The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Anytime the Cincinnati Reds get an outing from a starting pitcher that isn’t just good enough for the team to win, it’s actually promising, you’re going to see their name in this here section.
Anthony DeSclafani provided that kind of outing on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, yielding just 2 ER on 3 H during his 5.2 IP - an outing that theoretically could have lasted much longer seeing as he was pulled after throwing just 81 pitches. Disco walked one against 4 Ks, and continued his trend of pounding the strike zone early in counts and attacking often enough to keep his pitch counts down.
It’s really, really, really, really, incredibly nice to have a pitcher back in this rotation in whom you can actually have legitimate confidence every fifth day, and hopefully the rest of the team’s starters will benefit from that through osmosis, or however the hell they can absorb consistency.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Billy Hamilton, who made an absurd catch in CF, singled three times, stole a bag, and scored a pair of runs; Eugenio Suarez, who belted a big ol’ 2-run dinger; Scott Schebler, who belted a big ol’ 2-run dinger of his own; Joey Votto, who walked, doubled twice, and drove in a pair; and Jose Peraza, who singled twice and drove in a run.
- Colin Moran has bonked just seven dingers all season, but three of those have come against Cincinnati Reds pitching. The third, of course, came on Sunday in the Bottom of the 2nd, when he clubbed a solo shot off Disco to put the Reds behind, 1-0.
- Cincinnati poked back in the Top of the 3rd, however. Curt Casali dinked a single into shallow RF, and he moved up to 2B on a single into RF by Hamilton. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch from Joe Musgrove, which proved vital when it later allowed Casali to scoot home on a productive groundout by Scott Schebler. Peraza then followed by dropping a single into right-center to score Billy, and the Reds held a 2-1 lead.
- Suarez played add-on in the Top of the 4th, belting a meaty Musgrove breaking ball way into the LF seats for a 2-run blast that followed a single into RF by Scooter Gennett. Reds led, 4-1.
- The Reds loaded the bases in the Top of the 5th on a Hamilton single, a Schebler walk (after Billy had swiped 2B), and a bunt single by Peraza that tied up Moran in no-man’s land as he charged from 3B. That brought up Votto, who clubbed a double off the wall in right-center to clear the bases. Unfortunately, ‘clear’ the bases didn’t mean all runners scored; Billy and Schebs did, but Peraza ran through a stop sign at 3B and was eventually tagged out in a rundown. Still, the Reds led, 6-1.
- Gregory Polanco inched the Pirates a bit closer in the Bottom of the 5th, however, with a 1-out dinger over the wall in CF on a fastball that Disco left a bit up in the zone. It was fortunately just of the solo variety, and the Reds led, 6-2.
- Amir Garrett opened on the mound for the Bottom of the 7th, but after striking out the first two hitters was not quite at his best. He allowed a walk and a single before exiting in favor of Jared Hughes, and both of those runners scored on seeing-eye groundball singles up the middle. Reds still led, though, 6-4.
- The Pirates nearly leveled the score in the Bottom of the 8th. Back to back 2-out singles by Corey Dickerson and Josh Bell chased Hughes in favor of closer Raisel Iglesias, and Polanco greeted Igloo with a double into right-center. Dickerson scored easily, but the Pirates chose to roll the dice by sending Bell despite Hamilton getting to the ball quickly, and Peraza’s relay throw home nailed the Pittsburgh 1B by a few feet. Reds led, 6-5.
- Schebler’s big fly in the Top of the 9th added some final cushion, however, as he turned around an Edgar Santana meatball for a 2-run shot after Hamilton’s single. Reds led, 8-5.
- Iglesias allowed a pair of hits in the Bottom of the 9th, the latter of which scored Josh Harrison from 2B and brought the game-tying run to the plate, but that was all the damage done. Reds won, 8-6!
- Jim Riggleman pulled DeSclafani after 5.2 IP despite him having thrown only 81 pitches. Disco walked Francisco Cervelli in what was his final batter faced on the day, though that was also his lone walk of the afternoon, too. Perhaps it was that Colin Moran and his hot lefty bat were due up next, as lefty Amir Garrett was brought in to face him.
- The usually rock-solid bullpen had a rare rough day at the office, as each of the three relievers who pitched - Garrett, Hughes, and Iglesias - were tagged with at least one earned run. Somehow, that managed to come in a game in which the Reds actually won, because baseball is just an odd, odd bird.
- The Reds have yet another off-day on Monday, and on Tuesday they’ll begin a quick two-game series against the Detroit Tigers as part of a six-game homestand. Sal Romano will get the start in GABP, with first pitch Tuesday set for 7:10 PM ET.