The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Eugenio Suarez hit safely three times in this game, including a two-run honked wanger, his 16th of the year, which leads all Reds batters. The two RBI were numbers 56 and 57, which, at the time of publishing, leads all the National League in that category. Leading the league in a stat is (checks notes) yeah, it’s good.
They’re counting stats and, in the case of RBI, a stat of opportunity. But let’s all take a moment to remember: Eugenio Suarez missed 16 games with a hand injury, of all things. Basically what I’m saying is that Eugenio Suarez is really, really good. He’s earning every single penny of the extension the Reds signed him to this offseason, and he’s making the Reds look pretty damn smart for doing it, too.
Honorable mention to Jose Peraza who had a hit and a walk with 3 steals and 2 runs scored. Joey Votto hit twice and walked with an RBI and also 2 runs scored, and the Reds bullpen (Kyle Crockett, David Hernandez, and Raisel Iglesias) were absolutely lights out to slam the door shut tonight.
- The Reds got on the board first in the bottom of the 2nd inning. After a Jesse Winker groundout, Curt Casali doubled. Luis Castillo then helped his own cause, singling and moving Casali over to 3rd, where he promptly scored on the next at bat, a single by Billy Hamilton. Jose Peraza grounded into a fielder’s choice that resulted in him safe at 1B and Billy out at 2B, but Alex Blandino promptly walked. Unfortunately, with the bases juiced and two outs, Joey Votto struck out looking on a full count. Opportunity lost, but the Reds get on the scoreboard first, 1-0.
- The Cubs jumped on top in the 4th. Ben Zobrist managed a one-out double before moving on to 3B on an Anthony Rizzo groundout. Javier Baez laid down the squeeze bunt to score Zobrist. Kyle Schwarber, certified Big Strong Man, whacked a two-run dinger to CF. Albert Almora, Jr then flew out to end the frame, but the Cubs get 3 and lead, 3-1.
- The Reds got them all back in the 5th. Peraza singled and stole second before Blandino struck out looking for the first out. Votto singled into CF, scoring Peraza, and then Eugenio Suarez walloped a tater to score Votto and, obviously, himself. Adam Duvall worked a walk, Winker singled, but that’s all the Reds would manage. Good guys back up by 1, 4-3.
- Reds did the the runs thing again in the 7th. Votto led off with a walk before Suarez’s grounder found a hole between third and short. Duvall looped a single into shallow single to score a running-all-the-way Votto (it was some surprisingly good base running from the Reds first baseman). For some reason beyond comprehension, Jim Riggleman apparently asked for Jesse Winker to bunt, which is really, really dumb. He failed at it, of course, popping it up for the first out, caught by a diving Justin Wilson. Curt Casali erased the inning with a GIDP. Reds get one, though, 5-3.
- With two outs in the 8th, Peraza walked(!), and then stole second, his third steal on the night. Alex Blandino laced a single into RF that scored Jose, but unfortunately Alex got caught up trying to take an extra base on the throw. He was tagged out to end the inning, but the Reds tack on an insurance run, 6-3.
- Raisel Iglesias was straight up nails, and with a 1-2-3 9th, he put the final nail in the Cubs coffin quickly and easily. Reds win, 6-3.
- Top Reds prospect Nick Senzel was pinch hit for in the bottom of the 1st for Louisville today. No, he’s not getting called up. There’s no hug watch. Unfortunately, he had to leave the game due to an injury to his right index finger. He’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow. We’ll have more as it develops.
- With his single in the bottom of the 5th, Jose Peraza has reached base safely in 22 straight. He also stole three bases tonight, and fairly easily. He’s really starting to come around and I like it a lot.
- Brandon Finnegan made his eight start for Louisville tonight. It went very, very poorly. He gave up 10 earned in 3 IP. Added 4 BB and 1 HR for his troubles, too. Look, I realize that I was probably a little higher on him than most, but holy shit what is going on with Brandon Finnegan?
- The Reds will take on these Cubs again for game three of this four game series tomorrow, first pitch scheduled for 4:10 PM EDT. Anthony DeSclafani will make the start for the Reds, opposed by the dreaded TBA for the Cubs. And look, I’ve spent approximately five minutes scouring the internet to try and find out if it’s been announced yet and haven’t found anything. So apparently only Joe Maddon knows.