by Steve Mancuso

Aquino HR #5 – Start of a Huge Day

Aristides Aquino’s Timeline of Punishment

 

  1. First Major League Homer
  2. Obliteration
  3. Hardest Hit
  4. The (First) One Off Yu Darvish
  5. Start of a Huge Day
  6. Kyle Hendricks Tried Another Sinker
  7. Farthest Hit
  8. “A Loud Sound”
  9. Out of the Strike Zone
  10. Adam Wainwright Turned to Look Way Up
  11. “You Can’t Stop This Kid!”

[The fifth in a daily series looking at Aristides Aquino’s historic home run streak. Yes, we understand the series goes on as long as Aquino keeps hitting home runs and that might be a while. We’re prepared (and hopeful) for this to last through the end of the season.]

Home Run #5

Aristides Aquino had homered the previous two games in the crucial series against the Cubs. The first was off Cole Hamels; the second off Yu Darvish. But it would be Saturday, August 10, the third game of the series, that would prove to be the most momentous day of Aquino’s historic home run streak.

Kyle Hendricks (29, RHP) has been one of the Cubs best starters since 2016 when he finished third in the Cy Young voting. He entered this game with a 3.06 ERA, having allowed only 14 homers in 126.2 IP. He’s known for his sinker, which has a low velocity and significant drop.

Aquino was batting 5th (Josh VanMeter in the #4 spot) and led off the 2nd inning. He took Hendricks’ first pitch deep down the left field line.

 

Here is the graphic display.

[Graphic: Baseball Savant]

The Pitch

Hendricks started Aquino off with his bread-and-butter pitch, the sinker. The pitch didn’t seem to sink as much as it did cut inside. With Aquino’s open stance he got a great look at the pitch and because of the low velocity, he had time to react. That extra time was crucial to clear the bat head on a pitch that had drifted considerably to the inside.

The Hit

Aquino didn’t quite get all of Hendricks’ pitch. The 2nd-inning homer traveled just 344 feet by far the shortest of Aquino’s 11 home runs. The ball’s exit velocity of 87.8 mph was the lowest of any Aquino home run. The ball had just an 8% hit probability. It dropped just inside the left field foul pole near the camera man.  If you would classify any of Aquino’s home runs as lucky, this would definitely be the one. (Click the picture to watch the video.)

[I recommend watching the video with the sound muted. Otherwise, you’ll expose yourself to a horrifying, disturbing home run shriek “call” by Tom Brennaman. Brennman was desperate and obvious to have a signature Aristides call. But what he chose was so terrible, so tone deaf, he surely was counseled by everyone in the radio booth never to do it again. It’s possible FSO executives called the booth with disapproval.]

This was Aristides Aquino’s fifth major league home run. Nick Senzel followed him with a back-to-back shot off Hendricks.

[Photo: https://twitter.com/Reds/status/1160600167516651521]

The Game

RC+ Preview | RC+ Recap

Aquino’s homer produced .092 WPA (win probability added).

Aquino was far from done on this sunny Saturday. The Reds scored 7 runs off Kyle Hendricks on way to 10-1 romp and a 2-1 series lead.

Steve Mancuso is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up during the Big Red Machine era. He’s been writing about the Reds for more than ten years. Steve’s fondest memories about the Reds include attending a couple 1975 World Series games, being at Homer Bailey’s second no-hitter and going nuts for Jay Bruce at Clinchmas. Steve was also at all three games of the 2012 NLDS, but it’s too soon to talk about that.