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Scooter Gennett hits grand slam, backs Matt Harvey in Reds win over Pirates

Escaping big jams and getting big blasts is a good way to win a game, all told.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Scooter Gennett did it again, folks.

The Cincinnati Reds 2B launched yet another grand slam in Tuesday’s defeat of the Pittsburgh Pirates, which was only a small part of his 2 for 3, 2 run, 6 (!!) ribbie evening. Considering that the Reds also got cromulent pitching, that was precisely the recipe for a fun evening of baseball in GABP, which Scooter has almost cornered the market on over the last two years.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Matt Harvey, who pitched out of a 1st inning bout of baserunners and ended up firing 6 IP of 1 ER ball; Tucker Barnhart, who singled twice, doubled, and scored twice in his first ever start in the #2 spot of the lineup; Eugenio Suarez, who doubled twice and drove in a run; and David Hernandez, who pitched out of the mini-jam that Amir Garrett left him.

Key Plays

  • The Reds did immediately in this one what they couldn’t do at all against Jameson Taillon the last time these two met - get more than one hit and actually put runs on the board. Tucker got things started with a 1-out single, and he scored all the way from 1B on Scooter’s fly ball into right-center that Gregory Polanco had trouble picking up (that ultimately fell in for a double). Suarez then followed by dumping another double into the LF corner to score Gennett, and the Reds led early, 2-0.
  • Colin Moran got the Pirates on the board in the Top of the 4th, clubbing a solo dinger off Harvey to cut the Reds’ lead to 2-1.
  • Scooter happened once again in the Bottom of the 5th, and it was glorious. Jose Peraza singled, Tucker doubled into the RF corner to put runners on 2B & 3B, and the Pirates then did the presumably prudent thing in walking Joey Votto to get to Gennett. Well, that backfired in epic fashion, as Scooter turned on an inside breaking ball for a monster grand slam, which put the Reds ahead, 6-1.
  • Austin Meadows turned around a rare Amir Garrett meatball for a solo blast into the RF seats in the Top of the 7th, which drew Pittsburgh a bit closer with the Reds then up 6-2.
  • Scooter’s 6th ribbie came in the Bottom of the 7th, a sac fly that scored Peraza after the Cincinnati leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch, stole 2B, and moved to 3B on Barnhart’s single. Reds led, 7-2, and thanks to some hard work from the bullpen, that’s exactly how things finished.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Matt Harvey’s first start in GABP went pretty, pretty good, all told. Despite a 30 pitch 1st inning, he made his way through 6 IP on 93 pitches, allowing 3 H, 1 ER, and 2 BB against 5 Ks. He routinely hit 95-96 mph with his fastball, and is increasingly looking more and more like a savvy pickup by the Reds as trade season looms.
  • The Reds made an official roster move on Tuesday, activating Brandon Dixon while optioning Rosell Herrera back to AAA Louisville.
  • What they didn’t do was activate reliever Michael Lorenzen...yet. Lorenzen’s in Cincinnati and threw with teammates before the game, and it’s likely he’ll be activated on Wednesday. My best guess is that the team wanted to see how Harvey’s start went on Tuesday on the off-chance they needed to burn a long man and then option him tomorrow. Obviously that didn’t end up being the case, but I’d still wager we’ll see a reliever optioned for Lorenzen on Wednesday.
  • This game was delayed by rain for a full hour before getting underway.
  • Homer Bailey is tomorrow’s scheduled starter for the Reds, and unless he begins to get his game in order in a hurry, it might well be one of the final two starts we see from him for at least the time being. Anthony DeSclafani is due back in another week to 10 days, and Homer’s been on the struggle bus for nearly a month now.
  • Starting opposite Homer on Wednesday will be Pittsburgh starter Chad Kuhl. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.
  • Tunes.