The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
In a game where there were only 6 total runs scored, Eugenio Suarez clubbed a ball that put 4 of them on the board. The Cincinnati Reds’ 3B bonked his 2nd career grand slam as part of 5th inning that broke the game wide open against a St. Louis Cardinals club that’s firmly in the mix for the NL Central title, and that’s the kind of heart-stake that earns one an easy JNMHSotG award when it comes at the expense of those Filthy Cards.
Congrats, Eugenio, especially since you added the 81st walk of your season - a number that’s every bit as exciting as the 25 dingers you’ve collected this year.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tyler Mahle, who kept the playoff-hopeful Cards off the board entirely through 5 solid IP; Joey Votto, who singled twice, walked, drove in a run, and scored; Kevin Shackelford, who tossed a pair of scoreless innings in relief; Jesse Winker, who clubbed a dinger to leadoff the game; Michael Lorenzen, who fired a scoreless inning from the ‘pen; Luke Farrell, who did likewise; and Jose Peraza, who had a pair of singles.
- Precisely zero batters had come to the plate in this one prior to Winker, who stepped up as the leadoff hitter in the Top of the 1st and promptly cranked a solo winker over the wall in RF to give Cincinnati an immediate 1-0 lead.
- The scoring dried up completely after that, despite the fact that the Cardinals managed to scatter baserunners against Mahle. That changed in the Top of the 5th, however, as the Reds took a mighty bite out of the Cardinals. Peraza began things with a legged-out infield single, and he moved to 2B when Mahle was hit in the back by a pitch from Jack Flaherty - the final pitch Flaherty threw on the evening. Ryan Sheriff took over on the mound, and a challenged call on the would-be 3rd out of the evening rendered Zack Cozart safe at first, the bases loaded, and Votto at the plate. Jo-eh then singled in a run and left the bases still loaded, which Suarez promptly un-loaded with a grand slam into the LF seats. Reds led, 6-0.
- That was it, fortunately, as the Cincinnati bullpen shut things down from thereafter. Reds won, 6-0!
- Tyler Mahle was a victim of high early pitch counts in this one, but his stuff was much, much better than it was during his previous start. Mahle hit 97 mph with his fastball, sat routinely at 94-95 mph, and while he got a bit squeezed in big early counts, he largely flashed the kind of promise that the success he’s had throughout his MiLB career suggests he should have. His final line: 5 IP, 4 H, O ER, 3 BB, 4 K on an even 100 pitches.
- Prior to the start of this one, the Reds announced that Drew Storen had been placed on the DL with elbow soreness. Of course, it’s September and there are expanded rosters that don’t really require DL stints to be official in the first place, but it’s certainly a blow to the depth in the bullpen, however deep it may appear to be.
- Suarez’s salami was the Reds’ 200th dinger of the season.
- Day game tomorrow, as the Reds and Cardinals will wrap this particular series with a 1:45 PM ET start. Amir Garrett will get another chance to show he’s righted his pitching ship, and he’ll be opposed by St. Louis starter Luke Weaver. For reference, that’ll be back to back rookie starters used by the Cardinals in this series, too.