The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Billy Hamilton had 4 hits, scored 3 times, clobbered his first homer in forever, and was a cog for the Cincinnati Reds in this back and forth, largely awful waste of a game.
I don’t even know where to go with things after this debacle-brilliant-debacle-gritty-stupid-why-brilliant-debacle game, but at least Billy was a significant highlight.
Honorable Mentions are due to: not Jim Riggleman, for doing everything the opposite of what Jim Riggleman did; Tucker Barnhart, who homered as part of a big day; Michael Lorenzen, who homered in the face of Jim Riggleman after initially being tasked with bunting, which is hilarious; Brandon Dixon, who dingered; and Eugenio Suarez, who bonked his 30th dinger of the season.
- Matt Harvey’s first inning against the Brewers after being pulled back off revocable waivers from having been claimed by the Brewers wasn’t his sharpest. Back to back singles from Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich opened the game, with Cain later scoring on a Travis Shaw double. Yelich eventually came home to score on a productive groundout, and the Reds trailed, 2-0.
- Billy launched an unexpected moonshot off Freddy Peralta to open the Bottom of the 1st, a leadoff dinger to cut the deficit to 2-1.
- Barnhart’s double with 2-out in the Bottom of the 2nd was backed by a Curt Casali RBI single into LF, and that leveled the score, 2-2.
- Barnhart’s solo dinger off the RF foul pole, though, put the Reds ahead in the Bottom of the 4th off Peralta, a 3-2 lead that lasted at least a few minutes in this see-saw affair.
- The Top of the 5th was pretty much what the Cincinnati Reds might expect to see in their nightmares over the next handful of years, unfortunately. Cain singled off Harvey to lead things off, before Yelich mauled a meatball over the RF wall for a 2-run blast that was roughly his 47th hit of this series already. Singles from Travis Shaw and Ryan Braun then followed, with another from Mike Moustakas that plated yet another run, and the Reds were again behind, 5-3.
- Fortunately, the tides again shifted for the Bottom of the 5th. Dilson Herrera coaxed a pinch-hit walk to open the frame, and he moved up a bag on Billy’s single. Then, after a pitching change to get lefty Josh Hader into the game, Scooter Gennett mashed a 2-run double off the wall in RF, which immediately preceded Suarez’s 2-run opposite-field homer that put the Reds ahead, 7-5.
- Michael Lorenzen was on the mound for the Top of the 6th, and aside from actually pitching to Yelich, he did reasonably well - aside from his own defense. He fielded a soft grounder off the bat of Orlando Arcia to open the inning, and threw it in the dirt to 1B Curt Casali, which went for an error and left a runner on 1B. That burned when Yelich - who else? - doubled into CF to score the runner, and the Reds led just 7-6.
- The Bottom of the 6th was a referendum on Jim Riggleman in its purest form. After Barnhart walked and Casali singled behind him, righty Taylor Williams was brought on to face the now hitting Lorenzen. Riggleman, because he is a dinosaur, had the powerful Lorenzen try to bunt with a pair of runners on in a 1-run game in the 6th inning, which both a) didn’t work and b) saw the Reds bailed out on a would-be third strike call when Williams nearly hit Lorenzen with an inside pitch that was fouled off. Fortunately, the umpires ruled that Lorenzen fouled it off after pulling back his bunt attempt - meaning he wasn’t out - and Lorenzen then swung away at the very next pitch. Lo, and behold, the guy smacked a 3-run dinger into the LF seats, which made the asshole writing this particular recap laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and scour the available managerial candidates on the landscape this winter, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and cackle, and laugh. Reds led, 10-6.
- Because baseball is impossibly difficult - and because the baseball gods apparently do not want a meaningless Cincinnati Reds baseball game in late August in a last-place season to be brief - the Brewers pounded the Reds for another trio of runs in the Top of the 7th. Lorenzen was on the bump for the bulk of it, surrendering a Moustakas single and Jonathan Schoop 2-run dinger, but it was David Hernandez who hit Manny Pina with a pitch and later surrendered an RBI double to Cain, which plated Erik Kratz - who had come on for Pina after he left bloodied by the HBP - before Yelich (who else?) notched his personal cycle with an RBI-triple. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Game tied, 10-10.
- Hernandez was still in for the Top of the 8th, which became a bit of a disaster when Moustakas greeted him with a solo homer to put Milwaukee back ahead, 11-10.
- Hamilton got the Reds the tying run in the Bottom of the 8th, as he singled off Joakim Soria, moved up a bag when Jose Peraza was plunked by a breaking ball, and later scored from 3B on a wild pitch that was overturned after he was initially ruled out. Game tied, 11-11.
- Jesus Aguilar took Raisel Iglesias deep for a solo homer to open the Top of the 10th, and that was good enough for the Milwaukee win. They later added a 13th run, for good measure, which put the lead at 13-11.
- Dixon’s dinger smacked off the facade of the batter’s eye in the Bottom of the 10th, a solo shot off Jeremy Jeffress that made it a 1-run game. That, though, is how things ended.
- Prior to the game, the Reds placed Amir Garrett on the 10-day DL with a bone bruise on his foot, and they activated Jackson Stephens to take his place on the current roster.
- Christian Yelich’s WPA for this series is roughly a jillion. He hit for the cycle and threw out a runner at home just a day after hitting what, a pair of no-doubt dingers? Yes, I spent over an hour in the stupid SBN search function going back over the discussions in both articles and the comment sections about trading for him this last winter when he was obviously available, and...well...y’all know who you are.
- Joey Votto, though, has not yet been activated, though at this point I’d be surprised if he isn’t for the upcoming series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Perhaps the looming September 1st roster-expansion is playing a bit of a part in this series of moves.
- There’s a matinee for the series finale on Thursday, with Cody Reed set to return to the mound as the Cincinnati starter. He’ll be opposed by veteran Wade Miley, with first pitch set for 12:35 PM ET.