The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The Reds single season leader in hits from the shortstop position is, unsurprisingly, Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.
However, a man that is making a serious challenge for that record is, somewhat surprisingly, Jose Peraza.
You can head to Baseball Reference to make sure if it’s true, but it is. In 1990, Larkin swatted 185 hits from the SS position to take possession of said record. Tonight, Jose Peraza hit his 173rd and 174th, which already ties him for second in a single season shortstop (with, you guessed it, Barry Larkin, this time in 1988).
With about 10 games to play, Peraza obviously needs to play pretty well (and likely everyday) down the stretch to challenge. But, if he does, it’s striking how similar their final lines may end up. After tonight, Peraza owns a .292/.330/.423 triple slash compared to Larkin’s .301/.358/.396 in 1990. I’m not trying to claim that those lines are created equal, nor am I trying to claim that Peraza’s been as good in 2018 as Larkin was in 1990 (Larkin ended up with 5.7 bWAR that season and, of course, a World Series ring).
But still. I think if I were to come into this season and say, “Jose Peraza is going to hit something like Barry Larkin in 1990,” you would’ve laughed me out of the damn room. But, here we are. Peraza has a legit chance to take that record. And, really, any time you have a chance to claim a Reds record that used to be Barry Larkin’s, that’s a pretty big deal.
Peraza had 2 hits tonight, a double and HR, along with 2 RBI and a run scored. Do your damn thing, Jose.
Honorable mention to Joey Votto’s 3 hits and Scott Schebler’s 2 hits and RBI (and run scored). The whole damned pitching staff put together pretty good good one: Lorenzen was pretty dominant in his short start (more on that below), while Sal Romano did big work out of the pen, going 2.1 IP allowing only 2 hits and striking out 4. Amir Garrett, David Hernandez, and Raisel Iglesias did the traditional relieving, and allowed not a damn thing.
- The Reds dented the scoreboard for two right away. After a Scott Schebler single to begin the game, Jose Peraza deposited a big fly to the seats in left center field. Reds up two quick, 2-0.
- Travis Shaw reached 1B after taking a painful looking HBP off his knee. It looked very reminiscent of the ball that pegged Votto (without the intent). Shaw was attended to for some time but took his base in obvious pain. Jesus Aguilar struck out, before Mike Moustakas advanced Shaw to 2B on a ground out. Jonathan Schoop lined to RF and, well, Schebler must’ve swallowed the ball because an obviously hobbled all the way home, somehow. Manny Pina grounded out to end the frame. Reds up, 2-1.
- Brandon Dixon worked a one out walk in the top of the 4th and then came all the way around to score on a Scott Schebler double to left. Reds add one, 3-1.
- That was it. A well pitched game by multiple Reds would end it at 3-1.
- Here’s a “fun” nugget from The Athletic’s C. Trent: Jim Riggleman informed media that Homer Bailey will not make another start this season, while Homer Bailey has apparently informed the team he won’t relieve. It’s almost impossible to believe that Homer Bailey begins 2019 as one of the five best options to slot into the starting rotation for the Reds, and if he refuses to pitch out of the bullpen... well. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I think we’ve seen Bailey on the mound for the Reds for the last time.
- With the home run tonight, Jose Peraza has hit one more home run on the season than Joey Votto. This is... not a development I expected at the beginning of the season.
- Michael Lorenzen got the Riggle Hook after four full innings and 52 pitches. This was predictable, mostly because Lorenzen, is, you know, usually a reliever. Still, he’s pitched more than 52 pitches in relief this season, and had retired the previous seven Brewers in a row. Still, he was very good tonight, in his first start since 2015, allowing only one run, one hit, and one walk to go with three strikeouts.
- The Reds and Brewers will square off one more time this year tomorrow night. It’ll be the rubber match of the series, and it’ll mean quite a lot for the Brew Crew. Matt Harvey, a Red, will face off against Gio Gonzalez, a Brewer, at 7:40 PM EDT.