The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
If it feels like Johnny Cueto has taken home two dozen of these this season, well, that's because he has. The ace of the Cincinnati Reds was up to his usual tricks against the Milwaukee Brewers this evening, breezing through his NL Central rivals for 8 innings en route to his 19th victory of the season.
Cueto struck out 7 and allowed just 4 hits and a walk, throwing just 97 pitches in the process. He'll now have a chance to reach 20 wins on the season, as he's scheduled to start the final game of the Reds' season on the 28th against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Todd Frazier, who doubled as well as blasting dinger number 28 on his season; and Devin Mesoraco, who launched a dinger of his own.
- Cueto escaped with a scoreless Top of the 1st thanks to some beautiful help from his defense. Carlos Gomez led off with a single, but he was caught trying to steal 2B. Scooter Gennett followed by taking a walk, and he reached 2B after a throwing error from Cueto. That looked to be potentially troubling when Aramis Ramirez singled up the middle two batters later, but Billy Hamilton unleashed a laser towards home that Mesoraco fielded up the 3B line and somehow managed to turn into a sweeping tag at the plate to nab Gennett.
- The bats then staked their ace to a two-run lead in the Bottom of the 1st, as both Frazier and Mesoraco poked solo dingers back to back, with Frazier's just clearing the wall in CF and Devin's landing just beyond the LF wall. Reds led, 2-0.
- Cueto promptly sat down the next bajillion Brewers he faced, carving through the next four innings like a hot piece of pumpkin pie. His only blemish came in the Top of the 6th, when Gomez mashed a line drive solo dinger that just cleared both the CF wall and a leaping Hamilton. Reds led, 2-1.
- The Reds tacked on another run in the Bottom of the 8th to put some breathing room between them and the Beermakers. Brayan Pena led off with a pinch-hit double and was lifted in favor of the speedy Yorman Rodriguez, who then moved to 3B on a successful sac bunt from Hamilton. Then Jason Bourgeois boozewah'd a single to RF to score Ourman, giving Aroldis Chapman a two-run cushion in the Top of the 9th. Chapman was a bit erratic, but he managed to escape with the save despite allowing a pair of Brewers to reach, and that was that. Reds win, 3-1!
- Frazier's 1st inning dinger briefly tied him for the team lead in runs batted in with Mesoraco, who proceeded to reclaim the lead with his dinger in the very next at bat. This Other Note brought to you by the 1980s.
- Chapman hit a guy and walked a f--king guy, but he did get each of his three outs recorded via strikeout, meaning he's still likely going to set the all-time record for K/9. Que ridiculo, no?
- If my mathing and memory have coincided correctly, tonight's loss moves the Brewers to the brink of playoff elimination. One more loss and they're statistically eliminated, and they'll have to win out and get serious face-falling help from the San Francisco Giants to stay in the race.