The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Scooter Gennett. Who the heck else this year?
The breakout year for the Cincinnati Reds 2B just keeps on truckin’, as on Friday he went 3 for 4 with a triple, a double, 2 runs scored, and a ribbie. Hell, he even added his 3rd stolen base of the year for good measure. Picking him up off waivers is one of those moves that the Cincinnati front office certainly deserves a pile of credit for making happen, especially from that faction of fans that seems hell-bent on just criticizing the moves that don’t pan out so well.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Luis Castillo, who allowed just 2 ER in his start, but again ran into high pitch count issues due to deep counts and endless, endless foul balls; Joey Votto, who went 2 for 4 with a single, double, run scored, and ribbie; Adam Duvall, who doubled, singled, scored twice, and drove in a pair; Asher Wojciechowski, who fired a pair of scoreless innings in relief of Castillo; Kevin Shacklelford, who wrapped things up with a scoreless 9th inning; and Scott Schebler, who walked twice, just ‘cause
- The Reds heard “play ball” and wasted little time going to work on Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole. Hamilton singled up the middle to lead off the Top of the 1st, and promptly swiped 2B. He actually ended up on 3B when the throw to try to nab him skipped into CF, and later scored after Cozart walked on Votto’s RBI double to the wall in right-center. That left runners on 2B and 3B for Duvall, who plated them both with a cracker of a double off the wall in CF. Reds led early, 3-0.
- The Pirates struck back in the Bottom of the 2nd off Luis Castillo, however. David Freese began the inning with a single into LF, and he scored a batter later on John Jaso’s RBI double into RF. After a productive Jordy Mercer grounder moved Jaso to 3B, Chris Stewart’s single into RF scored another run. Reds led, 3-2.
- Cincinnati tacked on another in the Top of the 3rd, though. Duvall singled into RF and later took 2B on a Cole wild pitch, and that put him in scoring position for Gennett’s single into CF that plated the run. Reds led, 4-2.
- Scooter was back at it again in the Top of the 6th, tripling into CF and later scoring on a sac fly from Eugenio Suarez. Reds led, 5-2.
- A Votto single opened the action in the Top of the 8th, and by the time the dust had settled the Reds had plated another pair of runs. Duvall ended up on 1B after his groundout forced Votto at 2B, but a wild pitck moved him up to 2B anyway. Singles from Scooter and Suarez then followed, the latter of which drove in Duvall, and later a second wild pitch allowed Scooter to scoot home, too. Reds led, 7-2.
- Drew Storen did just enough to make the finish a bit interesting, as the Pirates strung together a series of hits in the Bottom of the 8th to eventually plate a run. Fortunately, though, Shackelford shut things down in the Bottom of the 9th, and the Reds took home a 7-3 win.
- Prior to the game, the Reds announced they’d called up Ariel Hernandez and Zach Vincej. Vincej wasn’t on the 40-man roster, however, so to get him a spot they cut ties with Lisalverto Bonilla (who’d been on the shelf with elbow trouble for almost a month anyway.) Vincej made his official debut with a 6-3 groundout in a pinch hit appearance.
- Speaking of MLB debuts, Tyler Mahle will look to improve upon his first career big league start when he takes the mound on Saturday in the second game of this series in Pittsburgh. He’ll be opposed by Pirates starter Jameson Taillon, with first pitch set for 7:05 PM ET.