Ian Happ hit a home run in the Cincinnati Reds ballpark against Cincinnati Reds pitching because the Cincinnati Reds haven’t yet figured out a way to simply pitch around, over, under, below, above, or not at all to his Cincinnati Reds-crushing self.
It’s the kind of perplexing certainty that seems to help define what we’ve witnessed as a whole from this organization over the last five or so years - trying the same damn thing over and over and over again with it never once working at all. It was much of the same in a microcosm on Saturday night in Great American Ball Park, as the Reds fell to the Chicago Cubs by the score of 7-2 in a game that was not really that close.
Aristides Aquino went 0 for 3 with 2 K, meaning he’s 6 for 32 with 12 K since his most recent re-re-return to the active roster. Nick Senzel actually doubled, which was odd, and it bumped his slugging percentage all the way up to .314 on the year. Senzel hit 2nd, again, too.
Joey Votto went 0 for 5, which made my bones ache as if there’s a looming thunderstorm. In a somewhat related event up in the Northeast, Aroldis Chapman fired an entire inning where he never once topped 95 mph with a fastball, and I feel old as all hell.
Graham Ashcraft - there’s the bright spot, I suppose. Against a meager Chicago lineup he yielded just 2 runs in 6.1 IP before being pulled, though the Ian Happ homer off Ian Gibaut in Ian-on-Ian crime later that inning tacked on another earnie to his ledger. Ashcraft has some je ne sais quois, y’all, even if he’s surrounded by a buncha folks on the active roster right now who do not.
These two clubs will go back to work again tomorrow with a 1:40 PM ET start time the targeted start time. Justin Dunn will get another start for the Reds, this time looking to assert himself as a viable piece for the future - that’s what this is really all about around these parts anymore, anyway.