. It, too, haunted, after Austin Hedges doubled to put runners on 2B and 3B and a Dusty Coleman sac fly brought in the run. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- The Reds loaded the bases with nobody out in the Bottom of the 2nd. They did not score.
- Adam Duvall made a fabulous catch at the wall in LF to start an inning-ending double play in the Top of the 5th. Unfortunately, Pirela had already singled, moved to 3B on a double, and scored on a sac fly, so the Reds were behind 4-0.
- Austin Hedges threw out Hamilton at 2B from his knees to end the Bottom of the 5th (on a strike ‘em out throw ‘em out with Joey Votto in the on-deck circle). And since perpetuating tenets of baseball lore was a theme in this one, the guy who made the great defensive play to end the previous half inning led off the next half inning with a bang, launching a solo homer to begin the Top of the 6th. Reds trailed, 5-0.
- Drew Storen took over for the Top of the 7th and...well. Pirela singled to lead off the inning and scored a pitch later when Yangervis Solarte hit a ball about as hard as I’ve ever seen halfway up the RF bleachers for a 2-run homer. Reds trailed, 7-0.
- A single by Winker and a walk to Peraza both began the Bottom of the 7th and finally chased Luis Perdomo, who had pitched brilliantly throughout. That put lefty Jose Torres on the mound to face Barnhart, who promptly clubbed the third pitch he saw for a 3-run dinger to get Cincinnati on the board. Reds trailed, 7-3.
- Unfortunately, that was all the Reds could muster, and they fell 7-3.
- Walks. Will. Haunt.
- Speaking of which, Sal Romano’s final line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K on 91 pitches. Both walks scored, of course.
- Billy Hamilton was absurd all night in CF, making this awkward yet ridiculous catch while banging into the CF wall as well as several other drop-your-beer worthy grabs.
- Austin Brice was back with the Reds and pitching for the first time since July 5th, and he repeatedly hit 96 mph with his fastball. Though Luis Castillo has obviously been the marquee piece of the Dan Straily trade, a healthy Brice from the bullpen will hopefully also be a big part of that return.
- Travis Wood is on these anonymous Padres, which you may not have noticed happen at the July trade deadline. He’ll get Wednesday’s start for San Diego, with Asher Wojciechowski on the bump for the Reds. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET, per usual.