The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Kevin Pillar spectacularly robbed Nick Senzel of what would have been the Cincinnati Reds rookie’s first career dinger in the Bottom of the 3rd inning, and for a time it seemed like that was going to be the single most memorable play from this blowout - at least long term, since it was pretty danged amazing.
Senzel, though, is just about as special a young player as there is on this planet, and he wasn’t about to let that be the story of the evening.
Two innings later, he blasted a laser of a homer into the RF seats for his first career big league dinger, a no-doubter that we Reds fans won’t soon forget. Factor in that he was wearing some baggy 1902 throwbacks, and it’s a picture that’ll be seared into our brains for generations, hopefully.
Welcome to the Reds, welcome to the bigs, and welcome to your first big league big fly, Nick. Have your first RR JNMHSotG trophy while you’re at it.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who dingered; Tucker Barnhart, who dingered; Derek Dietrich, who dingered, too; Yasiel Puig, who similarly dingered; Tanner Roark, who was freaking nails as the first Reds starter allowed to get deep in a game in seemingly forever; and Cody Reed, who fanned 4 in 2.1 scoreless IP in his first big league action of 2019.
- The Reds struck early against Dereck Rodriguez in this one, as Jesse Winker bonked a 2-out double in the Bottom of the 1st and scored when Yasiel Puig singled him home. Reds led, 1-0.
- The fun-having Giants wasted little time punching back, though. Kevin Pillar singled off Tanner Roark in the Top of the 2nd and subsequently swiped 2B, which put him in scoring position for Steven Duggar’s RBI single into RF. Game tied, 1-1.
- Cincinnati did some major damage in the Bottom of the 2nd, though. Jose Peraza managed to coax a rare walk, and he motored to 3B when Tanner Roark eschewed bunting and spanked a single into LF. Peraza then scored on a hard smash from Tucker Barnhart that Brandon Belt could only turn into a lone out instead of a potential inning-ending double play, and that preceded a Votto walk and Suarez’s monster 3-run dinger into the RF seats. Reds led, 5-1.
- Rodriguez hummed a 91 mph meatball up and in to Barnhart in the Bottom of the 4th, and Tucker mauled it for a solo dinger over the RF wall to put the Reds ahead 6-1.
- Speaking of dingers off Rodriguez, that was again the prescription for the Reds in the Bottom of the 5th. Dietrich honked one, and Senzel followed with his immediately afterwards, both of the solo variety. Reds led, 8-1.
- Duggar singled to plate Brandon Crawford and end Roark’s night in the Top of the 7th, and that brought the score to 8-2 Reds.
- Puig got that run back with a monster dinger in the Bottom of the 7th, a solo shot that put the Reds ahead 9-2, which is exactly how this thing finished.
- Despite the recent trend of pulling starters early regardless of how well they’d pitched against opposing lineups the first two times through the order, David Bell allowed Tanner Roark to go deep in this one. That even came despite the transaction today that brought yet another reliever up to the bigs and further shortened the bench.
- Roark, for the record, was largely brilliant. He was allowed to go to 113 pitches - the most by a Reds starter this year - and allowed just 2 ER in his 6.2 IP, fanning 7 while allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks.
- The Reds and Giants will be back in action again on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 4:10 PM ET. Jeff Samardzija will shark for San Francisco, while Luis Castillo is set to ace for Cincinnati.