The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It’s virtually impossible to talk about all the ways I’ve mentioned that it’s virtually impossible to quantify what Aristides Aquino has been doing to baseballs of late.
Yet here we are, and there he is, still destroying baseballs at a rate we have never once seen before in Major League Baseball history.
Aquino went deep yet again on Saturday, crushing a 3-run blast against the St. Louis Cardinals to effectively cement this win for the Cincinnati Reds. It marked his 11th homer of the season in the 17th game of his big league career, which is a kind of dingerriffic rate that is simply, well, virtually impossible to fathom from anyone, let alone a guy who lost his 40-man roster spot after 2018 after struggling in the upper minors.
Please, oh please, let this entire majestic meteor be real.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Anthony DeSclafani, who allowed a lone earned run in 5 IP, scattering 5 H and 3 BB against 4 K in his 89 pitch outing; Josh VanMeter, who singled twice, walked twice, and scored in a very appropo substitute performance for Joey Votto at 1B; Nick Senzel, who dingered and chipped in with a brilliant OF assist at 3B; Michael Lorenzen, who K’d a trio in a pair of scoreless innings on the mound, singled twice at the plate, and scored a run; and Freddy Galvis, who had another 2 hits, a sac fly ribbie, and scored a run.
- Senzel led off the Bottom of the 1st with a solo blast that just cleared the wall in right-center. Realistically, I didn’t need to include the ‘solo’ in that previous sentence because, well, you can’t do anything more than drive yourself in when you lead off the Bottom of the 1st. A moose once bit my sister. Reds led, 1-0.
- Matt Carpenter got that run back in the Top of the 2nd, however, belting a hanging Disco ball into the RF seats to make it 1-1. I probably should have mentioned in that previous sentence that Carpenter’s homer was ‘solo,’ but I did not. Mind you, moose bites can be pretty nasty.
The Reds picked up another run off Miles Mikolas in the Bottom of the 4th. Phil Ervin hit a jam-shot single into RF, and he later motored to 3B on a smoked single into RF off the bat of Tucker Barnhart. That allowed him to tag up on a liner deep enough into RF off the bat of Jose Iglesias, and the Reds held a 2-1 lead.
- The silly juice began to kick-in once we reached the Bottom of the 5th, when Aquino launched yet another dinger over the CF wall, a 3-run blast that scored both VanMeter and Galvis, because of course that middle-of-the-order is what’s producing runs on the 2019 Reds. Reds led, 5-1.
- The Reds tacked on another run in the Bottom of the 7th, as singles by Lorenzen and VanMeter set the stage for a Galvis sac-fly. Reds led, 6-1, and that’s how this one would wrap.
- Aristides Aquino.
- Aquino, Aristides.
- The Cincinnati Reds RF is kind of on a roll right now. His name is Aristides Aquino.
- Each of Joey Votto, Jesse Winker, and Eugenio Suarez were all held out of this one due to injury, with a pair of bad backs and a balky thumb to blame.
- Reliever R.J. Alaniz made his Reds debut after being called up earlier in the day. He replaced Matt Bowman on the active roster a day after Bowman fired a bevy of pitches in mop-up duty while the Reds are currently playing with their suspension-induced 24-man roster. Alaniz, to his credit, fired a scoreless 9th.
- Sunday’s series finale will feature lefty Alex Wood on the mound for the Reds, hoping to finally deliver his first truly kick-tail start in this uniform. He’ll be opposed by Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty, with first pitch set for 1:10 PM ET.