The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It’s hard to overstate how important the progression of the young fleet of pitchers on the Cincinnati Reds’ roster is at the moment. Luis Castillo has been absolutely superb throughout the season, but it’s taken a bit of time for some of the others to begin to round into form. Sal Romano, for instance, has been incredibly solid over his last 3 starts, and Robert Stephenson has begun to turn the corner, too.
On Thursday, Stephenson posted another quality start, allowing just 5 H and 2 ER in 6 innings of work against the New York Mets. He walked 3, but backed up his previous 11 K outing with another 7 this time around, firing 93 pitches in his effort.
With today marking the final day of August, there are only a handful of starts remaining for many of the young arms as the season winds down and innings limits are reached. That shouldn’t be an issue for Bob, however, whose time spent in the bullpen earlier in the season has limited him to just 98.2 IP combined between MLB and AAA this year. That means he’ll get as many starts as possible over this next month to continue to show the Cincinnnati front office what he can provide, which will go a long way towards their ability to determine what to shop for once the off-season rolls around.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Scooter Gennett, who clubbed a 2-run homer (and added an RBI double); Joey Votto, who homered; Eugenio Suarez, who had another ho-hum 2 for 4 day (with a run scored) to raise his season OBP to .386; Stuart Turner, who dad-strength’d a 2-run homer; and Michael Lorenzen, who fanned 2 in a pair of scoreless innings in relief.
- Jose Reyes began the game with a leadoff ground-rule double in the Top of the 1st, and he later scored on a sac-fly from Asdrubal Cabrera. Mets led early, 1-0.
- Of course, Scooter hadn’t yet had the chance to bat, but when he did finally step to the plate, he clubbed a 2-run homer right at the power stacks in right-center, scoring himself and Suarez in the Bottom of the 2nd to put the Reds ahead, 2-1.
- The Mets got a run back in the next half inning, however, as Reyes again began the inning on-base. This time it came via walk, which haunted after the New York leadoff man moved to 3B on a Cabrera single into RF and then scored when Brandon Nimmo singled on a comebacker that ricocheted off Stephenson’s hip. Game tied, 2-2.
- Billy Hamilton’s havoc on the bases led to another Cincinnati run in the Bottom of the 3rd, as he led off the inning with a single and promptly swiped 2B for his 55th bag of the year. Two batters later, Votto slapped a grounder at SS Amed Rosario, who tried to get Hamilton, the lead runner, who had broken for 3B. Rosario’s throw hit Hamilton and kicked down the 3B line, however, allowing Billy to motor all the way home on an error. Reds led, 3-2.
- Scooter struck again in the Bottom of the 5th off Jacob deGrom, doubling on a laser-liner to the wall in right-center. That drove in Jose Peraza, who had begun the inning with a single into RF and a later steal of 2B. Reds led, 4-2.
- Jeurys Familia took over for deGrom for the Bottom of the 7th, at which point he was greeted by a Votto moonshot into the RF seats, a solo blast that gave Cincinnati a 5-2 lead.
- Scott Schebler led off the Bottom of the 8th with a single into RF, and Turner later chased him around the bases with a 2-run homer into the seats in left-center. That wrapped the scoring, and the Reds took home a 7-2 victory.
- Prior to the start of this one, Tucker Barnhart was placed on the paternity list, and the Reds recalled catcher Chad Wallach from AAA Louisville to take his place on the roster.
- Top prospect Nick Senzel has been out of the AA Pensacola lineup somewhat mysteriously for almost a week now, with the only word on him being that he’s “sick.” Well, Nick himself chimed in on Twitter today to say that he’s “feeling better,” which is a great development.
- Joey Votto is just the gawdang best.
- The Reds will head over to Pittsburgh later Thursday, and on Friday they’ll begin a weekend series against the Pirates. Luis Castillo will start in the series opener opposite Gerrit Cole, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.