Cincinnati Reds: One of Michael Lorenzen’s most memorable games

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 19: Michael Lorenzen #21 of the Cincinnati Reds hits his first career major league home run, a three run home run, during the seventh inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park on August 19, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Los Angeles 9-2. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 19: Michael Lorenzen #21 of the Cincinnati Reds hits his first career major league home run, a three run home run, during the seventh inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park on August 19, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Los Angeles 9-2. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Michael Lorenzen is well known in the Cincinnati Reds organization as a pitcher who can rake. This Father’s Day weekend we look back at one of his most memorable games.

Michael Lorenzen is a fan-favorite in the Cincinnati Reds organization. After all, it’s not  every day you see pitcher who can play in the outfield and has a career slugging percentage of .478 with 6 home runs on his resumé. Lorenzen had 9 hits last season with 4 home runs including a pinch-hit grand slam. But, let’s look back to August of 2016 when a different home run really put him on the map.

On August 16, 2016, Michael Lorenzen was placed on the bereavement list following the unfortunate death of his father. Lorenzen rejoined the team on August 19th and was called on to relieve Ross Ohlendorf and get out of a one-out jam with two runners on base.

The Cincinnati reliever changed his walkup music when he came onto the field out of the dugout. Michael’s father, Clif, was a big fan of The Who, so Lorenzen walked to the mound to the sounds of “Who Are You”.

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Lorenzen held on to the 6-1 lead with a line out to right field by Josh Reddick and a ground ball to the right side, fielded by Joey Votto who flipped the ball to Lorenzen covering first base to end the inning. Then with the Reds batting in the bottom of the seventh, the pitcher’s spot came up in the lineup.

Votto and second baseman Brandon Phillips had both singled to the outfield, and after strikeouts by Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler, Lorenzen stepped into the batter’s box with two on and two outs. Lorenzen saw one pitch and blasted a three-run, opposite-field home run into the stands in right center field; his first career home run.

Michael took his curtain call and a big dugout celebration with his teammates after the home run. He also went back out in the top of the eighth and threw another inning of scoreless baseball to preserve a 9-1 lead and help the Cincinnati Reds win the game over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After Lorenzen snuffed out any chance the Dodgers had to rally with his three-run bomb in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Reds went on to pick up the win, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon caught up with Lorenzen in the clubhouse. Obviously emotional, Lorenzen was quoted saying:

"“Definitely, everything happens for a reason. It was something that I look and just praise God for. It was something special, not only for me, but for my family. Everyone that’s been supporting us, I just want to say thank you for the prayers and just the support. It’s really helped out a lot, just people reaching out. It’s humbled me, this whole situation. Everything that happened tonight, I don’t think I will ever feel that way again.”"

Lorenzen crossing home plate was an emotional moment for him, and even some of his teammates. It was very clear in the energy of the ballpark and even watching on television how special of a moment it was.

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I would be willing to bet that almost every baseball fan out there would credit their father with passing down a love for the game. Knowing that Michael Lorenzen was able to have this kind of moment to honor his father is one of the many things I love about the game. A special memory to look back on this Father’s Day.