The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Despite the collective excellence of the Cincinnati Reds pitching staff so far this year, there’s not a single pitcher on the roster who has accrued more fWAR so far this season than one Tanner Roark. WAR, fWAR, bWAR, gWAR...it’s all a nebulous attempt at amalgamation, and there are inherent flaws and differences in how each one is put together, but the fact remains that Roark’s 1.9 mark was tops on the Reds entering Thursday evening’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Then, Roark promptly went out and fired 6 innings of 1 ER ball, fanning 7 while walking none. He allowed just 3 hits - and hit 3 guys - but once again cemented that he’s become a rock solid addition to this starting rotation, one that will both a) be a hot commodity on the trade market due to his contract status and b) might well be a good enough pitcher for these short-term minded Reds to hold onto in an attempt to win games in August and September.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jose Iglesias, who pounded in 4 runs via a dinger and a single; Nick Senzel, who dingered, singled, drove in a trio, and walked; Yasiel Puig, who singled, tripled, stole a bag, and scored; Jesse Winker, who tripled, walked, was plunked, and scored; Derek Dietrich, who singled, was plunked twice, and scored twice; and Jared Hughes, who fired a pair of scoreless innings of relief.
- Jimmy Nelson missed the better part of a century with a rough case of having two first names, and hasn’t looked anything like his former self since returning. That was certainly the case in the Top of the 1st, as he walked Joey Votto, allowed a single to Eugenio Suarez, hit Derek Dietrich to load the bases, and then walked Nick Senzel to force in a run. Later, Jose Iglesias poked a 2-run single up the middle, and the Reds held an early 3-0 lead.
- Christian Yelich is. Reds led, 3-1.
- The Top of the 5th saw the Reds strike back against Nelson, however. Puig mauled a laser to the wall in CF and legged it out for a triple, but which base he was on ultimately mattered not when Iglesias followed with a 2-run dinger that bonked off the top of the LF wall. Reds led, 5-1.
- The Top of the 7th had a similar tale to tell, though this time it was Dietrich poking a single into RF only to be followed by a 2-run blast off the LF foul pole from Senzel - both off reliever Freddy Peralta. Reds led, 7-1, which is precisely where this one would finish.
- Yelich’s dinger traveled some 462 feet, the longest homer of his career since Statcast began tracking things back in 2015. It had an exit velocity of over 114 mph, and basically exploded my poor heart in the process.
- Puig entered play tonight having posted a quite good .824 OPS over his previous 38 games dating back to May 3rd. That’s going to go up when you tack on that 39th game.
- Six batters were hit by pitches in this game. Unlike series against Pittsburgh, though, it was readily evident that none were intentional, especially since the majority came on breaking pitches.
- Friday’s contest between these two will feature Sonny Gray on the mound for Cincinnati opposite Chase Anderson for Milwaukee. First pitch is again set for 8:10 PM ET, so enjoy your Friday evening of beers & dingers.