The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Much like Romano on Tuesday, Mahle relied on his defense in the cavernous Kauffman Stadium, as he only fanned a lone Royal in his 6.1 IP. However, he limited his walks (2) and hits (3) while keeping the ball inside the ballpark for a change, and in the process lowered his season ERA to a nearly unspeakable 3.96 after 88 solid pitches.
While Mahle would admittedly concede that he could’ve been a bit more polished in 2018 than he has been, this is precisely the kind of upside start we’ve all be hoping to see from him more often than not, and the rookie is certainly beginning to round into form. Heck, after tonight, he’s now allowed just 2 ER in his last 16.1 IP across 3 starts, and that’s absolutely got the makings of a rotation cog.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Adam Duvall, who knocked the pea soup out of a ball for a grand slam to put the game on ice; Jose Peraza, who singled, doubled, scored, and drove in a run; Scooter Gennett, who singled twice (yawn) and scored twice; Scott Schebler, who doubled and was hit by a pitch; and Jared Hughes, who threw yet another scoreless inning of relief, this time lowering his season ERA to a radtastic 0.99.
- The Reds waited until late to do their damage for the second consecutive game, finally scratching the scoreboard in the Top of the 7th. Peraza led off with a double, and he moved over to 3B on Joey Votto’s liner-grounder-thingamagoober out that bounced off the pitcher. Scooter Gennett then reached safely at 1B on an error by the Royals SS that also allowed Peraza to score, and after Eugenio Suarez later singled, Scooter scored on a throwing error by 1B Hunter Dozier that hit Suarez in the back as he was running to 2B. Reds led, 2-0.
- Cincinnati tacked on another run in the Top of the 8th, as Peraza singled into CF to drive in Billy Hamilton, who was on 3B after singling and motoring to 3B on Scott Schebler’s ground-rule double. Reds led, 3-0.
- Thanks to some oofish Royals defense on an infield grounder and a bunt attempt, the Reds loaded the bases in the Top of the 9th with Duvall coming to the plate. Well, he responded by crushing a ball about as hard and as far as you’ll ever see, wrecking a grand slam to put the Reds firmly ahead, 7-0, which is how things finished.
- Jared Hughes entered play tonight having thrown the 14th most IP by a reliever in all of baseball. He now has a 0.99 ERA. Given how pricey free agent relievers were last winter, the Reds front office deserves a standing ovation for getting him at 2/$4.5M with an option.
- The Reds have an off-day yet again on Thursday, and Imma celebrate by taking the tent camping/fishing.
- They’ll get back to action on Friday in Pittsburgh against the Pirates, with Matt Harvey slated to start the first game of the series. First pitch in that one is set for 7:05 PM ET.