The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Luis Castillo was utterly fabulous for the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, tackling the Chicago Cubs in his 6 inning stint in a fashion usually reserved for resident aces. The Reds’ rookie allowed just 2 hits in his 6 IP, fanning 7 against just 2 walks in his 80 pitch outing.
The entirety of the affair lowered his season ERA to 3.39, and his mastery of the fastball/change-up combination had everyone who watched him drooling at the prospect of this rookie in the Reds’ rotation for the next five plus years, at least.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who walked thrice to extend his streak of games having reached base at least twice to 20 games, just one off Ted Williams’ 1948 MLB record for such a streak (Votto actually was on base 3 times, of course); Eugenio Suarez, who singled, walked, and made a nifty grab at 3B; Adam Duvall, who singled and had yet another OF assist at 2B; Jesse Winker, who had a pair of hits, a walk, and a run scored; and Billy Hamilton, who went 2 for 5 with a ribbie and his 50th stolen base of the season.
- It took until the Top of the 8th inning, but the Reds finally got on the scoreboard on a night when the wind was blowing firmly in at Wrigley Field. Unsurprisingly, Votto spearheaded things with his 3rd walk of the evening, and after he moved to 3B on Adam Duvall’s single into LF, Scooter Gennett cranked a deep fly out into RF to allow Votto to tag and score. Reds led, 1-0.
- Wandy Peralta allowed a pair of Cubs to reach in the Bottom of the 8th, but Raisel Iglesias took over with enough mojo to escape the inning unscathed. That took the Reds into the Top of the 9th with a 1-0 lead, but they added-on with Hamilton’s RBI single after Winker had walked and moved to 3B on Jose Peraza’s ground rule double. Reds led, 2-0.
- After Iglesias escaped the Bottom of the 8th, he allowed back to back singles to Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward to begin the Bottom of the 9th, and both runners moved up on a sac bunt by Javier Baez. Ben Zobrist then cranked a single into RF to score Schwarber, but Iglesias responded by striking out Jon Jay and later got Alex Avila, too, and the Reds held on to win, 2-1!
- Castillo was pulled after just 80 pitches with a pair of runners on in the Top of the 7th in favor of pinch-hitter Patrick Kivlehan. The Reds didn’t score, but fortunately the next half-inning rendered that situation moot. Still, the thought process seemed a bit incongruous when turning the pressure PA over to Hamilton with 2-out.
- As the Reds noted on Twitter, Hamilton’s 50th steal in his 4th consecutive season makes him the first Red to do so since the great Joe Morgan. That’s some damn fine company, so congrats, Billy.
- Homer Bailey and John Lackey will butt heads in Wednesday’s tussle between these two squads. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET.