The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
At this point, it's hard to ask any more of Dan Straily than what he's provided the Cincinnati Reds after being a late-March last minute pickup. It's also hard to expect anything less than what he provided on Tuesday, since he's made an entire season's worth of quality starts that have been as much of a revelation as perhaps any player in all of Major League Baseball, given the expectations.
Straily held the potent Texas Rangers offense in check in his 6 IP, keeping them off the board entirely while allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks against his 5 strikeouts. It lowered his season ERA to 3.57, and as The Enquirer's Zach Buchanan noted during the contest, he's posted an ERA in the low 2's for almost the last two months, too. So have yet another trophy, Dan, and here's to this being a mid-career renaissance that lasts for years to come.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tyler Holt, who took a pair of walks after entering the game for Straily after the Top of the 6th (and scored both times); Jose Peraza, who smacked another two singles to raise his MLB average up to .309; Raisel Iglesias, who shook off two early hits allowed to pitch a pair of scoreless innings in relief; and Joey Votto, who kept right on owning MLB pitching with a 2 for 3, 2 ribbie evening.
- It took until the Bottom of the 6th to put the first dent in the scoreboard, and it came in a scenario that's rather hard to fathom, really. Tyler Holt coaxed a 1-out walk off Derek Holland after a lengthy at-bat, and he ended up at 2B after a bunt by Hamilton (that was originally ruled as a single before replay ruled him out). Jose Peraza then flied out, and that brought Votto to the plate with 1B open and 2-outs. You'd think that with the hottest hitter on the planet at the plate and a bag open, the Rangers would've pitched around him and opted to face Adam Duvall - who hits righties better than lefties anyway - but instead, they challenged Votto and were rewarded with a 2-strike single into RF that scored Holt. Reds led, 1-0.
- The Reds played add-on in the Bottom of the 7th, as a 2-out double by Barnhart plated Eugenio Suarez, who had taken a walk off Rangers reliever Jeremy Jeffress. Reds led, 2-0.
- Cincinnati tacked on another run in the Bottom of the 8th after Holt took a leadoff walk, motored to 3B on a single by Peraza, and scored on a sac fly off Votto's bat, and that capped the scoring as Tony Cingrani managed to navigate a bit of wildness to keep Texas off the board in the Top of the 9th. Reds won, 3-0!
- While the offenses took forever to get going, that didn't mean there wasn't any action on the field. Hamilton's diving catch in the Top of the 6th, for instance, was the kind of thing early Sportscenter would've built its brand on.
- Dan Straily has been Dan Naily when pitching for the Reds in their reds uniforms, hence why you saw them wearing them again tonight. The Reds have now won each of his last 8 starts.
- Remember when the Reds allowed eleventy dingers and eighteen runs in their last game? Baseball, you see, is an incredibly odd bird.
- Yu Darvish is starting for the Rangers on Wednesday in the second game of this series, so if you're within a hundred damn miles of GABP, buy a ticket and go watch pitching at its finest. Add-in that you'll get to watch Votto face Darvish, and that make it a complete no-brainer. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET, and Tim Adleman will be on the mound for Cincinnati.