Ian Happ doubled against the Cincinnati Reds in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader in Great American Ball Park. Ian Happ homered in it, too, while also walking twice.
The University of Cincinnati product has made not just a habit of terrorizing the Reds in their home park, but he’s made a damn career out of it. Seriously, how much of Happ’s current 4-year, $72 million contract can we chalk up to the fact that he utterly obliterates the ball in a division opponent’s park without fail?
Even prior to his on-base-four-times-with-a-dinger afternoon, he entered having homered in GABP 16 times in just 40 starts in the stadium, his 1.155 OPS there effectively rendering him Ted Williams whenever he steps into the batter’s box there. It’s a wonder, then, that the Reds ever choose to still pitch to him.
Happ’s 2-run dinger put this game on ice, backing an earlier Cody Bellinger solo shot as the Cubs took home a 6-2 victory. Graham Ashcraft was solid as heck until he wasn’t, though turning the ball over to Lucas Sims with a pair of runners on meant he was immediately tagged with a pair of earnies as the inherited runners scored.
Noelvi Marte and Spencer Steer had 2-hit days apiece as the fleet of Cincinnati rookies continued to mostly impress, though imports Harrison Bader and Hunter Renfroe combined to go just 0 for 7 for the game.
The Reds will run things back for round two at 6:40 PM ET, with rookie Lyon Richardson slated to start opposite Jose Cuas. Jake Fraley is slated to return to the starting lineup at DH and leadoff, and maybe, just maybe, the Reds won’t throw anything worth hitting Ian Happ’s way this time.