The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Of course, the Reds lost.
But they didn’t do it in a sole-crushingly horrific way tonight, so that in itself is somewhat of a win on this young 2018 season.
I should probably go with Billy Hamilton for the JNMHSotG, but I’m actually going to give it Devin Mesoraco, simply because, well, I won’t to and nothing really matters.
Mesoraco hit a hard grounder in the 5th and barely beat the throw (the call was challenged) for the Reds first hit of the game. In the 5th. They got their first hit in the 5th inning. And then, he backed it up with a 2-run vintage Meso-bomb that put the Reds within striking distance. It’s been forever since we’ve seen games like that from Mes, so have a trophy for it.
The aforementioned Billy Hamilton walked two more times and hit once and scored a run. His batting average is pretty bad, but he’s showing so damn much patience at the plate this season, the OBP is high enough for Billy to really do some damage. If he can keep this up, it’ll easily be his best season yet.
The Reds relievers didn’t give up runs. That’s probably the biggest story I buried.
- The Cardinals dented the scoreboard first when Yadier Molina flushed one to the seats in right field. Cardinals 1-0.
- Dexter Fowler muscled a solo-homer of his own in the 6th. Tommy Pham then blooped a single in the middle of three converging Reds before Matt Carpenter smacked a line drive double to right field. Marcel Ozuna smoked a ground ball single past 3B to score Pham. Jose Martinez grounded out, but moved Ozuna to 2B. Fucking Molina roped a single into left center, however, to score both Ozuna and Carpenter. That would chase Tyler Mahle, who was looking really sharp in this start until the defense completely failed him an inning earlier and made him pitch for six outs. Kevin Quackenbush spelled Mahle and got out of the inning unscathed. Cardinals add 4 to lead, 5-0.
- The Reds finally got on the board in the bottom of the 7th. Scooter Gennett lead off the inning with a single before Devin Mesoraco tore into a Luke Weaver offering, a laser that landed in the left field seats for Mesoraco’s first HR of the season. That’s all the damage they’d do, but at least the did something. Cardinals still up, 5-2.
- They tried a little bit of rallying in the 8th. Hamilton led off with another walk and then was bunted over by Jose Peraza (though, I don’t think he was looking to sacrifice). Joey Votto shot a liner into left field for a hit that scored Hamilton from second. Gennett struck out for the second out, and then Votto presumably fell asleep at 1B and got picked off to end the inning. It was not pretty, which is also the motto of the 2018 Cincinnati Reds. Cardinals, 5-3.
- That was that. Reds lose, again and again, 5-3.
- Jesse Winker was a late scratch for this one with a sore left shoulder. Because, we’re Reds fans and we can’t have nice things. Jesse’s got a .400 OBP for this young season, so of course he’s hurt. I look forward to Winker riding the pine for six or seven days before finally being put on the 10-day DL...
- Adam Duvall has... seen better days. I don’t have the stats for this, but this has to be the worst stretch of plate appearances in his career, and certainly to start a season.
- Angel Hernandez’s strike zone was a disaster tonight, but that probably doesn’t come as a surprise.
- Early game tomorrow, as the Reds and Cardinals will play game three of the four game series starting at 1:10 PM EDT on Saturday. Brandon Finnegan will make his 2018 season debut opposite of Miles Mikolas and his ridiculous looking mustache. He looks like his own evil twin.
- You may remember the last time Brandon Finnegan faced these Cardinals. Or you may not, because it was nearly ten months ago, when he could only muster three innings and then hit the disabled list for the remainder of the season. Let’s hope this one is better than that one. It also happens to be Finnegan’s 25th birthday.