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Nationals pound Reds 18-3 as Homer Bailey rocked in return to mound

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It’ll only get better for Bailey from here (since it can’t get any worse).

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

The stage was set for Homer Bailey’s name to go here, as the now 31 year old Cincinnati Reds starter made his season debut against the Washington Nationals and his longtime manager, Dusty Baker.

Homer, however, got shelled, as did the entirety of the Cincinnati staff on an afternoon where both their arms and bats got worked early and often.

In reality, the props for the day will go to a position player who didn’t even start the game, as Patrick Kivlehan singled, homered, and drove in a pair of runs after Joey Votto was pulled with the Reds down a dozen runs early. The outing raised Kivlehan’s season OPS up to a rock-solid .815, which has been satisfactorily cromulent for the right-handed thumper off the bench this year.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Scooter Gennett, who had a 2 for 4 day with a double; Tucker Barnhart, who also had a 2 hit day with a double; and Billy Hamilton, who finally had a solid offensive day by going 2 for 4 and scoring a run.

Key Plays

  • Bailey needed 31 pitches to get through the Bottom of the 1st, and allowed a pair of runs in the process. He opened his outing by allowing a single into RF by Trea Turner and a walk to Brian Goodwin, both of whom later scored on a double to the RF wall by Ryan Zimmerman. Reds trailed, 2-0.
  • Turner singled again off Bailey in the Bottom of the 2nd, this time scoring Michael Taylor, who had earlier singled and moved up to 2B on a sac bunt. Bailey then walked Goodwin (again) and Zimmerman to load the bases before Daniel Murphy worked an excellent at-bat into a bases-clearing double into the RF corner on a full-count. Anthony Rendon then doubled to score Murphy, and Bailey’s day was done with Cincinnati trailing 7-0. Of course, after Lisalverto Bonilla came on to relieve him, Matt Wieters singled in Rendon, which left the Reds trailing 8-0 at the end of the brutal inning.
  • Bonilla plowed through a scoreless frame after that before his wheels, too, fell off in the Bottom of the 4th. The Nats plated 4 - all with 2 down in the inning - highlighted by a 2-run blast over the CF wall by Taylor. Reds trailed, 12-0.
  • After the Nationals tacked on a 13th run in the Bottom of the 5th by doing baseball things to which I was no longer paying attention, Kivlehan lifted his 5th dinger of the season into the LF seats to get the Reds on the board (finally). Reds trailed, 13-1.
  • Taylor homered again in the Bottom of the 6th, this time a solo doink off Ariel Hernandez that put Cincinnati behind 14-1.
  • A Billy Hamilton single and a Scooter Gennett double opened the Top of the 8th, and Billy then scored on a Kivlehan single. Gennett eventually came home on a sac-fly by Eugenio Suarez, and the Reds had shaved the deficit down to 14-3.
  • The Nats batted in the Bottom of the 8th, so the Nats scored in the Bottom of the 8th. A lot, actually. That left the score at 18-3, which is mercifully where things ended.

Tony Graphanino


Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Homer’s return certainly didn’t go as any of us had hoped. His final line: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 2 K on 61 pitches. Both of those Ks, incidentally, came against Bryce Harper.
  • When Bailey was activated prior to the start of this one, OF Jesse Winker was optioned back to AAA Louisville to open up the 25-man roster spot.
  • Remember Stuart Turner? Well, the score got so bad that we got to see him take the field in this one.
  • The Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans broke news earlier that Brandon Finnegan will come off the 60-day DL to make Monday’s start against St. Louis, and also noted that rookie Luis Castillo will remain in the big league rotation for the time being, too.
  • Scott Feldman will toe the rubber for the Reds in Sunday’s season finale against the Nationals, with Tanner Roark going for Washington. First pitch is set for 1:35 PM ET.
  • Tunes.