The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Zack Cozart. It should almost always be Zack Cozart.
The Cincinnati Reds shortstop blasted his 23rd homer of the season as part of a 2 for 5 night, one that featured a run scored and a pair of ribbies. He has Gold Gloved. He has Em Vee Peed. He, Zack Cozart, is Zack “MVP/GG” Cozart, and he’s played his ass off this entire season, even through pain.
Congrats on yet another fine outing, Zack. I hope to write about your future exploits on whatever diamond you play on next year, too.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Scooter Gennett, who doubled and dingered (again!); Joey Votto, who drove in a run, scored, and was on base another three times; Adam Duvall, who walked twice, scored, and drove in a run; and Ariel Hernandez, who fired 1.1 scoreless (walkless) innings in relief.
- Winker hitting atop the Cincinnati lineup is a wonderful, wonderful revelation. The young lefty opened the Bottom of the 1st with an opposite-field double into left-center, and he moved up to 3B when Cozart’s comebacker ricocheted off Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty. That meant a runner was “in scoring position” for Votto, who responded with an RBI single up the middle against a pulled-in defense. Reds led, 1-0.
- The Reds cobbled together another run in the Bottom of the 2nd, and it began with an Adam Duvall walk. He motored over to 3B on Scott Schebler’s single, and then scored on a sac-fly by Patrick Kivlehan. Reds led, 2-0.
- The top of the order was up to similar diddlies in the Bottom of the 3rd. Winker led off with a single, and Cozart brought him around to score with a 2-run dong into the LF seats. Reds led, 4-0.
- Jackson Stephens made it into the Top of the 4th having allowed nary a baserunner, but St. Louis touched him up then. Back to back to back singles by Tommy Pham, Dexter Fowler, and Jose Martinez plated the first run, and Yadier Molina backed that up with a 3-run honker into the LF seats to level the score at 4-4. Things, though, were not yet done, as Paul DeJong followed Molina with a homer of his own, a mauled meatball to the batter’s eye in CF. Reds trailed, 5-4.
- Them Reddos, though, seemed hellbent on driving the final nail the the Cardinals’ playoff hopes. In the Bottom of the 6th, Votto began things with a walk, and he ended up on 3B when Scooter Gennett doubled behind him. Duvall then knocked a sac-fly into deep enough CF to score Votto and allow Scooty to move up to 3B, which proved large when Schebler’s subsequent fly ball into LF scored Scooter, too. Reds led, 6-5.
- Them Carddos, though, seem hellbent on keeping their minuscule chances of making the playoffs alive for as long as physically possible, as evidenced by Fowler’s solo homer off Kevin Shackelford in the Top of the 8th that leveled the score at 6-6.
- Tim Adleman hadn’t pitched in 12 days, yet when this game leaked into extra innings he suddenly was thrust onto the mound to pitch with the game on the line. Well, he hit Kolten Wong - the first batter he faced - before a later double by Fowler scored Wong. DeJong later singled, too, which scored Fowler to leave the Reds trailing 8-6.
- Scooter worked a 10 pitch at-bat against Juan Nicasio in the Bottom of the 9th before clubbing a solo dinger to make things interesting, but that’s where the scoring ended, unfortunately. Reds lost, 8-7.
- It’s official: 2017 has been the most dingerrific season in MLB history, with Alex Gordon’s blast for the Kansas City Royals going down as the 5,694th of the season. Of course, there are alot more teams and a lot more games played now than there were when this whole Major League Baseball thing got going, but it’s still a marked reflection on the modern game itself.
- Wednesday’s contest between these two clubs will feature Rookie Davis and Luke Weaver as the starting pitchers. First toss is set for the usual 7:10 PM ET start time.
- Tonight’s game is the final one I’ll both see and write about during the 2017 season, as I’m off to Europe tomorrow for the bulk of the next two weeks. By the time I get back, the Reds will have wrapped their season. So, albeit a bit preemptively, many thanks for following along and reading we Red Reporters this season. And - of course - here’s to 2017 being the last season for a long time where we try to avoid talking about the team’s win/loss record. The goddamm reboot is over, I declare.