The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Eugenio Suarez has shrugged off his early-season busted thumb and kept right on raking since returning to the Cincinnati Reds, and on Tuesday that continued to be the case. Even after he gave us all a scare by rolling his ankle diving back into 2B, he ripped a 2-run dinger and a double, and finished the evening having gone 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.
Heck, he even did so while hitting in the 3-spot on the night while Joey Votto and his balky back got a night of rest. That’s plenty good enough for a JNMHSotG trophy, if not a danged 7-year contract extension.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Amir Garrett, who fired 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, fanning 4 while allowing just 2 hits and nary a walk; and Scooter Gennett, who had another pair of hits.
- Suarez opened the scoring in the Top of the 3rd, blasting a 2-run dinger on a hanging breaking ball from Ty Blach into the LF seats. That came immediately after a Kelby Tomlinson fielding error with 2-outs already in the books, which was precisely the kind of good baseball fortune we’ve been hoping for in earnest for the Reds for the last few years. Reds led, 2-0.
- Tony Cruz singled with 1-out in the Top of the 4th, and he moved up a bag a batter later on Tyler Mahle’s sac bunt. That proved to be vital, as Billy Hamilton singled into CF to bring Cruz in to score. Reds led, 3-0.
- Mahle’s evening ended in the Bottom of the 4th, unfortunately, and that was due to a solid Giants rally. Brandon Belt greeted him initially with a solo dinger into McCovey Cove, but Evan Longoria, Brandon Crawford, and Austin Jackson then chipped in with singles of their own to load the bases. That prompted manager Bruce Bochy to turn to pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval, and the Panda responded with a 2-ribbie single into LF to chase Mahle. Garrett then took over and got a liner up the middle that bounced off Jose Peraza’s glove to load the bases, and another run then scored when the Reds couldn’t quite turn a 5-4-3 DP on an Andrew McCutchen grounder. That left the Reds behind, 4-3.
- The Giants tacked on another run in the Bottom of the 8th, as Crawford singled, took 2B on a balk by pitcher David Hernandez, and later scored on a single into CF by Kelby Tomlinson. Reds trailed, 5-3, and that’s how things finished.
- Tyler Mahle wasn’t feeling good tonight, nor had he felt good for several days. The FS-Ohio crew had noted as much for several days leading up to this one. Mahle gutted through 3 IP, but looked gassed when tasked with pitching in the 4th. His final line: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 K on 86 pitches. He’ll be a lot, lot better than that on most every night going forward - especially when he’s not feeling pukey.
- Alex Blandino has started just once in the last five games, including being on the bench for each of the last two games with LHP on the mound. He got a chance to pinch hit for the Reds in the Top of the 7th tonight - against a RHP, of course - and responded with a double down the LF line. There are lineup issues, roster issues, and blah blah blah...but the kid needs to be playing every damn day somehow, some way.
- Joey Votto didn’t start tonight, but he did make an appearance as a pinch-hitter in the 9th inning. That’s definitely a positive development with his back tightness.
- Matt Harvey will get the start in the series finale on Wednesday, and it’s still incredibly weird to type things like that. Andrew Suarez will start for the Giants, with first pitch set for 3:45 PM ET.