The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It’s been a bit of a rough ride of late for Cincinnati Reds CF Nick Senzel.
The incredibly talented ran into a bit of a wall in August, and entered play tonight having posted just a .508 OPS over his previous 20 games, with 22 Ks against just 3 walks in that time. He’s been tinkering with his batting stance - as have so, so many other Reds and Reds farmhands - and it’s simply taken awhile for him to really look comfortable at the plate again.
Last night, Senzel picked up 2 hits and a walk, and tonight the results looked even better. Senzel clubbed a 2-run homer against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, just one part of a senzational (sorry) overall evening. He finished 2 for 3 with a walk, HBP, homer, steal, 2 runs scored, and 3 ribbies, looking every bit the part of the dynamo we’ve seen at times in this, his rookie season.
Here’s to a helluva finish for Nick, as he’s still clearly one of the biggest building blocks the Reds have.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who singled, doubled, homered, scored twice, and drove in a pair; Curt Casali, who singled, homered, and drove in 3; Jose Iglesias, who singled twice, walked, and scored twice; Robert Stephenson, who fired another scoreless IP in relief; and Raisel Iglesias, who picked up the 4-out save.
- Marlins starter Caleb Smith did not get off to the best of starts in this one, which was perfectly fine by me. Smith plunked Senzel to open the Top of the 1st, and that put a runner on-base for 1st inning Suarez, who parked a 2-run dinger over the LF wall to put the Reds ahead, 2-0.
- Unfortunately, Castillo gave that right back against his former club. Jon Berti led off the Bottom of the 1st with a double, and after Neil Walker worked a well-earned 2-out walk, Isan Diaz smoked a 2-run double off the wall in right center to level the score, 2-2. Fortunately for the Reds, Diaz was thrown out at 3B trying to turn it into a triple, thank the lehhhrd.
- The damage continued in the Bottom of the 2nd, and consecutive singles from Jorge Alfaro, Lewis Brinson, and Austin Dean put Miami in the lead by a run with none out. Castillo rebounded to limit the damage, but the Reds trailed, 3-2.
- Casali leveled the score 3-3 with a laser of a solo blast to open the Top of the 4th, which is nice to see from him after he’s fought leg issues all season long.
- It was the Cincinnati catcher who helped the Reds retake the lead in the Top of the 5th, as he singled to drive in both Suarez - who had doubled - and Jose Iglesias - who had reached on an infield single, doing so after both runners advanced a bag on Tyler Kinley’s wild pitch. Reds led, 5-3.
- Castillo helped himself with a leadoff single off Kinley in the Top of the 6th, scoring a batter later on Senzel’s 2-run blast over the LF wall. Reds led, 7-5.
- Unfortunately, Luis couldn’t quite tie a bow on this one himself. Sitting at 90 pitches, he was predictably sent out for the Bottom of the 6th, but proceeded to walk a batter before serving up a 2-run blast to Alfaro, one that cleared the LF wall on a rope to make it a 7-5 game.
- Iglesias singled off reliever Hector Noesi to begin the Top of the 7th, and after a wild pitch and a pinch-hit walk by Josh VanMeter, Senzel singled to plate Iggy, giving the Reds an 8-5 lead. That was how things would finish, and the Reds took home another win.
- Luis Castillo was very much a mixed bag in this one. He got off to a very, very rough start before settling down and looking like his absolute dominant self, but then ran into some trouble in his final inning. His final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 11 K, on 109 pitches. He also added a pair of singles at the plate.
- Amir Garrett pitched a bit in the Bottom of the 8th, and was ejected by home plate umpire Ryan Blakney while barking about balls and strikes.
- The Reds have apparently released Brad Boxberger, according to Kegan Lowe of Baseball America. The team’s former 1st round pick had been brought back on an minor league deal earlier this summer.
- Wednesday will feature yet another Cincinnati Reds starter facing off against his former franchise, as Anthony DeSclafani will get the nod. He, you’ll recall, came to the Reds in the Mat Latos deal of yore. He’ll face off against talented young righty Sandy Alcantara, the 23 year old who originally was part of the St. Louis organization and was shipped to Miami as the centerpiece of the Marcell Ozuna trade. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.