The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Finding a Cincinnati Reds pitching prospect to latch onto of late has been a tough task. While the likes of Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed, Amir Garrett, and Anthony DeSclafani have all shown great flashes of potential in their still young careers, the combination of injuries and/or seeing production fall completely off the cliff has left followers of the rebuild pining for a young arm to pin their hopes to.
Perhaps...perhaps that guy is young Luis Castillo, the prized arm that came to the Reds from the Miami Marlins as the centerpiece of the Dan Straily deal this past winter. Sporting a fastball that doesn’t just touch 98 mph - it averages 98 mph - he owns a pitching arsenal that stacks up with the best in the game, and since he’s only been in the Cincinnati system for a short time, we’ve not yet had the time to dissect his repertoire to the point of disbelieving his potential like we have with other pitching prospects in convential skeptic ways.
Wednesday’s outing against the Milwaukee Brewers saw Castillo’s potential wreak havoc on the NL Central leaders, as he fanned 9 while allowing just 2 ER in his 5.2 IP. The velocity was there - unless it wasn’t, which was on display with his beautiful changeup - and there was every reason to get super excited about what his future as a Red will look like down the road.
Congrats, Luis, and here’s to the first of many JNMHSotG awards.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Scooter Gennett, who cranked yet another homer; Adam Duvall, who did, too; Joey Votto, who walked thrice; Billy Hamilton, who walked twice, swiped a bag, and scored two runs; and Wandy Peralta, who fired 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
- Castillo got a big boost from Schebler’s catch in the Top of the 2nd, as the RF’s rob of a would-be Stephen Vogt 3-run dinger resulted in just a mere sac-fly to score Travis Shaw, and that was the only scoreboard damage the Brewers managed that inning. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Duvall got that run back immediately, however, crushing a Paulo Espino meatball well over the wall in CF in the Bottom of the 2nd after Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson exited with an injury picked up while swinging the bat the previous inning. Game tied, 1-1.
- The Reds played bounce-back on the board in the Bottom of the 3rd, as Gennett’s 2-run blast off the top of the wall in RF put Cincinnati back on top after Ryan Braun* had belted a solo blast off Castillo in the Top of the 3rd. Reds led, 3-2.
- The scoring slowed from that point on, but the Dinger Gods made their presence felt again in the Top of the 8th, when Shaw destroyed a Tony Cingrani heater into the CF seats to tie the game, 3-3.
- Corey Knebel walked a guy to start the Bottom of the 8th, which is a haunting idea regardless. That he walked the speedy Hamilton, however, proved to be a terrible idea for Milwaukee, as Hamilton promptly swiped 2B. After a bogus strike three call to Gennett and an intentional walk to Votto, Hamilton swiped 3B, too, and then scored on a grounder by Duvall to put Cincinnati back in front, 4-3.
- Raisel Iglesias took over for the Top of the 9th, and while he allowed a pair of baserunners and a bit of high blood pressure, the Reds escaped a jam and held on to win, 4-3.
- It was eventually revealed that Chase Anderson left the game with an injured oblique, a the same tricky injury that sidelined Anthony DeSclafani for much of last year (and kept Tony Cingrani on the shelf for much of this season). Dang.
- Braun’s homer was his 23rd in GABP, which leaves him tied for the most hit by an opponent in the 14 year old park’s history. Typing that just made me feel old, old, old.
- Speaking of injuries, it appears that Zack Cozart may well be activated as early as tomorrow, as his balky leg appears to be back in playing shape.
- The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for Brandon Finnegan. He returned to the DL today after his shoulder injury Monday, and Austin Brice was recalled in his place.
- Homer Bailey will return to the mound for tomorrow’s outing, and he’ll do so looking to improve upon his 43.20 ERA. (No, you started him in your fantasy league in his season debut. Yes, you.) Jimmy Nelson will toe the rubber for the Beers, with first pitch set for 7:10 PM ET despite being a getaway game.