The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Jesse Winker has been on a nuts kind of tear over the last, oh, most of his professional baseball career. It’s easy to overlook that he hit .298 with a .398 OBP across a lengthy 2438 career MiLB PA before becoming a full-time member of the Cincinnati Reds, but that’s exactly what he did. He walked 330 times against just 385 Ks, was a top prospect because of his hit tool, and found his name among the top overall prospects on the Reds for years before finally getting regular reps this year.
On Friday, Winker went 3 for 3 with a walk, 3 ribbies, a double, some snazzy smiles, a well-maintained beard, and now owns an absurd .406 OBP on the season.
This, folks, is a phenomenal offensive player showing the force he can be, and it’s damn glorious.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game, Too
We’re not about to get through this without giving Dilson Herrera some serious dap, too.
On a day when MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon mentioned that there have been potential extension talks between the Reds and 2B Scooter Gennett, it’s easy to overlook the still-just-24-year-old 2B. Well, in his short time with the Reds since being called back up to the bigs for the first time in years, Dilson’s doing his best to say ‘HI GUYS, I’M STILL A GOOD BASEBALLER!’
Herrera clubbed a mammoth 3-run dinger for his first hit as a Red to break this game wide open, and did so as a pinch-hitter after starting down 0-2 in the count.
Welcome to the Reds, welcome back to the bigs, and while we have no idea how this entire middle-infield logjam is gonna work out, rest assured there are still plenty of folks who are plenty high on your potential, Dilson.
- Winker’s double off the wall in CF plated a pair in the Top of the 1st, as both Jose Peraza (leadoff single) and Joey Votto (walk) came around to touch home. Reds led early, 2-0.
- The Cardinals got a run off Harvey in the Bottom of the 1st, as well, as after singles by both Paul DeJong and Marcell Ozuna, Yadier Molina poked a single into CF to score the St. Louis shortstop. Reds led, 2-1.
- Scooter’s big fly came in the Top of the 3rd, as he turned around a hanging breaking ball from Carlos Martinez for a solo shot well over the wall in RF. Reds led, 3-1.
- Eugenio Suarez against LHP is a sight to behold, and he wasted little time in thumping a double into the LF corner against Tyler Lyons in the Top of the 7th. That put him in scoring position for Winker, who plated him with yet another single. Tucker Barnhart later coaxed a walk off righty Sam Tuivailala, and Adam Duvall followed with an RBI double down the LF line that plated Winker. That brought Dilson to the plate, and after he was down 0-2 early, he worked a full count before blasting - and I mean blasting - a donker of a 3-run homer that put the Reds ahead a full 8-1. Of course, that didn’t end the inning, as a Suarez double followed by an RBI single to the wall by Scott Schebler plated another run, and the Reds were up a commanding 9-1.
- That was it. BALL GAME.
- As far as ‘everyone was awesome’ nights go, this one pretty well qualifies. Matt Harvey was nails, allowing 1 ER on 4 H with 5 K over 94 pitches. Billy Hamilton robbed Matt Carpenter of a dinger in spectacular fashion. Jared Hughes threw another scoreless inning of relief, Austin Brice returned with one, too, Eugenio Suarez had three triples, Jose Peraza had 3 hits and scored, and...am I forgetting anyone...oh, right...SCOOTER HIT A DINGER.
- Gang, the Reds are in a good, good place right now. It took them longer than we hoped, and there were ample bumps along the road, but the Reds are in a really, really, really good place at the moment - a la 2009. That’s exciting as hell.
- Homer Bailey was actually pretty un-terrible in his AAA start on rehab assignment Friday night. He fired 6 IP on 100 pitches, allowing 7 H, 4 R, 3 BB, and striking out 10 in his outing, which is probably juuuuust good enough for he and his contract to get one last shot as a starter for the Reds.
- Votto (.422), Winker (.406), and Suarez (.402) rank 1st, 2nd, and 4th in the National League in OBP at the moment, with only Freddie Freeman’s .405 mark effing up what would otherwise be a bonkers-brilliant leaderboard.
- Luis Castillo will start for the Reds on Saturday, with first pitch against St. Louis and Jack Flaherty scheduled for 4:10 PM ET.