Winners of 4 in a row and 7 out of their final 10 video games, the Cincinnati Reds, sure these Cincinnati Reds, are in first place within the Nationwide League Central with a report of 48-39.
One of many worst groups (62-100) within the majors final season (throughout which they managed to throw a no-hitter and lose), the Reds have turned issues round in 2023. There’s no better image of that function reversal than the play of star rookie Elly De La Cruz.
Referred to as up final month, the 21-year-old shortstop has been nothing in need of a revelation for Cincinnati. A local of the Dominican Republic, he’s hitting .318 with 35 hits, and has logged 14 RBI and 25 runs scored in 26 video games in MLB. He additionally hit for the cycle a pair weeks again. Per Jayson Stark of The Athletic, the house run De La Cruz hit that day was, at almost 117 mph, the toughest hit ball of any house run hit in a cycle in the course of the Statcast Period, which started in 2015. If that wasn’t spectacular sufficient, throughout his triple he ran quicker from house plate to 3rd base than some other Main Leaguer who’d additionally hit for the cycle within the Statcast Period.
De La Cruz has totaled 4 house runs in his younger profession, considered one of which got here final evening after Nationals supervisor Davey Martinez known as on umpires to verify the rookie’s bat and look at a knob on the underside of it to see if it was authorized.
Eliminated after Martinez questioned its use earlier than De La Cruz batted within the second, the knob was again on the rookie’s bat when he stepped to the plate within the third after the league workplace knowledgeable the umpires it was authorized. The rookie initially flew out to left with the knob again on his bat, however De La Cruz didn’t wait lengthy earlier than bashing a house run 455 toes out of the ballpark within the fifth inning after which letting everybody, together with Martinez, learn about it:
Martinez, who has guided the Nationals to a last-place report of 34-52 so far, didn’t respect De La Cruz’s gesture. “I’m not making an attempt to penalize this child. I’m not. I really like the best way he performs the sport,” Martinez stated. “I didn’t like his antics after he hit the house run. We are able to do with out that. He’s solely obtained two weeks within the huge leagues, however he’s going to be a great participant.”
He’s — and it was nothing to do with the plastic knob on the underside of his bat.
“Simply to inform everyone that the knob will not be the rationale why I’m doing a great job,” De La Cruz, who had a pair of doubles after his huge house run, stated of the that means behind his gesture following the house run. “It’s due to all of the work I’m placing on the market.”
With the Reds, who haven’t received a playoff collection since 1995 in first place, all that work is paying off.
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