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Brandon Finnegan flirts with no-hitter, Reds thump Dodgers 11-1

A brilliant start from the young lefty.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

The San Francisco Giants just put Matt Cain back on the DL, and that came on the heels of them sending top pitching prospect Phil Bickford to the Milwaukee Brewers in a deadline deal that brought reliever Will Smith to the Bay to help bolster their bullpen.  Perhaps they should start calling every posted phone number associated with the Cincinnati Reds in their quest for yet another NL West crown and World Series title, since it appears we've all found the perfect way to shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers in Brandon Finnegan.

Finnegan tossed a complete game 1-hitter against the Dodgers in Chavez Ravine back on May 23rd - on the mound opposite Clayton Kershaw, at that - and on Saturday, he did the deed nearly as well against Los Angeles yet again. He carried a no-hitter into the Top of the 7th before finally surrendering a single, and it wasn't until a storm rolled in and chucked a rain delay his way that the young lefty saw his evening end.

His final line:  7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K, on 96 pitches, including a great mix of pitches that fit together just right on the evening.  And on top of that, he doubled, walked, and scored twice as a hitter, which is a heaping hot dang bonus.  Congrats, Brandon, and have yourself a trophy.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Jose Peraza, who dingered in his second consecutive big league game as part of an impressive 3 for 5, 3 ribbie, 2 run scored evening; Joey Votto, who singled twice, walked, scored a run, and drove one in; Adam Duvall, who bonked a 3-run dinger and added an RBI single later on; Scott Schebler, who dingered; and Eugenio Suarez, who singled twice, doubled, and walked.

Key Plays

  • Brett Anderson took the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Bottom of the 1st and immediately fell into shambles.  Hamilton singled to leadoff the inning, stole 2B before the 2B himself could even reach the bag to cover, moved to 3B when Peraza laced a single into LF, and scored on Votto's infield single to the 1B side.  That left both Votto and Peraza still on base, which was rectified when Duvall followed by mauling a meatball over the wall in CF for a 3-run dinger.  Reds led early, 4-0.
  • Finnegan helped himself in the Bottom of the 2nd, lining a leadoff double into the corner in LF and later scoring on yet another single off the bat of Peraza.  Reds led, 5-0.
  • Peraza, man.  In the Bottom of the 4th, he launched a mammoth 2-run dinger into the LF seats off reliever Grant Dayton, who was summoned to the mound in the first place after Anderson threw a ball to the backstop and was removed with a forearm issue.  Jose's dinger plated Finnegan - again - after the Reds' starter coaxed a walk off Anderson before his adversary left the game.  Reds led, 7-0.
  • The Cincinnati hit parade kept right on rolling against Josh Fields in the Bottom of the 5th, as each of Brandon Phillips, Suarez, and Ramon Cabrera singled to load the bases.  That set up a Hamilton walk with the bases loaded to drive in one, and the Reds were ahead, 8-0.
  • Finnegan's bid for a no-no was broken up by an Adrian Gonzalez single in the Top of the 7th, and a rain delay soon followed.  When the game finally resumed, Duvall singled to drive in Tony Renda after Renda had subbed into the lineup for the Bottom of the 8th, and Schebler then followed with a 2-run dinger to put the scoreboard on full Charlie Scrabbles tilt with the Reds ahead, 11-0.
  • Corey Seager singled and scored after a Justin Turner double & subsequent productive grounder in the Top of the 9th, but that was the extent of the late damage.  Reds won, 11-1!

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes
  • Jose Peraza was called back up to the Reds this afternoon following the news that Zack Cozart is dealing with achilles inflammation to go along with some soreness in his surgically repaired knee. Keyvius Sampson was optioned back to AAA Louisville to open a spot, which is a bit of a bummer since Keyv has pitched rather well of late, but at least the Reds appear to finally be willing to give Peraza some regular run in the near future.
  • The Reds churned out 18 hits on the evening, which I believe is their season high to date.
  • The Reds and Dodgers will tangle again at 1:10 PM ET on Sunday, and it'll be Anthony DeSclafani on the bump for the Reds opposite former teenage Dodger phenom Julio Urias.  Urias is still a young phenom, by all accounts, but he finally turned 20 years old last week.
  • Saturday Tunes.