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Sal Romano fires 8 walkless, hauntless innings, Reds beat Pirates 2-1

The rookie righty was dominant on Saturday.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Sal Romano has a 4.07 ERA in this, his age 23 season.

That’s right. It’s a Cincinnati Reds rookie starter not named Luis Castillo, and he’s pitched his way into quite the damn respectable cumulative line so far this year.

Romano was absurd on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates to help tease that ERA ever lower and lower, firing 8 innings of scoreless 5-hit ball, striking out 6 while walking nary a Pirate in what was one of the very best outings by a Reds pitcher so far this year. That he needed just 97 pitches to accomplish the feat is equally impressive, though it’s hardly a coincidence that his pitch count stayed efficient while not walking folks...

...that, ya see, is how this here game of baseball works.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Jesse Winker, who clubbed a dinger; and our own Derek Grimes, who got his butt back to GABP to catch a game in person.

Key Plays

  • Nothing. Nothing was amazingly important in this one. Key, even. That’s what becomes important when the likes of Ivan Nova is throwing rocks again and Romano was tasked with matching him.
  • Finally, the Reds got to Nova in the Bottom of the 7th, as Winker boffo’d a solo dinger into the RF seats to begin the inning, his 6th of the season since being called up. Zack Cozart then followed with a double, and after Nova was removed with an apparent injury, Scooter Gennett singled into CF to score another, and the Reds led, 2-0.
  • Kevin Shackelford put a shiver down our spines when he allowed a solo dinger to Andrew McCutchen in the Top of the 9th, but the Reds brought on lefty Cody Reed to face lefty Gregory Polanco with 2-out, and Reed got a groundout to seal the deal. Reds won, 2-1!

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Jesse Winker had 5 dingers in 191 career AAA games, which caused palpitations among those who were convinced he didn’t have enough power to play regularly in the big leagues.
  • Jesse Winker has 6 dingers in 35 career MLB games, which is a 28 dinger per 162 games played pace. It’s almost like at the big leagues pitchers throw a bit harder, the ball is wound a bit tighter, and the ballparks are a bit smaller because Wicks love the long ball. Hmm...
  • Sunday matinee tomorrow, per usual. First pitch is set for 1:10 PM ET, with Robert Stephenson hoping to pitch more like Bob. He’ll be opposed by Gerrit Cole.
  • Tunes.