The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
One of the biggest stories of the year has been the inability of the Reds starters to go more than three, four, or five innings. On the other side of that, it’s shown that the bullpen is much stronger than it was at this time (or really, at any time) last season.
Still, that bullpen has been overworked all season long, as the Reds have run a regular shuttle between Cincinnati and AAA Louisville to keep it stocked with fresh arms. It’s, likely, unsustainable over the course of 162 games.
A complete game shutout is exciting, regardless of the circumstances, but keeping all of what I just typed in mind makes today’s performance that much more important. Scott Feldman, Reds Opening Day Starter(TM), was brilliant in this one. He went the distance, allowing only four hits and walking only one to go with five strikeouts in nine innings.
It was a great weekend for the Reds starting pitching (well, for pretty much every aspect of the Reds team, really), but today’s performance from Feldman was the cherry on top. Having a reliable veteran to eat innings was exactly the reason Feldman was signed. I don’t think the Reds thought he’d be throwing complete game shutouts.
Honorable mention to Zack Cozart, who hit a dinger as part of a 2 hit day. Scott Schebler dingered, too, while Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett also knocked in a run a piece. Billy Hamilton tripled.
- After Billy Hamilton reached base on a fielding error to begin the Reds 1st inning, Joey Votto moved him to second base with a one out single. Eugenio Suarez scored Billy on a line drive a batter later, before Scooter Gennett hit a two out RBI single. Reds lead, 2-0.
- In the bottom of the 3rd, Scott Schebler doinked a two out donger to center field, his ninth big fly of the season. Reds, 3-0.
- Zack Cozart hit his second home run of the season in the bottom of the 5th, a solo bomb with one out (directly after Billy was caught stealing third base, if you can believe that). Reds after 5 full, 4-0.
- That was that. The Reds complete the sweep, 4-0.
- Before being caught stealing in the bottom of the 5th inning, Billy had been successful in his last 14 tries. This was only his second CS of the year.
- In their sweep against San Francisco, the Reds outscored the Giants 31-5 over the three games. The Giants were in dead last in run differential coming into this series. It got worse, is what I’m saying.
- The Reds bullpen, after being constantly overworked for much of the first month of this season, pitched only 6.2 innings in this series. They allowed no earned runs.
- Since getting trounced by nine runs against the Pirates last week, the Reds have won five straight games. Which is good, because they’ll be hosting the first place Yankees (19-9) in an interleague showdown starting Monday. First, the Yankees will look to complete their own sweep of the Chicago Cubs tonight on ESPN.