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Reds hold Dinger Party, don’t invite Pirates, win 4-2

Reds hit not one, not two, not three, but four ding dongs for the win.

Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Zack Cozart has had an incredible season in what is likely his last season as a Red, and in a game in which he swatted two dingers, I think those facts are enough to grant him one more Red Reporter trophy.

Despite dealing with lingering leg issues that have plagued him all season since the gruesome injury in 2015, Cozart continues to build on his career high in home runs, hitting number 21 and 22 tonight. He previously set his career high in HR, well, last season, with 16 in what we all thought was the offensive breakout year for him. He’s been consistently better this year.

If he keeps it up through the last few weeks of the season, he’s going to come pretty damn close to doubling up any of his previous season total WAR numbers, all while still playing (basically) everyday at shortstop at 32 years old.

The market didn’t bare anything for Cozart at the deadline, but he’s almost certainly going to be too expensive for the Reds to keep this offseason. I’m going to miss him when he’s gone.

Honorable mention to Joey Votto, who homered, doubled, and walked for just another day at the office. Scott Schebler homered, too, which was fun as heck and Tucker Barnhart collected two hits. Homer Bailey was perfectly fine in this one, as was Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias giving up basically nothing in relief (the Pirates scored 1 off of Iglesias with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th).

Key Plays

  • Our lord and savior, Joey Damn Votto, started the scoring in this one, honking a wanger to center field for his 35th of the year. Reds, 1-0.
  • Elias Diaz opened the top of the 3rd inning with a ground rule double to right center. Max “Get a brain” Moroff struck out before Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl singled, sending Diaz to third. Adam Frazier walked to load ‘em, and Jordan Luplow poked a sac fly to center that scored Diaz from third. Andrew McCutchen struck out to end the threat. Tied in the middle of the 3rd, 1 all.
  • In the 3rd inning, Zack Cozart followed the Votto example (as everyone should, really), and mashed a tater to the seats in left. Reds, 2-1.
  • In the bottom of the 5th, Zack Cozart DID IT AGAIN, leading off the inning with a solo funkblast to left center. After a Votto out (wut?) and a Eugenio Suarez out, Scott Schebler lifted a two out dinger to right center, his 27th of the year. Reds lead, 4-1.
  • In the bottom of the 9th, Moroff earned a walk and then haunted when he scored on an Adam Frazier triple with two outs. Raisel Iglesias got Luplow to fly out, though, to end the game. Reds win, 4-2.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • This tweet seems appropriate:
  • Homer Bailey was perfectly fine tonight. He had 5.2 IP tonight, scattering 5 hits but allowing only 1 ER, striking out 7 and walking only 2. Bryan Price had a quick hook tonight, though, which probably wasn’t such a bad thing considering what we’ve seen late in Bailey starts lately. Homer wasn’t happy about it, though. He wanted that sixth inning badly.
  • Before the game, the broadcast showed a stat that said the magic number for the Reds against the Pirates was four. When they scored four or more runs against Pittsburgh this season, they were 10-0. Three or less? 0-6. Chalk up number 11.
  • The Reds will pick back up tomorrow with the Pirates at 4:10pm. The Reds will send Sal Romano to the mound, who’s been very solid in his last few starts. The Pirates will see Ivan Nova, who’s not (nearly 10.00 ERA in his last three starts, .949 opponent OPS since the break). You should tune into Red Reporter dot com for all the coverage.
  • Apparently, Hunter Greene is going to be at the ballpark in some capacity, which is pretty exciting.
  • I, too, will be at the ballpark. That’s... a lot less exciting, for you all, at least.
  • Tunes.