The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
So the early returns on having Aristides Aquino take over RF for the Cincinnati Reds have been...well, they’ve been completely fantastic!
Aquino’s legend continued to burgeon with his work against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night, as he destroyed another dinger as part of a 3-hit, 2-run scored night. Considering where he was just 10 months ago - being DFA’d and outrighted off the 40-man roster - to where he is now - taking over for Yasiel Puig and having the Reds not only miss a beat is just an incredible journey, one that has seen his swing change return dividends almost immediately.
Here’s to hoping it’s not just a flash in the pan, since if he’s really the real deal, are the Reds ever in the driver’s seat heading into 2020.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tucker Barnhart, who socked a pair of solo dingers, walked, and scored twice; Amir Garrett, who tossed 1.2 perfect innings of relief with 3 K; Eugenio Suarez, who bashed his 30th sock-puppet of the season; Jose Iglesias, who belted a 2-run homer as part of a 2-hit night; and Raisel Iglesias, who fired a scoreless 9th inning in a non-save situation.
- The Angels put an early 3-spot on Anthony DeSclafani, as the top of the order went to town on him in the Top of the 1st. David Fletcher singled down the RF line, and Mike Trout later Mike Trouted a walk. Two batters later, Justin Upton crushed a meatball - an ‘0-2 fastball right down the middle for some reason’ kind of meatball - over the CF wall, and the Reds were down 3-0 before they ever picked up a bat.
- Pick up some bats they did, however. Geno doled out some Suarez on Suarez crime, belting a 2-out solo boot-shaker some 451 feet into the LF stands off Jose Suarez in the Bottom of the 1st. Aquino then laced a single before Iglesias turned on a fatty and smacked it just over the LF wall for a 2-run fun-pop, leveling the score at 3-3.
- Aquino completely demolished a Suarez offering to open a beautiful Bottom of the 4th, melting one onto the walkway next to the batter’s eye in CF to give the Reds a lead. Later, Phil Ervin singled, moved to 2B on a wild pitch, and scored on a Disco single up the middle after the Angels had opted to intentionally walk Barnhart. That double-backfired when Nick Senzel hit a sand wedge single in between a trio of defenders in left-center, a single that scored Tucker from 2B. Reds led, 6-3.
- Mike Trout got sick of seeing all the rest of the players in tonight’s game whack snapdragons, so he curled one off himself, belting a laser over the LF wall off Disco in the Top of the 5th to make it a 6-4 game.
- Barnhart, though, wanted in on the dinger action, and in the Bottom of 6th he turned around a Justin Anderson offering for a solo belt into the RF seats. Reds led, 7-4.
- Tucker wasn’t yet done, as he belted a Ty Buttrey meatball for another solo honker in the Bottom of the 8th, one that wrapped the scoring in tonight’s 8-4 Reds win. Reds win! Reds won! Tenses! THINGS!!
- On a night where balls were a-flyin’ out of GABP, Anthony DeSclafani didn’t have the best of nights. His final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K on 98 pitches.
- We used tonight’s game paired with the rain delay that hit in the 8th inning to record the latest edition of the Red Reporter Podcast, so have a listen if that’s your kind of thing.
- It’s an off-day for the Reds on Wednesday, which is quite the bummer. On Thursday, though, they’ll begin what’s likely the single biggest series of the last six years, as the division-leading Chicago Cubs will come limping into town for a 4-game set. I say ‘limping’ since they just placed catcher Willson Contreras and closer Craig Kimbrel on the 10-day IL this week, moves that just serve to highlight the unexpected perils of this year’s One True Trade Deadline.
- The series opener between the Reds and Cubs will feature Alex Wood on the bump for Cincinnati, while Chicago will send lefty Cole Hamels to the mound. Huh, that means the Reds will face their third lefty in a row. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.