by Matt Habel

RC+ Recap: Aquino, Desclafani power Reds to 6-1 victory over the Cardinals

Aristedes Aquino missed his chance to give the Reds a lead in the 3rd inning when he popped up with two on and two outs. He made up for it in the 5th inning with a three-run bomb to dead-center field, continuing his record-setting streak as he is now the fastest player in MLB history to 11 career home runs (along with 8,9 and 10). His home run today was another barreled ball at 105 mph EV.

All you need to know is that he has played 17 games with the Reds and already has his own scoreboard graphic (“The Punisher”) after home runs. The Reds may have dropped the ball in the second half of the season by not making up any ground in the playoff race, but Aquino has certainly provided some quality entertainment in the past three weeks.

Since there are players besides Aquino on this team, we can talk about them too. Nick Senzel led off for the good guys with a solo home run. It was Nick’s 10th of the year but only his second since June 21st. Senzel has been consistent offensively and above average for the most part, but has certainly not lived up to potential Rookie of the Year aspirations. His home run was a barreled ball at 101 mph exit velocity. His contact quality has been good so far, it would just be nice to see a bit more.

The Reds played small ball in the 4th inning with two singles and a sacrifice fly. Ervin’s single was soft (69 mph EV) but placed well while Barnhart and Iglesias’s batted balls were well struck. Freddy Galvis plated another run via sac fly in the 7th inning after singles by Lorenzen and VanMeter. Michael Lorenzen took advantage of some rare at-bats with two singles at 106 and 108 mph EV, the hardest hit balls of the night for the Reds.

Raise your hand if you predicted that Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo would allow a combined 17 runs this week while Anthony Desclafani would only surrender one? That is baseball for you.

Desclafani didn’t have his best stuff but hung tough and gave the Reds five innings of five hit, one run baseball. A Matt Carpenter home run in the second was the only run the Cardinal’s mustered all night. His slider was his best pitch of the night, generating 10 swinging strikes on 22 pitches. Disco finished with four strikeouts and three walks which contributed to slight increases in his FIP and xFIP. Most importantly though, he gave his team a chance to win the game.

Lucas Sims pitched the 6th inning and loaded the bases with two walks and a single. He escaped the jam by getting Paul De Jong to strikeout and Dexter Fowler to fly out. Michael Lorenzen pitched two innings for the first time since July 20, also against the Cardinals. He was lights out in this one, collecting three strikeouts while only allowing one hit. R.J. Alaniz, who was claimed off waivers from Seattle in May and has been performing well in Louisville this year, finished off the 9th with a 1-2-3 inning.

Reds Most Valuable Players

  • Anthony Desclafani: 0.18 WPA (Win Probability Added)
  • Aristedes Aquino: 0.15 WPA
  • Tucker Barnhart: 0.08 WPA

Reds Least Valuable Players

  • Jose Peraza: -0.06 WPA
  • Jose Iglesias: -0.04 WPA

Play of the Game

  • Aristedes Aquino: 0.22 WPA | 3-run home run in the 5th inning

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Michael Lorenzen: 108 mph single in 8th inning
  • Michael Lorenzen: 106 mph single in the 7th inning
  • Josh VanMeter: 105 mph single in the 7th inning

Luckiest Hit of the Day

  • Michael Lorenzen: .220 xBA, 106 mph, -25° LA; Single

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Phillip Ervin: .910 xBA, 100 mph, 11° LA; Lineout

Highest Pitch Velocities by Pitcher

  • Michael Lorenzen: 97.9 mph four-seam fastball
  • Anthony Desclafani: 96.3 mph four-seam fastball
  • R.J. Alaniz: 96.1 mph four-seam fastball
  • Lucas Sims: 93.8 mph four-seam fastball

Links

Matthew Habel was born and mostly raised in Cincinnati and was always a Reds fan growing up. Ironically, he did not become die-hard until moving to Pittsburgh after college and experiencing the 2013 Wild Card game behind enemy lines. While the "Cueto Game" is one of the worst sports moments of his life, he became enamored with the analytics side of the game after reading Big Data Baseball and watching the Pirates organization end their postseason drought. He started writing for Redleg Nation in 2017 and has enjoyed continuously learning more about the sport. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon where he loves exploring the great outdoors. Find him on Twitter @MattadorHeyBull