The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Going into the 2016 season, we had no idea what we'd see from Brandon Finnegan. We were all hopeful to see the talent that got him the quick call-up to Kansas City straight out of TCU, but knew that there was still a chance we'd get the pitcher that struggled in 2015. Many pundits and writers have tabbed him as a bullpen guy, and while that could still happen, he has shown multiple times this season that he is more than effective as a starter. Tonight, he once again showed us why he was the coveted prospect in the trade last July. He went 6.1 innings, giving up 3 ER on 5 hits, striking out 5 and walking 3.
Have a trophy, Brandon, and here's to continuing your great start to this young season.
Honorable mentions go to: Ivan De Jesus, Jr. for honking his first dinger of the season; Zack Cozart, for collecting two more hits and continuing to tear it up at the plate; Tucker Barnhart, for going 2 for 4 with a double and run scored; Adam Duvall for breaking a strikeout streak in going 2 for 4; and Caleb Cotham, for being the only reliant bullpen piece and pitching a scoreless inning and striking out 2.
- In the top of the 3rd, Billy Hamilton led off with an infield single. He then moved up to 2nd on a single by Zack Cozart. After a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Holt, Joey Votto would lift a fly ball to center field to score Billy. Reds lead, 1-0.
- In the top of the 4th inning, Adam Duvall led off with a base-hit, but was gunned down stealing on a missed hit-and-run. Barnhart would make up for it, knocking his second hit of the night. Ivan De Jesus, Jr. would follow that up with a 2-run shot for his first dinger of the season. Reds lead, 3-0.
- After cruising most of the night, Finnegan ran into some trouble in the bottom of the 6th. He'd give up a lead-off single to Curtis Granderson, followed by a base-hit by Asdrubal Cabrera. However, he'd induce three consecutive fly-outs from David Wright, Michael Conforto, and Neil Walker to get out of the jam and preserve the 3-0 lead.
- After striking out Wilmer Flores to start the bottom of the 7th, Finnegan once again ran into trouble. He'd give up a walk to Juan Lagares, then a single to Kevin Plawecki. After a lengthy conversation, Bryan Price decided to leave the young starter to face Yoenis Cespedes. On his 107th pitch, Cespedes hit a screamer that barely cleared the wall in left for a home run to tie the game. Price would then call on Tony Cingrani to relieve Finnegan, who immediately surrendered a triple to Curtis Granderson. After a strikeout of Asdrubal Cabrera, he'd give up a 2-out RBI single to David Wright. Mets lead, 4-3.
- The Reds were unable to get anything going against Mets' closer Jeurys Familia, going 3-up, 3-down in the 9th inning. Mets win, 4-3.
A Fangraph that is looking way too familiar
- You have to wonder how the state of the bullpen has affected Bryan Price's late game management. While it certainly can be argued that Brandon Finnegan should have been taken out of the game in the 7th, there is literally nobody outside of Caleb Cotham that the Reds can trust at the moment.
- Adam Duvall's single in the 4th inning broke an 0-8, 8 strikeout streak that was 1 shy of the National League record for consecutive strikeouts. Ouch.
- The late losses have been frustrating, but in a season like this, the stuff that we saw from Finnegan tonight was much more important than how this game turned out.
- The Reds are back in action against the Mets tomorrow, with Jon Moscot getting the start against Matt Harvey at 7:10 PM ET.