by Steve Mancuso

Aquino HR #2 – Obliteration

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!”

[Second 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 #2

David Bell gave Aquino the August 4 game off from the starting lineup, the day after the Dominican slugger’s first hit and home run. Aquino did enter the game as a pinch hitter and singled. The next game, on August 5, Bell moved Aquino into the cleanup spot. Aquino went 1-for-3 with a single and was lifted for a lefty pinch hitter (Josh VanMeter) at the end of the game.

Coming into August 6, Aristides Aquino had gone two games after his first homer without hitting another. In retrospect, that seems like it should qualify as news. The Reds were back home from Atlanta playing the Los Angeles Angels.

Aristides Aquino hit a looong home run in his second at bat.

Here is the graphic display.

[Graphic: Baseball Savant]

The Pitch

Aquino had singled in the 1st off a 92-mph fastball from Angels lefty starter Jose Suarez. When Aquino came to bat to lead off the 4th inning, Suarez was still on the mound and fed Aquino two changeups. The first was well out of the strike zone and Aquino swung and missed, the second was low and Aquino laid off. Then Suarez went back to his 92-mph fastball. Aquino had seen it before. The pitch had a below-average spin rate of 2210. (MLB average is 2265.) The ball was center-cut, bottom third, the perfect spot to lift. Oh, no.

Aristides Aquino obliterated it. In play, run(s).

The Hit

Aquino blasted Suarez’s pitch 448 feet deep into GABP’s centerfield area just to the left of the smokestacks. The ball had the same launch angle (25º) as Aquino’s first home run on 8/3, but this one had more wallop. Aquino’s first homer had a an exit velocity of 99.7 mph, this one was 108.9 mph. That sent it 44 feet farther into the humid Cincinnati air. (Click on the picture to play the video.)

This was Aristides Aquino’s second major league home run. It was the third hardest hit ball for the Reds that night. Aquino hit his single in the first inning harder (110 mph).

The Game

RC+ Preview | RC+ Recap

Aquino’s homer produced .127 WPA (win probability added).

The Reds hit five home runs that night, defeating the Angels 8-4. Eugenio Suarez had a home run with a slightly longer distance (451 ft) and higher exit velocity (110.8 mph) than Aquino’s blast. Anthony DeSclafani made it through 5.1 innings and five Reds relievers combined for 3.2 shutout innings.

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.