by Matt Wilkes

RC+ Recap: Reds snap funk with late HRs from Jose Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen

For a few innings, it looked like the Reds would cruise to a much-needed easy win against the Phillies on Wednesday. But after they blew a five-run lead, capped by a painful game-tying solo shot by Jay Bruce, the pitcher who gave up the home run was one of the heroes in an 8-5 win.

That pitcher was Michael Lorenzen. He threw two clean innings aside from that home run, but his heroics came at the plate. Jose Iglesias put the Reds back on top with a home run (101.2 mph, 405 feet) to straightaway center field in the seventh inning.

Lorenzen added the insurance runs in the eighth with his first homer of the year (100.7 mph, 387 feet). It was Lorenzen’s seventh career homer, each coming in Great American Ball Park. He may not be an everyday hitter, but he should have more than 19 plate appearances this season. Here’s what Lorenzen has done when putting the bat on the ball this season:

Freddy Galvis almost had a home run sandwiched between the Iglesias and Lorenzen blasts, but he was robbed on a spectacular play by Phillies center fielder Adam Hasely.

Joey Votto, who was 3-for-4, got the Reds in front early with a first-inning home run (104.5 mph, 395 feet) to the opposite field. They added four more runs in the second. Brian O’Grady smashed his first career extra-base hit, a triple that almost left the yard (407 feet). Following a walk to Bauer, Josh VanMeter laced a single (100.8 mph) to plate the second run, Votto added an RBI double down the right-field line, and Aristides Aquino hit a two-run double down the left-field line.

This all came against Phillies ace Aaron Nola, who had been one of the best pitchers in the NL of late. Meanwhile, Trevor Bauer appeared to be in control early — but it all fell apart again.

Bauer took an extreme fastball-heavy approach. Coming into the game, he had used his four-seamer 37.5% of the time. He used it at a 61.8% clip on Wednesday, his highest rate in a game since Aug. 18, 2015. Bauer didn’t throw his first breaking ball until the second inning, his 31st pitch of the game.

It wasn’t effective. Bauer’s four-seamer only got four whiffs and was hit for a 96.0 mph average exit velocity. He avoided any damage until the fifth inning, however, when he gave up a pair of two-run homers to Logan Morrison and J.T. Realmuto. In Bauer’s defense, the Realmuto home run was unlucky. It was hit at only 92.4 mph and had a .100 xBA. Per @RedsFan_Brandon on Twitter, it was only the 47th of more than 5,800 home runs hit this season hit at or below 92.5 mph.

Robert Stephenson, who has become David Bell’s No. 3 guy out of the ‘pen, threw a perfect sixth inning behind a rare fastball-heavy approach. Raisel Iglesias threw a shutout ninth.

Reds Most Valuable Players

  • Jose Iglesias: .220 WPA (Win Probability Added) | 1-for-1, HR
  • Joey Votto: .180 WPA | 3-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
  • Michael Lorenzen: .129 WPA | 1-for-1, HR, 2 RBI; 2.0 IP, ER, K

Reds Least Valuable Players

  • Alex Blandino: -.091 WPA | 0-for-2, HBP, BB
  • Trevor Bauer: -.078 WPA | 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 2 HR, 2 BB, 6 K
  • Freddy Galvis: -.059 WPA | 0-for-4, K

Play of the Game

  • Jose Iglesias: .223 WPA | Go-ahead solo home run in 7th inning; Reds lead 6-5

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Derek Dietrich: 110.9 mph groundout in 6th inning
  • Joey Votto: 104.2 mph home run in 1st inning
  • Jose Iglesias: 101.2 mph home run in 7th inning

Luckiest Hit of the Day

  • Joey Votto .170 xBA, 89.9 mph, 23° LA; Double in 2nd inning

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Freddy Galvis: .500 xBA, 100.0 mph, 21° LA; Lineout in 3rd inning

Highest Pitch Velocities by Pitcher

  • Michael Lorenzen: 98.8 mph four-seam fastball
  • Raisel Iglesias: 97.9 mph four-seam fastball
  • Robert Stephenson: 97.1 mph four-seam fastball
  • Trevor Bauer: 96.7 mph four-seam fastball

Links

Matt Wilkes got hooked on Reds baseball after attending his first game in Cinergy Field at 6 years old, and he hasn’t looked back. As a kid, he was often found imitating his favorite players — Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns — in the backyard. When he finally went inside, he was leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 or keeping stats for whatever game was on TV. He started writing about baseball in 2014 and has become fascinated by analytics and all the new data in the game. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in Columbus. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.