When Todd Frazier stepped to the plate against the Pirates with runners on the corners in the eighth inning of a tie game on Monday, the Reds third baseman did not anticipate the frenzy he would create a few moments later.
"I was looking for a sacrifice fly," Frazier said.
Instead, Frazier delivered the game-winning three-run home run for a 5-2 Reds win over Pittsburgh on Opening Day at Great American Ball Park. Facing lefty reliever Tony Watson, he lifted a 1-1 pitch into the left-field upper deck seats.
"I was looking for a ball up," Frazier said. "When Billy [Hamilton] stole [third base], I actually saw his second pitch. It was a changeup, so I saw both pitches. He threw all fastballs until that last pitch to me -- the pitch before I hit the home run. I said, 'He might try to come in. He's been coming in on batters.' I got one out over a little bit and did a little more. It was one of those no-doubters. You feel it off the bat, perfect."
As 43,633 fans jumped on their feet and screamed, Frazier flipped his bat in excitement.
"Just emotion. Nothing to it, just excitement," Frazier said. "I've been here for four years now. Maybe if I have an opportunity, I guess I can do it if I hit it like that."
"It was a big lift," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Watson is tremendous. That guy is a great pitcher. The at-bat by Billy … and then Joey [Votto] hanging in there on a 3-2 pitch and smoking it to left really set the table for Todd. I was hoping for a sacrifice fly and he ended up doing quite a bit more. Especially on Opening Day, it was a big moment for sure."