The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
There was no clear star for the Cincinnati Reds in this one, as instead they sported a balanced attack that pretty much all chipped in in various, slightly less-than-optimal ways.
Is that a cop-out? It's probably a cop-out. So sue me.
Adam Duvall walked twice and scored. Scott Schebler singled, walked, and scored twice. Eugenio Suarez walked twice and scored once. Ramon Cabrera, thank his soul, smacked the team's lone extra-base hit and drove in a pair as part of a 1 for 4 evening. Both Michael Lorenzen and Ross Ohlendorf provided perfect innings in relief. Tony Renda pinch-hit with a single and scored a run. Billy Hamilton reached on an infield single and made yet another diving catch in the OF.
In all, a solid all-around performance with no clear standout. So, trophy yourself, why don't ya?
- The Rangers scratched the scoreboard first in the Top of the 2nd, though their quantity came as a direct result of some poor Reds defense. Rougned Odor led off by singling into CF, and Jonathan Lucroy then followed with a smash to the right side of the infield. Joey Votto initially made a great play to field the ball, but his throw to 2B to attempt to get a double play was wide of the bag, and Jose Peraza couldn't get the ball back to 1B in time for the Reds to even get the out a 1B. That left two runners on after a play that could've cleared the bags, and that bit everyone when Nomar Mazara then mashed a Tim Adleman meatball for a 3-run dinger into the RF seats. Damn. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- Cincinnati got in on the action in the Bottom of the 2nd, however, after Darvish hit Adam Duvall to leadoff the inning and then walked both Scott Schebler and Eugenio Suarez to load the bases. Ramon Cabrera then plated Duvall with a slow grounder to the right side to leave runners on the corners, and Schebler then scooted home on a wild pitch from Darvish. Reds trailed, 3-2.
- With 2-outs in the Top of the 5th, Adleman fired a 90 mph meatball right down the middle of the plate to Yu Darvish himself, who promptly turned it around for a laser of a solo homer on the grass beyond the CF wall. Ian Desmond then teed off on a hanging breaking ball a batter later and launched a solo homer of his own, leaving the Reds behind 5-2.
- The Reds struck back in the Bottom of the 5th, with Tony Renda smacking a pinch-hit single into CF to leadoff the inning for their first actual hit of the game. He ended up on 3B a batter later on a high-chopping infield single by Hamilton and a throwing error by Elvis Andrus, and Renda then motored home on an RBI groundout off Peraza's bat. Reds trailed, 5-3.
- Scott Schebler got the Bottom of the 6th rally going by beating out a slow grounder to the right side that featured a deep shift, and he ended up on 2B when Suarez followed with a walk. Cabrera then followed with a spanked ground-rule double to CF that would've scored both but only scored Schebler, but Ivan De Jesus, Jr. then chipped in with a great at-bat that resulted in a sac fly to plate Suarez as the equalizer. Game tied, 5-5.
- Texas got the deciding run in the Top of the 8th. Ian Desmond was plunked by a 1-2 pitch from Blake Wood with 1-out, and he later stole 2B to get into scoring position. He then motored around to score when Adrian Beltre smoked a 2-out double to the wall in right-center, and the Rangers were then ahead 6-5. From that point forward, the Reds couldn't punch back, however, and the Reds fell to that very score.
- As Chris Welsh wisely noted after the Reds' 2-run Bottom of the 2nd, the first 5 runs the Reds scored in this series against the Rangers were all scored by players who reached via walk or HBP. Shocking how sometimes knowing when not to swing the bat is the best thing for an offense.
- Reds pitching has now allowed 205 dingers on the season, a full 35 more than the Minnesota Twins and their pedestrian second place performance. It's been since 2013 since any team allowed over 200 in a single season - the Baltimore Orioles allowed 202 that year - so the Reds at least have one record breaking feat to chase 'til the end of the year.
- The Reds will have an off-day on Thursday, but on Friday they'll begin a weekend series in the Land of the Endless Strip Mall against the Arizona Diamondbacks. First pitch in Game 1 is set for 9:40 PM ET, and Brandon Finnegan will toe the rubber opposite Braden Shipley.