Don’t taunt Elly De La Cruz.
The sensational Cincinnati Reds rookie flied out to deep centerfield during his first at-bat against the Milwaukee Brewers Monday night. When he approached the plate for his second at-bat in the third inning, he was met with this greeting from the Brewers’ home scoreboard operator.
“Elly De La Cruz: Almost his a home run in the first inning… but didn’t.”
On the very first pitch of the at-bat, De La Cruz did this:
That’s a 456-foot home run that not only cleared the right-centerfield wall. It cleared the stands. The ball didn’t land until it hit the concourse behind the centerfield seats. It did so with the message trolling De La Cruz still glowing on the scoreboard.
The two-run blast off of Brewers starter Colin Rea also scored catcher Tyler Stephenson and gave the Reds a 2-1 lead. It was De La Cruz’s sixth home run in 41 games since he got called up in early June. It wasn’t the first moonshot for De La Cruz, who makes a habit of hitting the ball really, really hard. Take, for instance, this 458-foot blast on his second day in the Major Leagues.
Entering Monday’s game, De La Cruz was slashing .273/.322/.447 with 5 home runs, 17 RBI and 17 stolen bases. He was a big reason the Reds started the night a half game behind the Brewers for first place in the NL Central.
But the Brewers got the last laugh Monday night. They went into the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at 2-2. Faced with a chance to end the game, Christian Yelich delivered. The former MVP hit an RBI single off of Reds closer Alexis Díaz that scored Blake Perkins from second base.
The walkoff single secured a 3-2 win for the Brewers and snapped a five-game Reds win streak. It also ensured that they ended the night with a 1.5 game lead in the NL Central.