The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tanner Rainey, who pitched out of a jam left to him by Homer Bailey in his 2 IP, allowing no hits, 2 walks, and 3 K’s to lower that previously ginormous ERA; Scooter Gennett, who homered (again), walked twice, and scored twice; Alex Blandino, who chipped in with a huge pinch-hit single and ribbie; Jesse Winker, who had a pair of singles; and Jose Peraza, who singled in the game-tying run for his only hit of the evening.
- The Top of the 1st saw Homer Bailey walk Gregory Polanco with 1-out and immediately follow that by hanging a slider to Francisco Cervelli that was deposited into the LF seats for a 2-run dinger. Reds trailed early, 2-0.
- Josh Harrison began the Top of the 5th with a single, and he eventually came around to score on a 2-out single by Corey Dickerson into CF. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- The Pirates tacked on a 4th run in the oddest of fashions in the Top of the 6th. After both Austin Meadows and Jordy Mercer reached on soft singles to open the frame, pitcher Chad Kuhl pushed a bunt just between the charging Eugenio Suarez and Bailey, and it went deep enough to allow Meadows to score all the way from 2B. That chased Bailey, but fortunately Rainey was able to pitch his way out of the jam. Reds trailed, 4-0.
- Scooter happened once again in the Bottom of the 6th, slapping a solo dinger into the front rows of the RF bleachers off Kuhl to get the Reds on the board. Still, they trailed 4-1.
- The Reds nip-tuck’d their way back into the game in the Bottom of the 8th. Winker led off with a single, and Tucker Barnhart followed with a single right off pitcher Michael Feliz’s butt. That might well have had something to do with Feliz walking Scooter, and it resulted in Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez being brought in to attempt to limit the damage. Lefty Scott Schebler was scheduled to hit, but Jim Riggleman wisely sent lefty-crusher Alex Blandino to the plate, and he responded with an RBI single into LF. Jose Peraza then followed with an RBI single into CF, and the game was tied, 4-4.
- The game slogged into extra innings, which was somewhat of the penalty for this being one of the few Reds home games that wasn’t already delayed by rain. In the Top of the 12th - with Dylan Floro in his second inning of work - Meadows doubled to right, but was cut down in a rundown on a grounder back to the pitcher by Mercer a batter later. That lead to some instant ‘maybe this isn’t the end’ vibes for about a minute before Josh Harrison tripled into the RF corner to score Mercer and put the Pirates ahead, 5-4, which is how things ended.
- Homer Bailey was not sharp yet again. He allowed 10 hits - the third consecutive start in which he’s allowed 10 hits - while walking another 3 Pirates hitters. His final line: 5+ IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K on 97 pitches, and had Rainey not bailed him out tremendously that could’ve looked that much worse. His spot in the rotation has to be the most tenuous of the Cincinnati starters at the moment.
- We’re now 50 games deep into the season, and Billy Hamilton has only stolen 8 bases. Considering his offensive game has stayed consistently bad and that he’s struggled to stay healthy through full seasons, the idea of Hamilton only adding 20-25 steals just does that much more to dent his overall value. Dang.
- Luis Castillo will start for the Reds in the series finale on Thursday, and he’ll be opposed by veteran Pirates starter Ivan Nova. It’s an early start, with first pitch set for 12:35 PM ET, so plan to shirk responsibility accordingly.