The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It’s been a minute since we saw Aristides Aquino take the baseball world by storm. This time 13 months ago, he was in the midst of a historic tear, setting record after record for ‘most dingers cracked in the fewest games’ seemingly every day he woke up. Things changed quickly for the rookie, however, as a struggle-bus September paired with an active Cincinnati Reds offseason rendered him well down the pecking order as the 2020 got going.
Well, he’s back, and when the Reds needed big bonks in a big game against the Chicago White Sox today, Aquino chipped in with the biggest.
After a timely early RBI, Aquino later ripped a massive 2-run homer, the hit that effectively put this game on ice and the win on the Reds ledger.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who walked 3 times and scored a run; Freddy Galvis, who had a pair of hits (including a double), walked, and scored; Mike Moustakas, who walked and banged in a pair of ribbies; Lucas Sims, who fanned 4 in 2 scoreless IP, including a massive 11 pitch K of Jose Abreu with runners on in the 7th; and Raisel Iglesias, who nailed down the 9th with a clean effort.
- Sox starter Dylan Cease walked the bases loaded in the Bottom of the 4th, and that led to the Reds getting their first runs on the board. A Tucker Barnhart groundout plated Jesse Winker, while a later Aquino groundout pushed Brian Goodwin across the plate to make it 2-0. Aquino was in for Shogo Akiyama, as Cease was pulled for lefty reliever Ross Detwiler, and Detwiler ran into more trouble later that frame. He walked Nick Castellanos intentionally, backed it with unintentional walks of Votto and Suarez, the last of which scored another Reds run. Moose then bonked a 2-run single, and the Reds held a commanding 5-0 lead.
- Michael Lorenzen got into the Top of the 5th with a clean scoreboard, but that changed after a pair of walks sandwiched around a Yolmer Sanchez single. Sims came on to try to escape the jam, and while he got out of the inning eventually, RBI hits by Nick Madrigal and Abreu came first, and the Reds held a 5-2 lead.
- I mentioned earlier how Aquino was brought in by manager David Bell thanks to the righty-lefty switch from the Sox. Well, that proved large in the Bottom of the 5th, when The Punisher smacked a no-doubter 2-run blast over the CF wall to give the Reds a 7-2 lead.
- Edwin Encarnacion had been very quiet all series, but he poked an Archie Bradley pitch on the outside of the plate over the RF wall for a solo blast in the Top of the 8th to make it 7-3, but that was it. Reds won, won the series, and looked good doing so.
- Michael Lorenzen stepped up and made the start again today in the absence of both Sonny Gray and Wade Miley from the rotation. He was good enough once again, keeping the ball in the yard and fanning 8 Sox over his 4.2 IP. He allowed 3 hits and a pair of runs to score, but did enough to let his offense make up ground, which they did.
- Joey Votto became the Reds all-time leading walker in this one, passing someone who I’d rather not mention. It’s a pretty clear indication that when it comes to simply refusing to make outs, Votto’s an absolute all-time great in the history of this game.
- The Reds will welcome the Milwaukee Brewers to GABP on Monday to begin a crucial series between the NL playoff contenders. Luis Castillo is set to start for the Reds in the series opener, while Milwaukee will counter with the talented right arm of Brandon Woodruff. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM ET.