Cincinnati’s Eugenio Suarez connects for a home run in the bottom of the third inning in last night’s Reds’ 7-2 victory over the Nationals at the Great American Ballpark.
Nats’ Record- 33-22
WP- Finnegan (2-4) LP- Gonzalez (3-4)
HR- Werth, Was (9), Suarez, Cin (13), Cozart, Cin (8), Duvall, Cin (15)
Coming off of a three game sweep of the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, the Nats took on the lowly Reds at Cincinnati last night in the first game of a weekend three game set at the Great American Ballpark. Despite their struggles so far in 2016, the Reds proved to be a worthy opponent on this evening as they bashed the Nats by a 7-2 score to start their weekend off on a positive note.
STARS OF THE GAME
Third Star– When one thinks of the best hitting shortstops in Major League Baseball, the Reds’ Zack Cozart is probably an afterthought for most people. Perhaps that needs to change.
Cozart was 2-4 with a home run (his eight) and two RBI last night for the Reds, moving his average on the year to a healthy .310. Among players who’ve played significant time at shortstop this year, Cozart’s 132 OPS + ranks behind only Manny Machado of Baltim0re (159), Xander Bogaerts of Boston (138) and Aledmys Diaz of St. Louis (134).
Second Star– Reds’ lefty Brandon Finnegan is anything but dominant, but he was efficient and effective in last night’s win. Finnegan held the Nationals to five hits and one run over his 6.1 innings pitched as he won his first game at home since July 7th of last season.
Star of the Game- When Todd Frazier was traded from the Reds during the off-season, many thought that third base would be a black hole in Cincinnati’s lineup in 2016. Eugenio Suarez is making sure that will not be the case
Suarez was 3 for 4 with two runs, two RBI and his 13th home run of the year to pace Cincinnati’s healthy offensive attack. Suarez’s homer total, achieved in only 198 at bats, matches the 13 he hit in 2015 with 372 at bats.
Valiant in Defeat- Trea Turner may only be up in the Major Leagues for a few days, but he sure made the best of his situation on Friday night. The speedy infield prospect went 3 for 3 with a double in his 2016 debut.
Jayson Werth’s solo home run off of Finnegan was his ninth of the season, putting him one short of his ninth double digit home run season in the Major Leagues. He has three career home runs at the Great American Ballpark, but last night’s blast was his first since 2013.
Coming off of the bench last evening, Wilson Ramos had only one at bat but he continued his hot 2016 form in that opportunity. Ramos’ double was his 10th of the season, and moved his batting average on the year to .342.
The Nats have now dropped five of their last six games in Cincinnati. Since 2005, Washington has only 14 wins in 38 games played in the Queen City.
Stephen Strasburg looks to pick up his 10th win in as many decisions today when he takes on the Reds. In three career games at Cincinnati, Strasburg has allowed 10 runs in 12 innings pitched.
The Reds send Dan Straily to the mound. In games at home this season, Straily has a 1.90 ERA in 31 innings pitched. He has thrown 29.1 innings in road games this year, with a 3.99 ERA to show for it.