Joe Nuxhall Honorary Memorial Star of the Game
It doesn't take long into watching a starter's day on the mound to figure out if he's got his best stuff working. Today, Dan Straily did not have his best stuff working. He was behind to most hitters he faced, he missed spots both in and out of the zone, and in general didn't seem as sharp as he normally appears to be.
The mark of a successful pitcher, however, is how well he is able to adapt himself on the mound when things aren't going his way. That's an ability Straily showed in abundance on Saturday. He battled when he needed to, didn't give in in some key spots, and finished the game with seven innings of work and two runs allowed on just two hits and a pair of walks. Starting with some high pitch counts early, it appeared for a while to be only a matter of time before Straily would fall apart, but he only became stronger and more efficient as the day went on. He'll get a no decision because of the bullpen, but he'll get a trophy here anyway.
Honorable mentions go to Adam Duvall, who hit the go-ahead 3-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, Joey Votto, who hit a 2-run homer, Jay Bruce, who hit a solo shot, and Tony Cingrani, who earned a rare save out of the bullpen with a scoreless ninth.
- The Nationals got things going in the top of the second inning, with Wilson Ramos smacking a one-out double to right-center. Anthony Rendon followed with a 2-run laser to left off a hanging change, and Washington led 2-0.
- Strasburg was dealing all afternoon, but made one of his few mistakes to the wrong guy in the bottom of the second inning. He hung a changeup of his own to Bruce, who sat back on it and crushed it to center field to put Cincinnati on the board. Reds trail 2-1.
- Things stayed quiet from then on as both starters settled into a rhythm up until a rain delay paused the game for 20 minutes before the top of the sixth inning. Straily came out of the delay with a 1-2-3 inning, but Strasburg's transition wasn't as seamless, as he walked Cozart to begin the bottom half. That's brought up Votto, who barely missed a home run in his previous at bat, to launch a no-doubt two-run shot to right that gave the Reds their first lead.
- Ross Ohlendorf came in for the eighth inning and made quick work of the first two batters to face him, but then fell behind Danny Espinosa 3-0 before allowing him to smoke a meatball over the fence for a game-tying homer. 3-3.
- The game was once again delayed ahead in the middle of the eighth inning, and the Reds were once again the beneficiaries. On the first at-bat out of the delay, Duvall crushed his 16th homer of the year, a 3-run shot to push the Reds ahead 6-3.
- Cingrani closed it for his fifth save of the year. Reds win 6-3.
- Billy Hamilton made an unbelievable catch in the first inning you'll have to just watch here, because I don't have the poetry of language to tell you about it.
- Kyle Waldrop got into this one as a pinch-hitter, and recorded his first big league hit in his first AB of the new campaign.
- Stephen Strasburg burned the Reds with ten strikeouts in this one, putting him over 1,000 for his career. Congrats to the former No. 1 overall pick and Tommy John survivor for the accomplishment.
- It'll be Jon Moscot on the mound Sunday opposite Tanner Roark, as the Reds go for the sweep (wut) at 1:00p.m. at Great American Ball Park.