The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Eugenio Suarez wasted little time shrugging off his busted thumb, and has returned to the Cincinnati Reds lineup as the right-handed thumper we’d all hoped he’d be this year. Suarez had yet another great night at the plate on Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers, as he singled, doubled, and drove in 4 runs in the process.
With Devin Mesoraco now a backup and Adam Duvall struggling mightily, Suarez becomes the go-to thumping RH bat in the Cincinnati lineup, and it’s great to see that he’s swinging healthy again so quickly after the hand injury.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who walked twice and was hit by a pitch, which inched his season OBP up to .408 (and he scored twice, too); Jesse Winker, who singled, doubled, and scored a run; Austin Brice, who fanned a pair in his scoreless inning of relief; Raisel Iglesias, who fired a scoreless inning; and Tucker Barnhart, who walked thrice.
- Brandon Finnegan danced in and out of trouble in the early innings of the game, but he was finally touched up for a run in the Top of the 3rd. He left a 91 mph meatball over the plate to Manny Pina, and Pina smoked it over the CF wall for a solo dinger. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- The Reds struck back quickly against Jhouly Chacin, however. Chacin hit Votto’s foot with a breaking ball to put him on-base, and Schebler followed with a double to put runners on 2B & 3B for Suarez. Geno then poked a double into the LF corner to clear the bases, and the Reds took the lead back, 2-1.
- Finnegan allowed a single to the opposing pitcher, which is never a good idea. He then tried to sneak a 90 mph fastball past Lorenzo Cain, which was an even worse idea. Cain clubbed a 2-run dinger, and the Reds trailed again, 3-2.
- Hamilton cue-ball’d a double down the LF line that only went about 200 feet to begin the Bottom of the 5th, but it was effective nonetheless. He moved over to 3B on Winker’s drag-bunt single, and that put him in scoring position for Jose Peraza’s sac-fly into CF. That chased Chacin to the showers, and after the Brewers turned to a LHP to face Votto and Schebler, those two responded with a walk and a single to load the bases. That brought Suarez to the plate, and even after the Beers made the change to righty Jacob Barnes, Geno busted a single up the middle to drive in a pair, and the Reds were back in front, 5-3.
- The Beers scraped a rally together in the Top of the 7th, and it started with an error by catcher Tucker Barnhart. Christian Yelich began the 2-out rally with a single, and he moved to 2B after Wandy Peralta walked Ryan Braun. A bouncer in the dirt then prompted Yelich to take off for 3B, and Barnhart’s throw came up well short, eventually bouncing into LF and allowing a run to come home. Peralta then walked Travis Shaw - which ended Wandy’s evening - and Domingo Santana greeted the first pitch of Jared Hughes’ night with a 2-ribbie double to the wall in CF, and Milwaukee was back in front, 6-5.
- That, unfortunately, is how things ended.
- Brandon Finnegan’s final line was largely what we’ve come to expect from the lefty at this early point in his career , as he needed 89 pitches to get through just 5 IP. In those 5 IP, he allowed a pair of dingers, 5 total hits, 3 ER, 3 BB, and 2 Ks. Yep.
- Billy Hamilton entered play on Monday with the 9th worst K-rate in all of baseball in 2018 (among qualified hitters). He then proceeded to strike out twice more on the evening.
- Nick Senzel shrugged off his shoulder issue and was back in the lineup and playing 2B for the Louisville Bats on Monday. He responded by boinking an inside-the-park homer in his first PA, which is dang nice to see.
- Homer Bailey will toe the rubber for the Reds in the second game of the series on Tuesday, and he’ll be opposed by Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET again, so plan accordingly.