The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Eugenio Suarez picked right up on Monday where he'd left off in Philadelphia, perhaps showing that his crazy home/road and LHP/RHP splits may be starting to normalize. He went 2 for 5 with a pair of runs scored, another pair driven in, and homered for the second consecutive day, this time off righty Chase Anderson. Suarez entered Sunday's game having mauled lefties and bashed while in GABP, but had struggled mightily on the road and been middling, at best, against righties. The last two games have been a great progression to improving on both, and for that Henny-O deserves some dap.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who walked, doubled, scored twice, and hit the ball to the warning track on two other occasions; Jay Bruce, who singled twice and drove in a pair; Adam Duvall, who dingered; and Jose Peraza, who had a pair of hits.
- It didn't take long for the Reds to crack the scoreboard, as they pushed across a run in the Top of the 1st. Votto took a 4-pitch walk, and Brandon Phillips then turned around the first pitch he saw for an RBI double off the wall in LF. BP, though, was then thrown out trying to steal 3B for some completely odd reason. Reds led, 1-0.
- Perhaps swinging early was note number one on the gameplan against Chase Anderson, since Duvall jumped on his first offering in the Top of the 2nd, too, with his going for a laser of a solo dinger over the tall wall in LF. Reds led, 2-0.
- First pitch swinging paid dividends again in the Top of the 3rd, as Suarez crushed the first meatball he saw for a towering homer over the wall in right-center. It was a 2-run shot, since Zack Cozart had singled to RF in front of him to leadoff the inning. Reds led, 4-0.
- Defense will win you championships if you read the Cliche Bible, and the Bottom of the 3rd inning proved that bad defense can fart away much of an early lead. Marlon Byrd singled to RF to leadoff the inning, and he moved all the way to 3B when Cozart's attempt to nail Juan Uribe at 1B on a grounder ended up getting by Votto at 1B. Rajai Davis then singled to score Byrd, and a sac bunt from Jason Kipnis left runners on 2B and 3B, both of whom scored when a deep fly ball off the bat of Francisco Lindor was misread by Jose Peraza in CF and went over his head for a "double." Mike Napoli then singled on a slow grounder that would've easily been a 4-3 putout had the Reds not been shifting - which they were - and that scored Lindor all the way from 2B. Game tied, 4-4.
- It got worse in the Bottom of the 4th, though this time the defense wasn't at fault - and the bulk of the damage came with 2-outs. Jose Ramirez led off with a double, but John Lamb walked Rajai Davis after retiring two batters in a row, and then the wheels fell off. Kipnis singled to score Ramirez, and Davis came all the way around to score, too, after replay showed he was never actually tagged at the plate by Ramon Cabrera. Back to back singles by Lindor and Napoli then followed, the latter scoring Kipnis. Reds trailed, 7-4.
- The Reds adore long-ass recaps, so they struck back quickly in the Top of the 5th. Suarez singled to RF, and he moved to 3B on Votto's double off the wall in left-center. Anderson then walked BP intentionally to load the bases (for his final batter faced on the night), and that brought in a lefty to face Bruce. Bruce battled, fouled off six pitches, and finally looped and oppo-single into LF on the ninth pitch of the at-bat that drove in both Suarez and Votto. Duvall then hit into an inning-ending double play, though. Reds trailed, 7-6.
- Bullpen. Reds trailed, 12-6.
- I smilingly started this recap when the Reds were up 4-0, in case you couldn't tell.
- Bottom of the 7th? More bullpen. Reds trailed, 13 to...nope, 14...nope, 15...nope, actually just 14-6.
- Bottom of the 8th? Bullpen, again, though the previously mentioned oops-blergh defense contributed. That actually stretched the score to 15-6, which is where things finally, mercifully ended.
FanGraph you can print out, place in toilet, and flush
- Jay Bruce reached base seven (!!) times over the weekend in Philadelphia, and he backed that with tonight's multi-hit outing. Perhaps May Bruce is back, albeit two weeks delayed?
- Jordan Pacheco served as the DH in this one, because #reboot.
- Lamb looked solid out of the gate, though it appeared as the game progressed that he and Cabrera were struggling to stay on the same page in terms of pitch calls. That could very well have been a product of Lamb pitching out of the stretch so often, but it certainly could've been a byproduct of the sprained thumb that forced the Reds to skip Lamb's previous start because he couldn't "spin" his breaking pitches the way he wanted.
- These two teams will tangle again in Cleveland on Tuesday before heading south for another pair of games in GABP on Wednesday and Thursday. Tomorrow, Alfredo Simon will start for the Reds, and he'll be countered by Danny Salazar. First pitch will again be at 6:10 PM ET, so plan accordingly.