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Cincinnati Reds down Milwaukee Brewers in homer-happy 8-6 series opener

The balls, they were a-flyin’.

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

I mentioned yesterday that Eugenio Suarez had stumbled over his last month plus, merely hitting at a pedestrian rate after a rock-solid start to the 2017 season. After his season OPS peaked at an absurd 1.200 on April 23rd, he entered play on Tuesday having hit just .228/.329/.368 in the previous 56 games, a 225 PA stint of production that was a far cry from how he began the season.

Perhaps Tuesday’s game will turn the tides for the Cincinnati Reds 3B, as he homered, drew two walks, and scored twice on the evening. At least, that’s what we’ll be hoping for, as it’s clear he’s got the talent to be a much more successful hitter than he’s shown over the last two calendar months.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Adam Duvall, who went 2 for 4 with a 2-run jack and a double; Joey Votto, who cracked a 2-run homer; Billy Hamilton, who homered as part of a 2 for 4 day; Devin Mesoraco, who drove in a pair; Tony Cingrani, who retired all 4 of the hitters he was tasked with retiring; and Scooter Gennett, who singled, walked, and scored twice against his former club.

Key Plays

  • The Reds wasted little time in jumping on Junior Guerra in this one, with Hamilton leading off the Bottom of the 1st with a solo shot that just cleared the RF wall. After Gennett followed with a walk, Duvall later throttled a meatball into the upper deck in LF for a 2-run blast, and Suarez later scored after walking on Mesoraco’s RBI single into LF. Reds led, 4-0.
  • That 4-0 lead didn’t last too long, however, as the Brewers put up a 2-spot in the Top of the 2nd and later added 3 more runs in the Top of the 3rd. It’s a Reds/Brewers series in GABP, of course, which meant dingers were behind all of them. Both Manny Pina and Orlando Arcia hit solo shots off Tim Adleman in the 2nd, and a 3-run blast off the bat of Travis Shaw put Milwaukee ahead in the 3rd, 5-4.
  • Balls were flying tonight, however, and Suarez leveled the score in the Bottom of the 3rd with a solo shot of his own, an oppo blast into the RF seats. Game tied, 5-5.
  • It was Votto who broke the tie in the Bottom of the 5th, as he mauled a Guerra fastball over the wall in right-center one batter after Gennett had singled, and a later double by Duvall and sac-fly by Mesoraco left the Reds ahead, 8-5.
  • Drew Storen took over for the Top of the 6th, and he was a bit snakebit for a run. Keon Broxton reached on an infield dribbler that stayed fair down the 3B line, and he later stole 2B. That put him in scoring position, and score he did on Arcia’s soft single into LF. Reds led, 8-6.
  • From that point on, the Cincinnati bullpen got down to business against the Brewers’ potent offense, and 8-6 is how things finished.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • There was a slew of pitching news that came out prior to the start of this game, highlighted by Brandon Finnegan having aggravated the same dang shoulder muscle that landed him on the 60-day DL earlier this season to begin with.
  • If that wasn’t farty enough for you, we also learned that former 1st round draftee Nick Travieso had shoulder surgery recently and will be out some 9 months as he recovers. That news, of course, came just one day after St. Louis Cardinals starter Michael Wacha - who was drafted five spots after Travieso in the 2012 draft - shut the Reds down in solid fashion in Monday’s loss. Sigh.
  • Wednesday will feature the second game of this particular three game series, and the Reds will be sending Luis Castillo to the mound for his second career big league start. The Beers will counter with Chase Anderson, with first pitch set for 7:10 PM ET.
  • Tunes.