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Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Elly De La Cruz

A friend invited me to attend the major league baseball game between his beloved Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, June 6. As it happened, this was the major league debut of Reds infielder Elly De La Cruz and signaled the beginning of a Cincy baseball summer 2023 revival featuring more winning and higher attendance

In the game, De La Cruz hit a double that was at that point the hardest hit ball by any Reds player this season. Tracking data from Statcast also revealed that his sprint from the batter's box to second base gave him the highest sprint speed of any Reds player this season. Now, weeks into his career, De La Cruz is established as a player who hits the ball harder than almost any major leaguer. And he's the fastest man in mlb. Oh, and his throwing arm strength is also 98th percentile.

I took a photo of his first at bat: 

This is a shot of the scoreboard

And here is De La Cruz after his loud double:

The Dodgers jumped out to a big lead in the first inning 3-0, but the Reds came back to tie in the bottom of the inning. Freddy Freeman hit a grand slam in the fourth as part of a 5 run rally that gave the Dodgers another big lead 8-3, but the Reds came back again run-by-run to make it 8-6 entering the final inning. The Dodgers bullpen ended up blowing a 9th inning lead (mostly because of 3 walks) and the Reds won 9-8. My friend drove home a bit unhappy, but we both got to see Elly's remarkable debut!

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