The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
“Nick Senzel - The Future” is something we at Red Reporter have dreamed about since the day he became a part of the Cincinnati Reds franchise back in 2016.
“Nick Senzel - The Present” has, so far, been just as dreamy as we’d hoped.
Senzel got the start in CF and was in the leadoff spot for the Reds on Monday in the series finale against the San Francisco Giants, and promptly showed the kind of offensive potential that’s had us drooling for years. He crunched a pair of solo homers - both hit over the RF wall as oppo-shots - and provides the kind of power/speed/OBP ability from a top of the order bat that the Reds simply haven’t had on their squad in quite some time. Eventually, I think you’ll see him emerge as a run-producing middle-of-the-order guy, but given how the rest of this roster shapes up at the moment, perhaps hitting him leadoff is the perfect jolt this club needs for now.
Congrats on the two-dinger day, Nick, and we can only hope you continue to feast on meatballs as you have so far in your early career.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who singled, dingered for the third straight game, was doinked by a pitch, and drove in a pair; Jose Iglesias, who doubled twice, tripled, scored twice, and drove in four; Curt Casali, who had 2 hits, 2 ribbies, a walk, and a run scored; Zach Duke, who finally looked good with a pair of scoreless IP; and Derek Dietrich, who didn’t play in this game but would’ve cranked a 400+ foot honker if he had.
- Senzel led off the Bottom of the 1st, and promptly socked an opposite field solo dinger over the RF wall off lefty Drew Pomeranz. A single by Votto followed, as did the moonshot 2-run dinger by Eugenio Suarez that put the Reds up comfortably early. The flurry wasn’t yet done, though, as Kyle Farmer later took a 1-out walk, stole 2B, and scored on the triple by Iglesias - who later scored on Curt Casali’s RBI single. Reds led, 5-0.
- The Giants got a run back in the Top of the 2nd after Brandon Belt doubled and later scored an unearned run on an error at 3B by Suarez. Reds led, 5-1.
- Senzel, though, picked that run right back up with another solo dinger, another oppo shot off Pomeranz to open the Bottom of the 2nd. Back to back singles by Suarez and Yasiel Puig later followed, with put Suarez into scoring position on Iglesias’ double that put the Reds ahead, 7-1.
- Anthony DeSclafani rolled into the Top of the 6th having dominated the Giants lineup, but something something ‘third time through the order’ something something happened then. A double by Joe Panik, a walk to Brandon Belt, and a chest-high meatball turned 3-run dinger by Pablo Sandoval later, and it was a 7-4 game.
- The Reds fungoed back, however. Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte took over for the Bottom of the 6th, and immediately ran into control problems with both arms. Suarez was hit by a pitch, Puig walked, Farmer reached on an infield single to load the bags, and Iglesias and Casali then followed with a double and a single to score all 3 of those runners. Jose Peraza was later hit by a pitch to re-load the bases, and Josh VanMeter then was...was switch-pitch-pinch-hit-by-a-pitch...to drive in his first career run. Later, Votto was plunked by a different Giant plunker to drive in another, and the Reds were up 12-4 - which is precisely how this one finished.
- This game was delayed by roughly a half-hour because of bees. Bees, everywhere! Save yourselves!
- The 4 HBPs in the Bottom of the 6th tied a long-standing MLB record. The 5 HBPs on the day set a new single-game Reds record. Somehow, this game was not against Pittsburgh.
- DeSclafani’s final line: 6 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 8 K on 95 pitches. Until he ran into trouble the third-time through the order, he did truly look spectacular.
- The Giants and Reds will both head west after this one, though it’ll be Cincinnati heading to the San Francisco Bay area while San Francisco heads here to Denver. Got it? The Reds will open a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night, with first pitch set for 10:07 PM ET. Tyler Mahle and Mike Fiers are the scheduled starters for that one.