The Cincinnati Reds fell behind 4-0 early in this one, and on the heels of losing a billion to a few to the Pittsburgh Pirates in embarassing fashion just a day ago, many of us were scrambling to figure out when the last time the Reds began a season with a meager 1-6 record. Fortunately, that became moot, as Sal Romano settled down well, the Cincinnati bullpen picked him up with ample outs, and the bats in the Reds offense finally were able to string together a series of big hits.
A combination of 7 unanswered runs scored and 16 consecutive Pirates set down highlighted the comeback, and hopefully - hopefully - this is a game the Reds can look back on as one that helped turn their season, rebuild, and our fragile collective confidence around.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Suarez will get plenty of pub for the go-ahead 3-run blast he hit to put the Reds in front for good, but he had quite the effective game prior to that point, too. He finished the night 3 for 5 with said dinger, a walk, a double, and 5 runs driven in, and he was absolutely the big-bat catalyst that led the Reds to their comeback win.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jesse Winker, who was on base 4 times on the night from the leadoff spot; Jose Peraza, who had a pair of singles and scored twice; Joey Votto, who smacked a pair off singles and smoked a sac-fly; Wandy Peralta, who fired 2.0 perfect innings with 3 Ks; Joey Votto, who singled twice and smacked a laser of a sac-fly; Joey Votto, whose sac fly was hit incredibly hard (and who also added two singles); and Tucker Barnhart, who walked, doubled, singled, and scored.
- Corey Dickerson hit a hanging curve down the RF line to plate a pair in the Bottom of the 1st. Those two Pirates that scored got on in one of nine ways, I assume. Reds trailed immediately, again, 2-0.
- A leadoff walk, a single, an error, a sac fly with the throw going into the wrong base, and a perfectly placed bloop added another pair of runs to the Pirate ledger in the Bottom of the 2nd. Reds trailed even more, 4-0.
- Winker’s leadoff walk in the Top of the 3rd set up the first Reds run, as he motored all the way to 3B when Eugenio Suarez hit a jam-shot past the RF for a double. Winker scored on Votto’s hard-hit sac-fly liner to RF, and the Reds trailed, 4-1.
- The Reds played some old fashioned small-ball in the Top of the 5th. Jose Peraza singled, and he moved up to 2B on a sac-bunt by Romano. That put the speedy SS in scoring position for Winker, who brought him in with a single into RF. Reds trailed, 4-2.
- Cincinnati equalized in the Top of the 6th, and it came after Dovydas Neverauskas took over on the mound for Pittsburgh. Barnhart cracked a 1-out double, and he moved up to 3B on a bloop single into LF by Peraza. Eventually, Suarez came to the plate with 2-out and the bags full, and his 2-run single into LF plated a pair, leveling the game at 4-4.
- Suarez’s 3-run blast came off George Kontos in the Top of the 8th, a laser into the LF seats after a Barnhart single, Peraza bunt, and an infield single from LIDR-especial Billy Hamilton. Reds led, 7-4, and thanks to Peralta and Raisel Iglesias, that’s how things finished.
- Sal Romano wasn’t exactly terrible on the night, but he sure seemed to allow a ton of light contact that managed to be hit where the Reds simply weren’t. His final line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, BB, K on 77 pitches. And it was cold...damn cold.
- Nick Senzel went 2 for 4 with a double and a stolen base for the Louisville Bats tonight, in case you need something else out there to warm your cockles.
- Adam Duvall had a less-than-stellar outing: 0 for 5 with 4 Ks and 5 LOB.
- It’s supposed to be cold as all hell again on Sunday in the series finale between the Reds and Pirates, which I’m sure has all those forced to be outside during it quite excited. Tyler Mahle won’t mind, I’m sure, as he’ll be the Cincinnati starter on the day. He’ll be opposed by Pirates starter Jameson Taillon in a matchup of two of the more talented young arms in the game. First pitch is set for 1:35 PM ET.