The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
On a day when Jesse Winker got a much-deserved day off, Shogo Akiyama was tasked with taming LF for the Cincinnati Reds against the Colorado Rockies. For whatever reason, the offensive magic that comes with manning that position was there for Shogo, too.
Shogo bonked a trio of singles, drove in a pair, and helped fuel a late rally that made this interesting, his 3-hit day the most he’s had in any game in his brief big league career.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tyler Naquin, who singled, walked, scored, and bonked in a pair of runs; Eugenio Suarez, who doubled, scored, drove in a run, and walked; and the entirety of the Cincinnati bullpen on the day, as Ryan Hendrix, Amir Garrett, Art Warren, Sean Doolittle, and Tejay Antone conspired to keep the Rockies without an earned run in their 5 IP.
- In a surprising turn of events, it was the Cincinnati Reds who got on the scoreboard first in this outing at Coors Field. That came in the Top of the 2nd and was fueled by a leadoff double off the wall by Suarez, and after a productive Tyler Stephenson groundout moved him to 3B, he scored on a legged-out infield single by Shogo. Reds led, 1-0.
- Jeff Hoffman held that lead until the Bottom of the 4th, at which point it went poof. A leadoff double by Ryan McMahon was followed by a walk to Garrett Hampson, and both of those Rockies scored on a double into the LF corner by Josh Fuentes who, we’ll again remind you, entered the series with a whopping 37 OPS+ on the season. Later, Dom Nunez walked after his would-be 2-run dinger was deemed a foul ball, and the scoring persisted when Hoffman overthrew 1B on a bunt by Antonio Senzatela to plate another run. A sac-fly came next, a booted catch in CF by Tyler Naquin followed, and the Reds were down 5-1 with their own damn feet once again in their own damn mouth.
- The Bottom of the 5th saw the Reds defense fart-in another Rocky run. Singles from Fuentes (again) and Yonathan Daza should’ve been frustrating, yet contained, but Shogo’s throw back into the infield on the latter was booted by Jonathan India at 2B allowing Fuentes to come around to score. That made the score of this incredibly, incredibly enjoyable game 6-1 Rockies.
- As they have made a habit of doing, the Reds did their best to rally late against the Colorado bullpen. With Yency Almonte on the mound, India walked and a single by Tucker Barnhart followed. Nick Castellanos later walked, too, and Naquin later followed with a 2-run single off reliever Justin Lawrence. Eugenio Suarez later plated a run with a deep sac fly, and back to back singles from Stephenson and Shogo plated another, too. Unfortunately, pinch hitter Jesse Winker flew out to the warning track in CF to end that rally. Reds trailed, 6-5.
- The Cincinnati offense went back to work in the Top of the 9th, too. Jonny India wore a Mychal Givens pitch to begin the inning, and he was replaced on the bases by Tucker Barnhart on a force play. A single by Nick Senzel then followed, and after Tyler Naquin worked a brilliant walk to load the bags, Tucker scooted home on a passed ball by Rockies catcher Dom Nunez. Geno the walked to load the bags and prompt Bud Black to turn back to the bullpen in the form of Jordan Sheffield, who fired a wild pitch to plate Senzel and give the Reds a 7-6 lead. Antone managed to escape the Bottom of the 9th for a save, and that gave the Reds the win.
- Jeff Hoffman’s return to Coors Field got off to an innocent enough start, but it floundered quickly thereafter. Defense didn’t help his cause - he contributed to that though, too - but his final line again reflected an inability to retire enough opposing batters to keep the Reds in the game were it not in, fortunately, Coors Field: 4.0 IP, 5 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 5 K on 79 pitches.
- Meanwhile, Tejay Antone had thrown just 3.1 IP in the last 10 days prior to locking down the 9th for the save today. I’d say I’m not saying, but I’m absolutely saying.
- Today’s win meant the Reds eeked out a 5-4 winning record on this trek.
- The Reds lengthy three-city road trip wrapped with this one, and they’ll travel back to Cincinnati this evening. On Monday they’ll welcome the San Francisco Giants to GABP for a four-game series, one that will eventually feature old friends Anthony DeSclafani, Kevin Gausman, and Johnny Cueto on the bump against the Reds. Monday, though, will have Logan Webb starting for the Giants opposite Sonny Gray, with first pitch set for 6:40 PM ET.